Also last week, a friend posted on Facebook, “When I teach I feel His pleasure.” He was referencing Eric Liddell, the Olympic runner immortalized in the film Chariots of Fire. Liddell eventually pursued a call as a missionary in China, but as he tried to explain to his sister Jenny, he had to first pursue this chance at the Olympics. Liddell explained, “When I run I feel His pleasure.”
We moved to Connecticut a few months ago, and I can’t say I’ve felt much of His pleasure. In fact, this season of transition for us has been a season of loss for me. I’ve lost touch with friends, especially because we have incredibly limited cell phone service near our house. I’ve lost many physical items, whether because they are in storage somewhere along the eastern seaboard (Weehawkan or Florida were the two places the movers said our stuff might go), or because I neglected to pack them or because they’ve just gone missing along the way of our five-going-on-six moves of the past three years. And I’ve lost a lot of time to write because I made the decision to provide as much stability for our kids as possible during this transition and therefore not hire a babysitter.
The loss of writing time has brought with it a great deal of unexpected sorrow. I thought I would feel anxious—that I would worry that fewer blogposts means fewer readers means less chance of writing another book– but I’ve been able to give myself a break. I don’t feel (much) self-imposed pressure to produce content. I just miss it. A lot.
When I write, I feel His pleasure
In preparation for some recent interviews, I reread parts of A Good and Perfect Gift, and I was reminded of the ways God transformed my understanding of life through the gift of our daughter. And I continue to feel grateful God gave me the chance to write it all down, to offer our gift as a gift to others.
So as we approach the Christmas season, I want to invite you to buy a copy (or two, or three, or ten) of A Good and Perfect Gift for friends and family members who might enjoy the story of an overachieving Mom and Dad whose lives are upended by a baby who was not the one they had planned for. Might I invite you to discuss the story with a book club as a way to talk about our cultural values and the personal transformation that happens when we are open to one another’s differences? (Discussion questions available)
As we head into a season of parties and family gatherings and shopping and reindeer, I’m reminded by this story that we all—from the grouchy elderly relative to the overbearing mother-in-law to the colicky newborn—have gifts to offer one another, if only we have hearts to receive them.