Today is Saturday. I have a paper to write for teacher school. I have the backyard to myself to do that writing, to journal, to blog, and to paint.
One of my newly-discovered favorite ways to experience Scripture is to listen to it on audio while I watercolor whatever images come to mind (I like to listen to George W. Sarris on the Bible Gateway app). Whatever scraggly little images I paint during this time gives me ideas for paintings or drawings I might want to do later (since they typically aren't very well done during this process, as you can see). But mostly I enjoy it because it just helps me process what I'm listening to rather than allowing it to just be background noise (but also could you ask for better background noise??).
Today I felt I would start my morning off with this. My mind is clearer in the morning and this way I will bring whatever I can glean from Scripture to whatever worries I encounter today rather than the other way around (like yesterday).
Not that I think what happened yesterday was wrong. I think I ended up having a really good conversation with God yesterday...but I find it is generally better if I can start my day off with God's Word.
While I read today, I started thinking about my nannying job. For two years I was the babysitter for triplet infant girls. It was my favorite job ever and my relationship with them now (they are 4) still brings me so much joy.
I remember when I first met them. I was a sophomore in college trying to find a job, any job. I searched through Biola Classifieds and I just started emailing anyone and everyone. I needed a job! Amber emailed me back and I went to her house to meet her. I guess I didn't really read the ad because when I walked in the room I was stunned to see 3 little 13-month-old girls crawling around.
"They are triplets!" I exclaimed.
She laughed, interviewed me, and one of the little girls, Abby, sat at my feet and smiled up at me the whole time.
I walked away wanting that job SO badly, though I knew not why. But I had been rejected for so many jobs I had very loose hope. But sure enough a few days later she emailed me back and I got the job!
My first day was so rough. 3 hours of 3 screaming babies, there is no way to explain it. I wondered how on earth I was going to do this. The whole time I was there I doubted, I never had felt like I was good with kids! What possessed me to take this job?? (on that note, Amber is the most patient mom I have ever seen, she has seriously been anointed by God to be the mother of triplets).
But sure enough, I fell in love with those little girls. So much joy every time I was with them. And Amber one day told me that she had chosen me, because Abby had chosen me. Abby was the shyest and most sensitive of all the girls, it took her forever to warm up to someone. But she was the one who sat at my feet during my interview! Abby chose me. She knew, before I even knew, that I was the person for the job.
Which brings me to today's reading. Isaiah 43:1: "I have summoned you by name; you are mine."
God has called me by name! He has called out "Lydia!" So personal and comforting.
But also part of me thinks it's so much deeper than even that. He knows me way better than I know myself. He called me to be the nanny for baby triplets, there's no way I could have known I had that in me. There's no way I would have called myself "Nanny of Triplets." But that has been my name! God surely calls out "Lydia" but I think He calls me by a name much fuller and incomprehensible than that too. I don't fully understand my own name, the name by which God calls me.
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Eph. 2:10).
I'm only 23 years old and I'm sure I cannot imagine all God has created me to do in this life. Even if I only have one more year left in my life God can accomplish in me more than I could fathom, and I'm guessing I have many more years than one ahead.
It felt comforting after yesterday (and for a year or more) worrying about what I'm called to do...worrying that I don't know what it is. Today I am reminded that God knows me and He knows what He has called me to. He knows my name! He knows what I will become.
"May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us" (Psalm 67:1).