Change is a’coming

Please know, I am not nearly as narcissistic as the new web address implies. It’s something about marketing and simplicity and easy-to-find-ness. Know what I mean?

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This will be my last blog post ever.

On this site.

JordanHarrell.com will be (hopefully) going LIVE (I feel like Ryan Seacrest right now…) on Monday. This is all very exciting/terrifying/vulnerable/terrifying/please keep loving me.

Please know, I am not nearly as narcissistic as the new web address implies. It’s something about marketing and simplicity and easy-to-find-ness. Know what I mean?

What this means for you:

  • If you are a subscriber to clarkandjordan.wordpress.com or jordanwritesstuff.com (same thing), you will no longer be receiving emails because I’m no longer operating here. Monday, head over to jordanharrell.com and subscribe THERE. Easy peasy.
  • That’s about it. I don’t know why I need bullet points.

You guys, a big ol’ thank you note is heading your way on Monday. Just prepare yourself for how much I love you.

Also, I have free things.

Until then…

jordan-9

 

 

When We Say “I’m Not Called to That”

You know when you think you’ve got it all figured out? Like I have this exact idea of how I should live and should treat people and what I should do with my dang life. And I feel very confident in it. Even though I know some people are just very extreme, a little radical, which is so awesome and I LOVE that for them… that’s not really MY thing. I don’t need to live like that because I wasn’t CALLED to that. Living like that, like how they are a little bit crazy and a lot intense and TOTALLY different than “normal” people, THAT is a specific, individual calling. I was not called to that. I was “called” to live exactly as I am …. just normally. Like normal people do.

I like to do normal things. I am very comfortable with my family of 5, being a normal mom, going to the park and to church, living simply, smiling at people and stuff. I like the normalcy of our routine, with our bible studies and our playdates. I love that I’m a lot like most people I meet — it helps us “connect.” We have so many things to discuss, because we are SO SIMILAR in our normalness. Normal is predictable. I like that.

So I was having a discussion with someone the other day. I was wondering aloud, “Now, I know you don’t have to put your family in unsafe territories to tell people about Jesus. But what if the opportunity presented itself? Do I choose to trust that God will protect us? Would I move my family into an unsafe place if I was asked to? Is that choosing faith over fear? Or is that just being irresponsible?” This brought up the whole idea of “callings” and how some people are “called” to that and some people are not.

Called. That’s a very tricky word right there. Here’s what I think about that word. Sometimes, I think we use that word as an excuse to not do scary things.

First off, let’s get this out of the way. God gave each of us different gifts. That is not only biblical but visibly clear just by walking into a school building — each child is different, each requires different things, each is talented in his or her own way. We are to use these gifts to bring people to Jesus. Some people are gifted speakers, others (oh hey, me) say really weird things when they pick up a microphone. Some people are gifted teachers of young children (Hi, mom!), others would rather swim in a pool of sour milk with their eyes open than go inside a room full of 5-year-olds.

We are like a puzzle, each our own intricate piece, each essential, each unique. If we use our gifts wisely, if we work together in our individuality, we can create something breathtaking, show God to the whole world. But God does not expect a corner piece to jam itself into the middle of the puzzle. That corner piece belongs in the corner. It does GREAT THINGS in the corner. We could not complete the puzzle without it, we don’t expect it to change its shape so that it will fit there.

But, just because we are all unique, that doesn’t mean we don’t all have one common goal: complete the puzzle. Reveal the image of God. Show the world His Face.

We all have gifts that are completely individual to us and we can turn those into callings that are completely individual to us. But we also have callings that are not specific to our talents. These callings were placed upon all of us, EVERY SINGLE ONE, whether or not we asked for them or felt confident in them, the exact moment we chose to follow Christ.

Like feeding the hungry.

Like taking in orphans.

Like watching after widows.

Like loving the unloveable.

Like giving money and time and FACE to the destitute.

Like telling people about Jesus and helping them see how life is better with him in it.

 

Most of these things feel weird when you are living normally, because they are probably not part of your regular routine. Like, I totally take care of hungry people when there is an event for hungry people. I would totally sign up for that. And old people are the sweetest. If my church is going to the nursing home, count me in!

But what if our calling isn’t to do add that into our normal lives. Like on the side. I’ll have a serving of normal with a little dash of extraordinary on the side. What if our “calling” was for THAT to be our MAIN DISH? What if our everyday consisted of these things? What if it wasn’t out of the ordinary? Wouldn’t that create the most beautiful picture?

 

Normal is exactly where Satan would have me be. There is nothing threatening about normal. Normal is VERY SAFE. Normal is so comfortable. I can tie normal up with a nice, tidy bow and kiss it on the forehead because it’s JUST. SO. SWEET.

But miraculous things just don’t happen if I surround myself with normal, comfortable, safe things. Miraculous things do not happen unless I am willing to RISK. Unless I’m willing to sacrifice my comfort. My normal.

I don’t know what my specific calling is. I do know this though: we are all called to be RADICAL, extreme, CRAZY. We are NOT “called” to be normal.

We’re Moving AGAIN. PLUS The Rest of the House: Before and Afters… AKA Do You Want to Buy Our House?

It seems like it was just a few months ago that I was announcing our move to Sweetwater. Oh wait….

And yet, here we are. On the road again. I guess that’s what happens when you marry a coach. I told Clark I would only buy a house here if he could promise me at least two years. 10 months later, we are headed back east… and a little north… to the adorable little land of Graham, Texas.

Clearly, we were not looking to leave Mustang Land. We were both really happy. Clark loves the people he works with here, and we have found an incredible church that took us in and smothered us with love and discipleship and conviction and fellowship. Surprisingly, we both really took to the small town vibe and can no longer handle the “traffic” when we head back to the big city of Abilene. And lastly, we had worked our buns off on this house. I’m torn somewhere between “But we turned this into our dream house” and “A house is just a building…NEXT…”

So it was going to take a LOT to get us out of the comfortable little life we had found here. I think Graham was the only place that could have convinced me to leave. The people and the town and the schools and the people and the cute downtown and the people all make it seem a little Smallville-esque. We were both pretty convinced it was a no-go until we went. I know all towns have their issues, but it seems like a place of genuinely good people that has somehow maintained its old-fashioned values. That place sucks you in with its cuteness and niceness and you just can’t help but feel safe and happy. I left feeling at peace with whatever decision Clark would make. In other words, I was no help at all in the decision making process.

After a lot of prayer and consideration, however, we pulled the rip cord and decided we wanted to move with an infant AGAIN.

Oh Sweetwater, we have loved you. Even your ugly parts. Even West Broadway and your Wal-Mart that never has what I’m looking for. Even your city parks and lack of indoor playgrounds and bee-infested Sonic in the summer. Somehow, you won us over. It probably has to do with the fact that you are full of incredible people. You know who you are.

So let’s get back to business. Slooowwwllyyy, I’m getting all the “After” pictures taken. The days that the house is spotless are few and far between, and Lord knows I’m not going to clean just to take a picture. Now, however, with the threat of a surprise showing looming over our heads (and thanks to paper plates and bowls) the house suddenly stays a lot cleaner.

The bedrooms aren’t nearly as exciting as the kitchen or living room. They were kind of my designing step-child, more of an afterthought than anything else. I think I was too tired to think too strenuously about the decor by the time we got to them. However, they do look better. And don’t forget. This house is now FO SALE 🙂

Up First … The Master Bedroom

Before:

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After:

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Now for Hattie’s room…

Before:

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After:

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And the room that got the least amount of attention or forethought…. Charlee Kate’s Room…

BEFORE:

IMG_2949

AFTER:

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Special thanks to my wee models during this photo session.

And I think that concludes our tour! We also have two terrible bathrooms that we have literally not touched. Maybe I’ll share those with you next time… I have been waffling between TO PAINT or NOT TO PAINT for about a year now. Ultimately, we decided not to put anymore money into the house right now because we wanted to stay in a reasonable price range for this market. By putting a bunch of money into the bathrooms we might increase the value, but cut out a lot of potential buyers. So we are hoping someone will fall in love with the green and pink bathrooms as they are because retro is SO IN RIGHT NOW. That’s what I heard anyway.

Mommy Materialism: It’s Just Because We Love Them

Every now and then I get a little panicky because my husband is a coach and I don’t work and we have like a million kids. Okay, two. But while discussing “contentment” with women wiser than I this afternoon, I was reminded that God has given me everything that I need for this moment. I need nothing more. My kids need nothing more. My home needs nothing more. My bank account needs NOTHING more. THAT is what Paul meant by “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Not the 38,483 other ways people use that verse out of context. It means I need NOTHING because I have faith that God is going to pull through for me when I am weak. And once I can get that through my wee brain, maybe I can learn true contentment.
Also, I was reminded that it’s almost Christmas and we are about to go CRAZY with Christmas love for our little ones…. so here’s something I thought about last year around this time. Just a little pre-Christmas reminder.

A BUSHEL AND A PECK

I’ve always been a fairly frugal person. I am a sucker for a good deal and avoid paying full price if at all possible. I attribute this to growing up with cheapskates teachers as parents. We weren’t impoverished by any means, but we were certainly eating a lot of ground beef and toast and wearing plenty of hand-me-downs. We were fully aware that new clothes were a twice a year splurge: back-to-school and Christmas. However, my parents were diligent about instilling an attitude of gratefulness and appreciation for all we had, and just as any child in a loving home, I grew up perfectly content. I can still hear my mom’s compulsory reminder, “Well, there are starving children in Africa.” And she’s right. Get over yourself.

But for some reason, when I was pregnant with my firstborn, all my ideals of simplicity and frugality went out the nursery room window…

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