So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message)
Personal reflections: For as long as I can remember, I just wanted to fit in. Be part of the group. Belong. Growing up in the Air Force was a great challenge to me. I loved seeing alot of the United States when we moved from one base to another, but I found it difficult to make friends that would be gone from my life when we moved away again. No matter how hard I tried, eventually we would lose contact. And that desperate longing to belong to a group of people just grew and grew and grew.... Even when my Dad retired and my parents bought a house in the Spokane Valley and I attend Jr. High and High School in the same school district - I still never felt I totally belonged, as the majority of the kids in the school had known each other since kindergarten. Maybe that's not really it at all - just my human longing; looking through a veil. It seems God has called my name for as long as I can remember and I just never understood that my life was destined for nomadic living. Even as an adult, God has moved Blaine and I - and our children - again and again and again. We often wonder if we'll ever put down roots and stay for a long length of time in one place...
I have learned along the way that, sometimes, belonging to a certain group may compromise what I believe; who I really am - sometimes even causing me to "hide" who I am. Maybe I've had a weakness that God did not desire to grow stronger by staying connected in a specific community..... Never thought of that before. Could be a possibility. And, when I have gotten off track, God has continued to bring these verses across my path; giving me the opportunity to get back on God's path and fix my attention on Him, once again!
I am (and you are) uniquely created by God - for His glory and that He has given me skills, abilities and giftings that He desires I develop for His purposes while I dwell on this earth. Over the years, I have embraced my uniqueness and I've proven to myself that it is nearly impossible to try and become someone I am not! I would suggest not doing it and save yourself the wasted time and suffering.... I did teach our children growing up to embrace who God made them to be and not to conform to who or what 'everyone' else might want them to be. It brings me joy to see our children living their lives being who they are!
Now, I'm not the same person I was 10 years ago, nor 20 or 30 or last month, perhaps - but my heart's desire is to offer my life to God that He may change me and bless me to become who He desires I be; the best me! How I pray that on the day when I meet Him face-to-face, I am welcomed into heaven with "Well done, good and faithful servant."