We made a whirlwind trip to Bowling Green, Kentucky this past Sunday to see my niece and nephew get baptized.  I don’t know about you but baptisms are my favorite.  The tears, the joy, the name and life of Christ being imparted to another precious life.  It was the kind of day you hold in your heart and cherish forever.  Those kiddos are some kind of wonderful and so is their momma and so is their pastor and his wife.  Awesome day all around.   My sister, Gina, drove us because well, I’m sure she didn’t think it would be a very good idea to end up in Memphis.  I’m older but she’s everything else.  At least I know my place. #bless

We got back home and had two busy days of volleyball, dance, homework, and packing and my girls left yesterday for a 3 day camping/field trip with their school.  On the way to drop them off, we had an extended version of the talk we have everyday before I drop them off to school.

“Don’t worry about yourselves.  Worry about others.  Don’t fret over where you’re going to sleep or who you’re going to sit with or who you’re going to ride with. Fret about her, who she’s going to sit with, who she’s going to ride with.  Is she okay? Does she need a friend?  If you take care of her, your needs will be met without you even noticing.”

They get so tired of hearing me I’m sure.  What they may not know is that I’m preaching to myself.  I was at an outing and walked into the building by myself the other day and my first thought was, “Will there be anybody here I know? Who will I talk to?  WHO WILL I SIT WITH?”

And then my words snuck into the back door of my brain and I remembered all the talks I give my girls about focusing on others.  It’s so easy to say and not very easy at all to do.  But guess what I ALWAYS find?  When you take care of her, everything else will be okay.  When you focus on her and when you listen to her and when you make sure she has what she needs, your needs will be met without you even noticing.

I heard this at a talk one time and it burned itself into my brain—and I paraphrase, “There are two types of people – those who walk into a room and say: ‘Here I am!’ and those who walk into a room and say: ‘There you are.’”

Here’s the thing.  In our Baptism, Jesus walks into our lives and destroys the darkness.  He puts His very name on us, He puts His life in us, we are now HIS.  We are buried with him into death and raised to walk in newness of life. We are people of the light, we are marked as Ones who have been redeemed.  And now we can bring this hope to the world.  There you are is finally possible.

If you’ve been down in the dumps or if you’ve lost the spring in your step or if you’ve lost your creativity and inspiration or if you’re just too darn focused on yourself (aren’t we all?), start walking into every situation with the thought on your heart, “There you are,” and you will  be AMAZED at what happens.  When you step into her life with interest and light and love, beautiful things will begin to unfold, both in her heart and in yours.

This is what it means to pick up our cross and die.

And this is the baptismal life we have in Christ—trusting in His forgiveness when we fail to love her as we love ourselves and new mercies and new chances every morning.

29 comments on “What Inspires Me {Others & Baptism & Dying to Self}”

  1. Thank you for such wisdom. This word is so needed in the prevailing culture of “me” surrounding us. Love your blog, it always inspires me to press onward & upward in my walk with Christ!

  2. Most insirational words I’ve read in some time. May they truly be burned into my brain. I’ll be pondering this all day…

  3. Beautiful message. Imagine a world (or even a small community) where everyone was always focused on others instead of “I” (and iPhone, iPad, etc…)

  4. I just shared this article with my church. I teach our confirmation class and felt your words were applicable to the youth and their parents. Thank you for share your words and wisdom with all of us.

  5. Hi Edie! I have been a reader of your blog for several years and I was wondering do you ever speak at any ladies events?

  6. OMG- how awesome is that? I’ve never heard of or thought of such advice to give my girls, but what TRUTH! “Take care of her, and your needs will be met as well.” Thank you so much for sharing that! Can’t wait to use that with my girls. Been missing your Periscopes the past couple of days….hope to see you back on there soon. 🙂 Such an inspiration in my day! Blessings to you from a fellow Tennessee girl:)

  7. Wonderful advice! Reminds me of talks with my boys after school when they were complaining about their day. I asked them, “what did you do for someone else today?” Maybe it would have been more effective if I had remembered to have that talk before school. 🙂

  8. Of all the beautiful things you’ve written here, this one has to be a favorite. I so love this. And I’m not good at it at all. #bless is right. A good word at a great time. That you give this speech to your daughters each day is commendable. I pray I can leave some of that behind me.

  9. This post was so inspirational to me in a way that I wasn’t expecting. Our youth group is about to kick off for the fall and I am about to get myself a fresh new group of sixth graders! I’ve been pondering how to improve the dynamic of the small group I lead (10-14 girls) and your post gave me some food for thought. I can’t wait to encourage these girls to look for ways to put each other first, and thereby, strengthen the bond they will share over the next few years that I have them. I love how you said, “If you take care of her, your needs will be met without you even noticing.” So true!! These girls so often fail to bond with one another (and miss out on true fellowship) because everyone is so worried about themselves. I will surely be pondering on this and looking for ways to implement this attitude into our group. Thank you so very much 🙂

  10. Yes! I heard those very same words almost 15 years ago and they burned into my brain in the very same way! God has refocused my attitude many times with the recall of that quote! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Wow! This really resonated with me – when we care more and serve others, we serve the Lord, and as a result of that, we serve those around us. I think it’s easier to comprehend as a momma than as a young girl, negotiating the world. Don’t you wish you could just take away the things they don’t need to focus on, so they could really grow and flourish? Yes, I know, mommas have all the answers…

  12. Love this..btw…there’s a Gina (me) and an Edie (my mom) in my family, too! And my husband happens to be a Family Practice doc, too.
    Blessings to your family.

  13. Edie, thanks for reminding me that he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25). I will try to hold on to this.

  14. Pingback: Toddler Blog

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