Blog Post by Abby McDonald
I could not stop looking at the other table.
I tried to focus on my eating my meal and made eye contact with the women around me. We talked about our writing experience, what drew us to the conference and our hometowns. But every few minutes, my eyes would drift back to the table parked directly in front of the stage.
Filled with authors, speakers and book contracts, I was certain this circle was the place to be.
What were they talking about? What was the source of their laughter?
A seat there would make me content, wouldn’t it? My mind filled with images like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, convinced there was a golden ticket just out of my grasp and I had to get my hands on it. Wonders beyond my wildest imagination waited behind closed doors.
My mind was so preoccupied with crazy assumptions that I almost missed the woman sitting across the table from me. It was her first blogging conference. She was quite visibly nervous, no doubt feeling alone in a room full of people who had already made online connections.
She needed encouragement. She needed to know she’d made the right decision by being there.
And in all my selfish absorption with what I thought I was missing, I almost missed a God-given opportunity. In all my distractedness, I almost forgot the reason why I was there.
Giving the women around me my undivided attention, I leaned in, listened, and shared what I’d learned over the past two years. My eyes stopped wandering and I remembered who I was.
We already have a seat at the table of the Most High King. We share a Spirit with the person who was exalted to sit at the right hand of God, and yet we often can’t stop looking around as though we’re missing party.
God invites us to the greatest party on earth. We simply have to accept his invitation.
When we see the beauty and the opportunity of the exact place and time where we are, we discover what it means to truly live. We stop looking at across the street or across the room and know we are right where God wants us to be, for such a time as this.
People often cite the verse, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” as a powerhouse verse to show God can enable them to accomplish a task beyond their human ability, like scaling a mountain or competing in a triathlon. (Philippians 4:13 NIV) And yes, God can enable us to do each of these things.
But if you look at the context of this verse, Paul is talking about contentment. He is writing to the church of Philippi from prison, and telling them how his walk with Christ enabled him to be joyful no matter what the circumstances.
Friends, true joy and satisfaction don’t come from a physical location or a black and white contract. They come from knowing the One whose love for you was demonstrated in the most humble way possible. He laid down his divinity and took the very nature of a servant.
Let’s lay our false assumptions about what we need at the feet of Jesus today. Let’s remember we’re already children of the Most High King.
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Abby McDonald is a writer who can’t contain the lavish love of a God who relentlessly pursues her, even during her darkest times. When she’s not chasing her two little boys around, she loves hiking, photography, and consuming copious amounts of coffee with friends.
Abby would love to connect with you on her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.
22 CommentsLeave a comment
Abby, absolute truth. I found myself looking at that same table a week or so ago and the Lord spoke deeply in my spirit, “Keep doing what you are doing, I have called you to this. Do not get wadded up over what others are doing, saying, going…I have given you a field now be faithful to it.” My Allume experience was eye-opening – I went without an agenda and I am so grateful I did because if I had had MY agenda? I would have left there Sunday morning disappointed. Instead I left invigorated to get back to my 8×10 office, my Samsung PC, my #write31days series, and my “mundane” life! I have not written about my Allume adventure yet but I believe you just gave me the courage to put fingers to keyboard. Bless you Abby as you continue to feed His sheep.
Susan, thank you for sharing. There is so much to be said for going to these conferences without an agenda, because it allows the Spirit to move and speak. I didn’t have one either, but my wandering eyes almost caused me to miss that the Lord was saying. I thank God he got my attention before it was too late. Blessed by your thoughts here today.
So glad you’re encouraged to get back to your ministry after Allume. Your comment blessed me today!
So important for each of us to grasp this truth! I’m studying friendship this morning and I find this attitude and heart posture to be one that I will benefit from but also that others will see the glory of Jesus…and that is and should be my only focus. I want to always embrace the sets I am and the beauty if those right next to me! Thank you Abbey/Kelly!
Amen, Jodie. There is so much beauty to behold right in front of us. We just have open our eyes to see it. Thank you, friend.
What a a beautiful, anointed post! I think all of us writers needed to hear this. I know I did. I did some webinars last weeks on writing and I tell you what some of the things they said so convicted me.” Like take care of the people on your blog, add value to them, whether its 3 or 3,000. If you aren’t taking care of 3 then you won’t take care of 3,000.” Basically, John Maxwell was saying when he first got started as a speaker and writer, he didn’t look at numbers, he looked at the people right in front of them and honored them. Your post today so reminded me of what he said. Thank you for sharing, I needed this encouragement today and challenge. Keep writing Abby, you’re doing an amazing job.
So true, Holly. Those numbers we see are people, and we need to remember that. Thanks for sharing here today. Encouraged by you, friend!
Oh Abby! I felt this exact same way there. I kept looking at “that table” and felt like an outsider, less than. Thank you for sharing that struggle and also your example of being present with those at your table. And, thankfully we all have been invited to feast at His table. Great post!
Hey Katie, I think we’ve all felt this way at one time or another. I’m so grateful for God’s grace and patience with us. May we see the gifts right in front of us. xoxo
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Beautiful Abby. I can totally relate. That’s what makes this post so great ,I think we can all relate. We’ve all had times we thought we should be somewhere else.I even do it in tennis clinic. I want to be in the group with what I consider to be the best players because that would then mean the coaches think I’m the best. I like you, have discovered where I’m put is where God wants me to be right now to SERVE His purpose…not mine.
Oh yes, Christy. We run into this all the time in various forms, don’t we? Thanks for your honesty. Love you too, friend.
When I began writing again…whether it was children’s stories or blog posts for women, I thought the be all and end all would be to get published. That was my goal. Since then, God has helped me to see that we all minister in different ways. Yes, some are meant to be published and that is good. When I started developing relationships with my readers who could relate to me because I know anxiety and depression or I know the pain of divorce and I’ve been able to hopefully minister to them…perhaps that is my highest calling? I keep saying…”Write to an audience of One” and what God chooses to do with that is his call. My job is to be obedient to whatever He calls me to…I could so relate to this post…
Yes, Bev. That is my prayer- to be obedient. That’s all we can do, isn’t it? It’s up to God where he takes us from there. Thanks for your continual encouragement, dear friend. You bless me always. xoxo
Boy do I know about depression and anxiety as well!! We all have a story, yes? I guess it just seems like no one is ever interested in my story. I’m a good listener but when I want to share something I feel like it falls on deaf ears. Maybe my perception is just off. Sometimes I just want to know that I have something to offer others as well.
Just beautiful, Abby. Lord, help me to be content, no joyful, with where you have seated me! Amen.
Amen, Liz! That is my prayer today too.
You’re speaking to many hearts today, Abby. We’re so worried about “missing the party,” and we forget we have an invitation with our name on it to the most amazing party of the universe. Thanks for sharing a bit of your Allume experience. So glad you were able to encourage that woman.
Me too, Betsy. God is so good, even when we miss the boat. Thanks for your words here today. You always encourage me, friend.
How do I get started blogging. I have always had a talent for writing and speaking. Was in Toastmasters for a while but wanted something more. I want to encourage and motivated others!!! I have been an Exercise Instructor for over 25 years. I have always thought God was leading me in the direction of being more visible and encouraging to more women. Thoughts???
I think you just do it. God does not despise small beginnings. He loves them. Go for it. Get yourself onto wordpress.org and start speaking, writing and pouring your heart out. He will bless you for your faithfulness to his calling. Go!
Also join us on our Cheerleaders for Christ Facebook page. You will find so much encouragement there.