My five year old stands besides me and rifles through my bathroom drawer. He pulls out my favorite tangible treasure from the weekend. A one and a quarter inch dome of glass secured to an antique bronze textured plate, encasing an aged-looking photo of a miniature typewriter. A message has been typed on the tiny device for the pendant wearer to wield: Wild Obedience.
"Mommy, what's this?" Noah asks excitedly, holding up the gift.
"It's a special necklace I got from the conference I was at."
"Oh, Mommy, it is SO awesome! Can you wear it right now?"
I take the necklace from him and let the thin brown chain fall through my fingers. I feel the weight of the charm in my palm. Run my thumb over the smooth glass globe.
And I think, I just came back from Declare. I don't need to wear this necklace yet. It's a keepsake. A reminder. A symbol of what I learned. (Plus it doesn't even match my outfit.) Yes, I should save it for something special. Or save it for when I forget.
My brown eyed boy stares up at me, waiting to see if his mama will comply with his simple, joy-filled request. I read the tiny text again. This time it sinks in. I know the better answer.
"Yes, Noah," I say. "I'll wear it right now."
And I slip the delicate chain over my head and let the bold words rest on my chest.
That's why I flew 1,400 miles and shivered three days straight in freezing conference rooms. That's why I left my three small boys the last weekend of summer, the weekend right before my oldest babe starts kindergarten. For wild obedience. To walk through the door God opened. And to make space in my life and heart to ask him which doors he's preparing for me next. (And then listen for the answer.)
I touched down in Dallas ready. Ready to share life with new sisters, reconnect with acquainted believers, and squeeze tight in the flesh friends I had yet only known online. I was ready to glean wisdom from these beautiful women, soak up inspiration from every speaker, and scribble down each practical tip and heart stirring word from workshops morning, afternoon, and night.
And I was ready to hear from God. I was ready to respond to whatever he might whisper or shout. Ready to say Yes! to whatever wild thing he might ask me to obey.
Want to know what I heard? Want to know what the God of crazy faith who calls some to sacrifice their child or brave a den of lions or bear a Savior son said to me? What the God who calls some to the African bush or the front line of AIDS or the back streets of trafficking, want to know what this God of huge, impossible, life-changing calls said to me?
He said wild doesn't always mean big.
He said obeying doesn't always mean succeeding.
He said wild obedience doesn't always mean having something to show someone who wants to know how God showed up for you at a blogging conference.
He said wild obedience doesn't need to begin with a game-changing post or trip around the world. It needs to begin on post-conference day one. To-day. Not tomorrow or some could-be-monumental, dream-come-true, over-the-moon kind of day.
Wild obedience begins today.
So what does wild obedience look like today for this stay-at-home mom in a Southern California suburb? It looks like changing diapers and loads of laundry, running the dishwasher and after school pick up. It looks like singing nap-time songs, soothing afternoon tempers, and splashing in the backyard blowup pool when I should be fixing dinner.
Wild obedience, God whispered, is what you're already doing.
It's cleaning up the spilled milk and asking for forgiveness when you scream.
It's choosing mud for your selfishness and soaking up every exhausting and exhilarating
moment that makes up "these days."
Wild obedience isn't trendy or tweet-worthy. It's ordinary and often dirty. Like muffin tins with gunk stuck on the rim.
You had to fly halfway across the country and pay lots of money to learn that? you may ask.
My heart needed to relearn in a deep-down-don't-dare-you-forget-it way that the wild obedience God is requiring of me today has nothing to do with the big-ideal-dreams I imagine and everything to do with the small-imperfect-reality I live. And that to Him, diffusing tantrums and scraping scrambled egg bits off the bottom of the pan can be just as courageous as writing a book or speaking to an audience of thousands.
Could God some day call me to pen a memoir or start a nonprofit? Could he open the door for me to serve in a third world country or teach in a coliseum? Yes, he could. I would be thrilled if some day he would.
But the God-surrendered, grace-filled women at Declare taught me that, more often than not, wild obedience doesn't happen out in public view where many can applaud. It happens in the private places where only One can silently see.
I walk to the kitchen and refill sippy cups with milk and stave off the pull to answer email.
My necklace taps gently against my chest with each step.
And I whisper back to God, and to myself,
Wild obedience is not for an extraordinary someday.
It's for each ordinary everyday.
Wild obedience is not just the words I write.
It's the message that I live.
* * *
Sharing my reflections with the Declare Conference link-up, as well as with my God-story sisters at Jennifer's and Holley's blogs.