Thursday, March 29, 2012

What Next?

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Luke 10:27  (NIV)
 27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

I'm in the space between finishing one project and starting up the next. Its a kind of waiting, resting, and regrouping time. I don't know what the next project will even be at this point and I have lots of other smaller things that I'm always working on. In this time between things I find myself looking to see what things I can tidy up or organize.  I sit here looking at my work space at home and wonder if I should move some of it to my new Studio 2 Work space. That project has been happening right along side the river project but I have not really shared any of those photos. I have the main structure pretty well done at this point but I have a lot to do in the way of making it truly functional. They are not even the best of photos but they will give you a bit of a look.

My husband was very helpful one weekend and went shopping with me for the bookshelves and the rug and some of the decorations. He loves to paint and so he did the messy job of painting the small desk and some of the old wood chairs that I found black.  At this point I have two new guitar students who I am teaching in this new space. I can invision doing some small mosaic classes for 4-6 people. The furniture that I selected is all very light weight and can easily be repositioned for my various needs. I think it will also make a nice place to meet with coaching clients.  In some ways I guess I need to look at the development of this space much like the Beloved Project, or the River Project. It is a journey from first seeing the idea in my head to seeing it become a finished project. I suppose in all of these things I give myself permission to experiment. On the Beloved project I re-did the mouth and eyes several times before I liked them and moved on to other parts of the project.  On the River Project I thought there would be transparant blue overlays but in the end I cut out blue water drops.  I look at my life in a similar way, I give myself permission to experiment and try new things. Rather than look at the things that don't work as "oh woe is me" failures - I look at what is not working and put on my thinking cap, spend some time praying and seeking the Lord. Then I try to do a few things differently to see how that works.

I have always done a lot of my work from home but I am toying with the idea of moving work to the Studio 2 space and being truly home when I am home. I would still have enough flexibility to work at home if I wanted to but it might bring a something new to our family life. My family has me around all the time now but they often don't get my undivided attention because I'm always multi tasking on some project. Its kind of like when you move to a new house the living space with either separate people or it will bring people together.  I know that the changes that I make will have an effect on the people around me and if I want certain things to be different, I must make some intentional changes.

I took a spiritual gifts test yesterday but I tried to take it from a perspective of  what I am called or passionate about doing rather than simply what I have done a lot of through the years. I don't suppose it is a problem for most folks taking these test but for me for 30 years my attitude has been one of I'm available Lord. I may not be the best at something but I trust you will help me to get the job done. If you see a need meet it, has been how I have operated. As a result my scores on spiritual gifts test are always very high with lots of things that tie for the top 4 slots. In talking with my pastor, we are working through the idea of "great you've done a lot but what of that makes you feel excited, alive, passionate. What of it do you love doing vs. what are you good at because it has needed to be done.
So my test was not a great surprise to me. Creative Communication/ Craftsmanship, Prayer/ Intercession, Faith /Encouragement/ Pastoring/ Shepherding, Wisdom are all part of my gift mix. So now the question to be discussed over coffee with my pastor is "How in the next 8-12 months do I move from the things I am currently doing to doing more that truly fits my spiritual gifts mix.  It is an interesting thing for me to ponder. It is interesting to be in a place and working with a pastor who is not threatened by my gift mix and actually sees the value of helping and equipping me to find my right spot that really fits me with in the body of Christ.  I suppose that is another of my "Whats Next" projects.  I am pretty sure that Gods provision of the Studio 2 space and finding my fit will some how work hand in hand. You may not realize it but women with strong leadership gifts are all too often seen as a threat in the largely male dominated church leadership world. Its not true everywhere but it has been a journey for me.  I've always kind of been a trail blazer and perhaps this journey to really finding my place as a woman called by God to contribute to His kingdom in some way will be helpful to other women and maybe to men as well as they begin to see the calling and giftedness of their wives, mothers, friends. How do we help each other become all that God desires, how do we give others a hand up, how do we equip and encourage people regardless of gender to begin to see God's greater design and begin to move by faith to become a people who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.   I guess I am mostly just being transparant about my journey today and I hope that it helps and encourages you in your own journey as you follow Jesus step by step, day by day. 

Dear Lord,
I pray you will help those who are reading today to have greater revelation of who you have called, gifted and appointed them to be. Help your people to rise up from their complacency and slumber and even fear and begin to walk by faith into your greater kingdom purposes. I thank you that you allow us to experiment and practice using our gifts and to discover your plan. Thank you for laying things out for us step by step and for not overwhelming us with the BIG picture. I thank you for vision that helps us to begin to dream and think a bit bigger. I thank you for courage to do what is right even when we still feel afraid. Thank you for being with us every step of the way. May your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

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