Broken but Useful

This was going to be an Instagram post, but it got to long and I realized just how much this topic has been sitting on my heart lately.

It's been over five years since my  now sister-in-law then brother's girlfriend brought me this adorable mug. I asked her stop and pick something up a Walmart for me one day and she showed up with my thread, chocolate, and this mug.

Years later it broke but I couldn't bring myself to throw it away.
So I found another purpose for it.
Broken but useful.
Its brokenness changed it's purpose, but not its ability to be used.
There is a lesson in this.
For me.
For all of us.

Our church has been doing a series on 1 Corinthians the past few months and the past two weeks have had a overriding theme.

Broken but useful.

And my heart aches at this. I understand broken. I understand it all too well. Useful gets complicated for me.

When I first came face to face with depression I lived in a culture that judged harshly. I was criticized and ridiculed for my honesty. And I fought back. I spoke up and shared openly about my brokenness and how God was working in my life in an effort to change the environment around me.

And then the years slipped by and I gradually grew silent. I became weary of the glances and the comments and learned to only reveal the "acceptable" parts of my brokenness.

I became cautious in what I shared. I became guarded in what I wrote. I held back part of myself for fear that I would be deemed incapable or unqualified to serve.

I began to believe the lie that the brokenness made me unusable. And in believing it made it true.

The more I hid my brokenness the less useful I felt. The less useful I felt the more tried to hid my cracks. It's a vicious cycle.

God uses our brokenness to bring glory to Himself.
He uses our brokenness to reach the broken people around us.
Our brokenness is what makes us useful.
When I hide my broken places I miss out on being used.
Our brokenness my change HOW God uses us, but never, every His ability to use us.
Broken but useful...but only if I am honest.


Writing Brave

I wasn't going to write today.
There are a million reasons not to.
I started purging the kids clothes yesterday and after hours of work the house now looks like a Children's Place exploded in the living room.
I'm in the middle of prep for a huge local craft show I participate in twice a year.
My toddler is running screaming up and down the hall way (my husband is watching her so it's not that she NEEDS me).
I am exhausted and a nap sounds REALLY good right now.
I've dealt with a number of disappointments this week and I am feeling a little defeated.

But God has given me a word for this year when it comes to my writing.


And today writing feels like the brave thing to do.
It's easy to write when there are dead lines and guaranteed audiences.
It is easy to write when we know the outcome.
But taking the time away from other things to write when the outcome is unclear... that takes some bravery.

Showing up fully in anything takes a certain level of bravery.
Any time we give ourselves fully to something (even if only for ten minutes) we are stepping outside of our comfort zone.

Those stolen moments when we step out side of the known and the secure and stand on the edge of the unknown.

It's what makes life interesting.