Brooke Fradd ~ The Little Things {Story 23 of 30}

My life is the American Dream.  My husband and I are hopeless romantics.  We have 2.5 houses and a community pool.  With no children (of the regular or furry variety) to care for, we can pick up and go whenever we take a notion.  I have a relatively easy job with excellent benefits; he is a real estate agent bringing home the big bucks. (Or no bucks, whichever way the game of straight commission sales is going on any given month.)

And if I’m honest, I’m rarely grateful for any of it. 

I want to be a missionary, but God won’t let me.  Or rather, I want to live the glamorous side of the missionary life – being bold and on fire for Him, traveling to exotic places, not getting trapped in the humdrum, first-world American life.

Instead I am called to live on mission, the one playing out in Smalltown, Tennessee every day. 

Four years ago this month, I ignored God’s word and pledged my life to a man who doesn’t share my faith.  I was convinced God didn’t have a plan (or at least a good one) for my life and decided to do things on my own.  While I don’t regret marrying my husband, I have since repented of my rebellion.

Living out 1 Peter 3:1 isn’t easy, but I know it will eventually be worth it.  I look forward to the day when going on a new adventure won’t just be for the fun of it, but rather for the growth of the kingdom.   For now, however, I begin each day asking God to open my eyes to the word that needs to be done here.

Some days, I see nothing out of ordinary.  Serving the Lord means getting up at 6:36 each morning, having my morning coffee as I break open the word, then heading to work to sit at a desk for 8 hours.  After punching out, I go home to prepare dinner, do some chores, then snuggle with my darling to watch some TV before bed.

This past Sunday, however, I was blessed to have one of those days so clearly touched by God it gives me chills just thinking about it.  My morning started volunteering at a local race.  I had completed (and totally rocked I might add) a half marathon the day before, so I sat this particular race out.   Or rather, I stood this race out – in an intersection with a reflective vest and flag pointing the racers across the street, showing them the way.

I had a free coupon, so after the race I found myself at a nearby fast food restaurant finishing up my Bible study for the morning.  A few kind words and the offer to assist the worker with a spill cleanup (while the spillee never looked up from his smart phone) gained me the smiles of a couple fellow restaurant customers as I headed out the door.

On the drive home, my gaslight came on.  I’m a planner and a numbers geek, so I’d done the math and knew I had plenty of gas to get me home and back to church that evening.  For some reason, I decided to stop and get gas one Interstate exit before mine.  While logistically waiting until later made more sense, I felt compelled to stop.

I considered it a no-brainer, then, when Mr. Charles Grayson approached me asking for any assistance I could provide.  My own toes were cold from standing outside during the race, so I couldn’t imagine a life seeking shelter under the gas station canopy.  More important than the $10 cash, I acknowledged him as a person.  I looked him in the eye, had a conversation about how cold it was, shook his hand, and told him I would be praying for him.

After an afternoon relaxing and attempting to manage my blessings (anyone else have such a full closet there is a need to put the summer stuff away and the winter stuff out?), I headed to church to work the audio booth for Sunday evening service.  The message preached was from Acts, my current book of study.  If not for the need to work the service, I might not have bothered going to church, but the sermon blessed me.

I grabbed a sack-full of Krystals on the way home from church in an attempt to cheer my husband up.  He’d received bad news about a big deal he’d been working on while I was gone, and even the mention of those tiny little burgers perked him up.

It’s the little things.

Sometimes, I am blessed enough to see a thousand, tiny glimmers of God’s love in one day, giving me strength and encouragement to persevere through the mundane.

Until my Saul has his Damascus conversion experience and together we set the world on fire in Jesus name…

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Brooke and her husband, Jay,  live in Tennessee.  She’s a wife, runner, AV geek at church, and the “best aunt boo ever” (as proclaimed by her niece and nephew). Brooke currently serves God by showing up five days a week to a boring but stable government job, gaining and losing weight (more clothing sizes to donate), and occasionally serving dinner to the homeless “under the bridge” via the Lost Sheep Ministry in Knoxville.

You can connect with Brooke on Twitter.

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Brooke’s story is perfect for Black Friday.  Yes, I shopped from 8 pm to 1 am.  Yes, it was worth it.  Cleared out my son’s list for under $100.  Awesome!

Yet, this morning I thought of Brooke’s quote: And if I’m honest, I’m rarely grateful for any of it.  

I have struggled since coming home from Honduras, for I am more aware of excess – particularly my excess –  than ever before.  The new van we were about to purchase?  Still on the lot.  Seems like a ridiculous purchase considering our van still runs fine even if I am not a fan of the crashed side.

That’s a no brainer,but what about the smaller purchases?  Beyblades, Skylanders, a new GPS, a mini iPad, Just Dance 4, etc?  I am grateful?  Are my children?  While I think we are, it’s bigger than that.  Are these things hindering us from following Brooke’s advice as we are called to live on mission, the one playing out in Smalltown, Tennessee every day

My family – and yours – is called to live on mission.  Everyday.  The one playing out in Smalltown, [insert your state/country here].  God wants each of us on mission in his/her corner of the world. Is the “stuff” interfering with our mission?  Draining resources we could be using elsewhere?  Draining time we could spend together and serving others?

I am afraid that’s a “yes” – except I am not sure where the line is – yet.  That’s going to take a family meeting and prayer.  [to be continued…]

What about you? What’s “mission” look like  for you?  For your children?  Mothering well by pouring into your family/children?  Supporting your family at a 9 to 5 job that you don’t even like?  Volunteering at a local food bank?  Packing a shoe box for Operation Christmas Child?  Helping an elderly lady carry her groceries at Walmart?  Serving in the youth ministry at your church?  Spending less this Christmas – and maybe longer – to free resources?

 

It looks different for everyone, but that’s the point. God has a plan for each of us…a mission for each of us.  Brooke gets that, and I love her honesty about it.  She’s following God’s plan, after admittedly rejecting it, even though her mission doesn’t look like what she wants it to.  So, even if being on mission doesn’t look like you think it should, stay faithful to Him.

I promise He will stay faithful too.

Thanks for sharing, Brooke!

Comments

  1. I’m so thankful for you, Brooke. Even though we’ve never met face-to-face, you’ve been encouraging me for a long, long time. I pray for you and J daily and have full confidence God is going to answer our prayers. xoxoxoxo

  2. I’m a long time follower of Brooke’s blog. I always enjoy her honesty, and she has lots of friends praying for Jay! Great post!

  3. “Sometimes, I am blessed enough to see a thousand, tiny glimmers of God’s love in one day, giving me strength and encouragement to persevere through the mundane.” Love this, Brooke! As for being on mission, Sarah, I love what you said in that last paragraph. Our mission doesn’t always look like we thought it would, but it’s where God has us. I want to show God’s glory despite my mission field not looking like I thought it would!

  4. I loved your candor about not getting to do what you want to do, and why. Here again is another story rarely spoken of, but experienced by so many.

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