Each weekday on our FaceBook page you’ll find a prayer, reflection, or Bible verse centered around a weekly word. Each Friday we will share the recap of our FB posts here on our blog. Our hope is that we band together to devote our pregnancies, birth experiences and parenting to God our creator.
We want this to be a place for all of us to share our hearts, thoughts, blessings and challenges. Please comment and share so that we can together benefit from becoming #devotingmothers.
Improv is a type of theatrical performance in which what is performed is created in real time, at the moment it is performed. Go to an Improv Comedy Show and you never quite know what to expect. The show is fun because the actors come up with some crazy story lines that you’d never anticipate. Life can also give us our own unexpected storylines; sometimes as humorous as a comedy show, and other times, not so funny.
This summer I listened to a pastor give a series of lectures on improvising…with God. MaryAnn McKibben Dana explained why she, as a minister, would want to learn how to do improv on stage, “I do this work because the universe doesn’t bend to our best-laid plans, and in those situations, improv can be a life-giving alternative to stomping our feet and buckling down harder.” She made me think. So this week, let’s get a little creative and think about what it looks like to improvise on the stage of life with our Creator God.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
I learned from both Pastor MaryAnn, as well as from comedian Tina Fey (her book Bossypants is no theological masterpiece, but it was a fun audiobook to keep me awake on my solo road trip this summer), that the first rule of improv is AGREE. “Agree and say yes” is the starting point for a good improv scene. It’s also a good starting point in working with our Holy Father.
Fey reminds us, “Now, obviously in real life you’re not always going to agree with everything everyone says. But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.”
“Yes, and…” reminds me of today’s verse in Romans. It’s in the unknowns of life that we build our endurance, which shapes our character, and grows our hope in God. When we are open to what God has for us – even when it’s not where we want to go – we are closest to God and it’s where we grow and learn the most.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
I don’t know about you, but as a new momma, I felt like a lot of new material was thrown my way. I didn’t know how to push a baby out of my body, I had never sustained a human life with my breasts, and for the life of me, I did not know what this small person wanted from me at three in the morning! Even with class taking, and book reading, and hand holding by my tribe, I felt entirely inadequate and incapable. Every. Day. All. Day.
God has a sense of humor in how He set this all up. Sometimes I can see the funny bleeding through the crazy, and sometimes I can’t, but I don’t give up. I say, “yes, and….now we will try this.” In improv, everyone on stage must participate and contribute. A scene dies out quickly if everyone isn’t all in. As a new momma, you are in the game. You can’t give up – there’s this little person counting on you. So although clueless as to what you do to soothe a crying baby at three in the morning, you get up and try. And through those late night feeding and rocking sessions, take comfort in knowing that God is there in the scene.
Keep listening for the “still small voice”
If you are weary on life’s road;
The Lord will make your heart rejoice
If you will let Him take your load. —Hess
In order to improvise with others, you have to be a good listener. You take your cues from others to build a story. There’s give and take. Improvising with God requires the same. We listen for God. We hear Him through His Word and His people, and it’s then that we contribute. If we run ahead, full charge on our own, we miss the still, small voice of God.
Sometimes, I don’t like what I’m hearing. I don’t want to hear…. blood pressure is rising and preeclampsia is diagnosed, no heart beat in the ultrasound room, baby not getting into a good position for labor, a sick child, a diagnosis of postpartum depression, a husband that says, “I don’t love you anymore.”
On stage, you can’t just stop the show because you don’t like what the other person says in the performance. You go with it, contribute what you can, and have confidence that there are no mistakes. It works on stage as well as in life. The beauty in having God in your story is that He is not just another actor on the stage. He knows the end, and His nature is redemption. For if you listen to Him, and follow His lead, you ultimately will find peace in your story.
Help me to live creatively when life deviates from my plan. Please give me assurance that I can trust You. For You are a good Father.
When life takes me where I don’t want to go, allow me to improvise. To say, “Yes Father, I’ll go there with You.” I ask that you give me the strength and faith it takes to not only say yes, but, “yes, and…” To add in all that I am, without reservation to where Your story is leading me.