If you've been reading here over the past several months, you are familiar with the "Found Wanting" guest series that I began at the end of May and ended this week. If you haven't read any of the essays, this is your chance! I'm inviting you to reread essays and pick your favorite! You can either vote by emailing me (email@example.com) or by commenting on today's post.
I'd love to give away some books today, both for commenters and those writers whose guest posts "win"!
I'll chose the top three essays and send them a copy of, Teach Us to Want, as well as one of the three books pictured here: Mark Labberton's, Called; Marlena Graves's, A Beautiful Disaster; and Bonnie Gray's, Finding Spiritual Whitespace.
I'll also (randomly) choose 3 commenters to win a copy of Teach Us to Want. Just comment below, naming the essay you've chosen and say your reason for choosing it.
*Giveaway ends Monday, November 3rd at midnight (EST). Books will be mailed the following week.
To get you thinking, here are some memorable lines from each of the essays that were submitted:
Amy Chaney, "I didn't want to be a coach's wife.", I didn't want to sit on the sidelines watching someone else's dream come to fruition.
Beth Bruno, "I've wanted beauty." Our desire soared. We named the ache and set about filling it.
Wendy Stringer, "I didn't want to move to suburbia." On a hot summer's day, we packed boxes, and we sold house; we said goodbye to the best neighbors, and I kindly left my perennials behind.
Steve Burks, "I've wanted to produce entertainment." Deep down, in spite of my rational mind, I see God as hating everything I love, loving everything I hate.
"Faydra Stratton, "I didn't want a child with Fragile X." Heads: our child would be all we'd imagined. Tails: he could still be in diapers at ten."
Brook Seekins, "I never wanted to be a missionary in Africa." His desires became my desires. And they were fulfilled in his perfect timing.
Sarah Van Beveren, "I have always wanted to be strong." God has been working on me, not letting me ignore the gnawing feeling that surfaces, most often when things are quiet. The feeling that I am wanting.
Holly Pennington, "I didn't want to find out what I wanted." Living a desire-free life frees us from the responsibility of choosing. Once we find out what we want, we must make decisions about our desires instead of depending on God or others to make choices for us.
Larry Shallenberger, "I wanted to know what I wanted." Yes, Want is an impulsive friend who does better when he's chaperoned by Wisdom and Duty. But Want is a friend now.
Hannah Anderson, "I didn't want - because I couldn't afford to." When you're poor, there are a lot of things you can't afford; getting your hopes up is one of them.
Megan Hill, "I want your blessing." Something nice, Lord. Please? I think I might want something nice?
Bronwyn Lea, "I wanted a boyfriend, college scholarships, permission to sleep over at the popular kid's house." The timeline in which those desires would be met still needed some negotiation. But the desires themselves were good and God-given, even in the valley of the shadows.
Jennifer Tatum, "I've wanted to be a woman of faith, but . . ." My heart whispered, 'Can I live on something other than faith for a while . . . please?'
Sarah Torna Roberts, "I didn't want to be broken." I didn't want to be broken. None of us do. But of course, 'that's how the light gets in.'
Suanne Camfield, "I want a bigger house." And so I’ve had to lay this desire—like all of my desires—at the feet of my Father. I’ve had to open my heart and confess both my needs and my wants. I’ve had to listen to what his spirit teaches me about contentment and comparison and inadequacy.
Courtney Reissig, "I wanted a baby." By not giving me the desires of my heart he was changing my heart to treasure him more than anything this world (or my body) had to offer me.
Cara Meredith, "I've wanted it all." The shouts of entitlement found their way in to my life of faith – because why wouldn’t My Big Genie Above grant me the desires of my heart?
Anonymous, "I want to not want marriage anymore." The bruised desire for marriage has led me to question the goodness of God. All I know is that the bruises need to heal.
Deborah Kurtz, "I wanted a husband." It became my idol when I grew angry with God for not bringing my husband into my life. But God.
Ben Jolliffe, "I wanted nothing." What happens when all the bad things are eliminated? Purely a hypothetical question of course, but when the house is swept clean, what happens next?
Charity Singleton Craig, "I wanted to get married." Sometimes I longed from a pure heart. Other times, I didn’t care what it cost me. I wanted to get married.
Hannah Vanderpool, "I didn't want to stay in America." But God is here. Right where he promised he’d be. And that makes it good enough for me.
Dorothy Greco, "I didn't want to doubt." If I could wrap my hermeneutic around the reality that God loves me and is for me even when doubt threatens to swallow me whole, it would change everything.
Natasha Sistrunk Robinson, "I wanted security." God has always sheltered me and filled my thirsting soul, even when my flesh was striving, and selfish, and weak.
Kris Camealy, "I've wanted to be known." I wanted to be known for what I accomplished, craving both recognition for me as the accomplisher, and admiration for the mighty works of my own hands.
Alisa Luciano, "I wanted to believe God was a good Father." The desire to understand Him as a gracious Father was fulfilled on a stretcher, in a brightly lit operating room, in a NICU nursery room, in the parenting realities of each day.