Sunday, November 19, 2017

The cattle on a thousand hills

Yesterday was a tough day.  We woke up to a hole in the bathroom ceiling (leaky toilet above) and in the middle of showering the filth of the toilet mess off me, I missed a call from Jeremiah who was trying to reach me because he had been in a car wreck.... with his baby cousin in the car. It wasn't exactly the peaceful Saturday I had planned on. But somehow, honestly, In the misdst of the turmoil, I had complete and utter peace.


As I sat on the couch yesterday listening to John pull down the water logged bathroom ceiling, I wondered how vast this repair would be, and I realized I wasn't nervous at all. My husband has leaped over every hurdle in our initiation into homeownership with grace and skill. As I sat on the couch I truly WONDERED how much this would cost. I didn't worry at. all. I did puzzle for a second, thinking, Hey God, I'm really not worried about this. I heard Him whisper, Yes... because you KNOW I own the cattle on a thousand hills.

That knowledge wobbled just a smidge when I returned Jeremiah's missed call, "Mom," he said, sounding very calm and steady, "I was driving Cori's car to try to get Declan to sleep, and we were in a little car accident. We're both fine, but I have to go because the police are here." Satan turned my peace cup upside down.  I felt my peace FALLING toward the ground,  but faith STOPPED the descent toward fear with a whisper,  "the cattle on a thousand hills..." THEY ARE BOTH FINE. nothing else matters.


Lest you think I have arrived at some Nirvana island of perfect peace, let me explain to you.  Peace isn't calm blue seas around a tropical island.  It's more like chin barely above the CHURNING seas, but KNOWING that Life Preserver is SOLIDLY under your armpits. As the adrenaline wore off, I felt this sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop... a knowing that God would see it drop and have a plan for that... but still waiting for it to drop.... When Hannah returned from seeing a movie with Oma... and Jeremiah and Elijah were back from Cori's.... and Noah FINALLY finished gaming with Seth.... I released a HUGE sigh of relief that my babies were back under my roof, and we could put this day to rest.

So I'm over here.... the seas are calmer but I still have my Life Preserver firmly under my armpits.... and I just wanted to remind you...

For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
Psalm 50:10

Thursday, November 16, 2017

It never gets any easier

It never gets any easier.  This thing called parenting.  People tell you that.  It never gets any easier.  But you plod along naively assuring yourself YOU will break the mold. You will be the one to prove them wrong.  For everyone ELSE, it never gets any easier..... but not for you.

This afternoon I stood on a flag lined stage,  facing this man who was wearing my baby's face.  He raised his hand and swore his allegiance to this great country.  I smiled and swelled with pride. I teared up when the officer waxed patriotic. I came home and posted my braggy, proud pictures on Facebook.  When he walked in the front door, I squeezed him liked I wish I could've when we were there. 



But now... in the dark... trying to chase sleep while it is being a sneaky lil punk.... I'm wondering how will I let him go? The tears are falling freely as I realize,  "they" were RIGHT. It never gets any easier. I've raised this amazing young man.  I thought the diapers and the heartbreaks and the driving by himself were the hard parts. But guess what??? The hard parts NEVER stop coming.

I have no idea how I'll make it through this letting go.  I do know it will involve a TON of coffee to counteract the sleepless nights and a whole lotta Jesus carrying me through. I just plan to hang on tight and enjoy the ride. I am going to CHERISH every single one of the 306 days until he ships out. (I even smiled while I picked up his dirty laundry on the bathroom floor tonight.) All I wanted to tell you though,  was:

I was wrong. 

They were right.

It never gets any easier.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A handful of sorrow

I have had this blog banging around in my soul the past few days. So I'm going to try to quick get it out before I start working today. It's about a handful of sorrow.

I've been in a bit of a funk lately.  Honestly, it's about money.  It's embarrassing to admit that because anyone who's followed this blog knows that we "know what it is to be in need" and we have watched as God has carried us through some VERY lean times... yet STILL as we inch closer and closer to late fees on our bills... as our savings dwindles a bit more each day... I feel discouragement settling in.

I know in the DEPTHS of me that "God's got this"... I realize that this testing of my faith develops perseverance... Yes! And AMEN! But I don't really like this venue of $0.83 cents till payday,  working OT yet still barely enough to pay those looming medical bills, just replaced the dishwasher and now the brakes are going. I don't like it!

So the past two days God has been ministering to me that EVERY single season of life has a handful of sorrow. This perfectionist wants a neat, tidy, bills paid early kinda life, but that is NOT reality. That is NOT an earthly existence. Reality is: on this earth there will ALWAYS be a handful of sorrow. Whether that handful is ice cold or burning hot... Whether it CONSUMES our life or quietly nags in the background... no one... no time... no thing on this earth is perfect.

When my kids were lil enough to fit in my lap.... that's a season I LONG to return to. But honestly I was SO BONE WEARY TIRED... I absolutely NEVER peed alone... I was outnumbered, out gunned, and constantly flying by the seat of my pants.  Now most of them are bigger than I am... they don't snuggle as much... they don't need me as much... but they are HELPFUL... they've been taking care of momma and pretty much running this house for 5 months while I've been laid up... and they are these AMAZING humans who I love to be around.

[Okay for those of you who are wondering when I'll ever get to my point.... I'm there!]  Every season has good... every season has a handful of sorrow... I need to STOP pining for perfection and rejoice over the good while embracing the sorrow.  The landscape of my current situation is flawed, but it is also SO BEAUTIFUL.

Accept that handful of sorrow... every season of life will have one.... and make sure to lift your eyes up off that handful and appreciate the beauty that is RIGHT NOW.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12

Saturday, October 14, 2017

No good thing...

This morning in my quiet time I wrestled with this verse:

For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.
Psalms 84:11

Actually this portion of the verse:

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

I struggled because I can think of MANY times when I "did what was right" and the results were anything but good....

*forgave someone... then THEY rejected ME

*told the truth,  the whole truth, and NOTHING but the truth with TERRIBLE consequences

*defend someone... they respond by ATTACKING me

So the first time I read the verse my heart said,  "Yeah right."

But then as I re-read and pondered it occurred to me...

What if the "good thing" is that icky result? What if the gift of God was removing that person from my life so I could be free? What if the good thing was that hellish walk through NIGHTMARISH experiences. What if the attack was my blessing cuz it made me stronger?

It all boils down to this... we have to BELIEVE and TRUST God and His word ALL OF THE TIME. His word says:

The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.

I will choose to believe that is true even when it doesn't SEEM like I'm getting a "good thing."

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Fear

Writing soothes my soul.  When my heart is all jumbled with feeling, the way I untangle that mess is with writing. So let's work it out then.

Fear... I'm really afraid.  On the outside and even a little on the inside, I look like I trust God, but deep inside in the secret parts of my heart fear lurks and sometimes even reigns.

I'm afraid of bad things happening to my children.  I'm afraid of not being able to pay the bills.  I'm afraid of the bad things people say and think about me. I'm afraid of conflict. I'm afraid of making mistakes.

If I'm being bare-naked honest here (which is what I strive for on this blog), all of those things I'm afraid of have happened to me.  My fears are like an emotional PTSD.... I remember the pain and I'm afraid to repeat it. Bad things happening to my children... yups! some truly terrible things have been traveled on that road. Not being able to pay the bills... yups! been there... done that... People thinking horrible things about me... sure! every.  single. day. Making mistakes... yes! my failures abound.

I guess the fact that I've been down these roads and survived should ease my fears. I should stand firm in the knowledge that God has NEVER let me down in the past so logic would say He won't let me down in the future. But my fear isn't that God won't get me through.  I believe 100% that He is bigger than ANYTHING I face.  My fear stems from a deep desire to avoid those painful journeys.

Ahhhh but THERE it is... the clarity that comes from writing it all out... my aha! moment..... pain is a part of living on this sin-soaked earth. Pain is unavoidable. Not until Heaven will I get the sunshine,  rainbow and lollipop existence I so long for.... it's actually GOOD that I don't like the flaws of this existence. I SHOULD long for my heavenly home. And that is what my fears stem from... a longing for a place with no more crying, no more pain, no more death.

Maybe tomorrow I'll blog about how I'm currently slaying the daunting dragons advancing against me... for today I just needed to hash out why I can't seem to put my fears completely to rest.  Thanks for journeying with me. 

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
Revelation 21:4

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