Friday, May 31, 2013

Imagine (a five minute friday)

My Five Minute Friday on: Imagine

What would it be like if my daughter could find her shoes in the morning?

And the clothes that she just has to wear today weren't sitting at the bottom of the hamper?

Or what about the kid's lunch bags? What if they were emptied the night before instead of in the morning when I'm trying to fill them again?

What if my son's binder that I just bought all new in April, because the one from the fall had ripped apart, didn't look like our Dodge Ram ran over it?

I'm trying to imagine homework being done, musical instruments practiced, chores completed without a chorus of sighs and ho-hums.

Because that would be peaceful.

But then again, that wouldn't be life. Every sticky, desperately challenging second of it.

So even though I'm done — as done as Jen Hatmaker in this hilarious post for moms.

And I frequently wonder what in the world am I doing and will my kids turn out okay with me as their Momma (if you wonder this too, check out this post by Lysa TerKeurst)?

I can be certain that this husband and these children and the path and the story is being written uniquely for me. And although it's nice to imagine things differently sometimes, I try to remember —

It even rains in paradise.

Linking today with Lisa-Jo…
Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Getting the Best Windows (It's a Process)

Is there any doubt the timing of these new windows?

I sit on my pillowy tan couch looking at a wall "in process" and these pretty new windows hung by my hardworking, talented husband and it all starts making sense.

Our Living Room has been "in process" since January. I had no idea until we started that it was going to become a project. And this year, it's been a rough one. Not necessarily a great time for room remodeling.

But like many things, one necessary change led to others and pretty soon we were re-doing the whole room — one wall at a time.

The once bare trees now wave their green leaves at me and the flowers once dormant are in full blossom in the garden and we're finally down to the last wall.

The original metal windows received their eviction notice and it was time to go. A wall once cold and drafty to be given a new, insulated life — and brand new windows.

Anyone who has ever experienced any kind of home construction knows the challenging process. Demolition and disarray to make room for something better. Dirty and messy and chaotic, at times, in a charted process to be renewed.

And my heart is struck by a parallel.

I've been living with cold, drafty metal windows for too long. I've kept them because for the most part they worked — kept the weather at bay. And I knew the new window payoff wouldn't come without a price.

I cannot present my inadequacies to God and ask that He fix them in me and still remain mess and chaos free. In order to have "the best" windows, the old ones have to be removed. And the inside wall needs work. With strength and determined labor everything must be ripped down to bare. And it's going to get messy.

And sometimes, as with windows, it leaves a gaping hole.

The wind blew in and thwapped the protective tarp around, and for a short time we were exposed and cold. But I knew it wouldn't be for long.

I see this process of demolition and change and it feels disruptive —
unsettling. I was anxious for the new windows to be mounted in that empty, vulnerable space so we could feel protected from the outside once again.

But I know. I feel it. The reason the ripping and tearing and exposing is so necessary.

It's the only way to better best.

I am under construction. He's been taking me down to bare so I can see what's going on in there. So I might be willing to see the rotting boards and the lacking and the draft. And I don't like feeling undone. I long for the resolution of a project completed.

But I know He won't leave me like this — unfinished. And when He's done with this wall I will be better for it,

and perhaps ready, to move onto the next one.

Linking today with the Soli Deo Gloria Party at Finding Heaven.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Song of Life (a five minute friday)

My Five Minute Friday on: Song

I'm distracted by the tweeting of a bird outside my window. It's a song I've missed all the bare, gray winter. A welcome reminder of the new life that's bursting right outside my door.

My sweet longtime friend just had her first baby. I had forgotten just how tiny newborns are — with his itty-bitty ears and long fingers. My babies are knocking on adolescent's door, but sometimes it's nice to remember the song of the past. To hear the frantic, squeaky cry song of a baby needing his mom for nearly everything.

It reminds me of the dark, lonely nights in our nursery, rocking and singing over the desperation. Soothing them back to sleep with a love song to God.

Today, that same song, "I Love You, Lord," is frequently requested, especially when sleep is at bay and it's hard to settle.

If I'm still enough I can hear the soundtrack of my life. Right now it's a lawn mower cutting and birds singing about babies in nests and a car rushing past the road in front of my house. Later it might be an orchestra of children talking about their day, of giggles, and balls bouncing.

The music of life.

The sound of a unique song written daily for me. Underscored by the thread of a melody familiar, sometimes sad, but often remarkably joyous and filled with thanks.

One that reminds me of where I've been. It sings with dreams and hopes and fears. And soothes me to rest knowing He is the great composer and conductor of my song.

Linking today with Lisa-Jo…
Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Demolishing the Walls We Build

I am a wall builder.

Overlapping brick by brick or stone by stone, the walls are built. An expert stone mason by now, I don't always know I'm building them anymore.

I've always seen trust as a wall — easily knocked down and slow to rebuild.

Some walls are built for protection, like a barricade — keeping people out until it's determined whether they're "safe". I picture the barricade from Les Miserables packed with random items accrued over time. Each lie believed, each hurtful word or action by another adding another miscellaneous layer.

There is a wall we build around our hearts. We put it there to protect us from harm, but —

Does it keep the world out?

Or does it trap us inside?

Like the secluded tower that held Rapunzel captive, impenetrable and built with stones of fear and doubt. The tower walls so high the encouragements and affirmations of others, even God, often cannot infiltrate. Surrounded, instead, by the nagging echoes of negative self-talk and the indelibly hurtful words of others.

I don't want to live this way — walled in, surrounded. I want to experience life free from the comfort of walls. And this freedom can only be enjoyed if I trust fully in Him.

I read a post the other day about "a simple truth that can transform any relationship." In it, Lara Williams reminds us that we cannot trust people because they will fail us. That even Jesus did not trust man because He knew what our hearts are like. And at first I felt like if this is true, it's no wonder we wall ourselves up.

But then this:
"Trust" absolutely makes relationships much more intimate. And is an important aspect of deep fellowship with others. But "entrusting" ourselves to others — depending on them for our life and hope and peace — is what leaves us on shaky ground. I think Jesus' example shows us that we need to depend ultimately on the Father for our peace and life. Because people will fail. We will fail. Releasing others from the pressure of being our source of life, frees us and them.
Lara Williams, To Overflowing
Is it in this process of releasing others from our "idol dependence" that the walls begin to fall? Like the mighty trumpet blasts that made Jericho walls come tumbling down?

I don't know yet because I'm in the process. But the promise of freedom that comes from depending entirely on the Source of Life itself sounds sweet.

But, instead of getting out my own sledge hammer and taking a big swing at my self-made walls, I am going to patiently wait as God, in His time, effortlessly removes each brick.

And perhaps I'll find the Truth and myself in the rubble.

Linking today with the Soli Deo Gloria Party at Finding Heaven.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Comfort of Pizza…I Mean Hope (a five minute friday)

My Five Minute Friday on: Comfort

I search for comfort. And I think I find it in so many things.

— the warmth of my husbands strong arms wrapped around me
— the sweetness in my children's laughter
— a bowl of ice cream
— the encouraging, reassuring voice of a caring friend
— the smell of homemade pizza baking in the oven

Though many wonderful things comfort me, I'm still left with longings.

And I hear Him whisper "come to me."

It's not always by instinct that I come. It's when I'm full, but feel empty. When my need overpowers what I think I can do for myself. And I realize how much I need Him.

I at last concede that He is comfort.

His promises.

His love.

Without which I would fall flat on my face and sob over the aching lonely and dissatisfaction I would feel without Him.

I cannot imagine it. The struggles would overtake me.

He gives the comfort of — hope.

Linking today with Lisa-Jo…
Five Minute Friday

Friday, May 3, 2013

Brave (a five minute friday)

My Five Minute Friday on: Brave

We live in a world that flat out deflates courage. The temptation to fear is great. It's a wonder we ever leave our front door.

Brave means when we display courage. But this definition of courage bothered me. It says, "facing difficulties without fear." I'm willing to argue that many of the bravest moments I have ever witnessed happened while fear was still present.

I saw it this winter when my eleven year-old introverted son stepped onto a stage by himself and sang his scared heart out. I felt it the first time I wrote about my story of sexual abuse and nervously pushed "publish." Or when my daughter, five at the time, was preparing for and recovering from surgery to have her tonsils and adenoids removed.

Brave is doing the hard thing, even when we are afraid.

And perhaps the bravest thing we can do is look in the mirror. Not a quick once over to make sure our hair isn't sticking out funny, but to see and acknowledge who we are. To pull back the curtain and expose the rawest parts of us.

Brave is being open to receiving God's way of smoothing our raw, rough edges.

Brave is staying put when it would be easier to retreat.

Brave is not letting fear win.

"Faith is being sure of what we hope for. It is being certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

Brave is faith.

Linking today with Lisa-Jo…
Five Minute Friday
Related Posts with Thumbnails