Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Living among sinners, myself the chief among them

Family life can be longed for and sought after, idolized and idealized.  The reality is that it is work and joy, pain and pleasure.  As much fun as we have together we are individuals each with our own private struggles, visions and desires.  We live and breathe together, sometimes well and well, sometimes we wonder why we are together. 

Amidst our recent weariness we've had some of those well days... where things have not gone so well.  Yet the glue sticks and we struggle along side by side, desperate and needy together and as individuals.  Sometimes so worn prayer is hard to even speak, but even then aware that the Lord is aware of our neediness.   He is ever watching this sinner, and all those that surround me.  He is ever orchestrating events in our lives to bring us to the end of ourselves and allowing opportunities for brokeness and dependence upon Him.

In Exodus when God first tells us of himself - "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin."  I am reminded of how great He is and how far reaching his love is.

The word of God goes on to tell us how He reveals sin to allow future generations to deal with it and find healing.  For that I am greatful for as much as I long to not carry on the sins of my family again and again I am living them out.  I have become my mother, my father, and all my relatives, as though drawn with invisible strings through the passage of time, and all the while proud and arrogant that I am in the right, and I know best and it is not me.   And then the Lord brings another along to nick my vaneer and reveal my sin, my pride, my false front and shine the light of His truth and I am once again undone.

And God picks me up, holds me as I recover from my shock, which is not a shock for Him, and forgives and guides me again.  he gives strength to my weariness and hope to my dispair.  He is the peace within my heart.

And my family somehow continues to love and forgive and live among me- with all my quirks, annoyances and demands that I am so very clueless to.  And I somehow receive their grace and am able to face them even though I am a mess.  the blessing of family- knowing we dont have it all together and enjoying the journey even though there are pitstops when the mess of our sin comes to the surface. 

And so we move along ... slowly, thoughtfully, prayerfully, a bit humbled, aware of our need, desperate for God to show Himself once again... and being the loving gracious God that He is I know He will show up and shine. 

So as I begin a new day I thank the Lord for family, for sweet times of fellowship amidst the business of life. For each of the members, each of my characters and the way he made them each individuals.  I am thankful for the grace they bestow and the way they pull together rather than flee in weary seasons.  I am thankful for each of them.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Worn and weary

The past few weeks have been full of life - school prep, home repairs and travel.  All good, well all of the outcome has been good,yet sometimes the journey has been hard.  Now as we settle into a new normal for the fall I find that I am weary, worn out, and I have wondered why.... and then I think back to all that life has held and I begin to realize thata journey with lack of downtime leaves one worn and weary.

As our hot water once again heated up- to scalding my prayer rose to heaven ... God could you  please end this season?  His clock seemed to indicate it was time for after a week of stressful coping once again, with tempermental hotwater heater an agreement with manufacturer came forth.  They would take back their 3rd heater, and give us a refund, we would leave them alone and our huge file would be closed.  A local plumber quickly came and made the exchange and the season of tempermental instant hot water heater has ended.  We rejoice in the answered prayer and provision.  We rejoice to have hot water without thought again.  We rejoice to not be wasting our time, energy and thought on hot water heaters that should not be failing and yet are.  This is our 4th hot water heater in as many years. 

We have spent time visiting friends on the East coast in the past weeks.  What fun to reconnect, share life and dream with them of future hopes.  Some longing for the pattering of little feet through adoption, others looking for new normal to settle amidst job changes, one longing for health to return and another looking to the future as he transitions to a new location and vocation.  We rejoiced at the returning of a solider, enjoying a day by the airfield and the reality of the sacrifice and service of our military families.  God walks beside them and in the midst of their lives... we rejoiced at the way He gave height and strength to one for future use and the early return of a loved one.  Relationship time... lots of it, so much that I found myself weary and wondering if I was repeating the same stories to the same friends.  Yet what fun to cook with a friend who I once started on the path to using a crockpot and baking a cake, a sweet fruit of past labors.

Time was spent in travel and touring our nations capital- amazing was the architecture and beauty as well as the volume of people and the  sacrifices made that we take so lightly.  It was fun to take our youngest to places he has read about, to see monuments of men we have come to esteem after hearing their stories of sacrifice and commitment.  We rejoiced at the ease of travel with a metro system and the delight it was to ride what is norm to many, yet a treat to us.

Home again to the destruction of two kittens.... oh how quickly one forgets what life with kittens can be like.  We have two- double the fun or mischief.  While away they won the battle of the wreath- what a great source of play toys are the fake flowers for the picking!  Since then pin cushions, safety pin bins and many other quick toy resources have had to be restricted.  They still may pluck a nut at will for a new toy to scoot about the rug.  Home to home cooked food, school starting, daily chores and a garden to clean up, deweed and harvest.

And so goes life, full of sweet memories, full of delight and yet wearying at the same time.  Many beds do not always make for restful sleep always.  the other night I realized I was using the "other" pillow and now better sleep comes.   All part of life... joyous and taxing, rich, delightful and active. 

And so in the midst of this season of busyness I found myself surfing the internet, visiting a blog and finding a sanctuary- or maybe a portal to sanctuary.  A blog that encourages contemplation, slowing down, simplifying.  Taking time to sit with the Lord, to reflect upon His bounty, taste of His sweet spirit  to seek to connect with Him, the creator of all and the nurturer of my soul.  I am drawn in.  I looked around a bit found a network of blogs that seek to (in)courage women   and later another grouping that desires to walk through the work of life with one another that we might glorify God in our dailiness.  I am convicted by my lack of dwelling, my lack of sitting at the feet of the One who rests my soul.  I choose to make the short journey there, and I feel the refreshment as I enter in.

So like a weary traveler I am home again.  Slowing down my pace, taking time to rest on the back porch, seeking time at the feet of the source of life.  To slow down on commitments, turning off autopilot as much as possible.  To rest, to restore, to enjoy and consider and dwell.  I am finding blessing in this slower pace, in more communion and less doing, doing, doing. 

And so I am entering a season of rest- pausing to refresh and reflect and listen anew to the creator.

a few days ago while driving a group of deer were crossing the road.  one made the journey across, another backtracked.  the fawn sought its mother and then rejoicing in life romped about momma.  More energy and joy to be spent the fawn raced in figure 8's around momma a few times, in and out of the woods.  A treat of nature we had not seen before, and  was a delight to behold.  it would have been easily missed had I chosen to just continue to drive, but the willingness to slow down and enjoy the created creature reaped a special treat. 

May you find a quiet place to catch up to yourself amidst the pace of this life.  to seek the Savior, contemplate His truths and allow His peace to permiate your life.