July 30, 2015

Bleh...

That's sort of how I feel right now. I know it's summer, but it's been a long, hard winter. (West Wing fans, did you hear that with a beautiful Russian accent and a "Mr. President" after it. I did!) The last 6 months or so have been the hardest (though I am seeing the blessings and growth that resulted and know it wouldn't have come without the hard) of my life. I was faced with decisions I never thought I'd have to make. I'm still not 100% confident I always made the right choice, but I am grateful God used my choices to bring Himself glory, regardless of whether they were "perfect" or not. Life will never be the same. And that's good. But it's left me tired, anxious, fearful, cautious, directionless, and passionless. I.am.weary. Bone tired. Don't get me wrong, I am rejoicing over the amazing miracles, provision, and mighty works I have seen, just in my own home, in the last 3 months, but there are still all these other things, too. And sometimes, they win. Sometimes, that's all I can see. I know that I have skills and gifts that the Lord has given to me, but when I think about using them, it makes me tired. I just want to say no and crawl back in bed. There's no longer anything that just makes me want to run out and get it, work for it, spread the news, light a fire in others about it. Part of it is probably that I have such a hard time putting into words all that God has done in the last few months, that it makes it hard to see sometimes. A big part of it is still constantly comparing myself, my family, my children, my school days, everything with other people. That will always wear you down and leave you feeling empty.

So today...today, I want to truly feel Christ "burn away the winter of my cold and weary heart" (yeah, those are totally lyrics to a Rend Collective song. Check it out: Finally Free.) So, I am going to practice eucharisteo, to give thanks in all circumstances, to see His hand in all things: His timing is perfect (even when that means missing a dress rehearsal or performance, a friend moves away, a friend comes to visit, an urge to pray just won't go away), His provision is perfect (even when it means leaving loved ones behind, packing an entire year's worth of school for both kids in one box, a room full of people who want nothing to do with God showing you God's hand in the most unexpected ways), He brings us JOY (in the form of my children's laughter, the irony of a conversation with my pastor on using our gifts even when we don't feel passion on a day I feel most passionless, an Irish dance company performance in the midst of some of my darkest times, friendships that won't spoil or fade even if they do change with time).

Oh Father, help me to see with Your eyes, love with Your hands, hear with Your ears, and serve with Your heart. Push back the dark clouds that threaten to hide Your face from my weary eyes. Give me strength to focus on You alone. Remind me of Your love, joy, and faithfulness all day long! Don't let me forget in the light what You taught me in the darkness!

July 21, 2015

90 Days

90 days. 3 months. In the light of eternity, it's such a tiny amount of time, yet, so much can happen in that short amount of time. In the last 90 days our family has: cried many ugly tears, been completely bewildered, tried to give up, fought hard to stay alive and together, cried out in anguished "old testament hosanna" prayers (desperate cries for rescue before the waves crash over our heads), briefly  declared "some days, for better or worse really sucks", spent many sleepless nights, tried not to give into fear, struggled to praise God with every breath, searched hard to find God in the midst of the mess, let thousands of silent tears slip down our face, looked to the future with fear and uncertainty, seen tears turn to laughter, hugged each other a little tighter, learned to face life one day at a time, leaned heavily on sweet friends, seen "old testament hosannas" turn to "modern day hosannas" (desperate pleas for help becoming loud declarations that our Salvation is already here), learned just how much we don't know about the human brain, seen God's hand of healing, felt God's hand of grace, been given God's peace, been thankful that our plans to give up were thwarted by a God who loves us more than we can imagine, heard God whisper to us through our children, watched God change (every so slightly) our children's hearts toward others and prayer, been given a deeper understanding of God's sovereignty, learned a lot more about truly living eucharisteo every day (giving thanks with JOY), deepened our love for one another, had our appreciation and love for "for better or worse" increased, had our faith and trust in the only One who can see and provide increased, had our prayer lives drastically increased and blessed, and are now looking to the future with hope and joy!

Life has been hard. It's had it's ups and downs. BUT GOD! He's been there every step of the way. He led, guided, comforted, and provided. Father, thank You! Thank You for holding us and getting us through. Thank you for being our hope and salvation. Thank you for redemption and restoration. Continue to lead us, guide us, strengthen us, and keep us focused on You at all times. The days are brighter, but the struggles will always come and go. Help us to be content in You alone and trust You alone. Help us not to waiver in our faith when the hard times come. Let our lives declare You boldly. Let that speak loudly to our children. Use this crazy, messy, ugly beautiful mess of our lives to draw our children and others to You.