like the water before you toss in the rock that creates the ripples
or the wind whips down between the trees making tiny waves
the quiet of the morning before the stirring of the house
that quiet that transcends and moves you to a place of contemplation
like standing at the edge of a mountain – looking down
or staring up at the tree tops and realizing how small you are
how vast this creation – this beauty that lays all around us
yet we miss it because we are moving
moving like a child spinning – spinning – spinning
and then realizing when they stop – they are still moving
but after a few moments the dizziness stops
and they are still
to see the beauty all around
and wear a smile of joy.
I’m reading a book about Ecclesiastes for my women’s bible study this Fall. I feel like the book of Ecclesiastes is about persisting in this life. It’s about seasons and about being fully in that season, despite how long it might be. It’s about not looking for a way out or ignoring what’s in front of us, but existing in this place that we are in. We are not in Eden and we shouldn’t expect it right now, but we can’t and shouldn’t live without the hope of it. We will return to Eden again and all those ways and responsibilities we should have had before the Fall will be ours.
We are in a long season right now. It is deep and hard and I feel like we’ve been in it for way more time that I ever could have wanted to be. And I feel like we just keep getting deeper and deeper into it. My biggest struggle is maintaining hope and joy. Living each day looking for the ways that God is in this with us…for He is in every piece of my day. I can ignore the moments ahead, I can wish them away or I can enter into this day and enter into it with Him. That is where the hope is. That is where I can take the grimace of hardness out of me and grow a softness that persists no matter how long the season.
Cast all your cares to the wind…
Cast all your cares onto the Great Shepherd…
Care to me is a release of something. It’s like we always read of giving up our cares. We aren’t supposed to carry them around like a burden. We throw them out there because we aren’t meant to handle them. While I think so much of this is true, that we like Christian in Pilgrim’s Progress do carry our burdens like a trophy, there are times that we aren’t meant to just toss our cares aside.
When we too quickly toss away the thing that is burdening us, we give up the opportunity to embrace that disquieting thing. We give up the chance to wrestle and pray.
We can be trite with our struggling friend when we just offer up the words that you just need to give those up to God. Our sins are deep and entangling and there are times we have to wrestle to set them free. There are times that the hurt and pain is so deep that we can’t just toss it like a whiffle ball…it’s more like trying to throw a bowling ball.
We can care for others and care for ourselves when we realize that letting go of our cares doesn’t just happen like confetti in the wind. Sometimes it’s a day by day…minute by minute struggle to release tiny bits.
So this Fall we walked into the deepest and hardest struggle our marriage has ever faced. While I feel like we are on the other side of the struggle, sort of on the downhill as we work through the repercussions of it, it’s still a struggle.
When I get into the midst of a struggle or a hard time, I long for new.
But not in a good way…in an escape sort of way. That if I can find a new, different situation then the whole problem will go away. There is something about being somewhere else;
be that a different way of making money
moving to a different house
finding a different way to educate our children
whatever. I have this total misconception that new = better.
But I have to tell you that in the midst of this struggle that we are walking through, God has answered prayers that I have been praying for years upon years upon years.
He is making things new. But it’s His kind of new. And His kind of new doesn’t always (well let’s be honest…hardly ever does) look like our kind of new. And the way of getting there isn’t the way we would get there.
I guess it is like a potter. Making a pot is a messy, messy business. Clay is all over you and all over your workspace. Then paint and glaze. And finally after all that mess you have this amazing vessel. That’s what I want to come out of this fire looking like…
and amazing, beautiful vessel.
And I know that God is faithful and that’s His plan too.
He is making all of us new…in His way.
Because always makes me think of why.
It makes me think of my children who are always wanting to know why when I give them an answer. Especially an answer that they don’t like.
Last night the oldest gets frustrated because I say no.
I say no and he wants to know why.
But that isn’t good enough.
There has to be a better reason than because.
But sometimes that’s all there is.
God has been gracious to me in that many times I get more than just because.
He has often shown me the movements that He has made in my life and I’ve been able to actually see the why and the because.
But other times I don’t know the why.
I have to be o.k. with just because.
I have to be o.k. with the trust that He’s got this.
The same as my children have to know that I’ve got them and their best interest at heart.
Because is unknown.
Because is open-ended.
Because is moving ahead or staying put and never really knowing why.
Because is trusting in the One who created, redeemed and is restoring.
Because of love.
Because He loved me with an unstoppable love.
And that’s more than just because.