The more I read about the disciple Peter, the more I relate to him. He is forever plagued with regret and forever longing to be that person he so confidently declares he will be. His words speak so strongly what he wants to believe in his heart. Yet, he still denies Jesus. He still thinks he’s lost that calling and goes back to being just a fisherman of fish again. But Jesus. Oh how glorious is our Jesus that he doesn’t let him just sit in that regret. He doesn’t let him stay in that place of the past. He meets him there on the beach. He feeds him – both physically and spiritually. Just as the washing of the feet cleansed the disciples both physically and spiritually – God meets us in all our needed ways.
My favorite turn of phrase lately is “oh well.” I need an emoji with hands thrown up in the air, because that seems to be my constant response to so much in my life right now. But it’s a given up response. It’s that place, like Peter, where I can’t imagine that God could really accept me or do anything in my life to change things. When I sit in that place realizing that I can’t change anyone and I can’t change my circumstances, no matter how hard I try, I just throw my hands up and say “oh well”.
But I don’t want to be resigned to life. I don’t want to sit in this place of discomfort and just curl up in it. For sure, I want God to swoop in and change my circumstance, but day by day I’m sitting in that realization that it’s me that needs to be transformed – not my circumstances. As long as my heart goes back over and over again to that same sin – to that same response to the things going on – I realize that God keeps me here maybe because he’s trying to make me something new.
My home growing up was filled with handmade items. We had quilts laying around that my grandmother had made. Every year my aunt sent us pillowcases that she had embroidered Aunt Martha’s designs on. My mother sewed my clothes on and off for years while I was younger. And up until she passed away, my grandmother Ida would come stay with us and I don’t think we had a visit where she wasn’t making things while she was visiting.
When I went to visit extended family, their homes too were filled with the same sorts of things. My grandmother’s home in Oregon was overflowing with things that she had made or other family members had made. I remember the back bedroom with this tiny little bed perfect for my 8 year old self. Overflowing from it were little handmade dolls and stuffed animals and other crazy creatures. The bedding, from the pillowcase to the bedcovers, were made by the hands of those that surrounded me in that house. But in those memories I don’t honestly remember my mom or grandmother sitting much with me in an organized fashion and sewing. Maybe I didn’t have any interest at the time. I honestly can’t remember. But I do know that this life surrounded by handmade things was very natural.
Fast forward to today and I’m still surrounded by things that either I’ve made or things passed down to me and to my children. My daughter pulled out my old life size Annie doll – complete with all her matching clothes from the 1980’s movie. I sat there thinking about this doll and the connection that she is to a woman that I dearly miss. And I thought about this home that we’ve made for our children complete with a mix of things handmade and store bought.
I wonder at what point handmade things became this Pinterest thing and not merely a natural thing in our homes? At what point did life transition from making things as a fact of life to making things as a hobby or to be fashionable? When I was growing up it was not unheard of to have toys that your grandparents or even parents had made. It was becoming a little odd, but definitely not something that we felt like we needed to write up a tutorial for to share with the world. We’ve lost such a connection to making things as necessity that the necessity has become that we make a tutorial or a pattern or teach a lesson or find a class.
I’m thankful for this connection that I have to my past generations. And I’m thankful that making in our house has become a little more natural of a thing. Because that’s what making is. It’s not a skill that someone possesses and someone else doesn’t. It’s something that all of us are able to do. We are all makers and designers. Whether we make things with metal, fabrics or food.
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.