somedays i wish life came with a remote control

Almost two years ago we moved to Colorado and the leaving was hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I shut down in many ways to survive and also took charge in some areas that I weren’t mine to take. And it was harder than I ever dreamed. I accepted a teaching job and in a matter of days realized I realized I’d made a big mistake and needed to be home to adjust. To grieve. To catch my breathe. So the day I gave up on teaching was one of the hardest yet. I knew in my heart of hearts that it was right and that God was in the leaving, but all I wanted to do was fast forward through the awful feelings and consequences of those days. I wanted a remote control for doing life.

Last weekend was a particularly hard weekend for the people I love. My son has struggled through yet another sports season of disappointment, and this time it wasn’t my direct pain, it was the pain of my boy and my husband. We were in the car driving home from defeat and discouragement, and once again I begged God for a remote control for life to just fast forward through these hard days. I knew we would come out on the other side better people and blessed through these trials, but honestly I didn’t want to stay in the yuck and the pain again.

Some days, to be sure, I want to rewind and experience the joys all over again. I don’t want mere photographs to remind me of bygone days; I want to live them again and be all there. Other days, and too many day, I’m afraid to admit, I’d like to push the rewind button as I ask my children for do-overs to do this day, this moment, this conversation over. To get it right as I get right with Jesus and go back and try it again, this time with Jesus skin on.

These days, I’m learning that as much as I want to fast forward and rewind, it’s just not possible. I didn’t come out of the womb grasping a remote control in my hand. I was born grasping for air to fill my lungs and soul living dependent on God for each new day, each new breath.  So I’m asking God to help me stay in the here and now. To sit in the pain and know He is with me. To pause and rest and be still and know He is God. And He has it all in His control. He is in this moment. So I don’t need a remote control for life after all.

incircle

Advertisements

in which i grumble on a monday morning

Our ice machine is broken. The email has crashed. Our car died. The basketball team my husband is coaching is losing. {Worse yet, it’s also my son’s team.} The bank account is dwindling away and we have more bills to pay. It’s beginning to sound like a sad, sad country song. Only thing worse would be if our dog cat died.

I woke this morning to the words of Habakkuk lamenting over his figless trees, failed crops, barren fields, and empty stalls. Somehow, in God’s grace he was able to rejoice and find joy where there seemed to be no visible joy. Hope flickers in my heart like a neon sign. If Habakkuk can hope in God, maybe I can too. JoY. jOY. JOY.

Where is my comfort on this chilly Colorado morning? I remind myself, as the catechism says, that my only comfort is that I am not my own, but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death, to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ. That he also preserves me in such a way that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head or an email from my computer or a point on the scoreboard or cash from the bank. Even ice cubes in the tray. He’s got it all.

Somehow in this, God is building me, building my family into His own. He’s remodeling us from the inside out until we’re who He wants us to be. He wants me happy, yes, but holy, too. And somehow in this, in Him, He does His work.

My grumbling. God’s glory.

“In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:22

2014

what’s new in 2014

The stockings have been hung and filled and opened and now they are begging to be packed away for another year. Christmas 2013 is over, and can I share a secret? Although I love the festive holidays, I relish this time of the year to hit the restart button and start over fresh. The New Year ranks right up there with my favorite holidays, right after Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day and the Fourth of July. For me, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time to pack away, organize, clean, and reflect on the past days and the ones ahead.

2012 was the year of rest. 2013 was the year of dwell. This year is a special year for a million little reasons and 40 big ones. It’s not a year for nouns or verbs. This is a year for resolve and for getting real and for the grammar of relationships. This is a year for prepositions. One simple one. In 2014, my heart will dwell on the word “in.”

This is the year to hammer in the truth that if I truly am in Christ, then I really am a new creation and He does truly make all things new. For me. For you. For each day.

It’s a year to chase the gremlins of shame who taunt “More!” with the voice of truth that God is enough in me and there really is no condemnation when I am found in Him.

It’s a year to ask honest questions and to be brave in the waiting, in the wondering, in the wrestling. Like gold foil letters stamped on a invitation, this year calls: Christ in you, the hope of glory.

And 2014, I believe, could be the best one yet.

ps. A new look and a new name for a new year. More to come…

2014