Monday, October 17, 2011

Working It Out

Today was not a good day. The kids were tired, I was exhausted. There was whining and crying and irritation and yelling and patience was absence and good manners had fled. We were left with the worst versions of ourselves and it showed in all that we did.

It was the typical ups and downs any of us would have in a given day no matter what we do. But for me, it just felt weightier. This job I do, it isn’t for someone else to profit from of which I get a small cut, it is for me, for our family, for our future, but most of all for them – these wonderful little people. And at times, I just don’t take it as seriously as I should. I become cold and unloving. I don’t hug or pick them up or read to them like I should. I focus on the tasks too much and the mothering too little and movies play too long and I start to realize that we are living only a shell of the life we should be living. It is overwhelming to consider the impact of repeating this kind of a day over and over and over.

Thank God in his infinite wisdom that he gave us night to rest and a new day to start again. So I’m looking at tomorrow in anticipation. There are no places to go, no deadlines to meet, no strict expectations except a day to be home and interact and learn and love and hug and be the best versions of who we were meant to be. I’m hoping that I can learn tomorrow what I want to live out in the days to come. Days that are quiet and purposeful and more than I could ever expect them to be. I’m working it out and God convicts me, but He is also gracious.

But for now, I bid you good night.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Not Home

This post is dedicated to my brother-in-law and his family. Your pain is unthinkable and I am praying for your comfort and peace.

Fall in Michigan is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The best way to see the fall colors to me is to take a drive. I had the opportunity to take a long drive a few days ago and the color and bright sunlight truly made everything I saw the picture of fall splendor. Reds, oranges, and yellows illuminated by the more than usual orangey / yellow sunlight – beautiful, bright colors everywhere I could see.

I couldn’t help but thinking on that drive that everything was right in the world and these beautiful colors and sunny day were a gift from God to me and everyone else. But I couldn’t fully enjoy it as I thought about close relatives and friends going through unthinkable tragedy and loss. To add to the discomfort I learned the next day about a young woman (21 years old) who works with orphans in Uganda who has personally adopted 13 girls. I think of friends and relatives and acquaintances who are dealing with the mental or physical disorders that plague their children and I am overcome with grief. I am reminded that this world with its glimpses of beauty all around is also home to pain, suffering, agony, and injustice and I can’t shake it off fully to enjoy what God made good in creation.

This is not our home. Yet, it is the only home we have ever known and we really think that we are comfortable here, until we are reminded of all that is not right. God whispering in our ears, showing us that we must love and help others, reminding us that even if it doesn’t make sense, that his plan is better than ours.

So, I’m thinking of those hurting today and wishing I could explain away the pain or offer words of comfort or say that somehow it will be OK, but the truth is, that some things won’t ever be OK. Our time here is so short and eternity is so long and if we don’t do whatever is insanely possible to bring everyone we can with us to the home they were meant to go to, then what are we doing that really counts?

I look at my life and how comfortable I am and yet I sense the discomfort creeping up around me. I don’t know how to be dangerous for God and maybe he isn’t asking for me to get on a plane and fly far away to make a difference, but I realize as each day passes, that I must find a way. I have to find a way.

Maybe I already make a difference, but I don’t see how and I just pray that God reveals to me that I can and do impact his kingdom, even from my little corner. And if I am not, please show me God how to reach out and do the work you have asked me to do. Because I am not home and as the days go by I realize that I need to learn more about my real home, about where I’m looking to go, because sometimes the pain here is too much to bear.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Thoughtful Tuesday 10/4/11

Every Tuesday I try to put something out here to get us all thinking about different ways to approach this life. Let’s think countercultural, against the norm, “weird”, unpopular, but most of all thought provoking.

I’ve been very conscious about how it seems that my words don’t match my actions these days. I have the incredible gift of being home with my children every day. I tell them I love them, but it seems that my actions, at times, tell a different story. How do I get past this? What can I do to turn it all around?

How do you demonstrate that you love the people around you in everything that you do?