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Friday, June 28, 2013

When God Doesn't Make Sense

When my now almost six month old son was born, I became very thoughtful, contemplating life, the universe, and everything.

As I sat with my arms and shoulders aching from learning to carry a little one again, my body racked with fatigue, nearly every part of me painful in some way, I looked down at my newborn son, helpless in every way, and realized for the first time that from an evolutionary standpoint, babies don't make sense.

For the first several months of an infant's life it depends on it's mother for every need. A mother, that herself is likely more vulnerable and helpless than she has been since her own infancy.

If evolution is about survival of the fittest, this doesn't make sense.

But evolution didn't design mothers and babies. God did. While I was contemplating along those lines, it occurred to me that babies, the universe, and everything in it work the way they do, not because God knew it was the best way, but because God decided it was the best way.

I knew at the time how that would sound to someone who was hurting. But, I couldn't get away from it. Now that I have experienced a measure of my own hurt, I know it even more keenly. And it's still true.

When we say that God knows what's best, we say, whether we mean to or not, that there are natural laws that exist independent of God, that God Himself is subject to. The truth is that, God wrote the the laws of nature. He is the laws of nature.

God doesn't just know what's best, He decides what's best.

This is sometimes hard to accept.

It was two weeks ago now, that I sat huddled in a chair, in a very cold hospital room, under as many blankets as I could get my hands on, telling God that His plans for my family weren't making any sense. Somewhere along the way, somebody, must have got their wires crossed. This couldn't be right. It couldn't be what God had planned. Because, surely God's plans would make sense, right?

Maybe. Maybe not. God doesn't think the way we do.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. (Isaiah 
55:8 KJV)

Because God doesn't think the way we do, His plans don't always make sense to us. And that's OK.

We don't have to know what He's doing. We're not called to understand. We're called to trust.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 KJV) 

God wants us to trust Him, to depend on Him daily, for every need. He wants us to be receptive to the work He wants to do in us, and to trust that He knows the end He wants to reach, and has already decided on the best path to get there. 

He knows how He wants to form us. It's up to us to trust His touch, and follow His guiding hand. Even when He doesn't make sense. 






Thursday, June 20, 2013

Hurting

This past week has been a difficult one. One of the hardest of my life. I knew it would be difficult. I had no delusions that it would be smooth sailing, but if I thought I was prepared, I was wrong.

I have cried more tears in the past week than I have in a very long time.

Maybe ever.

I wanted something amazing to say today. But this week hasn't gone as expected.

I've found out the true meaning of family.

I've learned that well intentioned friends can make things worse.

I have discovered a whole new world of smells.

And I now know just how much a heart can hurt. When I thought my heart would burst from breaking, the only one who would understand a least part of my pain was nowhere to be found, and it just a little bit more.

It's been a lock yourself in the bathroom and collapse into a sobbing blob of flesh kind of week.

I tried to turn it off just so I could keep going. I tried to numb the pain. But then the well intentioned
friends stepped in, and it hurt worse than ever.

At some point the stress meter that's on my husband's desk at work would have said that I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I know the only way I made it through was God's sustaining grace.

Even in the darkest moments He was there whispering in His quiet way "It's ok, I've got this."

Even though I've learned that the blood that makes us earthly relations somestimes means nothing, the blood that makes us heavenly relations always means everything.

I've had dear friends, sweet sisters in Christ, demonstrating true Christian love. A book of James kind of love. The kind of love that comes from God and makes you feel His hands reaching down and healing your hurt.

We have a long way to go yet, but I know He'll see us through. He'll give us the strength and grace
that we need day by day.

Even though I may feel like breaking sometimes, I know I won't, because I'm in His hands and I've learned to trust His hand.




Thursday, June 13, 2013

Healing

Today is the day. The day I've been anticipating/dreading for a about a month now.

Today healing will begin. We won't know for a few days yet how long or short the road will be. But at least we're making a start.

Whatever lies ahead on the road before us, we'll give praise to our Heavenly Father. He knows what lies ahead. And He has it all under control.

If you happen to be reading this, and remember to say a prayer for us, it would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Family Time

After spending the weekend moving furniture, I thought I had a reprieve for at least a few days. I was wrong.

On Friday Hubby ordered himself a chair, because, you know, if he's going to be king of his castle, he needs a throne. The chair, the fantastically heavy chair, was supposed to be delivered sometime next week. Instead it was delivered yesterday. While Hubby was at work of course.

Around four o'clock yesterday I got a text from Hubby saying that the outrageously heavy chair was headed down the road to our house ... on an eighteen wheeler.

Our driveway is let's just say ... not eighteen wheeler friendly. At all.

We live in a very hilly area. People come here to enjoy the views. With the nice view comes some pretty windy roads. And some steep driveways. Including ours.

There was no way an eighteen wheeler was getting up our driveway. That meant that the enormously heavy chair would have to hauled up the driveway into the garage by hand. Yay.

The driver of the truck stood at the bottom of the driveway staring for a few minutes before declaring that he was going to need help. Yeah, figured as much.

With Hubby at work "help" meant myself and kid 1.0, our incredibly-skinny-but-freakishly-strong-teenaged son. Did Ii mention that the chair is heavy?

With the chair in it's box on a pallet jack, the driver pulled and we pushed. Somewhere around the middle of the driveway the whole operation came to a halt. We pushed and pulled, but the chair wasn't moving.

I kicked off my shoes and dug in. Finally the chair started creeping along again. We made to the top panting and groaning. My chest felt like it was going to explode and I had pulled something in my calf, but we made it!

Later, after Hubby got home, we had to bring the chair inside. If it was going inside it was going to have to go in through the front door. The only problem was, we realized after we got it up the front steps, that the box wouldn't fit through the front door. It would have to come out of the box.

I was much easier to carry once it was out of the box.

Had I known that fact, I would have gladly unpacked it at the bottom of the driveway.

What does all this have to with family time? Well of course after it was inside and set up in the living room, Hubby had test out his new chair. And his new portable speaker thing for his iphone.

Since we now actually have enough seating for the whole family in our living room, we spent a fun evening  playing a guess that theme song game, and listening to old radio broadcasts.

Had our plans not been changed, we wouldn't have been home at all last night.

We've been so busy lately that we haven't spent much time together as a family. And, family time is important. When I think of kids 3.0 and 4.0 riding around the living room on imaginary horses, and 5.0 laughing and bouncing on 1.0's knee, while the Bonanza theme played, and 1.0 and 2.0 listening
in awed silence to Neil Armstrong land on the moon, I'm so grateful we had that time.

Even though I'm limping today, if that's the price for a little family time, it's worth it.

Out Of Routine

Our routine is all out of whack this week. The kids were supposed to spend the whole week at Grandma's, but plans changed and their stay at Grandma's got delayed by two days.

Because we basically weren't going to be home all week, I didn't make any plans for meals. As a result we've eaten pizza twice this this week, and I bought cereal. I hate buying cereal. I also bought baby food, which I hate buying. 

Even though those thing aren't ideal, I'm thankful that they are available in a pinch. Because sometimes life happens and you get in a pinch. 

And, hey the kids were happy having pizza for dinner two nights this week, and getting to eat cereal for breakfast. And I was perfectly fine with using disposable dishes and not having to wash any.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bruises

I have a bruise on my arm that's taking its time to go away. It's been there for a month.  Even though it has faded quite a bit from what it was, it's still visible.

I've had worse bruises of course. There's nothing special about this one. I had forgotten about it until it caught my eye in the mirror this morning. The bruise will go away eventually and I'll forget it again, but the night that I got the bruise I will never forget.

That night and the nights since will be part of who I am for the rest of my life.

About a month ago my husband was preparing to have a diagnostic test. The results of the test were not what anyone was expecting and not at all what we wanted to hear.

As I was getting out of the car after driving my husband home, I realized that my hands were shaking. At some point after that, I just sat down and cried. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I didn't want to have to say the thing out loud. I didn't want to think about it.

My heart was bruised.

There are two things you can do for a bruise. You can put some ice on it to numb the pain, which is temporary. Or you can leave it alone.

Applying ice won't heal the bruise any faster.  It only takes away the hurt for a while. And has consequences all it's own.

The ice won't just numb the injured area, but everything around it as well. And if left long enough the ice itself will cause pain.

Looking back I think that I got through those first few days by applying ice to my bruised heart. I didn't let myself feel the pain.

But a numbed heart doesn't just not feel pain, it doesn't feel anything. At all. No pain, no joy, no hope, no fear, no peace, no love. Nothing. Just nothing.

Sure there might be advantages to not feeling any negative emotions. A life without any pain, fear, anger, jealousy, or dissapointment sounds appealing, but we can't cut out the negative without cutting out the possitive. The hope, the joy, the excitement, and the love. All of the things that make life worth living.

The numbing of our hearts has consequences in our relationships as well. When we can't celebrate with a friend about to be a grandparent for the time, they might think we don't care. When we can't give our spouses and our children the love they expect from us, they'll pull away.  

The opposite is true also. How can we comfort the hurting if we've closed our hearts to pain? How can we encourage the disappointed if we never let ourselves be disappointed. 

When we can't reach out to others to rejoice with the rejoicing and to mourn with the mourning, they won't reach out to us. We'll find ourselves traveling through this world alone. And no matter how hard we've tried to numb our hearts to pain, it hurts to be alone. 

The worst consequence of all, is that numbing our hearts, damages our relationship with our Heavenly Father as well. He wants to minister to us. He wants to give us His peace. He wants us to know His love. He wants us to have His joy. If we close our hearts to all feeling, we close our hearts to Him as well.

And if we never let our hearts feel pain, how can we praise the one who can heal it?



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Just Thankful

Crazy tired today. Didn't want to get up this morning. No one did. We spent the past couple of days doing all manner of house and yard work including moving two heavy couches to make room for two more even heavier couches.

Yes, I'm tired, and a little sore. My back hurts and I'm pretty sure my elbow is messed up. And possibly my neck.

But today is the Lord's day, and even though we were... ahem.... a tad bit late, we spent the morning in His house praising and worshiping.

Despite fatigue and soreness we still have much to be thankful for.

Like coffee for example. Very thankful for coffee this morning.

And instant grits.

And that kid 5.0 only got up once in the night.

Also thankful that he let me cut his finger nails since I'm pretty sure that had he been flying anywhere that he would have been detained by the T.S.A.

I'm thankful that today we took our first ever real family pictures.

And I'm thankful for the friend that practically begged us to let her do them for free!

I'm very thankful to be part of a praying church.

I could go n and on, but it's lunchtime. Which reminds me, I'm thankful for restaurants that are open on Sunday.