Friday, February 1, 2013

I remember...

The strongest emotions carry the greatest memory weight... I've learned in the past twelve years to savor them so they don't slip away... wasted.  When the tears of joy or sadness hit, they burn into the soul deeply... if you let them.  The sooner you realize their value the more you hang on to them and feel them for what they will be worth in your life... or someone else's.  I think we're programmed somehow, like auto pilot, in our drive to avoid pain by bearing down, covering our ears and just "get through it".  To hold one's breath and wait it out... waiting for it to past.  I tried that for a bit and it worked somewhat as a child, but I distinctly recall the time when I realized that "this too shall pass" couldn't be my goal because something else would always take it's place in a sea of never-ending obstacles to navigate. I had a choice to make.  Either I spent my days in the waiting room of life, often in the fetal position, or I would search until I found a way to live this life with whatever came at me.  God wasn't up there allowing me to take more than his grace could cover or his mighty outstretched hand could lift. The pains of this life are "A Grace Disguised" if we absorb them and allow them to... grow our souls.  He can take something awful and make it into something beautiful.  Time and time again He's done it.  In my life and in the lives of those around me.  He's done it so much that I'm oddly excited to see what he will do when something awful comes.  In my sadness I am somewhat giddy at the thought that there is nothing I can do. 

There is a song by a wonderful lady I heard speak when I was younger.  He name is Ann Kiemel.  The words are:

"Something beautiful, something good
All my confusion, He understood
All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife
But He's making something beautiful out of my life."

I often sing this song and pray for this mess of a vessel to somehow be raised up with the rocks to praise the God I love,  the one who created me, who sustains me, and will raise me up again someday to spend eternity with him.  When my path is done, when my breath ceases, when I am absent from this body I will be present with him!  (2 Cor 5:8)  It's my deepest desire to stand before Him and hear "Well done."   It is His path... not mine that I tread.  He has the handbook.  As John Piper says, "He is doing thousands of things at any given time... He may allow me to see two or three."  My perspective is so very small, but I'm excited to be part of that grand plan.  So... when I do not understand and I cannot make sense out of my circumstances, I trust Him because I don't know those other things that are slipping into a perfect place in this thing we call life...

There is only one way to absorb the pains of this life and yet live it in the joyful abundance intended for us.  "...to Him that is able to do Exceedingly, Abundantly more than I can ask or imagine..." (Ephesians 3:20)  I can come up with some pretty good stuff, but indeed He knocks me away with so much more!  I can ask people around me to be strong and carry me, but I need to cry out to "Him who is able to keep me from falling and pick me up when I do (Jude 1:24).  He's my rock and my fortress (Psalm 18:2).  My ever-present help in time of need (Ps 46:1).  If He is all this and more, than why do I ask others to be?  We know whom we have believed and am persuaded that He is able..." (Daniel Whittle) "I cry out to the Lord morning, noon, and night... and He hears me... he rescues me from the tempest and the storm." (Ps.55:17)

Twelve years ago today He knocked our socks off!!! That little blonde haired, blue eyed beauty entered our world with a bang!  Her life would forever change ours and so many of those around us.  We chose life 12 1/2 years ago in response to the life that was given to us.  It was never a question.  God doesn't make mistakes.  He's not less but more with her life.  She is Godly beauty... personified.  She is a vessel that reflects a loving, patient God.  She is His perfection.  Exactly who He created her to be.  Her mind and choices don't often get in the way of her being who He wants her to be.  She simply is.
 Her life...
slows ours down enough to see the beauty around us...
reminds us of the complexities of this life that are so much bigger than just one...
reveals the beauty in a grown man kneeling down to tie a shoe, change a diaper or acknowledge the human being pulling at his arm...
the value of a life spent on nothing other than being what God intended her to be- alive!
causes servants to thrive and leaders to be humbled in her presence...

I saw a man I greatly respected as a child in church this past Sunday.  I hugged him and introduced him to my Abby who was going all jelly legged in front of me as she didn't want to be drug around the church (she likes to move on her terms). He smiled deeply as he said, "I remember praying for this gal before she was born."   How many stories like this one have I heard through the years... over and over again.  I wonder how many more did pray or do pray but never tell us?  Simple joys, simple blessings... 

Once again...
He picks me up when I am down. 
He is my strength when I am weak
He is the treasure that I seek
He is... my all in all










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