Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When God Seems Late

I'll admit it.

For the first time in my life, I'm mad at God.

It is unusual to me, strange even, that I would be mad at him now. I've faced worse things in the not so distant past, so why now? Why would the current set of circumstances make me angry at the one I claim to trust?

Why not back then, when what I thought we were crumbled and I had to redefine my life by grace. Why not all the other years I've lived with an uncertain future? Why not when Robb resigned and I was embarrassed, feared church gossip, and was confused about what God was doing in our lives. Why not those times?

Why now?

I'm tired of change and stress. Unknowns. Waiting.


....and whiny.

I think I do know the why of now. In the past when we made decisions, I voiced my opinion, and then let my husband decide. I left all the responsibility on his handsome broad shoulders. Then when things went south, or at least happened in a way that made me unhappy, I could blame him.

Lovely, huh? Convenient, certainly. Pleasant? Not so much. I disgust myself.

This time around, in the roller coaster of our work/finances we sought after God's leading more than we ever have in the past. We were eye's open wide to closing doors and an open one. We walked through, full of faith and dependence and trust.

And you know what? I wrongly assumed that just because we made a decision to walk this path, to follow this road of His will, somehow He would magically provide and we'd have a Disney ending.

But it just hasn't been that clean cut, that easy.

I've said that God is never late, but rarely early.

 Photo credit: Astronomical Clock (Souvenir) (Anthony Dodd) / CC BY-NC 3.0

It feels like he's late.

You know, there's danger in claiming God's leading. Because when things don't pan out the way we thought  and it doesn't look all nice and tidy, we need to be prepared for God to take the blame, or else we need to admit we were wrong. Neither option is easy, especially when we're just as committed to God's reputation as our own.

I'm just being gut honest here. This is hard. Of course I still trust him. He says he'll provide everything we need. It's just that what I think I need and what he thinks I need may look very different.

Somewhere in the Word,* it says that God is not slow in keeping his promises, as some think. He is patient. He has something in mind. He's not on my timetable.

Lyrics to a song come to mind.
"There's a time to be angry and a time to let it go...He is with you." ~Mandisa's With You

With me. I've been waiting for God to show up big.

But he's already here.

So he's not late after all.

Photo Credit: Astronomical Clock (Anthony Dodd) / CC BY-NC 3.0

Time makes no difference to him because he is the God to whom a thousand years is like a day, who calls what isn't into existence, who knows the beginning from the end, who redeems years. And yet His timing is perfect, precise.

It's time to let it go. It being my plan, my expectations, my right to feel sorry for myself, my silly anger at a God whose plans are always better than mine.  I'd better quit whining, learn to be patient like He is patient, get with His program.

He is with me. And He is all I really need.

*2 Peter 3:9

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tasty Tuesday - Waldorf Salad Pita

Waldorf Salad Pita

Mmmmm. Summer's a-comin' and my taste buds are ready!

This is what you'll need:

2 Laughing Cow Cheese wedges in Swiss Light
Whole Wheat pita

Dice a nice amount of apple, walnuts and celery.
I can't be bothered with precise measurements. Your guess is as good as mine. :)
Spread cheese on pita, insert lettuce, stuff with chopped yumminess.

Didn't guess accurately with the quantity of apples, etc? Store in fridge for a craving later.
You'll have one. Believe me!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The blog me...the real me.

"I love the blog you."

He says it and I struggle. I know he loves the regular old me too, I just don't like the two being differentiated.

Because the blog me is me.

No, I don't really talk flowery, metaphorically and spiritual all the time. Of course I don't. Out of no ones mouth, except perhaps Anne of Green Gables or another fictitious character, can such witty or sappy or spiritual words flow so easily. I use a thesaurus when my brain freezes and I can't remember a word, or I just want variety in my paragraph. My thoughts are encumbered by what I sometimes consider a sluggish intellect.

No, I'm not always rational and calm and faith filled. I strive to be, greatly desire to move toward wisdom. But I yell, and fuss and fume. I do. I don't like that I do. But I do. It's ironic.. I'm most likely the "blog me" when facing a large crisis than dealing with the everyday.

I've given much thought to this. The blog me and the real-life me, are we really that different? Am I pretending to be something I'm not, more spiritual, more of something I only wish to be?

I think on this and after a while I just quit writing.

I ask myself why I keep coming here, talking to myself, and to anyone listening.

A month passes and as we lay in bed one night, he shares with me a verse he's read. It's in the context of a verse I've claimed for a long time. "Do not be anxious...with thanksgiving....peace that passes understanding...."(Philippians 4:6-7) I know these phrases, and he's learned what I noticed once but since forgot: what follows.

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

He's thoughtful when he says, "This verse. It's the blog you."

I think he's right. I process, press keys, and as I do, I filter my life through a lens of truth. God's truth. Life only makes sense when seen through that lens.

As I empty my heart on a bright screen, cursor blinking in wait as I thoughtfully consider my life, I pass on what I have learned or received or heard or Him.

I begin to put it into practice.

And every blog post diminishes the cyberspace between the blog me and the real life me.

So, love me in real life, or love me here, it's all me. But I think the blog me, the thoughtful me that pauses and considers and remembers, is what God intended for me to be.

I think the blog me is the real me.

Where are you the real you, the best you God intends you to be?

sharing at Hyacynth's today for The Bigger Picture....

Monday, April 18, 2011

With everything....hope.

I am weak today, tired, and feel not-quite-right, but can't put my finger on why. The day looms ahead with its chores, checklists, all of which I need to motivate self and children to fulfill.

I don't have it in me.

I press on anyway, and as is usual, they press back.

Sigh... Why is this so hard?

I answer my own question: Because we do not live in a void. There will always be resistance when we seek to live contrary to the prowling prince of this world.

I face off in the bathroom with one child who hates me and hates school and sit there on the only seat in the room, finally calm, yet sadly listening to lies.This is my reality for the moment, but it's not the only reality. A heart spewing is not the end of the story. I will not let angry words deafen me to truth.

The words of a song unexpectedly interrupt the barrage in my ears.

Let hope rise, and darkness tremble in your holy light,
that every eye will see, Jesus our God,
great and mighty to be praised. 
God of all days, glorious in all of your ways,
your majesty, the wonder and grace,
In the light of your name...with everything,
we will shout for your glory....your praise....
Hope...the knowledge that the Light of truth reaches through the darkest anger, His word hidden in my heart overcomes self-deception, and His power is great enough to change the thoughts and attitudes of an angry child or my own. His ways are glorious, though the way is sometimes wrought with struggle, his grace is wonderful, though the pain of sin is still remembered. I hope....knowing that He loves us too much to leave us the same.

Hope. It changes everything.

There are days I will sit in the bathroom hearing words that grieve my heart, but I must remember, his work is not yet complete. He is at work. In my children. In me.

With everything, in hope, and for his glory and praise, I list gratitude.

subtraction with seashells we picked off the beach
"beautiful beyond beautiful dresses" for a beautiful price
treats and compliments "You're the best Mrs. S!"
combed hair
freshly showered boy
early bedtime for a sleepover
relaxed evening
spring snow that melts by noon
the smell of ground thawing
a made bed
a husband who knows what my heart needs
A God who knows even better

Saturday, April 16, 2011

LRC on my heart

It is never a good idea to go a whole month without writing. Far too many things are in my head now, and some are no longer complete thoughts. I've no idea where to even begin...

I will tell you this to start:

This winter has been hard.

 snowy February sunset on our farm

Besides being comparable to Laura Ingalls' book "The Long Winter" our church family has been through what feels like a ringer. Every family has their own story of trial. We're all tired and ready for spring; the spring that God promises seasonally and the joy he promises in the morning.

God knows it's been night far too long.

Our founding pastor and friend resigned at the beginning of the year, and though the Walls remain with us, we miss hearing from Jon every Sunday. In 8 years we've become a family, and change hurts.

We've been blessed with wonderful interim preaching, and fresh green shoots are beginning to sprout. Prayer has never been so prominent a focus, and hope is bubbling up, a fresh spring of water to a thirsty people.

On a personal level, our hearts have been stirred and we are looking for new ways to invest in our church community. Past hurts heal, and God calls us to move past fear and serve again.

Will you keep Living Rock Church in your prayers, please? I have been given the challenge of a place on the pastoral search committee. The elders and our team would appreciate your prayers that we would have eyes to see and ears to hear as we seek the man God would have lead us into the future.

Thank you.
(and.... I've missed you.)