We’re moving. We finally bought a house. I’ve been praying for this for a while, so I really can’t wait.
It has everything I wanted. A beautiful view. A bit of character. A layout that lends us privacy. And a neighborhood with friends a stone’s throw away.
Everything I wanted! Except one thing. It needs work.
Pretty much every lovely room needs something. Paint. Flooring. Updates. Oh, and the outdoor wood siding and trim need to be painted. Not a small job. A work in progress.
When they power-washed the outside, little bits of rotting wood were exposed. We were expecting this, but it’s kind of alarming to see.
Sometimes I lay awake at night and think, This is such an adventure! I don’t deserve this.
And other times I wake up and wonder, What was I thinking? This is way too much.
Feels a bit like my family and life in general. So much potential…but so much risk. And a little overwhelming.
The other day I prayed, Lord, my family feels like a little ancient walled city with huge breaks in the walls and breaches about. I can only do so much. There are just too many vulnerable places. I can’t protect them all.
Continue reading “FOR THIS HOUSE I HAVE PRAYED”
I was asked to share a little of my story with some women at my church the other day.
Darn, I thought. I wish she would have asked me six months from now instead. Then some of my stuff would be resolved. I’d have a real story to tell…then.
But you see, I’m still in the Middle. So many loose ends to tie up.
I really think the speech therapy and special tutoring my youngest daughter is receiving will have kicked in by then. And my adult daughter with disabilities will probably have a job by then – that should be a good story…a happy ending. And I think my other child’s future should be clearer, and we’ll have the results from the tryout for my third….
If only she’d asked me in six months.
But instead I’m here with a half story. Still waiting.
And I hear a door slam somewhere in my house, and I’ve got a text from my daughter to please pray, and I don’t think my son is working on his homework yet, and my husband is still processing the same work problem.
And I’m still in the Middle.
But I remember a story someone told me 30 years ago in her small London kitchen as we were washing up the dishes after dinner. It challenges me to rethink the Middle.
Continue reading “HOPE IN THE MIDDLE”
I’ve been thinking about the future. It’s that time of year. Looking ahead.
This year I’m especially thinking about My future…what I should do with the Time.
Since I am no longer the sole educator of my children, I’m wondering what might be next. Maybe nothing… but maybe Something. Who knows.
I was talking to my daughter about an Idea. Playing with a vision. Processing. You know….
What do you think? Can you see it?
Do you think I could do it?
She tilts her head. I think you’d be good at it…while you’re weak. But if you ever get strong, you’d be awful. You don’t do Arrogant well.
Well, that’s why God gives us daughters. They’re the only ones who can say such things and get away with it.
But I can’t stay sad forever, I tell her.
She smiles. Sadness is your strength. You’re at your best when you weak. Unsure of yourself. You give the best advice when you’re There.
Well, that explains a lot.
Like this past Christmas Day.
Continue reading “THE NEW STRONG”
I heard on the radio that the first week of Advent is about “Hope.” But Hope deferred makes the heart sick, so maybe Advent is really about Heart Sickness.
Every year we sit around our dinner table and light the candles and sing that perennial Advent song.
O, come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom Captive Israel,
That mourns in lowly exile here, Until the Son of God appears….
Kind of mournful. Makes me quiet.
And we open our Advent book that starts in the Garden. And quickly leaves the Garden in pieces.
That pretty much sums it up. That’s where we live. Outside the Garden. Outside the way things were supposed to be.
This year our Advent began in darkness. As it usually does. Kids bickering. Parents struggling. Stress building. Hopes flagging.
Outside the Garden.
But lucky for me, Christmas came early this year. Back in September God gave me a precious Gift. A Word. Best kind of Gift.
Continue reading “THE SEASON OF HOPE – LESS”