Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Spring Has Come Early.



Here, now I stand.  I look and survey this life.  It's ups and downs, mountains and valleys.  All of the trials and joys that break and sustain us.  They come in waves.

The last few months have been beyond difficult, they have pulled me to my knees and broken me apart.  It was the grand finale to years of being displaced, waiting and hoping to settle, to find a home.

And home is coming.

I am excited, beyond terrified, blessed, and hopeful to announce that we are finally moving to Redding.  This week.

God has opened huge doors and rained blessing over us.

We are coming home with joy and celebration.

The long season of emptying and loneliness has ended.

Spring has indeed sprung.

I am amazed at God's goodness, his provision.  To credit this new transition to anything other than God's hand is to miss his opulent love, his unwavering faithfulness.

I have walked through the last few years, staring at God's face.  Eye to eye, ear to ear, desperate, hungry, and constantly unsatisfied.

I have grown in my ability to trust.  To rest, when hope has evaded me.  I have learned to let Jesus come close and breathe when my breath has gone out.

The last few weeks, as I have doubted and grown discouraged, I have been faced with a choice; wallow or choose joy.  As I delight in the goodness of God when nothing in life has changed, there is a mighty strength that sustains.  Grace has met me when I was most undeserving.

I am so excited to settle.  To stretch out our roots.  To give my children the joy of stability, the delight of family and friends.

I am terrified to relearn my place here, to find myself, after wandering in the wilderness.

Yet, in all of this, I have learned to walk, hopeful and trusting.  To rest when life comes, to laugh in chaos, and delight in the ache of waiting.

Looking forward to getting some consistency in our lives and sharing with you some of the lessons I've learned over the last four years of hardship and transition.

I may rest for a while.

Blessings to you in whatever season you find yourself.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

In The Night.




There has been a lot of holding on.

A lot of breathing deep.

The last few weeks, stretching into months have been an unending seam of hope and waiting.  It is said when hope is deferred the heart becomes sick.

I have felt that sickness, felt the sinking into my bones of nothingness.  When life becomes motion and joy a memory.

How do you fight what weighs you down and hides the sun?

Each night as we lie shoved on mattresses pushed together, hot bodies of our children cuddled close, and suffocate a bit in the room piled with what we've deemed necessity - our hands find each other.

They say when you get married you will wed this person in richer or poorer in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad times.  You build a life that seems blissful, yet everything they do or say is wrong and you chip and chip at each other.

Then hard things come and all those chips either tear down or mend.

It never comes when it's expected, this thing called life, that shows up at the most inconvenient times and throws you in the sand.

When you're struck with a battle you hope you've learned the skills to fight successfully or the wiles to survive unscathed.

In this season, I have neither been successful nor unscathed.  I have weathered and feared.  I have hoped, lost hope, and chosen to rest, to trust when my eyes can't see.

I have shattered.

And this man, this person I married, so many years ago, has stood ever faithful by my side.  He has endured, he has believed, he has not broken or despaired, he has strengthened me and encouraged me, he has loved me and held me, he has ministered and supported, all the way through this.  There is no greater hero to me than this man I call my husband.

He is a dream I have never deserved.

I hear often, women talk of their husbands and how they are not like their fathers.  I remember even thinking similar thoughts when I first married.  But, I have learned that great men are not born, they are made through the chiseling of life.  They are created by choice and perseverance.

The man you marry on your wedding day will fail you, disappoint you, anger you, and irritate you.  And if you stand there long enough - he will amaze you, sustain you, honor you, defend you, and love you deeper than you have ever hoped.

I used to tell this man, when we would fight, 'well at least we're getting stronger'.

Now, here we find ourselves, in a storm of life, the crashing and the breaking, and I have to share, I am more in love with this man now, than I have ever been.

As I watch his strength, his character, his tenacity, I am honored to be his bride.

And when we sleep in what is not our home, when all of life hangs in the balance, and we wonder if an end is near, he pulls me close and whispers I love you.

I kiss his sleeping lips in the dark night and listen to the rhythm of his heart, for a moment I breathe his breath, then I close my eyes and rest.  Here I am safe and here, I am found.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

When Life Does Not Go As Planned.



I had these fabulous plans of filling this New Year with blog posts from a warm corner in my kitchen.
Steaming coffee or tea in my hand while I regaled you with stories of my children's antics or delicious recipes.  I wanted to inspire your heart and refresh your mind.  This would be easy enough as the long awaited dream of my heart was finally coming true, my family was heading home and we were going to settle and stretch out our roots and enjoy all of the fruits of a life planted.

Then our plans fell flat before us and we stared at our dreams sinking like a long awaited drink into the every thirsty sand.

It was a little like the cartoons where they look at each other and shock, fear, anger, hurt, and grief run rampant across their expressive face.

We had to move, and all of our lives were packed carefully into boxes and placed into storage.  Necessities were tucked into suitcases and for the first week the kids and I stayed with family, hoping against hope everything would work out.  When the week stretched on we came to stay with Eric who was bunking with some friends.  We pushed our suitcases against a wall, grabbed mattresses out of storage, and have been walking daily through a season that is the aching epitome of waiting.

I had planned on going through this season like a brilliant star showing everyone how to exist when your expectations and plans crumble.  Then as the reality of what this looks like, keeping my children quiet, watching too many movies, living as carefully as we can in a home that is not ours, in a world we barely belong - I have crumbled.  Everything that was so important has been pushed behind me and my focus is on our hearts, how to go through this without being destroyed.  We have pulled in and are clinging to hope.

I have been cut off at the knees and I suffocate with my lack of power.

And here lurks the truth.  It is not in our stunning moments, it is not when everyone looks at our brilliance and points, to how effortlessly we maintain.  It's in our weakness, here, where pain and discomfort writhe, that we are made strong.  I don't like to share the hard things, sometimes I feel as if I play like a broken record.  But truth, in the moment, is better, than a story of hardship told on the mountaintop.

This is where we are.

A little room, tucked away in San Jose.  Waiting against hope that we'll be settled before spring.  That these seeds we're cradling in our hands will stand the test of time and we'll be planted as the weather warms and stretches and the dirt is ripe to hold our sacrifice.