What Is Sacred

I held the soaked pages in my hands and cried. Angry crying. Scared crying. I knew. I knew that I couldn’t get it back.

There are some things you can’t get back.

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Faded Feet

I was tired last night. It was day four of my husband’s business trip to Spain and it was starting to feel like it. I could have fallen asleep at nine when I put the last two children in bed but I decided to eek out one more project before crashing. Now it was ten and I was more than ready to crawl into my bed. I ran through the morning list that was repeating in my memory bank… update Journey’s journal. 

In hind site it might have been mercy that begged me to head back down the hall and fish out her journal from the bottom of my to-go bag. Had I not purposed to update it last night there’s a good chance a couple more weeks would have passed. It didn’t feel like mercy though. As I reached down and felt soggy paper hit my finger tips I was instantly annoyed. Really! 

It was a rolodex of frustration. Why didn’t I think to check this when I realized the brand new over-priced detangler had leaked in the bottom of the diaper bag? Why didn’t I remember that this is exactly what happened to the last bottle of detangler I kept in the diaper bag? Why couldn’t God have just NOT let the detangler spill in the diaper bag? Somehow this is Kevin’s fault for not letting me cut Journey’s scraggly hair and now I need to keep detangler in the diaper bag! (Not even kidding. Exact thoughts!)

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But angry almost always is protecting something far more vulnerable and by the time I actually made it back to my room I started crying. That journal had a list of her first feeds, her first diaper changes, her footprints. It was full of the first nine blurry months of her life and now they all just looked like a mass of pink-purple scrawls. I couldn’t get them back. The words… the memories. If they were lost, they were just… lost.

I decided to see if they could be salvaged with a blow dryer. There was some improvement. Some of the sentences became legible. But some… not so much. Ironically, thirty minutes before all of this, I was going off on my oldest two for not managing to make it through the bedtime routine without distributing half a tube of sparkly blue toothpaste all over the sink. I mean seriously how do you expect me to trust you with a pocket knife if I can’t trust you with a tube of toothpaste! 

It was a well crafted argument. And had I been in it for the sake of their hearts it would have been well done. But I wasn’t. I came back and repented because what I mostly cared about with the icky gooey globs in the sink and the fact that in like one week I was going to have to remember to go buy them new toothpaste again. I didn’t want to buy new toothpaste again. But you can always buy more toothpaste.

Toothpaste is not sacred.

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So… I’ve been reading a lot about hell (not likely the expected transition). It’s by far the hardest of the Christian doctrines. Largely avoided by most and dumbed-down by the rest. I’ve never much seen the point of preaching hell-fire and brimstone because I never saw it produce a love-based relationship with Jesus. And I know no other salvation than the love of the Father acting in my life, through the power of His Holy Spirit, by virtue of His son. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe there is hell. And I’ve had some questions for God on the matter.

As I’ve studied out those questions I heard a message by one of the great theological minds of our day. In it he stated “Hell is not the will of God. It is the will of man who rejects God. It is the deepest void of separation and the saddest of all things… I do not trust any man who preaches on hell without breaking down half-way through and weeping.”

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“Come to Me…”

The journal is mostly fine. My daughter is growing and treasured whether I have all the stickers from the doctors office to prove it or not. There are way more pages to fill then were ruined. But honestly, it doesn’t matter. It was just a medium to help me see.

Some things are sacred. And if they are lost they cannot be unlost.    

 

Father, on this sobering reality I fall tonight. I have no idea how to even begin to steward this word in a way that is pleasing to you. So I trust… I trust that you will help me. I trust that you will lead me. I say yes. I say yes to you and your ways. I pray dear God, that you would show us that you are the Most Sacred. That all the other sacred things we see and experience in this life are just shadows of Your holiness. And would you help us to regard our own soul with the same esteem as you placed on it at Calvary. Determining that You should love us in spite of us. That you should be glorified in FINDING what was LOST! I don’t even truly know how to pray this. Not really. So I simply say Amen. Have Your way. 

 

 

 

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Signs

 

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God in the Small Things

 

Look. Look closer. What do you see?

I thought for sure they were cowbirds. It took one grumbling session from my father about cowbirds to ensure that I hated them for the rest of my life. But there, in the snow, those are not cowbirds. They are Robins!

I live on almost an acre and the lots around my house are wooded so I enjoy a reasonable amount of backyard wild life. But not even when the rain has driven out the worms have I ever seen so many Robins in one place. Not this many. Not this close together. And, not in early February!

Yesterday, while I was making that gripe session phone call to my sister (see previous blog) I lamented “I have a feeling I’m just rushing the season. It’s like I’m trying to do spring cleaning two months early.” I’m frustrated because this stage has lasted longer than I want. I want to be able to get stuff done; to have some mobility and some flexibility. But trains with five little cabooses just don’t start up fast or turn on a dime. “I’m just tired” I continued “this phase of life just takes so much energy”.

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This Phase Of Life

I do not deserve mercy. I have been blessed beyond what most of the world can only dream and I still get angry, and weary and ungrateful. What is most amazing about Jesus is that He gets it. He knows the struggle. Even though He never gave into it He understands how frail my flesh is and how relentless the struggle is. The daily grind is really that! It tries to grind us down and dull our faith-filled expectation- steal our praise.

So He prays for me. He pleads on my behalf. And I think today the Father answered Him. So maybe to someone else it was just a parking lot of birds. But to me each little orange breast was the Creator’s sign to me “It’s okay. I see you. You’re going to get through this. The winter won’t last forever. I will restore your song.” He cares enough so send a flock of song birds when I don’t deserve it just because He loves me and delights in giving me good gifts. Gifts like hope, and strength, and restoration.

Today I’m just so amazed by that.

The Sound of A Robin

Where to Turn

Sometimes its very difficult to keep momentum when it’s you that you are following.- Evita

 

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Yep. Every, single, one. 

That song came back to me tonight as I walked out of Target. When you dare to share, dare to bare your soul to the masses as we can so easily do now, I think it’s easy to consciously or subconsciously set yourself up as the authority on something. It doesn’t really matter what topic you choose to weigh in on.

So what happens when you start to suck wind in that area? What happens when you advise all your mom friends to reject guilt, lower standards, have a sense of humor, etc. but tonight it’s just not funny and you’re the crazy, angry mom with little people wondering if anyone is going to be alive when dad walks in the door? What if people call you for advice? Who do you call then?

ANYONE!!!!! Because most of the time we don’t need and expert; we need encouragement.

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One of the best. gifts. ever.

Truth be told I’ve been sucking wind for a good four days now. And my husband has been there, my sister has been there, my friends have been there. My unmarried, childless, brother-in-Christ has been there; cheering me on and reminding me that I’m doing better than I think I am. They don’t need to know exactly what it’s like to be at home with five kids all day. They don’t need to have the answers. They love me and that’s good enough. So tonight I listened. I left the house. I hung up the awesome towel that someone (wink-wink) took the time to mail me. I bought a candle and a new box of tea and I made coasters for my new coffee table.

And I got donuts to make up with my children in the morning because LORD knows today wasn’t my finest work! And I feel better. I have enough strength to go back at it tomorrow. Or at least to fend off the blows as they come flying at me.

 

 

Sometimes you really have to dig to work out the stuff that seeps out of your heart. And sometimes what you see is what you get. You don’t need to stare at it to understand. You just need a break and and some encouragement. Praying tonight that for whatever need you have there is a tangible voice to encourage you.

Bless you friends. May the Father’s love dwell richly in your hearts. And may you have peace.