and even in the ways my heart focused on why i actually celebrate the holiday, let's face it. like beth is saying, things needed to get done.
yet in those moments i have had . . . a couple dark mornings before the house awakens. . .an open mind to think while mindlessly wrapping presents. . .driving in the car, when "mommmeeeee....you're not answering me!" breaks the speeding train of my thoughts. . .shining a mirror in front of me, reflecting back my heart after a revealing conversation with a friend. all those moments, God's using.
i kept assuming that when i would reflect on all i've been through this fall, that i would be bringing up what's happened in the past. in september of 2012. october. november. all that went on that day the doctors thought perhaps ken had a stroke. that night the oppression felt no more real than hell itself. those heartbreaking conversations i would have with our oldest. having nothing to offer her than my empathetic tears. interestingly, that's not what my heart's work has been about.
it's been about today.
actually, all of the todays that have happened since ken got home.
not unlike every other human being, the past few months for me have had moments of delight and moments of difficulty. the kind that make my heart soar and those that break the same heart that was high upon the heights sometimes only hours before.
those darkest of days were bad, unbelievably hard. and now that ken has made such incredible progress, and is home, life is absolutely filled to the brim with joy. yet, this rare combination of pure joy wrapped up in the packaging of tragedy, has left me feeling a little lost.
the truth is, life is very new and not normal for us. ken coming home, does not mean that who we all were before septmeber 18th are returning. there are new people coming together as a family. and while i'm finding there's abundant joy in the reuniting of the four of us. i am also finding it's messy to put four people back together who've been totally changed by the events of the previous three months. ken's physically different. the girls' interaction with their daddy is different. discipline is different. what the man of his house is physically able to do is different. our mornings are different. so are our evenings. the mama's heart is different. so is ken's. so is our first-born's.
sending our daughter to preschool last year for two mornings a week was a major, heart-stopping transition for me, so now this. change, transition. knowing my make-up, i am recognizing this as opportunity to be needy. weak. moldable. on my knees. with the hope that it's the way to my feet again.
"get serious, really serious. get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." james 4 the message
so my mind's been abundant in questions and hard-to-come-by with answers. should the miracle of ken's life wash away the difficulty of today? chide myself for being discouraged by the weak spots in our new life?
the challenges of this new life of ours are indeed shaded by the incredible, supernatural works of God i witnessed in a very physical world. not a single time that i glance over at the strong, brown-eyed man before me do i forget to marvel at his very presence in that moment. and then that's all i need to get my mind started on a run backward, recalling how we got to this place....and in doing so, see the glory of God in it all.
so as life is very not normal for our family right now, the goodness of God does not negate the challenges of today. the goodness can make me overcome our challenges. God's goodness in our past is a part of our story because we still have access to same goodness for our struggles today. the goodness is found in a Person.
God wants to draw me into Him, but now, to a greater degree than what He did a couple months back. more is now required. not only trusting Him when the foundation of my life is rocked, but also my every day. to a greater degree. with more spiritual tenacity. more intentionality.
tonight at after dinner we tried to gather up some meaning into what would have otherwise been an insane last few minutes of dinner with our littles. knowing ken was beat-up from the day, finding myself with my own chin slumped in my hands, ken reached from a children's jesus calling.
he found the page marked december 27th. two days, mere hours after celebrating the birth of Jesus. and read the title of the devotional.
While You Wait.
"WHAT?!" exclaimed our oldest. four adults eyes dart at her's for an explanation.
"again?? we have to wait for Jesus?!"
we had just finished about a month of concentrated waiting with our advent. eagerly anticipating Jesus' birthday (and presents, of course). and our little one's response felt like it could have been my own. she had just endured what felt like an eternity of waiting. she made it and great was her reward. now, two days after it all, she was shocked to hear that there might be more waiting when it has to do with Jesus.
the waiting was made the celebration so joyful though. my waiting - in the both The big way and in all the little ways - has resulted in a purely amazing gift from the Lord -- my husband. yet it was the actual waiting where i found my treasure. the transformation in my heart. the deeper trust. the letting go. and now, just when i don't want to wait for anymore, God is asking me to wait for Him to show up still. in the moments of my days. to show up when i feel completely lacking. the waiting certainly has purpose.
"there's more to come: we continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. in alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. quite the contrary -- we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!" romans 5:3-5 the message
what a promise! the moments become significant under that gleaming light of Truth. and i'm prayerfully wanting to live it out.