8.28.2016

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not

When all is right with my world, its easy for me to believe that God loves me. Birds are singing, blue skies up above, perfect hair day, its pure bliss and man, I am favored of the Lord. Then my tire goes flat, or the account is overdrawn, or my kids act up and I'm certain that I must have done something wrong. We all experience good days and trying days, and for most of us, the trying days are more difficult to navigate than the examples I gave, but I find that on the difficult days, that's when my trust that He loves me is truly evident.

The hard days are the ones that shape us when we really think about it. They reveal who we really are, what we are made of. They are those hard parts of the Bible, like the Book of Job, and that long dissertation Paul gives about all the things he went through for the sake of the Gospel. We are reminded that we should count ourselves blessed when we go through things.

A few years ago a movie came out, The Kingdom of Heaven, in which an old knight finds his illegitimate heir and right before dying from wounds received from defending this heir, he props himself up in front of his son and charges him with the Knight's Oath. Just as he's finishing, he says, "And that's so you'll remember it" as he hauls back and backhands the boy. That scene has always stuck with me. These amazing last words over a son, mingled with the shock of a surprise blow.

How many times have I walked into things gung ho and full of zeal, promising this and that and not even realizing the weight of my words? Not understanding the truth that I'm speaking, and the road I must walk to bring it about is not what I am expecting. Only the love of a father can seek us out, remind us of who we are and charge us with our destiny. It is a good father who reminds his children to never forget.

Throughout scripture the Lord instructs His people to not forget, to remember, to set up memorial stones, to write words on their hearts. Remember what I've already done for you, so that when the hard times come you won't go slinking back to your old ways, you'll stand firm and not question my goodness and my heart for you. Without the struggle there would be nothing to remember, no place to draw a line and say that is done, it is overcome. Would I forget too easily without the loss, without the remembered sting of pain? When I am tempted to think that He doesn't really love me, I can look at what He's already done and remind myself.

8.23.2016

Egg Cartons

I'm finding myself in a brand new season of life. For the first time in a long time, I'm able to stay home and away from a "job," and its pretty weird. The Goodman and I are still trudging through the outskirts of our old life and entering into the new one and trying our hardest to find our new "normal." Over the past month we've faced some pretty interesting challenges and plot twists and I find that I'm still not sure of what to do with myself. Our Rebecca got married the beginning of August and with that came family visits and wedding drama and all that it entails. Anthony went and moved almost as far away from me as he could and I still find myself wanting to just jump in the car and drive to wherever he is, but that would take a few days now. I am making myself into a nice little stay at home mommy, the one I wish I could have been twenty years ago. Cooking breakfast and arranging schedules and appointments and practices.

Joshua has been preaching about living intentionally. I've always been a list maker and schedule follower and nowadays, I'm having to intentionally set my heart on being flexible with whatever God has for the day. I came home from work this season with the intention of being focused on our family. There are some tent flaps that need to be tied back down.

When we made the decision to bring me home this year, I had the image in my mind of coffee and books and a clean house and projects being finished finally. But what I'm facing is so much bigger than that. The projects that need my attention are so much more important than an organized closet or clean stove top. Now that my eyes are inclined here at home, there are things I'm noticing that I was too busy to see before.

I posted recently about the things that I do for my children that they don't see. Well, the other day I was walking around the grocery store with my oldest daughter and she was sharing with me how she had a friend who never knew why people checked their eggs in the carton before they purchased them. She was pretty shocked that her friend didn't know why.  My daughter said that she never really remembered me telling her why we checked, but she knew that she had watched me so many times and deduced that I was checking for broken eggs. My girl must have been watching carefully to come to that conclusion, if I never came right out and explained what I was doing. It just goes to show that when we aren't distracted we see things in more clarity.

So here's to a season of remembering to pay attention. Checking the eggs in the carton and knowing why. Understanding that hindsight is always 20/20, but this new prescription is pretty groovy too.

8.22.2016

Remember

God is good, all the time.

That's what I was taught, that's what I say in church, that's what I believe.

But, what about those moments when you are forced to question? When the enemy steals in and takes something from you. When you lose. When the victory doesn't come.

What about then?

Can you still say it with the same conviction?

You know, I can say something and say something, I can think I believe, I can train and practice, but none of it matters until the moment comes when that thing I've been saying, that belief that I had, all comes into question. When the training is no longer practice but it is used and shown as an acquired skill. Mastery comes in usage.

Can I believe that He still has the best in mind for me, when I don't get what I've been praying for?

Can I trust that He's working it out even when the report is negative?

When my soul is seared with the pain

When the trouble comes

When the darkness falls and I can still say:

All the time, God is good.
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