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Monday, April 26, 2010

Letting go...

From the time we're born, we're letting go. From the cradle to the grave we let go of--well--eventually everything in our lives ending with our own bodies. We let go of ourselves...who we were, who we thought we were, who we thought we'd be. Hopefully, as we grow and mature, we let go of prejudices, dogmas, and judgements. We let go of people as they leave our lives through moves or choices or death. We let go of our children. We let go of dreams. We let go of homes, cars, clothes...all the stuff of life. We let go of the boxes we've built to hold God or people. We let go of the walls that either keep others out or ourselves in.
There are some things that aren't too hard for me to let go of, and others, the mere thought of giving them up makes me panic. Yet, eventually, all will be stripped away. Will I willingly let it go or will it be taken?
My kids will grow up and leave. They, hopefully, will find loving spouses and establish homes of their own. Will I let them go? I have three teenagers right now (soon to be four) and it always surprises me what I have a hard time letting go of in regards to them.
My heart's heavy this morning as I continue to let go.
But not just letting go of my kids, but of wrongs (real or perceived) committed against me, of hurts new and old, of words spoken to me and words I've uttered, of mistakes filled with shame, of past choices that I'd do anything to change...
Letting go is filled with fears for me...
fears that wrongs will go unpunished...
that healing will not come...
that reconciliation is beyond hope...
that mistakes made may be irrevocable...
So much fear.
And yet, in the end, there is no choice but to let go; to let other people's "stuff" be theirs and not take it on myself.
I'd love to end this post with a nice little happy Bible verse or cliche or meaningful song, but the truth is, letting go is just something you have to do whether it feels ok or brings any sense of comfort or relief or not and all the words in the world can't make it any easier.

***Brad just read this and said "That's what Jesus did. He willingly let it all go."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Too much. Not enough.

I'm too much...

too emotional.

too needy.

too overpowering.

too up.

too down.

too aware.

and at the same time a deep nagging sense of being not enough...

not smart enough.

not pretty enough.

not happy enough.

not faithful enough.

simply... not enough.

I'll always be too much for people and not enough.
In one sense, of course, that's not true. It's satan's ploy to render me helpless and hopeless (and frankly it works a lot).
But in a very real way, it is truth.
I am too much and not enough for other people. We all are.
There's a line from When Harry Met Sally (one of my all time favorite movies) where he tells her she's "High maintenance. Definitely. And the worst kind. You're a high maintenance who thinks she's low maintenance."
I really want to be low maintenance. I wish I was an easy going, baseball cap wearing, live life on the edge, carpe diem kinda girl. But I'm not. I'm a picky eating, obsessive, over analyzing woman who hates to sweat and looks lousy in a baseball cap.
But in truth, I'm not the only high maintenance human. As individuals, it seems we're all high maintenance. Men. Women. Children. We're all imperfect beings in desperate need.
Needing love, needing care, needing approval, needing acceptance, needing grace.
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." ~2 Corinthians 12:8-10
So here I am today, boasting in my frailty, knowing that He is the "author and perfecter" of my faith...resting in the fact that He loves me just as I am...all too much and not enough of me.
He loves you too, friend, just as you are...

Saturday, April 3, 2010

surprised by beauty

In retrospect, I over reacted.
I stood there, in the middle of our brown yard, telling Brad what happened, tears burning hot little paths down my face.
Leaning on his rake, he listened patiently.
He was so kind.
He kept reassuring me it would be ok--that we'd find a way to solve the problem--that it wasn't as hopeless as it seemed.
Still crying, but beginning to believe his words, I caught a glimpse of purple out of the corner of my eye.
I ignored it at first because I didn't plant any flowers in that bed, so it must be something else.
When finally composed, I went over to investigate.
As I walked closer, Brad said "yeah, I saw that. One of the kids must have found one broken off and stuck it there."
But, no.
This was a lone rogue tulip, blooming in my perennial bed.
I came home from work, worried, sad and upset and there it was, in all it's purple splendor.
A surprise of beauty.
I didn't plant it.
I didn't prepare the soil or plan the spot.
I didn't water it or fertilize it.
I don't know how it got there.
A bird maybe?
Or a squirrel?
It doesn't matter.
It's there now.
A sole purple bloom amidst last falls yard debris.
A reminder of something more than me and something bigger than me.
Larger Life at work, even in my back yard.
A signal of hope.

Jesus said: That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 6:25-34 (New Living Translation)