Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eternal Perspective

I'm feeling a lot about the need for a more and more eternal aligning perspective.  I'm wondering how to align the axis of our lives with Christ.  How do you really raise kids?  Do a job?  Clean the house for Christ?  Is it about gratitude, giving thanks?  Is it about attitude?  Does not griping about the dishes really matter?  Or is it about finding the everlasting in the every day?  What lasts beyond here? 

Souls and that is all. 

It is all.  I like about the oldest and his development of  stammer.  He's right on the cusp of it.  He trips over his words sometimes and it breaks my heart.  Is this because of how often I silence him because I can't listen to four people at once?  Is it because I want too much for him to understand that not interrupting is important?  Is it really that important?  Adults are no more people than children why can't they interrupt our conversations but we can interrupt theirs?  My heart is breaking over this.  I commit Rowan, I commit I will stop doing that.  Exercise your voice; being heard is important.  I know this because it is important to me. 

I'm practicing fasting this lent.  It has been full of starts and stops.  As a woman who has struggled with her weight this is really interesting to me.  Partially because it doesn't feel AT ALL like a diet.  It's hard yes and I have had full days where I've completely ignored fasting but to do something like this for Jesus.  It's so freeing.  I would love if this fasting thing had a dramatic affect on my weight.  I would love it if I lost 20 30 lbs doing it.  But as I was thinking about that I was realizing how non-eternal that is.  Yes, it would be a glorious gift to be thin again.  I would be happy about that, extremely happy.  But I would also be walking around puffed up with pride.  I know that weight loss can come with discipline but I believe for me it will have to also be a gift from God's own hand.  My body, at least this one is not eternal.  Consumption with how it looks is earthly, annoying as that is, I have to accept it.  If I want an eternal perspective than I need to focus on things that last forever. 

And fasting; the work that does to one's soul, that is eternal.  Every time I make the conscience choice to not eat a grain or potato I think to myself - "I'm choosing Jesus"  And Wow that's amazing to me.  To know I can eat until I'm full as long as I don't eat from that tree.  It's like, no Duh.  Of course I will do that.  My fasting does stink at times.  I fail and think "I can't get through this day without carbs"  "I cannot face Jonathan without some kind of comfort food"  But God is gracious.  He's letting me have my coffee.  Thank you for your love Lord.  I'm in awe of how merciful you are to me in this fast.  Please be merciful to me in this life. 



Thursday, March 8, 2012


Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.


Love is not love which alters when the flame of passion is snuffed out. 
Or bends with the wind blown in by discontent. 

Love is not love which removes when compatability disappears like nail polish remover working a week old chipped manicure.  You can not erase love like nail polish.  It's remnants will remain like tentacles around a joint; to extract each one individually would be excruciating. If something does not remain it was not love to begin with. 

But wait true love cannot even be removed.  While the loving thing is not always staying that doesn't mean by leaving you are choosing not to love.  Perhaps the most loving thing to do is to leave someone to sit with themselves for a while.  I think of Ellyn* who had to leave her husband and move hundreds of miles away and get a divorce all while fighting tooth and nail to love.  Her story is not over and yet it's at a sweet stage where they are being reunited and remarried this summer.  Good for her I want to say. 

But when will it be good for me or you?  We have fought like cats and dogs since the day we got home from our honeymoon.  Years of not fighting were only punctuated with apathy and distance.  When will we find a rhythmn that we actually enjoy?  When will love and life simply be happy or contented if not always peaceful. 

I find that I discount happiness.  Or under value.  It seems unholy to value happiness, surely God can use me more if I'm contrite and miserable?  While I'm sure that happiness should not be the goal.  I'm also sure that I have been miserable for a very long time.  The trick seems that a lot of people in the faith seem to devalue happiness because the world goes about searching for it in the wrong way.  I don't think my happiness will be found in things or home improvements or children who behave more or being skinny or my husband doing all the things for me that he says he will do.  There are times that I really do think those things will make me happy just like the rest of the world.  But down deep I know that is not true as do a lot of Jesus followers and wanting to teach that to others: Christians go about condemning happiness. 

They want people to realize that the external doesn't matter as much as the eternal

But that's no reason to throw out the baby with the bath water. I'm not talking about external happiness what I'm talking about is LOVE.  I long to feel what everyone wants to feel: connected to something more than just myself.  That someone else's love for me cannot be removed.  I want to feel as if I have a partnership here on this planet ,that the person who I chose and who chose me is in this together with me.  That when push comes to shove there will be someone there to catch me when life pulls the rug out from under me. 

Now, I know that love is choice and "feeling" that way can be as brief as a spring breeze; but I believe that the security of knowing you are not alone in this life will make me happy.  I know that God is here for me.  I feel it.  I would love to feel it more.  But I also want to feel as though my partner is here for me and sadly I feel left to myself most of the time.  I want someone to look at that "tempest and not be shaken"  because whatever is on the horizon is not as strong as what, God, and the two of us can handle together.  

But maybe God has left me without that security of knowing that my partner is standing beside me so that I can forsake ALL others to lean on Him.  So that He can be my ever-fixed mark.  So that I don't make my marriage and my husband into my god. 

Monday, March 5, 2012


I have been feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck since a week ago Sunday. 

A little nerve wracking because I don’t really know exactly what’s going on with my body.  My Lenten fast has sort of gone by the wayside as of Wednesday night when I could barely drive Baby Girl and I home from the doctor’s office.  I have spent almost as many waking hours crying as not.  Or at least when I do cry they are these heartwrenching sobs that make seeing, driving, and not having a migraine induced by tears impossible. 

Went to get what I hope is my final beta test Thursday.  After I sobbed and could barely walk to the car to drive to the appointment I thought it best to ask if I could see the doctor for 5 minutes of her time.  I heard the nurse ask the doctor and she said, “well what’s the circumstance, why would I see her?”  Yeah, nevermind I don’t want to talk to you anyway lady.  Then I proceeded to have to wait 25 minutes just to have my blood drawn.  I’m sure there wasn’t 5 in the 25 to talk to me. 

Anyway, then the nurse suggested I go to my primary care physician.  I informed her that I don’t have one because we just got new insurance.  Actually it’s not new insurance.  It’s insurance for all of us for the first time in the 8.5 years of our marriage.  And my old physician doesn’t accept our insurance and besides this is not the flu.   She said well have you thought about going to an urgent care clinic.  I wanted to scream and cry.  No, I have NOT THOUGHT ABOUT GOING TO AN URGENT CARE CLINIC.  I’m having a miscarriage which is why I’m in your office where you have ob/gyns who could see me and walk me through this.  I didn’t say any of that, I just said the copay for that was too expensive.  She said well you could make another appointment for our office tomorrow.  Yeah, that’s when I couldn’t hold it together anymore, I choked out that I couldn’t get another sitter for during the day and ran out the door didn’t check out or anything. The tears started streaming before I even hit the exit door. 

Make it to the car, make it to the car.  And of course I was parked right next to a lady who was sitting in her car with all her windows down because she had her dogs with her in the kennel in the back. 

The sobs that came, I can’t even tell you how often I almost wrecked the car.  If a cop had pulled me over for not maintaining my lane I could have never argued. 

I kept thinking, I can’t pull over, I’ll never make it to my migraine appointment and my head has not stopped pounding in a week.  I prayed that God would help me stop crying so I could see to drive.  It seems like I sob a lot when I drive.  Maybe this is because I’m alone?  I don’t know. 

Whatever it is a lot of tears of fallen.  I tried to start wearing makeup again.  And it’s funny now I notice every time I sob whether the particular makeup I’m wearing runs or not.  Perhaps I should give up on make up as well.