Monday, October 28, 2013

Ambition & Joy

I am not an ambitious person--at least not in terms of career or writing a novel or visiting every country in the world before I die. I always excelled academically but that was due to the fact that academics are pretty easy for me and so everyone expected me to excel. I was driven much more by the desire for praise and love than for a desire to become a famed or published scholar of any kind.

But over the last... decade? Oy. How old am I? Over the last "few" years, I have grown to have an ambition. I have no idea how to see that ambition a reality yet, but it is there. That ambition is to see Jesus heal people. The way He healed my life. You probably noticed in that first paragraph that my motivations were pretty selfish in a very insecure way. Jesus has healed that in my heart. He continues to heal me when ugly remnants rise to the surface. My ambition is that I would somehow find the words to express the immense *freedom* that God has brought me.

How do I explain going from living in a cage to living in open pasture? How do I capture the deep rest of knowing I am loved compared to the utter exhaustion of studying how to act and hoping I didn't mess up? How do I explain the release from the tyrannical words like "should" or "it's just you"? What can I say to those trapped in darkness that will open their eyes to the Light trying to break in and help them?

I have been reading in Luke recently and I am amazed how the opening chapters are _joyous_. Joy. Joy. Joy. The gospel is pure joy. Mary sings. Zechariah sings. Jesus proclaims the words from Isaiah have been fulfilled in Him. Joy. Joy. Joy.

How do you infect others with joy? Do I even live like that joy is real in my life? Do I let it get stolen by daily chores and petty irritations? Or do I remember and hold on to all these words that have been made real in my life: love, peace, community, forgiveness, freedom?

The scroll of Isaiah the prophet was handed to [Jesus]. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where this was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord ’s favor has come. ”
He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. All eyes in the synagogue looked at him intently.
Then he began to speak to them. “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:17-21 NLT)

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Autumn of My Discontent

There is a verse where Paul writes that he has learned to be content in all circumstances, whether with much or with little. I can't remember where it is (Philippians? Galatians?), and it is too late to take time to look it up. But I failed at this today. Utterly failed.

On the whole, I have completely loved being a stay-at-home mom. It is rewarding and more full of varied tasks and settings than sitting in front of a computer all day. I am usually as busy as I would want to be. And then today, whenever I turned my hand to a new task, I was almost instantly stymied. Hang pictures! Oh, I don't know where the hangars are. Maybe in the shed? I better ask David when he gets home. Unpack the last of the boxes! Except they are all buried in the mess of the guest room and there is nowhere for the baby to play safely while I am in there. Plant my plants! I need dirt. Take a walk! Oh, it's pouring rain. Wash a load of laundry! Well, at least I can do that... :P

I was bored, y'all. I watched a LOT of the Backyardagains and other kiddo shows with my baby. I basically had two hours of work to do in 12 hours. Booooring!

I have learned to be content in many situations, but not in transitions sometimes. The initial excitement of moving is over. I have a list of tasks that I can't do alone and a husband on 12 hour shifts. We have one vehicle so I can't go anywhere. I see ahead the daunting prospect of making all new friends and building a new community. I have a beautiful, mostly happy baby who I love, but who isn't exactly a great conversationalist yet.

I have so much. Many many things for which to be grateful. Even typing this all out has reminded me of the innumerable blessings in my life. And yet the new space is hard. The new phase of life before me is empty and yet messy all at the same time. There is much to be written, much to be done. And harder trials still to come.

Help me to learn to be content in every situation, Father. Amen.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Why I Blog/Blogged/Attempt to Blog

Many moons ago, I kept a regular blog. I wrote regularly and at length. For about two years. Then I met someone, got married, had a baby, and moved across the country. Blogging definitely fell by the wayside. When I was pregnant, I had the urge to blog again and attempted it for a little while (see the previous fifteen posts). Then I had visions of writing posts with DIYs and step by step guides and serious thoughts scattered with beautiful paintings from the Artchive. Y'all, I ain't got time for that shizzle. I can barely keep my bathrooms clean and cook dinner regularly. I am not even sure how to punctuate properly on this silly iPad keyboard. But the reality is that I consistently feel the urge to blog again.

When I kept a blog before, it was during a pretty major time of upheaval in my life. God was doing some crazy digging up of old wounds and healing them. I felt like I was constantly having my mind blown. I needed a place to write my thoughts down, to organize them. Sharing them on the internet also made me feel connected. Some of my friends even read my blog and then we talked about it. Mostly, I blogged for myself, to make sense of the chaos in my brain. Which leads me to my current situation.

My life is dominated by housework and caring for a baby--shockingly involved and overwhelming jobs, by the way. But that doesn't mean my brain is dead. As in my prior blogging days, I have undergone major transitions in the last two years with more on the way (hello, 30). In addition, I have moved away from friends and family and find myself with a paucity of outlets for my active thoughts. I fully intent to seek out and strive to build a community here in my new home, but that takes time. What to do in the meantime? I return to blogging. I will probably write sporadically. I probably won't ever proofread. I have no time to find pretty pictures for my posts. (That's what having Instagram on the sidebar is for anyway, right?) Despite having honors in English in my college days, I don't even promise to write in complete sentences. I don't even promise to write anything anyone cares to read. But I have thoughts, y'all. Being a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) only makes me yearn more for the deep things of life. I hope I can dig out fifteen minutes here or there to write about them.

P.S. It took me an embarrassing amount of time to figure out what SAHM stood for. Oooh, I ended a sentence with a preposition. Moving on. I need sleep.