Friday, July 27, 2012

Ready to Run

I've walked 4 mornings a week all of this year.
There have been moments when I've contemplated running.
But my mind is a simmering pot of rationalizations.
Running takes too much effort.
Running makes me tired.
Running is jarring.
I could go on.
So I walk a 2 mile circuit and I'm satisfied.

But if my body is satisfied, my spirit is not.
I'm praying, praying....praying as I walk.
I come home to time in the Word and things start to emerge.
Imprints on my sub-conscious, barely discernible,
but in certain lights....
I see a pattern.

During devotions with the kids this morning I read the following verses:
"And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, 'Let me go to the field and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.'....So she went out and began to glean in the fields behind the harvesters." (Ruth 2:2,3)
And I asked my children, "Would you rather be the harvester or the one who picks up his scraps?"
Hands all around for harvesters.
"I'd like to use a scythe!"
"I'd get more grain."
"But wouldn't it be harder work?" She's thinking of the effort.
The others respond to her vein of thought.
"Yeah it would be easier to just pick up what you need and go home."
"Isn't it kinda hard to make bushels?"
They reminded me of me walking, contemplating a run.
I spoke truth to them and to myself, "There are two types of people in this world, harvesters and gleaners. The harvesters are the ones who learn to use the tools, who sweat and toil and get the crop in. The harvesters feed the people. The gleaners gather what the harvesters in their fullness drop. They read their books, listen to their radio shows and sermons, follow their blogs. What do you want to be?"
Grant looked at me big eyed and asked, "Where do you come up with this stuff?"

After devotions we went out for a walk. The kids were all on bikes and scooters while I puffed along behind. Posy was on her new big girl two wheeler.
And then the hill happened.
Little muffin on a bike shot past me and screamed. She was going approximately 60 miles an hour.
Without consulting myself, I ran after her.
I ran like the wind.
I caught up to her and slowed her down, but I kept running.
My body sang, "You've been training for this! You're ready for this!"
And I was.
I kept up with their wheels.
My rationalizations against running were simply ludicrous.
I was made to run.

There will be times we need to step back and glean but...
We were made to harvest.
We were made to live in dependency on God, not on man.
We were made to use our God given tools to harvest a God given crop.
We're been training for this. We're ready for this.

I don't want to walk behind the harvesters,
gathering up enough to live on today.
I want an abundance,
even if it means effort,
I'm ready to run.

"The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matt. 9:37)

My friend Julianna and I began tallking about this last month. The concept of approaching God first instead of google or books or people's opinions. The idea of letting God alone guide us, interacting with Him instead of gleaning off other people's interactions.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tossing Habits

Last month....
I rapped the window to get my husband's attention.
He saw me. He saw the dramatic gestures I used to impart the knowledge that I wanted him to get Rowan in for a bath. I saw him turn toward Rowan and tell him to scoot inside. I saw Rowan ignore him.
Three times.
Each time I felt someone was turning up the temperature inside me. By the time my naughty little deaf boy came inside I was angry.
I told him in no uncertain terms that third time obedience is not acceptable. That ignoring Daddy is hurtful and disrespectful.
I told him these things rather loudly. Justifying, if he acts like he has a hearing problem, I'm going to treat him like he has a hearing problem.
He looked at me and said, "When I'm a daddy I'm never going to yell at my kids."
I replied sincerely, "I hope you never do."
He was thoughtful for a moment, then he looked up alarmed and said, "I hope I don't pick up your bad habits!"

Last Saturday we were working as a family in our woods. Dave was wearing what Posy refers to as his "wraps" and using his chain saw to cut down trees. The kids and I were cleaning the brush as soon as it hit the ground, stacking it in burn piles to light our winter nights. I tossed tree trunks to the boys and they picked them up and put them on the pile. I was careful to make sure they were out of the way before I tossed.
I picked up a bigger one and debated whether or not to throw it.
"Okay boys this is a big one. Move out of the way."
I saw Rowan walking away from me and I tossed.
For some reason he decided to disobey. He turned back toward me and the log hit him in the chest. A wail cut the air. I was with him in a second. I lifted his shirt and saw a purplish circle on his heart. I saw an indentation where the wood hit. I was sick and terrified.
"Why did you turn! I told you to walk away!"
I led my crying boy up to be iced and comforted.
He was okay. The swelling went down. No damage was done.
But it got me thinking.

I am the adult.
Under no circumstances should I be throwing words, trunks, or anything else at my child.
Who cares, if they wouldn't hit him if he was only obedient.
What comfort is there in that when the heart is damaged?

I know that no matter which way I turn, I will encounter a God of love.
I know that third time obedience is a victory in my walk with God.
I desperately want my son to know this.
I need to learn some new habits.
Habits he need not be afraid to pick up.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Clarification and 80's Love Songs

Apparently quiet time did not solve all my problems. I wrote my post last night and entitled it "Real Life" after the poem of the same title that I was going to close with. I forgot to add the poem and caused some heads to tilt in confusion. Sorry. I'm not going to post that poem now because it wouldn't make any sense with this post which is about '80's love songs. Did you get that?


So I have this fear. A creepy-crawly-hair raising kind of fear that I appear too spiritual on this blog. I don't want you to think that I only see the holy side of life, because that's not true. I see every side of life and sometimes I can focus right and see the eternal aspect of it and sometimes I can't. But I also see how far short of those holy landscapes I fall. Grace has to boost me up on a regular basis.
So, it's maybe misleading for me to write that I went up to the mountain and sat quietly for 16 days. Because that's not totally true. I had a couple unholy nights.
One of them started with my wardrobe selection. I was in such a hurry to get up there that I grabbed a basket full of clothing that did not match each other in the least. I had one outfit that worked. The rest were odds and ends and random colors that made me moan when I opened my drawer in the morning.
One morning when I was alone, I ended up in a light pink t-shirt with black undergarments. I looked like Madonna. This made me laugh.
That night when I was painting the bathroom I had a crazy idea. Dave had left his computer and I decided to turn on Pandora and hit their '80's love song station. I haven't listened to 80's love songs since the '90's. I swear. I'm really not sure what possessed me except the aforesaid pink/black Madonna combo.
The first few songs were about broken hearts and I remembered Page and I listening to them and crying. Not, mind you, because we had boyfriends that had broken up with us, but because someday we might, and wouldn't that be sad?????
Then I started listening to the words of these songs, and they were so funny.

"I should've known better than to fall in love with you...."
"Though it's easy to pretend, I know you're not a fool...."
"I'm never going to dance again, guilty feet have got no rhythm..."
"The beating of my heart is a drum and it's lost and it's looking for a rhythm like you..."
"Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart..."

I could go on.
That last one was from my all time favorite 80's song entitled "Total Eclipse of the Heart." When it came on, my paintbrush froze mid-stroke and my mouth gaped. Oh the memories! Dancing in the kitchen on a summer night (by myself), riding the waves of that passionate song. Oh and here it favorite line...I have to sing it loudly...."I'm living in a powder keg and giving off sparks!!!!" Yes! Who cares that for years I didn't know what a powder keg was and sang "polygon" instead. It worked and no one ever knew. The important thing was that I WAS IGNITING!!!

I completely cracked myself up that night in the cottage bathroom.
I wasn't quiet.
I wasn't praying.
But I think God was entertained.
So I suppose it was holy after all.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Real Life

I pulled myself through the week of VBC like a parched animal dragging itself to water.

June was a month where I exceeded my capacity for basically everything.

So as soon as I could, I went away.

I sat in the shadow of a mountain for 16 days. Four of the days I was utterly alone, as Dave took the kids over to LaPine to be with his parents. I haven't been alone for four days since before I had children. Avonlea is 12.

I obeyed the Psalm which says, "Be still and know that I am God."

Be Still.

The days that I was alone were windy. I went on walks where the wind whipped my hair and clothes, took the breath from my mouth and seemed to blow right through me. My lungs were full of it.  My lungs, so contracted and raspy weeks ago, were dancing and spinning and expanding in the wind. My heart delighted in the wild freedom of it.


My Wild Rose



When the kids came they ran down to the creek. Every day, in the hot sun, they ran to the water. I marveled at how natural it was to them. They instinctively knew that when you are over heated, you cool off with running water.

They ran down the path and into the creek without stopping, without consideration.
They plunged and it inspired me to do the same.
Parched animal indeed!
I was still and I was soaked.
When we crawl to Jesus for a drink, he gives us the music of a forest stream laughing down shining rocks. He gives us cold water, brisk from the mountain. He gives us the wind of His Spirit which blows clean through and airs the soul like a well ventilated house. Cobwebs disappear along with asthmatic tendencies.

"Seek me and live." (Amos 5:4)

Sometimes seeking is just being.


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