Friday, May 31, 2013

Flying Kites

Dear Christa—
With this crazy windy weather we’re having, I’m beginning to feel like I live in Kansas and my middle name is Dorothy. It has blown everything on this side of town nearly flat.
When I was walking this morning, there was a kite hung up in a tree, kite string strewn all over the ground. I couldn’t help thinking that this is the time to fly a kite. But, most people are too busy to fly kites. As I came back around on my way home, I wondered if all the other kite flyers had been successful, or if there really hadn’t been many kites in the sky at the park.
We can only fly kites when it’s windy. Next week or the week after, the hot summer will creep in, the sheets will hang limp and wrinkled on the line, the breeze will be gone. And, the time to fly kites will be over. It’s kind of like life.
Last summer after the hailstorm, Jay and I found pots of flowers for a good price, and since the kids were coming soon, we bought those root bound pots and plopped them in our bigger containers. We decided that in Colorado, there just wasn’t time to wait around for little seedlings to grow. Sometimes, there isn’t time to wait, but wait we do. 

Isn’t it funny how we often rush in where we should wait and linger when we shouldn’t? We put off taking that trip, working on that relationship, starting that Bible study.
For the most part I try to follow a basic Mediterranean diet, but last winter I walked too little and ate too much cheesecake. To jumpstart the diet, you cut out sugar and fruit for 10 days. I’ve only done that twice before. The hardest day for me isn’t the third day when your body is adjusting from the sugar addiction; it’s the first day. How many times have I said, “I will start this tomorrow…next week…after that holiday?” And before I know it, a lot of time has gone by.
I’ve been thinking lately that it’s time for me to reassess the choices I make. It’s time to quit putting some things off. I finally did tackle that first sugarless day; I’ve walked every morning this week. But, there are far more important matters than losing a few pounds.
If we put off doing those things, we might find that the time for doing has passed when we get around to it. If we’re going to fly a kite, we better do it now. Maybe the kite will end up in a tree, but that’s better than not flying one at all. 
Sometimes the rush is just getting it up in the air.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What I Want

Sometimes I know exactly what I want.

Or do I?

Yesterday morning, I looked at the brilliant glass bluebird of happiness sitting on the chest of drawers that I’d just finished and Jay had put together. The plain wooden knobs seemed boring to me, so I’d decided that I’d put something fun on them instead.

I looked at the little bluebird of happiness with wings spread and thought, “Blue glass knobs would be perfect.” And so, at the end of school, we stopped by Hobby Lobby and unbelievably they had exactly the knob…exactly the right color of blue…that I wanted. AND, they were 50% off! How perfect is that?

Then we took them home.

Garish is a senior vocabulary word. For some reason I rarely have the need to use the word. I think it’s kind of a cool word—as far as words go, but garish just doesn’t usually fit into my vocabulary.

It did yesterday.

The Sadlier vocabulary book defines garish as “glaring; tastelessly showy or overdecorated in a vulgar or offensive way; gaudy, flashy.”
Jay and I stared at the knobs on the chest. We glanced at each other when the other wasn’t looking. We attempted to read each other’s minds. “What do you think?”  “They are very bright.”

“If that’s what you want,” he said. “They look a little,” I hesitated, “garish.”

Sometimes, I think I know exactly what I want, but that isn’t it at all.

Really, in the end of things I’m glad that life doesn’t always turn out the way I’d planned. I am learning to just wait. Often it isn’t easy. But, to take life the way God hands it to us is just the right approach to living.

And, those bright blue drawer knobs in the truck—to be returned today for a subtle, soft ceramic blue is a good reminder. I’m still hoping for something fun, but just not garish.

For who can know the mind of God? Who can fathom His ways? They are not random; they are filled with purpose—purpose to drive us into His Hand. 
 Shouldn’t that be what I really want?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Be Still

Dear Christa—
“Be still and know that I am God,” I read as I stared down at the bookmark.
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“Do I even know what that means?” I asked myself as I stood with all the other mothers at the front of the church.
Be still—
Psalm 46:10 is placed toward the end of a chapter that declares, “God is our refuge and strength,” not to fear “though the earth give way” and “come and see the works of the Lord.” Amidst calamity and despair, God says, “Be still.”
According to the notes in my study Bible, the Hebrew for that phrase means “Stop!” or enough already. What calamity shakes your world today? It could be a million things.
But, stop.
Stop and know that God is God.
And verse 10 flows right into the conclusion of verse 11: “The Lord Almighty is with us.”
This verse has stuck with me this week. How many times have I recited to myself—“Be still and know that I am God”?
“Be still” beseeches me to wait, be patient, to rest and not fret—to know that something will unfold; and when it does, it will be from the very hand of God.
God is powerful and He is our fortress.
It’s been good for me to ponder the power and presence of God in Psalm 46.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

God Was Silent

Saul was desperate and God was silent.
Where do you go when God seems far away?
When the bottom falls out?
When your soul feels so parched that all it tastes is gravel?
Maybe we do what we’ve always done—
We either keep walking away
Or we walk back in.
Back into prayer—
Back into the Word—
Into the fold of friends who hold us tight.
Saul walked away and found death.
But, regardless of the past, we can walk back in,
Back into the Words of Life.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Be a Witness

Dear Christa—
In the movie Shall We Dance? the wife tells the private investigator whom she’s hired, that people get married because “they want a witness,” someone who will take note of them in this all too short breath of life. I don’t know who wrote the script for the movie, but that line settled on me. I’ve heard all kinds of reasons for getting married—some reasonable, some stupid—but I think that one holds a lot of truth.
Was that what Adam was lacking in a perfect garden, in a perfect world, among all creation—before Eve? Is that the aloneness amidst the crowds? The pain of rolling over in bed when no one’s there? A witness?
It does not matter what season of life we’re in. All seasons find us busy. Babies and little children—teenagers and college students—careers and ministries—and before we know it, we can live wanting when everything we crave is before our eyes. We just don’t see it.
Have you taken note lately? In doing all the things you’re supposed to do, have you forgotten to be a witness? It’s so easy to do. Believe me, I know. I have felt the pain. I’ve been guilty. Haven’t you?
If we desire to live intentionally—if we crave to live our breath of life with purpose, we must be the witness in the life of the one we’re coveted to. And, if each stands as a witness to the other, we will feel like our seemingly insignificant role in the grand story of the ages is significant after all.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph. 2:10