Sunday, March 29, 2020

Where Thoughts Can Go

Sometimes I write down thoughts, and they don’t go anywhere. These are thoughts that eventually did.
July 9, 2019
Sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way you expect, or the way you hoped, or the way you wanted, or the way it seemed it should have been. And, when it doesn’t, there comes a time to let go.
October 16, 2019
But, perhaps, letting go and accepting isn’t that easy. Maybe it’s a series of steps, like grieving. Maybe it begins with frustration and irritation and moves to just plan hopelessness. Maybe the coming out is incremental, little by little. Maybe patience leads to joy after all. Maybe.
February 28, 2020
Maybe like Naomi, we can feel empty, wrung out, totally spent. As the snow swirls in a seemingly endless winter, the clouds that bear down in the heavens bear down on our souls. Cold, alone, empty.
Naomi felt empty; but we, as outsiders looking in, know she wasn’t, not really. She felt alone, but truly she wasn’t. As her hopelessness overwhelmed her, she pushed those who loved her away. She felt targeted by God. Yet, that was far from the case. Sometimes, it takes despair to get us where we need to be. Sometimes.
March 19, 2020
Sometimes despair is overwhelming. It causes us to lie awake at night. We turn all the options over in our heads. We say, yes, to this and moments later, no. David spoke of the unproductive watches of the night. Endless, foreboding, ever wakeful. Despair. It consumes us. And, then comes morning.
March 29, 2020
Morning eventually comes. After a sleepless night, we stumble to something or Someone to carry us through the day. Things usually look differently in the morning. Even though exhausted, we put one foot in front of the other and carry on. Stumble forward...into Jesus.
One day we wake up and find it’s morning.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

I'm Okay

Charlie is a risk taker, and no matter what kind of scrape he finds himself in, he always responds, “I’m okay.” I think he’s been saying, “I’m okay” for as long as he could talk. Charlie is five.

Weekend before last, we’d met Charlie and his family at a ski resort in New Mexico. We had a wonderful time—literally the last days we could wake up feeling that the day was predictable.

I’ve read a lot about brain function, and one author says that “our brains love surprises.” Surprises might perk up an old brain to function better, but “love” isn’t the term I’d choose.
In the last week, my husband and I have often remarked, “We picked the very worst year to retire.” As teachers we did not sign contracts for next year, and when the last paper is graded, we will be retired. But, we’re okay.

For years I’ve taught a class called Life Calling. One thing I tell my students is that I’ve noticed that as people age, they seem less willing to take risk. We moved to Colorado Springs 32 years ago with four small children and no jobs. We just knew it was the right thing to do. I won’t say those first years here were easy. They weren’t. They were years fraught with worry and stress. Yet, we were okay. Looking back, I’ve often wished I hadn’t spent so much energy frantic about money. I’ve also hoped that if I ever found myself in that situation again, I’d weather it knowing we were okay.

We aren’t okay just because we say it. We’re okay because there is a God in whose hands we rest. Life does not always turn out the way we expect. It does not always turn out the way we want. It does always turn out the way it should.

At Angel Fire, New Mexico, Charlie had two days of ski lessons. On the third day, our son-in-law (Charlie’s dad) took him to the top of a mountain. We laughed as we watched video of Charlie skiing down the mountain, arms straight out. And, when he fell, you could clearly hear him say, “I’m okay.”
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything