Wednesday, November 26, 2014

May the God of hope fill you

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
Romans 15:13

What a foolish thing, to overflow with hope. Pollyanna, or worse- blind, ignorant, privileged.

Sometimes my image of God is contorted. Sometimes He is a hand-wringing, eye-rolling Boss, sarcastic and nervous and ready to shut the whole place down.

When I begin thinking about God that way I know I have wandered far from Him.

I return to Lazarus.
Jesus wept, even as he was about the raise Lazarus from the dead.

I remember a God who feels and weeps, who took up our infirmities and bore our diseases, who touches us and is touched by us.

God who calls forth the starry host,
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Isaiah 40:26
The same Spirit which calls out Abba, Father
Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out“Abba, Father.”
Maybe our minds are too small to comprehend both the power and tender mercy of God at the same time. But maybe this is what hope is- both to weep, and to wait in expectation.

Only in Christ can we live in this fallen world overflowing with hope.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"living has yet to be generally recognized as one of the arts" -Karl de Schweinitz

We bought a little house. I hesitate to call it little because of course little is so relative. Let's just say I got rid of a lot of stuff to move in here. It's just right. It's a near replica of the Little Dream House we looked at last spring, just down the street but yet to be updated. We are working on that. 

I worried some about the size. I really love having friends in and playdates and our rental was a big house and made that so easy. We won't stop, we will just have to be a little more creative. 

Also, we homeschool. We are at home A Lot.

Right now the thing I'm enjoying most about the house is it's smallness. I like our together. I like that all of our spaces are fully used, right down to the basement laundry which is also now our craft room. I like the challenge of making this work. 

Mostly, this move makes me fall in love all over again with home. Having a home, making a home, being at home. After all of our stuff was sorted, sold or donated, packed and unpacked, I think about how what I love most has nothing to do with a place you move into or out of. All of the things which I spent weeks organizing, packing, moving, thinking about- an entire truck full of things- do not compare to the sound of a flame under the tea kettle. A bath running. The smell of garlic and onions cooking. A hug around the neck as we sit reading. 

I am so thankful for home.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

know your why

"When you come to a place where you have to go right or left," says Sister Ruth, "go straight ahead."
-from Dakota, A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris

It was our summer of rest. All summer, we didn't hurry. Truly, I can't think of one time.

A few years ago Sam was asked to describe each member in her family; Mom, she said, was "always in a hurry." Slowly, maybe, I am learning.

I've spent so much time addicted to hurry, creating hurry. I didn't know I needed rest, I didn't set out to create rest this summer, with some expectation of what rest should be. Rest simply came upon us, like a new season, and we lived in the season and let it be what it was.

Rest is uneasy, at first. We want to feel useful. I wonder if women struggle with this the most, there are so many ways to think about Mary and Martha and the inimitable Proverbs 31 woman.  What is it about obsessive busyness which makes us feel validated and worthy- of what?

Know your Why

This was the thought that started the summer, and I've followed it til the end so that here at the end of August I think I know some of my whys.

For example,

I am choosing to homeschool my kids because I believe I can give them a good education, and because I want to be the one to read the good books to my kids, this is why.

I choose not to work for now because I've decided my role is peacemaker, that every family needs one or at least this family does, and it is what I am called to for now, to create peace for the five of us and wherever else that peace can extend.

I am writing a novel because I believe there is a story to tell.

The one why I keep searching for and can't seem to find is why blog, what am I trying to say here, is it really necessary? And I have to tell you that I am dwindling on this one, that while I enjoy blogging I am often conflicted between wanting to write on the blog versus all of the other three: peacemaking. homeschooling. a novel.

I'm not sure where to go, I keep coming to the edge of shutting down and then backing away. I have been here for six years.

Instagram feels a little like blogging, but it's faster and maybe I need to just be there.

Maybe I will stick around this place, once I find my why.

Good things came out of rest this summer, good, productive things and nourishing, lovely things, and mostly just a sense of knowing where I am, who I am.

We began the summer learning about bees. Busy as a bee, we say, and yet isn't the work of a bee simply this: to be wholly attentive; to dive headlong into beauty and drink its sweetness and come up coated in it, unaware of the life-dust trailing from their feet.

There is some clue here of a good way to live.

Monday, August 4, 2014

so friends, every day do something that won't compute

So, friends, every day do something that won't compute...Give your approval to all you cannot understand...Ask the questions that have no answers. Put your faith in two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years...Laugh. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts....Practice resurrection.” 

― Wendell BerryThe Country of Marriage

peace of wild things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. -Wendell Berry