“Good thing I’m an only child.” I say that to myself a lot. Especially when I have to face some things alone. But the truth is… often, things are better when they’re shared. Right now, I’m exhausted and a tangle of emotions, and my […]
Month: December 2014
I don’t know about you, but when I’m faced with a deadline, be it imaginary (which I am prone to having) or an actual date on the calendar, I start to question everything.
Am I working on the right thing?
Will it get done in time?
Should I do this?
Should I do that?
What will be sacrificed by me doing __________ now instead?
In other words, my mind fills itself (rather quickly) with all manner of doubt. I
kind of freak out and stress takes root.
You know how some people need coffee to stay on top of things? How it makes them more able, awake and attuned to the tasks at hand? How, if they have 3, 4, 5 cups they’ll get a nice little hum within their body that lets them know they’ll make it to the deadline mentally functional? Yeah, that’s so not me. My body works that way anyway. All you have to do is flash the word “deadline” in my face, and my insides are churning at warp speed already. Food? Nah, who needs it? I’m sick at my stomach instead. Coffee? NO… my heart might explode from beating too rapidly.
I don’t do calm well. People not related to me by birth have told me that on the outside I seem calm. The reality is on the inside I’m that serene duck floating gracefully above the water, while my feet are pedaling furiously underneath the surface.
Doubt. Grimy, jumpy, creepy crawly, itchy doubt. It makes life so uncomfortable. So… uncertain.
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:6
And we humans like certainty, don’t we?
Unfortunately, life isn’t certain. In fact, there’s very little that is knowable.
I mean, He is knowable, but we usually don’t strive to know Him in the same way we spend our efforts figuring out what sandwich we’ll have for lunch, how then next bill will be paid, or how long it will be until things are the way we want them to be. How we need them to be. God is knowable, but we often choose doubt instead of its opposite – faith.
And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. Matthew 28:17
Even faced with the tangible presence of a Jesus risen from the dead, some doubted. And I’m no different. Especially when faced with a deadline of some sort. I start to worry about how it will all get done, rather than trusting that it will. That’s my default… doubt, unfortunately.
Trust, faith… that’s something I actively have to work at. Every day. Every moment. Every issue. I have to make a choice to have faith instead of doubt. Faith that things will get done. That things will work out. That what needs to get done, will.
Right now, I’m struggling with more than just deadlines, I’m also struggling with grief and loss. Is it because there’s a deadline I’m having these concerns, or is it because I’m facing these life-changing issues that the deadline is working against me? How do you tell? My last child is getting ready to leave the nest, and having been a stay-at-home homeschooling mom, this is hitting me much harder than I anticipated. On top of that, one of our dogs is fighting a losing battle. Every day is one more day to be grateful that she’s still here, yet each day I live in fear that the dominoes of her days are collapsing on to each other more rapidly and there aren’t many more until the last one falls. I’m just praying that she’ll make it past the day my daughter leaves – one of those self-imposed deadlines – so that my daughter won’t have to leave knowing that emptiness that’s sure to be there.
I’m fighting against it all though. The deadlines, the doubt, the sadness and loss. God knows this, and He, and only He can give me the faith I need when I’m so full of uncertainty. He works through me. He works in me. He has the faith for me, even when I don’t.
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Mark 11:23
This I know….
Trust and faith and love wins.
It’s already done.
I just need to get my mind and heart and soul realigned with this truth.
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16
Since I was around 11 years old, I’ve liked to cook, bake, eat, read cookbooks, and just about anything that has something to do with the creation of food. One of my character flaws – or maybe it’s a strength, but mostly my family thinks […]
Yesterday started out with a plan. A capitalized, emphatic P-L-A-N. The kind of plan with a list organized with sub-lists. I had it all mapped out: finish Christmas decorations, start wrapping presents, make a couple dozen cookies so my son will have a bit of home for the Christmas holiday, pack the box to mail to him overseas, write a couple thank-you notes, make some phone calls and slog through my ever-growing stack of magazines.
No such luck. Before I had even finished exercising (and I exercise early) the phone began to ring. It rang almost continuously for the next 2 hours. This almost never happens. I guess yesterday was almost never, then. On the flip side, my outbound phone calls were met with either busy signals, answering machines, or no answers, causing my frustration to grow exponentially.
And then the realtor called to say he had a showing.
My house was a mess from all the decorating, baking, wrapping, and well, just living. Have I mentioned that people crawl out of the woodwork at Christmas time to see my house? After months of zilch, nada, zero showings, they somehow decide now is the time to see it?
Because we’ve had so few showings, I tend to get waaaaaaayyyyyy too stressed by trying to make it look “perfect” in case the potential buyer is the one. I mean, I understand that life is happening 24/7 and there’s never ever a perfect time to show my house, but, well, some times are better than others. The holiday season most definitely counts as one of those other times.
Much of what I needed to do yesterday needed to be done as of NOW even before the realtor called. I needed to get the cookies baked and presents wrapped because there’s a USPS-recommended deadline to get things in the mail for my son so he gets it in time for Christmas. That deadline was um…. yesterday. And I can’t quite leave boxes of decorations laying around so that prospective buyers have to weave their way through a maze just to get from the living room to the kitchen. Well, I guess I can, I just shouldn’t.
So while I had my plans, God had other ones for me.
Such is life.
Maybe the people that looked at our house are the ones. Or maybe not.
Maybe God just wanted me to realize that my focus was way off base these days.
I tend to only think of this verse in terms of the larger context. For instance, now that my homeschooling career is finished, the plans I might have for what my next step work-wise is and how I’m going to get there might be totally different than what the Lord’s planned for me. Or how my one son might find his faith again… I have all sorts of ideas, but I’m sure those aren’t anything close to what God’s got up His sleeve. I’m even sure that no matter if I did manage it, my son’s rededication would be so un-artful and graceless there would’t be the same joy in it. What God can do would most assuredly be grace-filled and a story of amazing proportions.
Why I think that He’s only at work in the larger plans, I don’t know. He’s at work in all of it. Even my mundane little “packing for the post office and cleaning the house” plans.
And if my plans are waylaid – no matter how much I fight it – I understand on some level that those plans don’t coincide with His purpose for me. So while I still grumble and complain about how my plans went awry, I take comfort in the fact that there was a reason for them not working out the way I wanted.
I don’t know what it is, but I know it’s for my good.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Earlier in the week, we had some weather that got unbelievably cold unbelievably fast. The picture above are some frost flowers that formed on one of the foothill mountains nearby. Until last year, I’d never heard of them, but aren’t they amazing!?! God never […]