Today I quietly realized how God has lifted me up and given me a new perspective on how He weaves the pattern of my life. Prayers are realized (and often not in ways we ever saw coming). As a human, I tend to ask God for fulfillment in specific ways, and then immediately begin planning how this will happen (and who will be a part of this fulfillment). You would think I would learn by now that He never works this way, and His fulfillment of His word is better than I could ever script for myself.
In the midst of staggering goals I set for myself, today I was able to take a step back and really see how we are supported and favored by Him, how He asks us to humble ourselves and how He challenges our cultural norms in a prodding yet gentle way. His peace sustains our home. In late February, we began meeting with dear friends every Friday night for shabbat. We laugh, eat, reconnect, recognize where life has scraped us during the week, celebrate, cry, pray. And usually we chase around a lot of kids and lots of babies cry. God hears this as our beautiful intentional pause in the chaotic music we self-orchestrate throughout the week.
Intentional moments like this challenge me to recognize God in everything (something I am really not that great at). I am so used to segmenting my life (and myself) according to who will see me when. God calls me to wholeness, one person living all of life redeemed. I often feel very far away from this reality. I have a hunch weaving Him into every fiber of my life will be a life-long pursuit.
With the blessing of Elleanna in our life, I need to strike a balance between discipline and letting each day unfold. I need to soak in these glorious baby days, yet recognize how hard they have been. I need to sink into grace, yet intentionally structure my time, as there is less available for the remaining pulls of life. LeLe helps me sift what is important.I hear her little words and see how she mimics all that I do, and it makes me want to model for her what it really means to be a woman of God, sustained by God life, not bound by hard religious rules. I straddle grace and pressure. I create, flop, disappoint myself, thrill myself, soldier through the hard days (sometimes barely). I let myself run empty and pile on the guilt. I flourish and soar.
After lots of wrestling, we’ve decided to sell our house, move in with Matt’s family to start a community living experiment and send me to grad school. I wrestle with pride, growth and hope. Change excites us and deflates us. We’ve felt change coming for some time. And while I do not directly know how this will all pan out in detail, I feel the sustenance of God’s faithfulness to answer our prayers: we fight to be debt free, to find deep meaning in our work, to raise our little olive plant to bloom and exude the presence of God. We fight for daily redemption (even thought it seems like most days we give into selfishness). I’m writing this as a marker, so that at the end of the year, we can recount God’s fruition. I am seeking to really trust Him, and not because I think He will make life easy. I trust Him because of His character and who He is, and that no matter how life turns out, He is still God and He is still good. And my life is richer for following Jesus.
Psalm 72:17-19 –
His name shall endure forever;
His name shall continue as long as the sun.
And men shall be blessed in Him;
All nations shall call Him blessed.
18 Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel,
Who only does wondrous things!
19 And blessed be His glorious name forever!
And let the whole earth be filled with His glory.
Amen and Amen.
(Above: A photo from one of our Colorado mountain trips. The song comes to mind: “Your Love, O Lord, Reaches to the Heavens. Your faithfulness stretches to the skies.”)