1/4/14

four somethings

Do you ever have that thing in your life, that thing you want to do and mean to do but the longer you wait to do it, the more it seems to grow in your mind?  Well, that thing, for me,  is this blog post.

I can't quite explain why I've fallen off the blogging radar these last few months. But then again, I can't explain a lot of things. Like how can my house be so crazy when I've been home all week? Or why can't we seem to shake this pesky little stomach bug? Or why are Steinbeck novels still so expensive when so many other classics are free on Kindle? These, these and so much more, are mysteries to me. And somewhere in that pile of mysteries is the question, "What in the world am I doing with this blog?"

I dunno. And the problem is, I'm the only one who can know. See the dilemma here?

I do know this: I am over the quick 5. I'm just over it. After a few years, I feel a dread when I sit down to write it. So I'm going to rethink that whole deal. 

So, I'll keep thinking through the existential questions of "What is the point of my blog's existence?" In the meantime, I'll just go ahead and write about things I want to write about. Somewhere along the way, I think I felt like I needed to write about real things. But I'm going to stop second-guessing myself (a habit that is hard to break, no?) and just write to write.

So without further ado, I offer you Four Somethings. 


[something old]  

In the last few years, I've been a New Year's Resolution kind of gal. But this year it feels..presumptuous, somehow, to resolve to do anything other than get food on the table and do the laundry. I'm not sure what has me at this point, not sure why I feel like someone who has taken a few too many bites and is furiously chewing to force it all down. And gagging a little. Maybe choking. 

If you would like to read my new year thoughts of old, here are some from the archives.

what if he could make all things new (crazy how I was in such a similar spot last year. really!)




[something new]


I got this mug for Christmas from my sis. She's a pretty good gift giver. Thanks to her, my children are blaring "I'd like to make myself be-LIEVE..." all around the house. It is also thanks to her that my two year wakes in the night screaming, "Elephant! Piggie!" as apparently she needs both to fall back asleep. (Have you read the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems? Genius, I tell you. Check them out!)

But it's the phrase on the mug that I love (OK- the phrase and the color, but let's focus on the phrase). Trust the process. Those simple words say to me "Let it happen. Let the things in motion be in motion. Let the words have their say. Let time do what time does. Do the thing right in front of you. Put in the work and let the work worry about what it achieves."

Trust the process. Great words for anyone who is 1) homeschooling, 2) parenting, 3) trying to grow in patience, 4) not sure they are making much progress, 5) still writing the same a book, 6) worried that they are behind, not quite enough, not giving enough but not much else to give. 

Trust the process. 

[something funny]

If I could choose to be a character in a book, I'd want to be in a western. I know, this is a ridiculous idea. I get that life in the west was insanely difficult. I get that I probably would have died in childbirth or of dysentery or in my journey out west (but at least I'd have a tombstone along the Oregon Trail, right? Any OT fans out there???)

I think I get this crazy Western notion from reading vast amounts of Janette Oke books during my impressionable junior high years. This is, no doubt, the source of this strange idea.

In my imaginary book setting, I would be a teacher in a one room school house. I think I would have liked that; it has all the things I like about teaching situations (multiple ages, minimal curriculum, reliance on ingenuity, and little supervision from admin). 

Of course my Western setting has electricity. And baguettes. And Starbucks. So maybe there should be a time travel element in this story...?

What about you- is there a setting you would pick to be in?


[something true] 

Sometimes I come face to face with a Bible verse that applies on so many levels of my life, I fight the urge to tattoo it on my arm. Or paint it on the front of my fridge. (That's how I feel about James 1:5, the verse that basically tells you what to do if you ever lack wisdom. Which I do.)

This verse from 2 Chronicles is a part of the story when armies are forming against Jehoshaphat to march on his kingdom. In the face of impending doom, King J stood before his people and cried out to God. And his last line, his final statement, said,

"We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." (2 Chron. 20:12b)

I read that and thought, Oh,my word. Yes. Yes. Yes. 

In a simple phrase, that verse gets it, sums it up, completely speaks to the heart of the reality that so often I just do not know what to do. 

Sometimes I wonder how to raise kids who love Jesus, sincerely and personally,  a deep-in-the-soul kind of love?

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

I worry about the decisions I make for them. Are they sheltered or over-exposed? Are they healthy or am I just blind? Am I getting to the important things, or am I caught up in non-essentials?

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

And then I think about the darkness of this world, the evil that waits to welcome them, the heartache that will join them on their journey. 

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

My mind is a swirl of opportunities, a confusing auction where ideas bid for highest priority, where ideas solidify, where untruth can grow, where I can be paralyzed by an excess of input. 

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

My heart gets tired- tired of trying and tired of loving and tired of breaking and tired of being tired. I don't know how to forgive and I don't know how to let go and I don't know which one I should be focusing on or if I am able to do either. 

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

I feel lonely, like somehow motherhood and rich friendship might be mutually exclusive. 

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

I feel unsure of my book, of my art, of the creative ideas that make my heart beat a little faster but don't seem so compatible with this life I've settled into. I feel ashamed of my effort, and then ashamed of my shame. 

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

Sometimes the day ahead is too much to step into. 

We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.

I don't know what to do. Often. And though it's not the fate of a nation that hangs in the balance, as it was in Jehoshaphat's time, it is the fate of things that I care deeply about. And I feel up against things that are stronger and bigger and my own strength seems like a silly thing to bring to that struggle. But thankfully, oh how thankfully, I can say with confidence, that when it comes to being a mom and a wife and friend and a writer and a follower of Jesus, I do not know what to do in the pressures that bear down. But lifting my eyes is enough in the moment, is enough as a first step, is enough to reorient myself to what matters.

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Well, that's  a wrap, folks. Hope your holidays were all you hoped they might  be, and maybe even more than you dared to hope. We start back to school on Monday (cue the weeping and gnashing of teeth) and then we'll be back in every day groove. 

Thank for reading. May you face 2014 with hope. 


4 comments:

Keri said...

Such a great verse! "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you." Wow, so relevant, thanks for sharing,

Ruth said...

Welcome back! So glad to see a post this morning. Love the mug - do not remember seeing that on Christmas! So many thoughts. Love the verse from King J! Dad and I went to a retreat in 1978, and the speaker spoke on the process versus the product. God's goal is not the product, but the process. We will always be in process! Love you! Mom

Ruth said...

Welcome back! So glad to see a post this morning. Love the mug - do not remember seeing that on Christmas! So many thoughts. Love the verse from King J! Dad and I went to a retreat in 1978, and the speaker spoke on the process versus the product. God's goal is not the product, but the process. We will always be in process! Love you! Mom

Katie T. said...

That verse is amazing, Becky. It may get painted on my fridge. ;)