. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

Monthly Archives: February 2011

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The Living

It’s been a while. Too long. Life is being lived. And somehow my commentary has dwindled down a bit. But I’m still processing the living.

And I’m finding that the living is quite different from some of the things I had believed it to be.

For quite some time, I have had a strong aversion to busy-ness. And so I avoid it whenever and however I may. I am very, very careful with my time-commitments and such. (Which I realize is probably incredibly annoying to some.) It started when we moved back to the States after living in Paris, France for four months. Before we left, my husband and I were pretty busy. With life.  You know, the kind of busy that makes you feel like so much is happening, but nothing really ever gets done. But then we had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to empty our lives of every busy thing on our calendars. And while we were there, we were able to catch our breath and just enjoy. (Well, actually, I got to just enjoy. My husband enjoyed but also worked his tail off on the global project his company sent him over there to work on.)

I learned how to enjoy playing Little People with my then three-year-old. I learned how to savor taking her and her seven-month-old sister to the park to watch her climb and slide and chase pigeons and try to interact with little French kids.

Parc Monceau

Then, when we returned home, we had the amazing opportunity to carefully choose those things we wanted to fill our living back up with. And, I do mean carefully. And we chose to never get back up to the busy-ness we had before we left our lives and crossed the Big Pond. Because, for us, the busy gets in the way of the living. And Paris helped me realize that.

Even still, I am very careful to not get too busy.

But I think this carefulness has somehow turned into my being stingy with my time. And somehow in all of the carefulness, I’ve lost the living that I’ve been trying so hard to preserve.

And suddenly I am finding myself in this new season of life where I can take on more things. My kids are both in school all day (except for the eight-soon-to-be-nine snow days — but that’s a whole ‘nother blog post). Consequently, I have time to do some of the stuff I previously chose to avoid. Now I have the freedom to load up a bit more with commitments and such.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very, very careful. But I’m more open to things that might require more time. Because sometimes, that’s where the living is. 

And goodness knows I do not want to miss the living.

Of Which I Open My Hands

I wake at 2am to the sound of ice hitting the windows.  The storm I knew was coming. I struggle to return to the rest I knew just moments before, but worry fills my mind.

What if we lose our electricity and we have no water and the oldest gets the stomach flu that the youngest had last week and the ice breaks the trees and we can’t drive on the ice and . . .

Somehow I am able to return to the sleep.  Until 5 when I hear it again.  And the worries return.  And I turn over in my soft flannel sheets and lay my heavy head on my billowy pillow that feels less than.  And I think my head got heavier and the pillow got harder now that the worries have taken over again.

God, give me eyes to see what You see and hands to graciously accept whatever You give.  Whatever You give.

It’s my new heart cry.  The one He’s been making me ready to sing.  The one He’s teaching me even now as I read the gift of words and wisdom that is Ann Voskamp’s 1,000 Gifts : A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.

What if everything He does is grace?  What if everything that Sovereign God allows is actually somehow gift?  What if, as Ann says, “All is grace?”  All.  Grace.  Ice and broken trees and no electricity and, dare I say, even stomach flu.  And what if I am thankful, truly?.  Yes, thankful.  For even such as these.

Then I shall be fully surrendered.  And free. to. live.  Free to live fully right where I am.

When I worship in church, sometimes I lift my open hands in praise.  To show God I want to hold nothing back.  To physically state my surrender to Him.  But what if my open hands would state that I will also accept whatever He chooses to give?  Whatever He chooses.  Whatever He gives.  And what if I remember that all is grace?  And what if surrender is not just the giving but also the taking?

Remember surrender
Remember the rest
Remember that weight lifting off of your chest
And realizing that it’s not up to you and it never was

Remember surrender
Remember relief
Remember how tears rolled down both of your cheeks
As the warmth of a heavenly father came closing in

I want to do that again
Why can’t I live there
And make my home
In sweet surrender
I want to do so much more than remember

Remember surrender
Remember peace
Remember how soundly you fell fast asleep
In the face of your troubles your future
still shone like the morning sun

Remember surrender
Remember that sound
Of all of those voices dying down
But one who speaks clearly of helping
and healing you deep within

from “Remember Surrender” by Sara Groves

And these are truths by which I will choose to open my hands.

Holy, Sovereign God, give my eyes to see as You do and hands to accept whatever You give.  Whatever You give.