My days have been consumed with an archaeological expedition. One as close as my office closet, but as far away as distant years unearthed by layer after layer of pictures, programs and school papers. I’ve sorted a myriad of mementos from the unforgettably priceless to the “What in the world is that?”. My goal: Condense from the mountain of stuff to what captures our history in the most meaningful way.
As the papers shuffle, I drift through time like a canoe loosed from its mooring. Unearthing declarations of my daughter’s second grade love and her various dreams for when she grows up - a spy, a doctor, an adventurer. I wouldn’t advise the doctor. I found a picture she drew telling a patient “I’m sorry, I can’t help you”, who, lying stricken declares, “I’m dead”.
The most special are the hints of what God has placed inside her. From a young age, He has been shaping her talents and allowing her to explore them in her own way. I am watching as her focus is narrowing from a broad expansive valley between mountain ridges to the narrow pass that will carry her through the craggy peaks. I’m watching and praying.
I sorted through years of my bible study notes wishing I had done more. If only I had studied them more in depth and committed them to an organized history of my journey. I relived times plagued by sadness as I recovered from the loss of the life I thought was my dream. There were times of intense struggle to surrender myself to the place God chose for me. Some notes dripped with regret while others were inexpressibly joyful. Across the pages and years I saw God speaking love, comfort, joy and direction. Each note a reminder of how faithful God always was, is and will be. I see Him written into it all and I’m filled with thankful joy.
I sort through the journey, but I can’t keep it all and much I don’t want to. It felt so freeing and empowering to set ablaze the huge pile of scraps and watch it turn to ash. It is a fitting project as the year comes to a close, to remember where I have been, I mean. Somehow, it clarifies today. I am the sum of all my experiences. Even though it all has shaped my “here and now”, my life lived must make room for my life yet to be.
I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back. Phil 3:14 The Message
And so I sort.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Sometimes friends are a warm blanket on a cold day. Other times they are the burr under my saddle. Love you Tam! I do spend way too much time thinking about what to post instead of just posting. Waiting for the profound thought, you know. You can see how often that happens. NEVER. Even now I have been pondering addiction? Is that can't live without, love love love it, or things I crave? This will have to be a mix because at this moment I can't even think of five. Oh be quiet.
- Exercise. Big surprise to those who know me. I have done very little in the last month and quite frankly. I miss it. It is amazing how fast progress can be lost. (Hmm, spiritual truths apply. Keep on guard, don't grow weary.) I love a good workout. If I sweat to the ends of my hair, I've done my job. I feel better, I sleep better and I hope I stay healthy longer. For you who just groaned, "Oh whatever", I'm vain. I also like to look better. I have a ways to go.
- Sweets. I have to have something sweet everyday. Now you see why #1 is a must? Caramel and chocolate are my favs, but I have been nibbling, well, gleefully consuming the extra cream cheese frosting from the carrot cake. Yumm, a little Christmas guilt. I also am getting more addicted to coffee. My typing companion is flavored with 1 splenda, 1 spoonful brown sugar and Italian Sweet Cream flavoring, it's oh so good. Culver's Turtle Sundaes are the ultimate treat! I get the junior.
- Making God more of my everyday. I have to start my day with my favorite chair, my bible, my coffee companion and soak in God. I want Him to ooze into my little things so He can shine in my big things. No one will listen to what I have to say about Him if they don't see Him when I am silent. Again, lots of progress in my life, but I have a ways to go.
- I just asked my daughter what I am addicted to and with an impish grin she said "Me". Ok, that's true. I'm a single mom, she's an only child. As much as she might complain that I'm too tough, never satisfied and never let down, I think she knows I love her with everything I have and am soooo proud of the young woman she is becoming. In these last few years of school, I'm working hard to transition to a healthy coexistence and independence that also strengthens our bond. Now that's a challenge. Did I mention I have a ways to go?
- Time. Which I'm out of right now. This addiction is better described as a craving and can go so many directions. I want it to slow down. I want more of it. I want to exchange time spent on things that drain for time spent on things that keep my heart bubbling. Time for others and time with others. Stimulating conversation, challenging encouragment, let your hair down laughs, making their day better, exploring new places (even when they are right inside us). It's precious and fleeting. I crave it.