Friday, January 16, 2015

Truth Is Truth In All Seasons

Years ago the Lord schooled me in the joy, purpose, and privilege of homemaking. I was just starting out - a newly wed, and then a new mom. I was moved by what He taught me, inspired with the responsibility and power that a Christ-centered home bore. This was exciting, exhilarating, and hard. A challenge that would require every ounce of talent, energy, and creativity I owned. Laid down daily.

The lessons learned served me well, and hopefully those in my care.

And the lessons learned carried me through what seemed to be various seasons:

  • 1st: toddlers and babes at my feet
  • 2nd: tables filled with children of all ages interacting with visiting ministers and international guests
  • And 3rd: bedrooms overflowing with college students and those in need of a temporary "home"

We all learned to cheerfully share our blessings, our hearts, our home.

Those varied seasons all fell under the umbrella of one season, the season of raising children. There were purposed investments, shared adventures, daily rhythms and routines that demanded attention and energy and creativity. It seemed obvious. It felt imposed, pressing me, exacting my input. So much energy given and received, humming and buzzing, reverberating in every room, at every meal, at all times.

I am still in that season - but it's the tail end of that season, with my youngest charge fast becoming a young man. It is transition time.

And I will admit to being at a loss.

I have wandered, sometimes physically, about the empty house, craving to hear Bach played in the music room, longing to hear too much chatter around my kitchen table where school work should be happening in silence, looking into empty bedrooms to find once again that the general hubbub has disappeared. It is not to be found.

The season is changing. Quiet is settling in. But the Lord reminded me of the joy, purpose, and privilege of homemaking the other night, and that there is joy, purpose, and privilege in every season. He awakened in my heart a recognition that I am still a homemaker for those who remain in my care, whether it be multitudes or few, young or old, constant or intermittent. They need a shelter, a place of care and comfort, and it is an important life-impacting opportunity.

The desire to see the home overflowing exists. I mean, let's face it - once one is accustomed to a full room, a smaller crowd can seem deflating, void, diminished - and indeed, in many aspects it is.

But not in value! I have been awakened again to the extreme value of serving those who remain. Shame on me for wandering, for not seeing, for having my game thrown off, if you will. But in His great faithfulness to me and to them, He reminded me.

As for overflowing, once upon a time I learned another very valuable lesson. We must give ourselves to the primary, to the highest priority of service ordered by God. And when we give our lives to that fully, there is overflow. My service to those to whom I am called first and foremost will miraculously become large and full and multiplied. So much so that there is overflow for the world around. They will partake of genuine love and care. There is plenty - bounteous plenty!

It is a paradox. It seems as though we should "divvy it up", making sure to save some for the neighbors, the church community, the poor, the needy. But God showed me clearly to not concern myself with "how could this be" and "how can I have enough for all those other needs if I tend to my own charges" - that He was in the business of miracles. He gave me a husband and children. Now it was my privilege and empowerment to serve them. His was the business of multiplying my efforts.

And it still is His business. I had been fussing over the lack of fullness and apparent overflow and overlooking the opportunities at my very doorstep. There will be overflow, but that is not the goal, that is not my concern. The goal is to honor His plan and fulfill His purpose in marriage and homemaking. It is not to be forsaken.

He will take care of the rest. He always does - and bountifully so.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Blank Slate - New Year Contemplations

Collected thoughts.
Thoughts collected, pulled together.
Miscellaneous wanderings, hodgepodge at best.

Tinged with sadness are thoughts of a season, all kinds of seasons, gone once again - not because those seasons are over but because of opportunities missed.
Will a season ever end with a sense of "Wow - I did that right"? There are often things I'm pleased with, but a closer observation reveals selfishness, disregard, hurried and busy, or overly consumed and non-observant.

Longing for simplicity. Mostly simplicity of schedule. Routine.
Ah, but I know my frame.
I tire of routine! I gain it, enjoy it, and cast it off. Too impetuous. Too ambitious for other things.
It is a gift. It is a down-falling.
It inspires. It leads astray.
To learn how to lend it wisely, constrain when appropriate, unleash when others need it, hold back when the benefit would be solely mine - and not always beneficial in the end for any.

To not long for what is another's portion, and to be glad for what is mine.
To recognize a gift on display and find delight in it without feeling condemnation for not attaining that myself.
To know my boundaries, my limitations, my talents, my gifts. To use them all, accept them all and still look to grow beyond what I am now, trusting Him as growth unfolds.

Knowing Him more and more. Finding Him in every season, around every bend. Understanding and experiencing fullness of joy because of His very presence in my life, in each and every single instance.
To rejoice ALWAYS and in ALL things. This is His will, in this season, in the past season, in the seasons yet to come. Because He is my Lord. That is why.

The New Year holds much. Above all may it hold much of Him in me, through me, and to me. Amen.