Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Proof of Success

My husband told me a couple weeks ago that I believe people think higher of me then they actually do.

He was right.

Please let me first clarify that my husband is my biggest supporter. We may have only been together 7 years but we had been through more then our fair share of work. And by work I mean struggle, surrender, sacrifice, and many mistakes. We, thank God, have also been able to enjoy the great benefits of that work. Some being forgiveness, trust & honesty. And as much as I wish I was the only one correct all of the time, I am not. (Though he knows that I try!)

Back to the story. Naturally I was a bit irritated with his comment but let it pass & had not thought about it again until this morning. I was sitting thinking...well, moping on the couch waiting for the boys to wake up. I was thinking about how much I missed people from home. I missed working and the comfortable control that it brought me. I thought about how much all my relationships have changed. Then, to cheer myself up I started thinking about my visit this summer. Being able to see people made me happy. Until...I remembered how different relationships are. Dread replaced excitement. Things are different and I felt a gripping need to somehow prove that this move has been a success. I started to rehearse what I would say to the typical "how are you/what's new?" questions. I wanted to say something that showed I have grown, that I am doing something. Whoops, kids are up.

The next opportunity I had to stop & revisit my thinking was nap time. Why on earth do I care so much about what people think of me? My husband's comment was floating around my brain in a sort of pin-ball fashion. I understood his conclusion a little more. Perhaps my struggle with being this great, interesting person is more to do with me caring too much what others think & less to do with reality. I am just another person. And damn, I am selfish. I think about me ALL THE TIME! So it seems fitting that all the people who I worry about pleasing are thinking less about me and way more about themselves. That sounds like of brutal. I don't mean that people are not curious how I am doing or wish me well. But the majority of people I am worried about impressing are just as consumed with the busy of life. They are not waiting impatiently to hear from me in July when I visit. Now, I am hoping that we are able to visit and share some life but I want it to be real life. Not me, acting like I am not as messy as I really am. I do not want to just be someone that I think, they think I am. I want to me be. Just like I would want them to be them. Is not that what a real relationship is: two people who are real?

Sooooo, my goal in these next few months before visiting is to enjoy every moment of the now. To not think about what I will wear. (Seriously, this is the real me.) To not think about how I will answer the typical questions. And most of all to not think about being anyone but messy me.

And clearly I need to work on thinking less about myself.
(T'was a shameful number of "me's" in this one.)

Friday, May 2, 2014

Asking Why

2 Kings 4:8-37

The basic details are: Elisha, who is a prophet of God, frequents the home of a nice couple. The nice couple build a room just to Elisha to stay in. In his gratitude Elisha makes a promise to the woman, "Next year this time, you'll be holding your own baby son in your arms." "You are a man of God," the woman replied. "Please don't lie to me." vs16. Low & behold a son is born. Years pass & the son is watching his dad working when he says he is ill. The son dies in his mother's lap. She then goes to find Elisha. He sends his helper to put his staff over the boy (I assume to bring life) yet it does not work. The woman pleads Elisha comes to see the dead boy. He does. He then lays upon the boy until the boys body is warm then walks about the room until finally he leans over the boy. The boy sneezes seven times and opens his eyes. His mother comes in & takes the boy.
End of story.

What?! and more importantly WHY?

I mean, that is a story that has so many "Whys" in it that I can hardly keep up. Why did the woman never have a son? Why did God give her a son so late in her life? Why did her son die? Why didn't Elisha's staff revive the boy? Why... why... why.

I am a "why" girl. I love the mystery of people and figuring out why they act & do. My favorite part of the mystery is the conclusions though. The reasoning behind a person's whys are challenging but relatively conclusive. But God, His why's are often beyond what makes sense to me. I can spend hours, days, years wondering "why" and I'll never get a descriptive answer. I am not saying I can't come up with my own clever conclusions. Reasons that I can even believe in. But the reality is they will only just be guesses. The only truth surrounding them is that whatever the "what" the "why" is to being glory to God (ie: attention to God in the positive.)
Now, we are created by God and in His image; so I can often devise reasonable hypotheses. Especially when I add in the above truth. But my limited view on life takes me out of deep understanding. And my  self-sentered existence limits the depth of impact that the "why" usually entails. I hold God to the limitations that I have. So all my wondering leaves me...wondering.

Faith is something/one that I can not puzzle together is a stretch for me. But I suppose it is not faith if I understand. Faith happens when I stop asking why and just know: 1. that God is good.  2. God is present and 3. that God loves me with a love that a selfish person can not comprehend.  I need to accept the peace that those three truths offer. The peace that a young child has in the provision of their parents. When was the last time I  saw my two year old worry about his next meal or where he will sleep? Never. He has never worried about those things. Nor would I EVER want his little heart to worry about them. Those are my responsibly.

Oh God, please let me see this world with the same heart & peace that I see in Samuel. This messy little girl of Yours is so tired of asking why & trying to be in control. Goodness knows I must look so silly to You. Help me play at life like Samuel plays with cars. Make me wiser because I am learning from You and not sidetracked by all the garbage, worry & doom of the world.
Thank You. Thank You that believe in You is not a false hope of an invention that I've created to feel better. Thank You for being present with me like I am present with Sam. Except You, thankfully are a whole lot more present. Help me be teachable, trainable & a good listener. With as much as I correct Samuel, help me to know Your correction & be moldable to it.
Thank You.