Boys in Lights

>> Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One of my favorite things to do while decorating for Christmas, is to let the boys sit in the midst of the lit Christmas lights and watch the soft light reflect on their sweet faces.  I started this when Caden was a baby.  I hope to do it every year.  

Caden 2008 (3 1/2 months)

Lucas 2008 (2 1/2)
Hadley (4, 28 in dog years)

Lucas 2009 (3)

Caden 2009 (15months)

Caden 2010 (2)

Lucas 2010 (4)

Lucas 2011 (5)

Caden 2011 (3)

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Believing With Head and Heart

>> Thursday, December 8, 2011

 We recently joined a new small group at our new church.  After a couple years in a house church with people who knew us deeply and knew our story, the prospect of entering into a vulnerable relationship with new friends was both exciting and a bit frightening.  In the first couple weeks, this group dove right in, choosing a book to study together and taking turns telling the stories of our spiritual journeys.  The first couple to share astounded me with their openness about a topic I think I would have been too afraid to share with relative strangers.  The next week, another shared about a place of spiritual woundedness that was causing him to ask some pretty deep questions about God and His plan.
Then, it was our turn.  I always have to gear myself up a bit to be able to rewalk that journey.  It feels so complicated and raw and hard to fully put into words.  Plus, my body begins to physically feel again all the emotions of the years, all the anxiety and sadness and questioning.  I am always afraid that new listeners will not see the significance of the events or that I will be so afraid of them not thinking it is all significant that I will gloss over the story and walk away feeling I did not do it/him justice.
Well, it went fine.  And they did think it was/is significant.  And for the first time, they asked us some really great questions about the impact on our current life.  No one had ever really asked us those things before.  Maybe because the times we have told it before we always much closer and more fresh.  But 7years out, it felt good to examine things more from the broader picture.
"How has it changed how you pray?" "Do you question the goodness of God?"  "Can you say that God is trustworthy?"

All questions I have probably asked myself at one time or another.  But not ever had to answer out loud.  In front of people I just barely met.

How has it changed how I pray?

Do I question the goodness of God?

Can I say that God is trustworthy?

I could type here the answers that I gave to the group.  But in all honesty, I am not fully sure how to answer these questions.  Through the conversation though, I came to realize that I really don't trust the goodness of God to me.  I can say to a friend, without wavering, that God will be with them in a tough time.  And I mean it.  I fully trust that God will heal my dear friend in CA and bless her life of service to Him.  I expect God to lead my friends who are entering a season of drastic life-change, that He will provide for them and keep their family safe and whole.  I know that He will make His path known to my sister who has had a rough road the past few years but is, by His grace, coming into a season of joy.  But me...  I am not so sure about that.  I don't know if I trust God to be good to me.  So it is not at all a question of IS God good.  I know He is.  But I am not confident that He will choose to shower that goodness upon me.
I sit in the dark at the bedsides of my boys and pray God's protective hand upon them.  Lord, keep them safe and well.  Protect them from my faults and from the world that may try to harm or persuade them.  Guide their steps, shape their souls, infuse them with your love and peace.  Fix their eyes on you.    And I trust that He will do all these things.  I don't really have a choice to think otherwise.  But can I say that He is trustworthy?  Yes, I guess I can.  He is Holy and just and worthy of all praise and adoration. And trust.  I know this with my head.  I just have a hard time letting that infiltrate my heart. 

I am not so blind that I am unable to see the vastness of His blessings to me.  I have parents who are still married and adore each other and would move moon and stars to take care of me and my boys.  I have a husband who tries so hard to love me in the ways that I ask him to and is devoted to our family at a level that I cannot comprehend.  I have 3amazing boys who my life would be empty without.  I have a good job, a warm home, a car that works.  I get to go to Florida several times a year and soak in the restoration of the ocean.  I am a blessed girl.
But I have these hurdles.  Hurdles created by things on my journey that feel insurmountable. They keep my knowledge of God as good and trustworthy from moving from head to heart. I am certainly not proud of this.  It is a huge weakness and flaw.  And my extreme self-reliance makes it even harder for me to ask God to help me rely on Him and trust Him...  see how I am kinda stuck there?

It is only He who can heal me- heal my wounds and my Lupus and my fear of not being able to take care of my own self.  But am I letting Him do that?  How DO I let him do that?

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