random

My friends and I used to say, “Random,” quite a bit in High School. I remembered that today when I wore a sweater circa 1994, which is now considered vintage, which makes it totally fashionable for me to bust it out as well as the fact that it is officially cold in Texas.

All that aside, I have entirely too much to say and not enough time to say it. But I’m going to give it a shot anyway. So here are my random thoughts in no particular order…which is why one might use the word random.

1. I was sick. Really sick a couple weeks ago. And when I have time to sit and think, it’s dangerous. I get all philosophical and introspective and pensive. You know, like I start wondering how on earth people make some pretty amazing lives even when they have a chronic battle with pain or illness. It makes me weepy. So, it was in this state I had the fleeting thought that maybe God allowed me to get sick and basically stop EVERYTHING in my life {homeschooling, Noonday, chores, wivery, Instagram, writing, teaching at my church’s retreat, LIFE}, so that I would remember to lean more on Him for all my goals/jobs and less on myself. Like, “Ok God, I’ve done all I can do, you’ll have to take me the rest of the way.”

And then, I realized something.

I can do nothing without Him.

It wasn’t even me doing it all up til then. He is my breath, my strength, my vision, my energy. He gives and He takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

And when I could do nothing. He took care of everything. He’s in people that love me in sickness and in health: my husband, my kids, my mom, family, friends…

Grateful. I mean that’s where I want to dwell every. minute.

2. Two things scare me on a regular basis:

A. That I have bad breath.

B. That I will not have a tissue when I need one.

Misery.

3. It’s really been bugging me for weeks that I didn’t respond well, or at all really, to a comment a friend made at my Bible study table. I’m going to indulge myself by writing one because I can write things that I would never say. That’s one fun thing about writing.

I’m co-teaching with two other women a study titled, “Biblical Womanhood.” Yes, I have read Rachel Held Evans’ book A Year of Biblical Womanhood. That’s why it’s slightly humorous that soon after I finished it, I was invited to help teach this study. Humorous in a divine way.

It’s been a great study and we’ve had good, provocative conversations. This is one reason I love my church. They are not afraid to have a good conversation. And they have lots of grace. Which I need. My biggest struggle is that when people do a “gender” study, or a generalization study, they tend to take it as prescriptive. Then they match themselves to the “prescription” they’ve found to see how they fair. But when we’re talking about Jesus, I wish we could remember that we’re talking about a person and not a prescription. I just always want to make sure we go deeper into relationship and not religion. {I’ve got religious baggage y’all.}

The key principle this particular day was, “Satan’s most successful strategy against women is deception,” This is taken from Genesis 3 when Satan deceives Eve into taking the fruit and gave it to the Adam—who demonstrates a tendency of man’s downfall: passivity. After the teaching, we began discussing the lesson. One of the first comments was from a sweet, strong, very godly woman that I greatly admire. She said, “This is one reason I wouldn’t vote for a woman to be President. We can be so easily deceived.”

Ok.

That’s where I missed my opportunity. Have you ever had SO much fill your brain and heart that it mixed up into one big wad of white, incomprehensible thought, unable to be formed into distinguishable words? That’s what happened to me

I wish I could be there again and have this fantasy response:

“Hmm, I don’t know that we need to say that women are MORE likely than men to be deceived. Can you think of any stories in the bible of men being deceived? I think of David deceiving himself into thinking murder is ok to cover up his impregnating another man’s wife. I think of Solomon in all his wisdom falling into idol worship. I think of King Darius being deceived/tricked by his officials to throw the above-reproach-Daniel to the lions. And Esau being tricked by Jacob to trade his birthright for soup. And Judah being tricked by his daughter-in-law to maintain the family line. That’s just what pops to mind. So maybe we don’t say ‘women are more likely than men to be deceived.’ Maybe we just note that Eve was tricked into thinking God was holding out on her, she doubted God’s goodness, she believed the lie that God didn’t want her to be like Him. What a tragedy considering He had formed her in His own image. Let’s become aware of the lies for which we tend to fall, but sin has no gender. I think we should be careful about putting ourselves in a box, in a way, because of fear that we would be less worthy.”

Now that I think about it, this point may need its own blog. It may need a lifetime. What would you have said?

4. I met a woman today who rescues girls from brothels in Austin. Her eyes brimmed as she told me about it and mine filled with stingy tears I tried to blink away.

Who is willing to step into filth and say to one so battered and used by the world, “I see you! You are worth more and I will help you find your freedom!”

I want to be one who opens the door and lets light flood into the darkness.

5. My daughter has had two loose teeth the past month and she let me pull them both! Why does this make me so happy?

6. We’ve had some glorious moments of homeschooling since I’ve been well. I think one reason is because I haven’t forced it. I’ve said, “How about we try this?” or “What do you want to do now: ad-libs or puzzles?” And I love our co-op. I think I would be so much more insane without that little community. It’s safe, laid-back, inspiring. I’m a little surprised by how good of a fit it is. So much of my life has seemed like I’m the square peg. Either I found more square holes, or perhaps I’m more comfortable being odd.

7. I dream more and more of trips to the wild as a family. Mountains. Trees. Untamed glory.

This>> “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”
John Muir

8. It’s late. The fire is on and I’m the only one up. In stillness I enter into moments that can become cathedrals. Today I had someone tell me that “my dreams will teach others to dream.” How could she speak the itty bittiest desire-glow of a flame in my heart? That I wouldn’t even put words to in fear that I may snuff it out?

There are bits of my life that I would like to change, that I struggle to surrender, or I just get frustrated with and I am tempted to pull the covers over my head. But I’m learning that freedom, bravery, vision, are not qualities of one with a perfect financial statement and exquisite day planner. They are fruits of a life at rest. I find rest in Jesus.

In the midst of storms, I give him my frustrations and doubts again and He gently holds out His hands to take them, and I see. I see that He spilled love for me that marked Him forever. And I remember, I don’t need to see how. I just need to see Him. And the tiny flame of my heart dances again.

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