My rockin’ sweet daughter in love joins us in our STAGES series. I’m so happy to get to share a piece of her heart and her beautiful words with you. Be filled, Andrea
Category Archives: life
“But God, this is not fair.” “But God, I don’t want to.” “But God, I can’t.” “But God, this is too hard.” “But God, what if they don’t love me back?” “But God, I don’t have time for this.” “But God, I’m so tired.”
I’m a lover of words. In written form mostly. I have an app on my computer that sends me an update each week as to how many words I’ve written as well as how many mistakes I’ve made. We won’t discuss the mistakes but in one recent week I wrote over 100,000 words. That’s crazy to me.
As an introvert, I can’t handle too many of the spoken kinds of words. I must take that kind in small doses and spread out over time and preferably spoken quietly. Our kids all love words and have become quite clever in their use of them. This love for words started early in our son’s life. He was famous for picking up on a word and using it over and over again. Not even really using it but saying it. Over and over again. When our oldest daughter was in the 8th grade she had back surgery for scoliosis and during our time in the hospital, our son (6th grade) got utterly hung up on, addicted, flat out obsessed with the word “Abercrombie”. Not to be confused with the clothing store (I don’t even think we had one of those in our town yet), it was the name of an adjacent building to the hospital we were in. A building that we had to pass through to another hospital that had a McDonald’s, thus one that we passed through frequently. He would repeat “Abercrombie. Abercrombie” over and over again. You have to admit it is a fun word and sort of rolls off.
Back on the path… I’m a lover of words… and how they turn into stories. I bought the book, Homeland, by Barbara Kingsolver a few years ago because it’s a book with short stories and I typically only have the mental capacity to read in snippets. I picked it up recently for some writing inspiration. I love how Kingsolver put words together to create images and emotions that tell a vivid story. I love being moved by words. I constantly strive to be a better writer. A better storyteller. I love the thought that my words will one day move or inspire someone. Even if only me.
These borrowed words are from Chapter 1:
“The ones who could not travel, the aged and the infirm and the very young, were hidden in deep cane thickets where they would remain undiscovered until they were bones. When the people’s hearts could not bear any more, they laid their deerskin packs on the ground and settled again.
They built clay houses with thin bent poles for spines, and in autumn they went down to the streams where the sycamore trees had let their year’s work fall, the water steeped brown as leaf tea, and the people cleansed themselves of the sins of the scattered-bone time. They called their refugee years The Time When We Were Not, and they were forgiven, because they had carried the truth of themselves in a sheltered place inside the flesh, exactly the way a fruit that had gone soft still carries inside itself the clean, hard stone of its future.”
When I read this, I could visualize pieces of my own life. Maybe it resonates with your life too.
*Hidden in deep cane thickets where they would remain undiscovered until they were bones
*When their hearts could bear no more, they laid down their packs and settled again
*The refugee years, The Time When We Were Not
*They cleansed themselves of the scattered-bone time
*They carried the truth of themselves like a fruit that had gone soft still carries her fruit
In life we often feel invisible and left for dead, exhausted and tired of running, mourning the loss of the years we’ll never get back, in need of cleansing and forgiveness, battered but not shattered.
Maybe it’s time for a trip to the streams.
Longing for our homeland, we will carry on… and maybe we’ll be fortunate enough to pass through the building with an amazing name like Abercrombie, that will give us some joy and hope as we travel.
And now all I can think of is McDonalds.
The truth is….
I don’t have it figured out. I wish I did. But I don’t.
I don’t know how I feel about some cultural issues that are getting hit hard in our media today. I don’t know how I feel about how the Church should be responding. I don’t know how I feel about some public figures these days. Are they being brave or are they being brash? I just don’t know… I don’t know how I feel about why I am the way I am. I don’t know how I feel about my past. I don’t know how I feel about my present and I certainly don’t know how I feel about my future. I don’t know how much to write or say or do. Am I just adding to the noise? I don’t know if this or that relationship will last.
I. Don’t. Know.
When the truths of what I don’t know eludes me, I have to fall back on the truths of what I do know. I don’t have it figured out and it’s not up to me to figure it out.
Because I do know what I know.
~ I do know that I am not alone.
“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
~ I do know that I don’t have to have it all figured out. And I’m trying to let God convince me that I don’t have to have it all figured out. I suppose I’m a slow learner. But I do know that I’m learning. And I do know that I’m not a quitter.
I’m kind of banking on this ^ being true.
~ I do know that I should probably just sit tight. Stay in it. Stay at it. “Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” John 8:32
~ I do know that I need to let God help me work through the truths of what I don’t understand rather than trying to go at it myself because doing it myself never seems to work out quite like I had imagined.
One thing we are guaranteed in life is that our plans
will not work out like we planned.
Onward… in truth.
To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. ~William Shakespeare