Reminders

I'm coming out of a period of total overwhelm, the kind of overwhelm that sends you to the (hopefully unoccupied) teacher's work room to cry because too many children are talking at the same time. Where you know that everything will be ok, but it doesn't feel like everything will be ok, not at all. Where clutter abounds and even putting the sheets in the washing machine feels akin to climbing a small mountain. (Let's not delve into the effort required to move the sheets from the washer to the dryer, and from the dryer back to the bed. Those are mountains to scale another day.)

That was me last fall, and while I'm not above a good cry in a not-so-private location in a school building, I'm in a better place. Not necessarily an easier place, but definitely a more functional one.

And yet, there are still motivational mountains to scale daily, which I manage some days with relative ease and simply stare down on others without moving a muscle.

Life has felt very fragmented lately, lots of broken little pieces of glass scattered around on the floor. (So don't be surprised if most of these posts reflect a little (or a lot) of that fragmentation.) But I realized today that in the back of my mind, my hope is that writing can help me sort through the many, many pieces of life that feel like they're all over the ground one by one by one...the household clutter, the books I'm plodding through ever so slowly, the quotes that speak life to me but remain unorganized, the creative in me that longs to make beauty but can't quite get it together to make "enough."

I stopped by a friend's house yesterday on the way home from work and sat on her couch for a few minutes. What was only a short fifteen minutes of conversation directed me to talk given by Katherine Ruch, entitled "Remembering that Your Story is God's Story" (it's on iTunes if you type in her name). That small chunk of time encouraged my soul and pointed me to some life-giving words. I listened to it last night, and this simple, beautiful quote resonated with my heart:

Is anything too hard for the Lord? … God owns your story, you don’t own your story: God owns it. … If you belong to the Lord and you are hidden in Him, if you will but surrender to Him, He will make sure that your life is meaningful, and rich, and that you will be all that you were created to be. You can trust Him in that.

This is not rocket science, y'all. I've heard this before. But I forget it each and every day. 

These days I live out, one by one, are part of something bigger than myself--and thank God for that! The pieces that lie on the floor, a mess from my perspective, will one day form a beautiful, coherent tapestry (or mosaic, my jagged glass shards connected together) that displays a more glorious picture than I could imagine from my limited vantage point right now in 2017. But in the midst of these days, am I surrendering my life, my purpose, to God? Or am I living for myself and the story that I claim I will write? I'm afraid I (sometimes unconsciously) am often doing the latter.

God of our stories, may we embrace your ownership of our lives and the collection of our days, living out however much time you gift us on this earth with grace and faithfulness. Help us to wait for the things we long for with kindness. Loosen our grasp and remove our white-knuckled fingers that desperately seek to control and direct what we have no control over. May we keep our gaze turned heavenward, remembering that our stories are so much bigger than what this world knows or understands: while our days are numbered on this earth, our souls are rooted in eternity. Give us faith to trust that you withhold no good thing from us, your children, because you gave us the greatest gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.