It has been awhile since I have blogged. One reason is that I do not have a laptop/computer at home and my IPad is not compatible with the blog site so I cannot use it to update. The 2nd reason is that usually by the time I get home I simply crash – no words leave my lips nor my fingertips.
Today is a day full of some anticipation and some dread. Dad visits the surgeon today to see what the next steps are. We are hoping that he receives a map of the road ahead so that we can plan for the journey. Whether it looks like a nice smooth interstate or a bumpy slower Highway 75, at least we will know something – anything.
It’s been an emotional few weeks and if I reflect and am honest, it has been an emotional year. It was probably about a year ago that we firmly decided that we were going to move and we began the hunt for a new home. 100’s of homes later and several offers later, we finally bought and then the RENO journey began. Kind of amazing how our bodies and minds handle this emotional ups and downs that life throws our way. But as hard as some of those moments in the past year were, these past weeks have pushed my mind and my body in ways I didn’t know were possible. Very recently, we found out that one of my oldest friends from my childhood who we birthday’d with and we played with and we school’d together with, lost his oldest son very suddenly. This has torn at my heartstrings and I hurt for this family.
Walking into our house after a day of work has felt a little uninspired. We are trudging through but you start to ask yourself for what purpose? What is really important?
Facebook offered me this little nugget the other day. I am reposting the picture/quote here, I don’t know where it comes from so I hope it is ok that I am putting it here.
This quote/phrase has been helpful. I have cried. I have broken down. Sitting on our deck, with my niece and nephew, sister and daughters – I don’t recall what someone said, but I just started to cry. I think I walked into this ‘house’, not yet a ‘home’, and desired heavily that it become our home. That I could come home from work, flop into a comfy couch, wrap myself up in a blanket – cry, chat, make supper, just be in my space.
We are blessed to have a home to live in while this house is fixed up. We are blessed to have a mom who is willing to make and bring food – when her life is in chaos right now too. We are thrilled to have a dad who is excited and willing to help make a house a home. We are happy to not live in dust and paint and odours. We are grateful that we can be ‘there’ for my dad as he absorbs his new reality and as he prepares for battle.
We recognize that the four walls, the new paint, the ‘almost here’ cabinets and door are just things – they really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. And this is the guilt I wrestle with. This is the tension I am presently living in. The ‘what is really important’ tension. When I see the pain around me, who cares that I picked out a lovely shade of grey for my walls or that my curtains that I bought for an amazing price at Kohl’s look fabulous against those walls. When I cry out to God asking ‘why’, then the new cupboards and the new sink and the amazing looking floor seem so trivial. And then I get stuck in that space and I start unpacking and prepare myself to live there… and I can’t.
So where do I go then? How do I decipher where to put these guilty feelings and this tension line?
I am human. I break down. But I need to refocus. I need to get back up. Life is still this beautiful gift from God and I don’t want to dwell in the depths of life’ hardships. Yet I need to recognize that for a time and at different times, we will sit in those spaces.
I don’t recall if I have shared this before – I probably have because for me it has such significance. When it feels dark, I try to remember the story of Moses in Exodus 33. The people Moses were leading were depressed and God was not happy with them. Moses went to speak to God and to ask Him to journey with them. God said in verse 14, “God said, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”” Moses wants assurance so God puts him into the cleft of a rock and covers his eyes. I imagine in that moment that Moses felt very much in the dark. His people were in the dark and now God was covering his eyes. AND yet, at that very moment that all seemed so dark, God was walking right beside Moses. To have looked at God at that moment would have been blinding – but God was right there, even though Moses couldn’t see him.
Perhaps in our darkest moments, God is the closest – so close we could touch him. But perhaps we can’t see him because at that moment we couldn’t handle the blinding brightness of the truth in that situation. NOW – I AM NOT A PASTOR or a SCHOLAR or any of those things. This is just a simple thought that was brought to my attention some time back and it has really stuck with me. Maybe I don’t have the details correct or the exact historical detail or even the soundest theology, however, I love the idea of God being beside us through are darkest moments and perhaps shielding us from what we don’t understand. I don’t know, take it as you will.
So when I consider God and I consider that quote, I recognize that I need to stop unpacking my bags and start refocusing on where I am headed. My heart’s desire is for our family to love God, to serve God and to bring Christ to those around us. So does our house matter? Maybe. The focus needs to be people. The house perhaps a conduit to make contact with those people. A home perhaps to create a safe place that will serve our family as a place to rest, reboot, rejuvenate and then go out and maintain our faith and spread the Good News.
Does a home need a new kitchen, new flooring and new curtains to do that?
But… it is kind of fun to have!
This past week I got the opportunity to spend some time with my dad alone. We did a bit of shopping for supplies at Home Depot and then headed to Costco to pick up a few things and then we did what dad and his girl do best – we stopped for a break! We shared a hot dog and fries and just enjoyed being. It really is such a good life.
‘No matter the bumps, No matter the bruises, No matter the scars, Still the truth is The cross has made The cross has made you flawless, No matter the hurt, Or how deep the wound is, No matter the pain, Still the truth is The cross has made The cross has made you flawless’ – lyrics to MercyMe’s Flawless.
(give it a listen!)