Late this morning I’m laying in bed with my love, snuggled under the covers, protected from the ridiculous cold front that blew into Florida over the last few days. We are talking about the day and the happenings ahead. Zac is popping in and out of the room whining about his tooth that is getting ready to fall out, declaring he will probably never eat again.
I am going through my list of to-do’s and whining that I have so much on my plate. Venting (and looking for sympathy) I tell him how I get really stressed with having to do work, and clean house and take care of the kids–balancing it all. He hugs me and asks me if there is anything I can do to help.
And then we start talking about this kid:
He is so fun to WATCH and truly the voice of inspiration that we all need in our lives right now! Michael proceeds to share with me how Kid President has Brittle Bone Disease. This precious child has had over 70 broken bones in his life, and endured the pain of breaking bones making videos for us to watch. Yet he still wants to encourage us. Every time he makes a video, his parents sit holding their breath, hoping he doesn’t break something. Yet he still dances.
I looked at my husband, with eyes wide, and responded with, “Well don’t I feel like a big piece of #@?$!”
I live in the poor-me-lets-complain-about-my-life-I-can’t-do-it world a majority of the time. And here is this kid, with a life threatening disease, who risks pain to just make the world a better place. I don’t want to have to make lunch and work. I don’t want to have to clean up my house and take a shower.
I officially suck. God’s grace is officially awesome. Today I officially start over with a new attitude, will you?
This week is an adventure. One of my very besties is off with her husband at youth camp, so I am here with her sweet little bit, Dylen, who is a two year old with just as much energy as an entire bus full of teenagers. I know this, because at 6:30 a.m. I am starting my day with a tiny voice, with big plans, shouting from her pack n play, “I awake now Ms. Tiff!”
And awake she is. Her energy and simplicity are things to envy. She is curious and busy. Concentrated and spontaneous. She loves to sing and dance, and Disney princesses. With her bow on her head she bobs around, embraces the constant undivided attention she gets in this house…and every other.
I have forgotten what it is like to be around a little one. My “baby” is seven and is the size of an eleven year old–and still acts 2, his brother and sisters would say. We probably would’ve had one more, but a year ago I had to have a hysterectomy, so that made our choice for us.
I am reminded of the constant changing seasons in life. The moment we grow comfortable in the warmth, the winds gently blow in, giving us a warning of the cold season to come. At times, we are hit with a mountainous blizzard, that piles on top of our lives, putting pressure on our hearts, making it hard to breathe.
We move in and out of our seasons, much like the waves on the beach. No real rhythm, no particular way to live expectantly of the next crash. We simply must sit on the shoreline, with our mouths closed, bracing ourselves and waiting.
The old me would try and stay in one season as long as possible and fight the changes of weather.and when the rain fell or the sun came out, I would lament over the season lost, the opportunities missed, the regrets. I hated to let go, and was fearful to move on.
Now, I simply feel the crash of waves hit me, and enjoy the rush of the water leaving me. I know ther ewill be another that soon follows, and will refresh me, or be sand filled and irritating. Either way, there is always the hope. The hope of a new wave, a new season, a new sprout of life pushing through the hard-iced land.
I am embracing my season. I have visions of seasons to come, and am excited about all God will do. But for now, I am learning to be content in the moment. Knowing God will sustain me in the winter and give me new life when my heart is ready.
Last night I watched an old movie based on a John Grisham book, The Chamber, with Gene Hackman and Chris O’Donnell (what happened to that guy anyway?!). If you don’t recall, the story is about a grandson who defends his racist grandfather who is on death row.
The story is full of evil and hatred and I went to bed feeling, well, honestly, feeling gross. Gene Hackman played a convincing KKK-er who couldn’t escape the family curse, and Chris O’Donnell, well, after his epic failure at his possible Few Good Men, Oscar nomination scene, let’s just say I’m certain now of the reasons he disappeared from the big screen.
I laid in bed last night thinking of the status updates I read throughout the day, and the middle class America problems I encountered, being spiritually and strangely aware of the true evil that is busy at work all around us. We, being in our self-protecting bubble, choose to ignore the hatred that exists everyday in the lives of more than we are willing to recognize.
Somewhere in this country right now, there are a group of Haters talking about and plotting against families like mine-families filled with color and history. There are kids that are 7 years old
who are being taught to hate my Zachry because of the color of his skin.
There are migrant farms within a 15 mile radius of my house that provide living conditions equivalent of a third world country. Within a 10 mile radius of my house live approximately 30 registered sex-offenders (WELCOME TO FLORIDA)!
Reported, 1 out of 4 girls will be sexually abused by the age of 18, most of them by someone they know and trust. Kids are smoking pot on the bus on the way home from school, true story. 5th graders are pregnant. We pay to watch shows about abusive Dance Teachers and single mom’s who proudly become prostitutes to support their families. Depressed yet?
Don’t ignore the power of evil. It is quiet and sneaky, destructive and infilterating. HARD TRUTH: Evil will affect you . Luckily, God can and will protect you. What does that mean to you? Will you pray today? Will you speak hope into te world? Will you act in love to someone who doesn’t deserve it?
I took on a project I wish I never would have. I knew in the depths of my spirit that I shouldn’t accept it, my husband knew I shouldn’t accept it. It seemed right, I KNEW I could do it, and it would have great influence in the lives of lots of children, now and into the future. It was a way to live my fingerprint, it was an exciting thought, but…
I’ve struggled most of my life with understanding the difference between what I should do and what I can do. At the risk of sounding conceited, I can do most things well. It really has to do with how God created me with the need to give my best in all that I do. When it comes to planning and analyzing, teaching, encouraging, I usually have good ideas that are possible and sometimes even exciting. I can find better ways to have people stand in line, and cool ways to get your name out there. I have a vision for how to connect with kids and how to counsel people. My mind races with ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas….sometimes it’s exhausting. Not all the ideas are good, in fact some of them suck! I’m definitely not perfect and sometimes are completely off track in my thinking, but even in my suck-i-ness, I do that well, too!
I’m really trying to streamline what I should be pursuing in my life right now. My husband has a clear vision for me, but I’m not on board. I think I know what I want to do, but what I should do may be something entirely different. I’m realizing these few things:
:: The things I should do require sacrifice.
:: The things I want to do are most of the time at least partially rooted in pride.
:: God will allow me to do the things I want to do if they are the things I should do–sounds confusing, but if I’m seeking what HE wants for me life, then HIS desires become MY desires. My wants are His wants…and if they are HIS wants, than they are HIS shoulds.
So tough for me to sort through what I can do and what God wants me to accomplish–and this is a daily battle for me. I can easily get involved with too many projects–even those that are “good” may not be “right”. I have to remind myself of how not only does it stop me from accomplishing what I need to for the kingdom, but it robs someone else of their opportunity if I take their job. Oh, do I need help or do I need help? Don’t answer that!
But you can answer this: How do your sort through your wants and your shoulds? How do you know for sure if something is what God wants you to do? Or am I the only prideful, conceited “I’m doing it for God” crazy out there?
I’m entering into a new season of life as we make plans to move to Florida.
My life now is every season’s new beginning and every season’s ending. When God pushes you into change, it is new and exciting, yet overwhelming and frightening, at once. The key is to not focus on what’s being left behind or even what you are about to embark on. What God calls us to do is stay focused on the journey. In Ecclesiastes 3, we are reminded:
For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. / A time to be born and a time to die. / A time to plant and a time to harvest. / A time to kill and a time to heal. / A time to tear down and a time to build up. / A time to cry and a time to laugh. / A time to grieve and a time to dance. / A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. / A time to embrace and a time to turn away. / A time to search and a time to quit searching. / A time to keep and a time to throw away. / A time to tear and a time to mend. / A time to be quiet and a time to speak. / A time to love and a time to hate. / A time for war and a time for peace.
These contrasting ideas can be a comfort when we are in the midst of losing someone. Or a reminder of God’s grace when we are laughing and dancing, and everything in our season seems perfect, and comfortable and filled with God. But to be on a spectrum, means that you must look at what’s “in between.”
I am in transition. I am “in between” seasons. I have planted and am harvesting. I have been torn down, and feel God’s hands rebuilding me. I have embraced many, but must now turn away. I have spoken, but must now be quiet.
It not about those moments we can define– changing of a season is about moments that are indescribable. We know it’s happening, but cannot articulate what is transpiring.
I trust in HIM. Do you? Where are you in your season? Are you content with the war you fight? Are you at peace with God’s way of tearing you down? Are you healed? Are you giving HIM the glory for your season, or do you want to just quickly move on to the next one, praying it will be a better one?
Enjoy your “in between.” Life is about being “in between.” Be purposeful about your journey to the next season… Allow God to love you, plant you, mend you, save you.