I have this friend who has to sell her home. She doesn’t want to, but circumstances beyond her control have forced her hand, and she now has to give up her sanctuary. A few weeks ago, my family sold my grandparent’s house. Well, it was more than a house, it was home. It was a place lots of children were raised, lots of praying was done, and the place where my grandmother went to see Jesus.
It makes me sad to think of it, and shines light on my ridiculous jealousy when it comes to other people’s homes. I want a home of my own so badly, to build those memories, to give my kids a forever place where the grandkids can come for the summer and I can teach them things their parents will fail to.
But like my friend and like my family, as well as the devestation of all the Hurricane Sandy brought, when it comes down to it, a home is just a house. It’s a thing. We get so attached to things. Really, it’s quite ridiculous. We can’t take them with us. And no matter where my grandparents chose to buy a house, it would’ve been our home.
I wonder if this was a little something to do with Jesus being homeless. We all know his ministry was traveling and it didn’t make sense for him to have a home, but what if there was more to it? What if he knew that something as insignificant as a house could become a stronghold, an idol?
I wonder what other idols we have in our lives that control our thoughts and emotions?
The search is in progress for a new place for my Sunday morning students to meet. A few weeks ago, we picked McDonald’s. Hard to focus kids over french fries. This past sunday we tried the park. Serene, surrounded by God’s nature, uninhibited. Yah…ummm….no.
Noisy carwash across the street, yelling kids, ridiculous sized birthday parties and bugs.
Amidst the chaos we tried to focus on Jesus. Under the pavilion we gathered around the long picnic table, yelling our thoughts and questions at each other as two different families set up their picnics around us. It was futile. We decided to call it quits and trek a bit further out to pray. We stood there slapping the bugs off our legs and dodging bird droppings hoping that Jesus was not as distracted as we were.
Our lives are much like the trees in that park. Surrounded by chaos, constant noise, numerous distractions, it seems impossible to find Jesus. We allow everything around us to interrupt our focus, to stop us from praying, to keep us from going deeper in our relationship with God.
Some how and in some way we have to find the ability to drown out all that submerges us–leaving us gasping for air. Jesus can’t do that for us, we have to do that ourselves. Trees root themselves and are able to grow and reach toward the Creator despite the little feet that try to stomp them, or the constant noise that surrounds them.
And we find trees, still strong, able to withstand–simply because they were able to focus on growing in Him. How’s your focus?
Saturday, October 6, 2012
1906 Bloomingdale Ave
Valrico, Fl 33596
INVITE YOUR FRIENDS!
An Interactive Workshop focusing on
- Why our kids are so Stressed
- How we know if our kids are Stressed
- How Stress affects their behavior
- What we can do to help kids with Stress
A Workshop For
This is the first time I’ve spent time in the mountains. The beach now has some serious competition. Now mind you, it’s not snowing or -20 out. The weather is cool enough yet warm enough. The mountains are ridiculous-beautiful and I’m surrounded by….
Oh, the trees! The abundant 360 degrees of constant reminders of God’s glory. It’s tempting to not pack my bags, while praying for a new calling and just move here until I receive it. I am in constant awe of God’s beauty. I am redefining what it means to be on the mountain and in the valley. I see it, I understand it. There is a peace here like no other.
I wonder how to take these mountains with me back to the beach. It’s easy to find peace and contentment when you are away from the daily rumblings of life uncertain. But when the thunder rolls, and the bills pile up…or the kids needs are beyond your capacity to provide…or you need to find time for our marriage when work sits and stares at you…then your friends are in crisis, and your dog needs to go for a walk…and you need to find the time to take a shower.
I want to bring this peace I have found in the Carolina mountains and infuse it into my reality. I believe it is possible. How do you find your peace?
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.