Thursday, June 19, 2014

In Oceans Deep

Moving Journal Entry #2

June 19, 2014

One thing about moving that I find hard is "the last times". There's the last drive to school, the last sleep in your room, the last walk down the driveway, the last smell of the lilacs, the last stroll with the dog, last look around at the place you've called Home.

Because I'm of the sensitive-soul type (who isn't, though, really), I think about these things and I have a sharp-knife-point awareness of them as we go along. I try not to think too much or move too fast, to keep the point on the outside of the skin, to keep the hurt out. I'm too aware of the stress my children are feeling. We all are under the weight of loss and the relentless time-keeping the days impose. My husband's voice is a bit sharp as we drive away and leave his old red truck in someone else's driveway.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior                            
 "Oceans"      -HILLSONG

Keep our eyes above the waves, Lord.

The only way through is to keep walking, keep one foot stepping in front of the other. Every other day we ask ourselves and each other -
 'What are we doing, again? This is a good thing, right? Are you sure we've got this right?'
This is where the exercising of the faith comes in. I must confess the muscle is weak and flabby and tires easily.

One moment I'm packing, fast and efficient, cleaning almost frantically - tripping, phoning, getting things done. The next, I'm slowed to a crawl. I stare at the cupboards, wonder what to do with the food (What did we do last time? Why can't I remember anything?) and then turn away from the cupboards and go outside. I'm worried the piano won't take one more move. We need that piano, it's a family heirloom now, and Lauren plays it constantly - but the legs have become weak. I'm afraid to move it even one inch. What if it breaks? I might break.

Because I'm sentimental but also ridiculous and sarcastic, there's a bit of Jekyll and Hyde going on. A tear rolls down for some reason. Two minutes later I'm rolling my own eyes at my own tears. Cue exaggerated eye-rolling. (It's not that big of a deal! Come on, people move every day. Get over it.) Much of the time I'm just fine and logical and perfectly calm, a paragon of rationality, one might say. Mmm.

I am more than Thankful for these days when I've had a few hours to myself, where I can think and sit in the quiet of an empty house and plan. I realize it's a huge privilege and I don't take it for granted, and I also know it's pretty much over. This afternoon is sports day at the school, then tomorrow is a short day, the last day. Today I'm going to be mowing the lawn, packing every box and thing I'm able to lift into a container, selling the mower, dealing with stuff. Looking for more boxes. I thought I had PLENTY of boxes, but I thought wrong.

The thing with Last Things, what gives them a knife-edge of sadness, is the word regret. Regret is one of the saddest words in the English language, me-thinks.

Because whenever you say good bye to something, there's always a what if. What if we had spent more time in the yard? What if the kids had finished the fort? Why didn't I have more family and friends over? Why didn't I finish that project? Why didn't we take more family photos? Ahh, regret. It permeates life. We never have enough time. We always make mistakes, that's just the way it is. We do our best with what we have in each moment, and sometimes we don't have anything left in that moment and our best is pitiful and sad.
But I believe it's ok. I believe this is NOT the END. How can we step out with confidence? How to set our hearts and eyes straight forward? How to let the sad and regret shake off like water drops, to only absorb what we can handle? How?
Because this isn't the end.
Eternity stretches out - and I believe we will have all of heaven to get the moments back. All is not lost! It's never lost, as long as we are breathing. I can do all these hard things, yes sometimes with tears, when I am holding the Hand of my God. Everything else I can let go, because when we leave this brief earth-sojourn it is only His Hand we will be holding.

...and there I find You in the mystery, in oceans deep my faith will stand


Friday, June 13, 2014

I Don't Have Time to Blog

I really shouldn't be doing this.

I have imminent packing responsibilities, crazy-too-much work, I'm on the phone with a mortgage specialist RIGHT NOW (well, holding...cue uplifting piano elevator music) and yeah. Stuff.

But I want to have a bit of a record of this move process. So it dawned on me that I could enter blog posts like a journal, just a few lines here and there, and not have to say everything all at once. Here goes...

Friday, June 13  9:15 am

Horrors. It's Friday the 13th! Nah. Never bothered me.
I'm sure everything will be FINE. (nail biting ensues)
House is officially sold, signed and sealed, so now the packing begins in earnest.
Not just packing, but sorting - the agonizing sorting know as "Organizing". They even have specialists who do this. I'm wondering if it will be an Olympic sport. Now, I should be good at organizing, because I was the Go-To organizer in our household growing up. The cupboards, the bookshelves, the closets, the junk drawer...all these I was recruited regularly to sort out. And so developed the myth that Pam is a good organizer. I say myth, because it's not true!! Under duress I can indeed organize, but it's not really natural. I don't care if things are haphazard, as long as I can stuff them in a drawer when company comes over. So I suppose I excel at the appearance of organization. Hmm.

Back to today.  Typically, I have 3 or 4 things I'm working on at once. And about 34 threads of thought streaking like night-traffic seen from space. (cue sound effects - "piyooo! piyooo!")
 - Should we keep the red bucket that I ran over 5 years ago? Or throw it out? What if we don't have the money for a new bucket? Better keep it.
- The garage was clean, now it's a new disaster. We are going to have to bring in the army to help us get out of this place, I just know it!
- The lawn needs to be mowed ALREADY?!?!? AGAIN??!!
- The cat's pregnant. Should we try and give her away this minute or keep her and enjoy the kittens?
 - Groceries. Need groceries. Somehow that annoying "food is essential for life" thing keeps cropping up. No pun intended.
 - My clothes are horrible. I hate them, every single item. Except for those new socks. Should I give away all my clothes? I don't feel like packing these ugly clothes!

So yeah. It goes on like that. All at once, and once again I've had way too much coffee already today. I'm tping way fastr tha I cann spell. !! Gaaa!!

Better run. ttfn.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Treasures, Trees, and Trust

This morning I finally picked up my Bible for the first time in a long time.
No, it wasn't because I was feeling extra spiritual, and no, it was definitely not because my husband is planning to go to Bible school in the fall and I better get my act together.
It was simply that I was waiting for something to load on the computer, and I thought, "Well, it's as good a time as any." I think I was trying to answer the subconscious conviction in my heart, because I know without the water of the Word the life dries up and all things wither. But it has been a slow process of dawning obedience and I can't say I will pick up my Bible tomorrow, though sincerely I hope I do.

So I read Isaiah 45, on this the closing day of the sale of our home of 8 years (still waiting for confirmation on said sale). Here are a few treasures...

"I am the Lord and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, so that from the rising of the sun to the place of it's setting men may know there is none besides me. I am the Lord and there is no other."

AWESOME. How many 'others' have I tried to follow and find God in....

'I will strengthen you.....though you have not acknowledged me...'

Yes, and yes. The staggering thing is the faithfulness he has in the face of our disdain, our misunderstanding, our godlessness.

When the equations of life are not to our liking, we take the God part out. So be it, if all we have now is the Question, the Unsolvable Equation; at least we are free of the God Problem.

I don't agree with many other Christians. Christians are dumb.
                            Take the God-part out.
I find church annoying and limiting and judgemental.
                             Take the God-part out.
I think the world and society have some good points that I can't reconcile with faith.
                             Just, take out the God-part.
These questions I have are too big. I need answers and I can't find them.
                             Take out the GOD PART ALREADY.

One thing I know, as people, we have a very high opinion of our own ideas and intellect. And now with information streaming high-speed over the internet we are even smarter. So smart, that all the ridiculous answers that we've been given by God are just - laughable. Infected, pus-oozing with our own pride, we have become so sick we are immune to the cure.

It's very lonely outside of the friendship of God.

With it, peace.

"They will say of me, 'In the Lord alone are righteousness and strength.'"
Am I still wrestling with several unsolvable questions?
Do I still feel angry over the injustices upon the earth?
Do I still think, "truly you are a God who hides himself..."?  (vs 15)

Oh yes.
However, I am sobered by the Words.

"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, What are you making? Does your work say, He has no hands?"
                 *                              *                            *
"I have not spoken in secret, from somewhere in a land of darkness; I have not said to Jacob's descendants, 'Seek me in vain."

The hand of God on your heart is heavy, and sweet. It comes as He wills, and not as I will. How we want to be in control of our own lives!! Master of our ships, commanders of destiny. The desire to surrender does not come from inside us, it comes from Outside and brings freedom with it. You see? Unsolvable equations.
Surrender = Freedom.

Life is in mind-blowing transition for me right now. The sun bathes the white-blossomed apple trees in front and back of the house, and I don't want to leave. The closet wall has the heights and ages of the kids etched in from the last 8 years. The road outside is the same one I walked as a girl, kicking stones, dancing alone under the sky, and considering how the baked-brown earth looked like chocolate. Through each new window is a beautiful, large tree that shelters and strengthens at the same time. On the grass the dog lies soaked in sunlight on the same spot where we first played with her as a puppy...and I don't want to leave. It's hard right now, but don't feel sorry for me, don't be swept away by my tide of sentimentality; it's all working out my trust. The trust is a little shaky. Each step forward takes a lot of courage. This is the inside of my life right now, looking out.

I hope to update more often.

If conditions are removed today, our house sold in 5 days.
This week we go again to Three Hills to look for a place to live.
In the meantime, everyday life still happens, and the weight of everything that needs to be done is actually crushing, all the responsibilities needing to be shouldered.
And so I'm really thankful for this time I took to write my thoughts out. It should serve as a record and a reminder for the future, the future that right now stretches out like shimmering mirage-like waves that rise off the burning highway, unclear.

Grateful for the friendship of God today. He is huge, and he will be my shelter and strength; I pray it is so.