Notes from If-Part 8 (The last one!)

This is it…The last one. Whew! It’s from the night we got home from Texas…

I walk into Stephen’s room. It’s dark and quiet. But the Spirit speaks clearly…”Are you content if this is your ‘it’?”. What?

My it. My thing. The words of my epitaph. The calling I pour my life into. Am I content if this is my “it?”

This. This what? Mothering. Supporting. Reading books. Fixing meals. Teaching. Cleaning. Loving Jeremy. All this. The unnoticeable.

Am I content if this is my “it?”

Honestly…I have no idea. Has He increased so much and I decreased enough that any calling is a joy? Any chance to say “Yes Lord” trumps any plan I had for myself? I want to say yes. I do. But it’s all so sudden. So serious now.

No more wishing for more. Dreaming of different seasons. Staying home but most days wishing I was somewhere else. Getting irritated with the boys because I’m preoccupied living my own life. Still trying to write the story I want.

It’s a new call to surrender. To say yes. To exchange my white flag for His…no matter the color or shape.

Am I content if this is my “it?” No casual yes. I must think on this. Gut check. Heart check. Really believe that “He who has called me is faithful.”

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

“God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9)

photo(27) A final throwback pic!

Notes from If-Part 7 (Failed masterpieces)

One more from the plane ride home…

Just moments after the sun bursts through, the sky turns pink. Like a splattering of paint. Or a twist of tye-dye. It’s unexpected. And beautiful.

When rain meets sun. When pain meets grace. When He shouts to my soul above the hum of the plane engine-“I am God. See what I make with my words. See what happens when hurts collides with love. Masterpieces.”

And I declare myself, this trip to Texas, a failed masterpiece. Redeemed because of Who He is. And how He speaks. And the way He keeps communing with this heart that wants to give up on Him.

He paints. With His blood, sweat, and tears. Masterpieces in pain. Declaring “It is finished” when the journey seems so long.

So I look at the pink. Hand Him the paintbrush one more time. And say “Your will be done.”

“…to grant to those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)

photo(36) Old-school Disney pic!

Notes From If-Part 6

On the plane home…

We get above the clouds, and the sun breaks through. No more rain. Just fresh sunlight. And the storm clouds are still there…just below us now.

All I can see is sun. Glorious. There’s always hope, because He is always there. When it rains I still know He reigns.

So I get up. He takes my hand. And I fly. Freely. Because grace is that huge. That unbelievable. So bright that I blink. Believe. Can’t deny that He is powerful. And He loves me.

Faced darkness in a tomb so I can enjoy the light of His resurrection. The glory of this God came and died for me.

So I “lift up my eyes. Where does my help come from?” The Lord. Who made the rain clouds to astonish me with the sun.

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121:1,2)

photo(31) (Jonathan used to love his paci-and still loves his blankie!)

Notes from If-Part 5 (Looking for answers)

The morning we flew home from Texas…

On the phone, between tears I could no longer control, curled up in a bench in the hotel lobby, my Mom said, “Stop trying to figure things out.” Because she knows that’s what I do.

Look for answers. And reasons. Ask why over and over til I’ve formed an acceptable answer in my spinning head.

But sometimes there’s no answer. Just Him. And accepting that He is God and I am not. And He sees things I never will.

Faith. Knowing that my loving Father is working for my good and His glory. And maybe some things won’t make sense til Heaven.

Stop asking. Start resting.

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

photo(34) (Caleb’s “angry eyes”-He was 2 in this pic.)

Notes From If-Part 4 (Called to Serve)

More random notes I jotted on my phone while at IF. Still thinking on this one…

I’m called to serve. As Jesus served me. Laying down my life. Loving others. Seeing their needs as greater than mine.

But it gets old. And thankless. And I want to be served too.

Watching Jeremy so sick this weekend helped my perspective. I served however I could. Never felt burdened. Let me get you ice. Or Popsicles. Or find another Target. Yes, I sat in the floor of the 3rd one in 3 days staring at a row of medicine. Wanting to cry. And wondering if any of them would finally work.

But I never hated serving. Because I saw the need. How I long for Jeremy to be well. Why does it takes sickness for me to love and serve him without reservation?

God break my heart for him. For the boys. So much so that I can serve with joy even when I’m burned out. When I just want some time alone.

Break my heart like Yours broke for me. You saw a need I didn’t know I had. And You gave up everything to meet it. Be my strength. Be my joy.

May I be grateful to have a healthy family to serve. Who need me. Who need You. “Break my heart for what breaks Yours.” Even if it’s unnoticed. Or painful. Or seemingly ridiculous.

You are my portion. My strength. My joy.

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:24)

photo(30) (Another fun, old pic I found on my phone. I don’t think Jonathan was too thrilled about the water!)