June 26, 2009

The Quiet House

On our last field trip to Salem I overheard a young “mother of many” sighing. With managing her tribe, homeschooling, housekeeping, afternoon sports and all, she lived in constant activity. Of course she wondered how life would be when the children were grown and she’d have hours of quiet to herself. You know, the kind of quiet where you aren’t concerned about what they’re up to since they’re so quiet!

I just smiled. “It’s pretty nice.”

I don’t hear my foster daughters’ giggles any more, but the memories are sweet. I don’t wonder if nail polish was just spilled on the carpet or if the youngest made it to the toilet in time (and remembered to close the door).

The laundry gets all the way done, folded, and put away now. And meals are what Jerry and I like. I can call my mother and arrange to spend the afternoon shopping for my niece’s bridal shower gift with her – and spend as much time as we need. I can linger with my arms around my Dad and tell him how important he is to me. They get more of my attention now, which they so patiently waited for all these years.

Thank God for the changing seasons! When I was younger than 50, I enjoyed His blessing on my endeavors. When I am older than 50, I enjoy His blessing on my new endeavors. I still lean hard on His arm when I am weak or disappointed. I continue to look for His direction when I’m bewildered. He is still my closest friend in the night. He alone comprehends my joy when I look into my grown son’s eyes. These things will not change, but He is faithful to bring me through changes.

Switching gears here, I need to mention Chris in Mauritania. He was killed this weak by Al-Qaeda, shot down in the street by extremists who exalted that they’d taken care of an infidel for Allah. He leaves behind his wife and 4 children.

My son and his wife knew them in the late 1990s, and I saw on Facebook yesterday that there are many people praying for Chris’ family as they return to the states.

To share the news of God’s love with others is worth the risk. I am so glad that there are people like Chris who took that risk for me.

Hold them, Jesus.

+++++++++++++++++++++

June 12, 2009

To Just Be, or Not to Be

The junior high school librarian saw me steal quietly up to the counter gripping a large white book. She knew its name. She knew my name. This was the ninth week I had come in to have her stamp the check-out card “RENEWED.”

Nervous and shaking like some sort of addict, I closed it quickly and covered its title with my jacket, hoping to draw no attention to it or to me.

A New You. How I desperately wanted a new me! I devoured its advice, practiced its exercises, studied the hair-do and make-up techniques, even traced some of the drawings to file away in my notebook. But nothing really changed. The length of borrowed time on the book was renewed, but I wasn't!

Week after week of studying A New You, I was still the old me. I began to worry that someone might find out that I wasn’t perfect by now, or at least a bit improved. What a hopeless race to nothing!

I'M SO GLAD I'M NOT IN JUNIOR HIGH ANY MORE,

but I still struggle with being content in my present state. I should know better, but I have to continually let go of my selfish ambition to BE something, and rest in who God has made and what He has given. I don't have to prove myself to anyone, just keep on loving Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love my neighbor as myself.

That is all. That is the best me!