Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More on refusals

Our area received 6.2 inches of rain from May 1-15, so I suppose it was too much to ask for a reprieve Saturday for our garage sale. Here is my swamp front yard. Note the police tape, a testament to our hope-against-hope that we would be fighting the early-bird mobs, even in spite of the forecast. It certainly IS a crime that we are having to postpone our sale for a couple of weeks!!
Meantime, we are listing some of our larger items on internet sales lists, and have already had some interest. I will NOT BE HAPPY if we went to all that work for a garage sale and end up selling everything that way!!

And since I suddenly had extra time this weekend, I've been pondering a comment on my last post.

My "blog-niece"-heading-to-Bolivia Emily's thought:
Hmm, isn't it funny how we really have no idea what's going on in people's lives beyond what they choose to post in their blogs! (Our blog friends, that is :-)).

I find that generally the posts I choose not to write/make public are the conversations I need to be having with God and my closest, holding-me-accountable, love-tank-filling people. And that was probably more helpful for you, as well.
In case you were ever wondering, NO, my blog is NOT my personal journal. I am far too private and too much of a thinker to throw everything out there publicly before I have processed at least some of it. I wish I weren't that way, but I am. I believe there is value in sharing the journey, but I don't think there is always value in blabbing every emotion along the way, because emotions are fickle. The heart is "deceitful above all things and beyond cure," as the scriptures tell us.

Besides, what a downer!! ACK!

That's not to say God can't handle my volcanic, PMS-like emotions, and that's where I need to be taking them. Like the Dark Years, Part 1, for the past five months, I have again found comfort that others have been there before me:
Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:1-2
Depending on the season of my life, my heart has "grown faint" when an infant refused to sleep; or when a two-year-old stood, obstinately bow-backed, instead of sitting nicely in the stroller; or when we caught an eight-year-old in a lie; or when we've dealt with bad relationship choices with our teens.

This spring my heart grew faint when every.single.door was slamming in our faces, except the one that I least wanted to walk through.

My personality longs for things to be neat and tidy, non-confrontational and...well, mostly I like things to be planned. Instead, life is messy and loud and full of unpredictable twists and turns that can never be anticipated fully.

I fight against it. I don't like it. It is uncomfortable.

But can it be that this - this place in which we have no control - is exactly where God wants us? Where we are forced to fall at His feet and acknowledge that even our best efforts are powerless?


Here's another verse that's convicted me this spring. I like the ad-nauseum list of every comprehensible happiness-producing item that has been removed from the writer's possession. Perhaps, like us, as one by one they failed, he found out that these things he'd hoped in could not provide what he needed, anyway. Instead, he chooses joy:
Though the fig tree does not bud (though my toddler refuses to be potty trained)

and there are no grapes on the vines (though my teen does not show spiritual interest),

though the olive crop fails (though this part of my husband's/child's/co-worker's/my own personality is here to stay)

and the fields produce no food (though my laundry is never done)

though there are no sheep in the pen (even though the business does not take off and I have to brush off my dusty nursing license)

and no cattle in the stalls (you fill in the blank!),

yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19, NIV

Not sure what "grapes" or "olive trees" are not producing the kinds of "crops" that you had hoped to see by now. Maybe God seems far away and it seems like you are having to call Him from "the ends of the earth."

But God hears. The Sovereign Lord (the one Who is in control, since obviously we are not) is our strength.

I pray that you will find JOY as you wait to see what He does.

I'm waiting right there with you.


Susanne said...

I can so relate to this post. The worst part is I've felt so out of control, the decisions were not mine that landed us here and it is frustrating! But one cannot go back, only forward and forward with God is the best way to go. It's the waiting that is most difficult for me. This whole thing is showing me just how much in control "I" like to be. God, let me learn the lesson quickly.

Roslyn said...

Katherine, once again you are just in the place for inspiring me. Our "crops" have had some setbacks this spring, too, including a very cranky new baby, failing business, and now having to sell the new house we slaved over all last year (you KNOW that story!!) so that we can pay our obligations. But yes, this unplanned seeming-chaos is precisely where God wants us, so we will lean on Him and His strength. I feel oddly secure and at peace! Bless you and your family. :)

JJ said...

Katherine, I've been reading your blog for a while now and you find that right balance of being transparent yet not overly so.
This post resonates with me because I have been in a season of unknowns and waiting on the Lord since this fall. The waiting has ended now- as of Monday. I felt the Lord leading me to write about this journey and started a blog.
He is good. He is faithful. He hears ours prayers. In His own time. Praise Him!

Hope said...

Hi Katherine,

I too have been reading your blog off and on for a year or so. I can relate totally to your emotions and your faith. I appreciate your realness and authenticity. Life for me has been very dark at times and lonely. I have been in a marriage that has been hard and toilsome. I stay with hopes that God will some day use it for his glory and that my children can grow up healthy. So the scripture encourages us to have faith and trust in the things hoped for and not place our trust or faith in the circumstances. I heard Nancy Lee DeMoss say once the God is doing a thousand things that we cannot see or know about. It's true. Have you ever once obeyed God and not been blessed? I haven't. He is faithful, so keep doing what your doing and don't give up!!! Luke 18:1 Jesus taught us to ALWAYS pray and not to give up. Boy it sure is hard work!

Thank you for sharing about your experiences. I love reading your blog. It is such an encouragement to me. Everything about schooling your children to just real life stuff. (In fact, we are getting ready to put our oldest daughter in school ---I've home schooled her all this time. She will be going into 6th grade. I had to come to the place to realize it was ok for me to realize I could not do it all and that school WAS an option. I'm really excited about what God is doing in our lives.) So, all that to say you have been an encouragement to me and you didn't even know it until now:) God bless you!! BTW I'm a nurse too. I have stopped this past year, but hang in there. Nursing is a wonderful profession and I'm so thankful to be a part of it! Blessings, Hope

Anonymous said...

Praying for you. My life verse came from a time in life similar to where you find yourself. The kids were fewer (Had 2 then, have 4 now), they were much younger (2yrs and new then, now: 14,12,9 & 7). So I don't know what it is like going thru this w/teenagers and such, but may HIS words be a peaceful balm to heal the hurts, pain and frustration.

JOHN 14:27
Peace I leave with you, MY peace I give to you. And it's not the peace of the world. Let not your hearts be troubled, don't be afraid. ~ JESUS

I learned that when I was doing a Kay Arthur bible study on the the names of the Lord and I really didn't move beyond Jehovah Shammah, the LORD is my Peace.
May He be your peace too.

Garner, NC

Emily said...

Aw, hi! :-)

Katherine... you're so cool. Thanks for your email!

This post really convicted and comforted me-

"But can it be that this - this place in which we have no control - is exactly where God wants us? Where we are forced to fall at His feet and acknowledge that even our best efforts are powerless?"

Aahhh... yes. One of my fave verses is this random bit in 1 Chronicles- v 5:20, "God delivered them from all their enemies, because they cried out to Him during the battle. He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him."

That was so important to me when I first read it- right before my first year of college when I felt like I was in lots of "battles" I had no idea how to fight- that God just wanted me to say to Him, "Lord, I don't know how to "win" this one, I just need You!", that He wanted me to trust HIM to make everything okay (even if it wasn't my definition of okay) and not try to do it myself.

Thanks for sharing your personal reflections on that psalm... I'm sure I will need to remember that over the next six months in Bolivia!! :-)

Love to you, "Blog Aunt"!!

Ginger said...

I'm so very glad you DO share some of your processed thoughts. I love how you made Habakuk 3 personal!!! I've always loved the last verse and the story about Much Afraid ...Hinds Feet on High Places.
Hang in there!

We'll press on toward the goal to win the prize...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...!!!


Andrea said...

LOVE THIS POST. (yes, capitals needed.)
I think you have a good balance of sharing your struggles but *not too much*. I find I do the same on my own blog. I don't divulge much details but you could read and see my struggle. I like it that way *for me*.
I am getting to that place (after a year of setbacks and many disappointments) of learning to reside "under His wing" and be protected by Him despite unrelenting, stressful, disappointing circumstances. I see you are too.
Thanks for being real and always pointing us to HIm.