Saturday, June 16, 2012

Me vs Reality

     Ok, so I am 3 days behind on my blog this week.  Forgive me; moving in is hard work, and if I don't have quiet time, I have a hard time listening to the movement of the Spirit.  And I don't write.  Anyhow, I found this poem in my bedside table stuff while I was unpacking boxes.  I wrote it a couple of years ago, when I was feeling Bridget grow away from me, and when I was losing another young person from my life, even if he wasn't (technically) my own child.  It was hard to see him grow and go.  Now, with my daughter, Bridget, teetering on the edge of the nest, this poem feels especially apropos.  Fly, my baby B--fly!

These Ties Don't Bind

The hardest things to let go of
Are the ones I never held
The ones I grasped at
But never really caught.

The ones that I only thought
Truly belonged in my life
They were just shadows behind
The true life I lived.

And now the time has come.
I know you're free.
The hand releases, and
The heart must follow suit.

by Donna Craig

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Restless Leg Syndrome

     "It kinda disturbs me that you've been feeling restless about who you are," he said.  I suppose it would be confusing.  He is 17, and I am 43.  I was his teacher in youth small group.  Surely I should know exactly who Christ wants me to be?
     I used to be so certain of who I was.  I am an academic.  I am a wife and mother.  I am a youth minister.  I am a missionary.  I am...not sure.
     I miss that clarity of vision.  I miss that clarity deep down in a part of my soul which is plagued by a gnawing hunger.  I hunger for the Holy Spirit to speak clearly to me of straight paths and brightly-lit places.  I am 43, and bubbling up inside of me are new longings, new dreams.  These visions are vague, slippery.  I  awaken with them on the tip of my tongue, but they slip away before I can find my glasses and write them down.
     I get up in the mornings, get the kids to school, begin tidying up.  My stomach churns a bit.  I am dissatisfied.  I call an older woman for advice.  She assures me that Christ has called me to be a wife and mother, that its a high calling and pleasing to God.  Trust me, I am not a bored homemaker looking for a career.  I am a voyager seeking the best route.  Although I have no idea where that route may meander, I know its name:  The Footsteps of Christ.
     I want to dog Christ's heels so closely that I risk giving Him a flat tire.  I want to sell everything, take up my cross, and follow Him.  Instead, I fold my children's clean clothes, sigh, and get to making supper.  I indulge myself in small steps, perhaps not right on Jesus' heels, but still within a stone's throw.  I give money to those who ask.  I volunteer at charities.  I love people.  A lot.  I try to treat everyone as if they were more important than I am.  I watch to see where God is working, then I try to join in His work (thank you, Henry Blackaby, for that advice).  Step by step, we can leave our old selves behind.  Step by step, we are building a kingdom.  A kingdom that exists among us.  A beautiful city.
     I look him in the eyes and I say, "Well, restlessness is part of the Christian condition, since we are not of this world.  We should long for home.  If we get too comfortable here, we risk loving this world too much."  He agrees with me.  It's ok if I don't find the perfect place for myself here.  I know where my perfect place is, and I will follow my Leader all the way home.