It’s puzzle season in my house right now. Usually starting sometime in November I start feeling the itch to start one. I’ve always loved puzzles, but they just hit differently in your thirties. Maybe it’s a (almost geriatric) millennial thing. Anyways, you know who else loves a good puzzle? My three-year-old. He’s actually not terrible at them, considering how young he is. He has a funny habit though, of taking pieces out of my fingers right as I’m placing them in their designated spot. If I manage to get one locked in before he grabs it, he has to take it back off of the board and pretend he was the one who found where it goes. With a triumphant, “It DOES go there!” he puts the tiny puzzle piece in its place. Little glory stealer. Just kidding.
That did get me thinking though, how often we try to steal the glory from God.…
I see a post on Instagram from another Christian writer and it’s so beautiful and wise and creative. Wish I’d thought of it. I’m not creative enough, I conclude.
I’m writing a book and sometimes my brain hurts and the words won’t come. I feel overwhelmed by the phrases in my mind and how I can’t seem to make sense of them myself, let alone for my reader. I’m not smart enough, I send in Vox to a friend.
My son acts out. I know it’s a cry for attention because his baby brother demands so much of me. I snuggle him, play with him, and involve him in activities, but he still requires more. I’m not available enough, I lament.
My mind is so full of information that I forget appointments, plans, deadlines, medications, or just simply to drink water. Guilt floods my heart in bed because I forgot to put ointment on baby’s rash again.…
If you walked the path alongside our house from the driveway, you’d find a patch of dried up wildflowers. Continuing around the corner and past the blue chair on the patio, you’d notice more dead plants in pots as well as a much bigger patch of dried up, shriveled stalks that used to be zinnias. Ah, winter.
I thrive in the summer. Winter just isn’t where it’s at for me. But as I go on my morning walk, I do appreciate what the brown grass and leafless trees preach to me. It’s easy to feel discouraged at the sight of their dormancy. It’s what is unseen that brings me delight and hope. Underneath all that dryness is a life, ready to bloom—to be revived. And it will be revived, soon.
This ushers in hope because it’s a picture of the spiritual drought many Christians walk through. We fear the winter will never let up.…
The words came out like venom. And in that moment, I meant each one. It’s not even just the way my body looks. No, it’s the way it feels. It’s the persistent bloat that presses tightly against even my sized-up jeans. An ever expanding pressure; a ticking time bomb. It’s the searing, twisting cramps that creep slowly through my entire abdomen as we head back home instead of going to small group. It’s the feelings of failure as I hear my baby cry and can’t run to him. Or the pain of his weight on my stomach while nursing him during a flare. It’s the wrestling with God over withheld healing. It’s the frustration of missing out on another family walk.
It’s the fact that I can’t even capture all the things it does to me in words. It feels like a prison—a place where pain reigns. …
I hear myself say it. “Oh, how I wish he’d let go of the control he doesn’t have.” And my heart is pricked. Because I know, that’s a word for me too.
An anxious mama mothering an anxious little boy. I think, what could be a bigger train wreck? But I know God is trustworthy. And he’s given us each other. A mama who can empathize and a little boy who acts as mama’s little mirror.
He will be faithful my sweet boy to grow us both. And to be with us through the tears we both shed. And the years it takes for us to feel safe, secure, at peace.
May I be a safe place for you here on earth. But more than that, may I point you to Jesus, Our refuge. Our security. The place where peace is found.
The crabgrass creeps in, weeds reach high toward sun rays, across the full length of what’s meant to be a flower bed. They seek to overshadow every bloom and cover every inch. But beauty reaches higher. Abiding, abiding.
And I think of my own heart weeds. The ones that try to prowl upon my soul, telling stories of unbelief, loneliness, and a God who forgets his promises. But I believe beauty reaches higher, by the grace of God alone. Pointing me to the Son. Abiding evermore.