Sunday, December 30, 2007

1+1=2

For 2007 it was joy. My one word resolution. I don't feel that I have succeeded in that endeavor so for 2008 it is joy.

But I also feel the need to add to that one word resolution, thus a two word resolution for 2008. Given the lessons that God had taught me in 2007 and really over the course of my life I think that to seek and find and recognize joy in all situations one must posses strength. Spiritual strength in the form of faith, emotional strength in the form of perseverance and empathy, and physical strength in the form of muscles.

I am well on the way to the muscles. I love Elijah but that kid and his 30 pounds are getting to be a bit more than I can handle. I am sure he is good conditioning for the baby to come with his/her car seat and diaper bag and snacks and Elijah. My goal is to have pipes like my sis. That girl is ripped! The other parts I will work on with God. I have perseverance, I think it is genetic with the women in my family but I feel like I have lost some empathy over the years. Somewhere I got a bit cynical. I have some faith but I know I don't have nearly enough even though God has proven himself faithful over and over and over and over.....

So may 2008 be a year of seeking joy and building strength and may they work together to glorify God.
Happy New Year, friends!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Let it be to me as you have said

It is hard for me to not consider Mary and her feelings during this celebration of her son, the Savior of the world. When Mary was visited by the angel who told her she was going to have a baby, even though she wasn't married, even though she could be stoned for her perceived adultery, even though she was young and ordinary, Mary's response was,"Let it be to me as you have said."

Would that have been my response? I know the answer to that, no. In my opening post I said that I had glibly chosen joy as my theme for 2007 but that God had thrown me some curve balls. (God often throws me curve balls.) After choosing joy God decided that He really wanted me to look for joy in all situations, just like he commands in Philipeans 4, "Rejoice in the Lord always..." even when it is hard.

In December when I chose joy I was riding high. Chris and I had decided on the same day that God was prodding us to expand our family (something I had previously resisted) and we quickly became pregnant in December of 2006. That joy was robbed a week later, when at five weeks pregnant, I miscarried. Where is the joy in that? Tears come to my eyes and I think about that dear child who would have been 3 months old this month. I mourned that loss but kept thinking that it was so easy getting pregant the first time it would be no problem. My mom was super fertile (my sis and I are 10 months apart!) so I must have inherited that, right?

God, again, wanted me to find the joy and teach me. For eight agonzing months I counted days, tracked cycles, took my temperature, begged for answers and guidance, and felt so alone and broken and distanced from God that I nearly lost myself. In a moment of pure desperation I cried out with all my soul to my Father. "What! What do you want me to do? What did I do to you? What is wrong with me? What!"

There was no immediate answer. Later that month, I attended a retreat and during one night of worship God allowed my heart to cry freely and in that cry He spoke to me. "I am in control." I already knew that God was in control; everybody knows that. But what I realized in that broken night was that I had forgotten to allow God to have control. "Fine God, you can have control of this. It is yours, just give me the heart to accept your plan."

What I had really forgotten is that my joy comes from not having to worry about every detail. God is in control, I just have to remember to look for His lead. Where is the joy in loosing a child? I don't know. God's plan was for me to be a mother again. After giving over control and not looking at the calendar I discovered to my disbelief that I was pregnant. With a baby coming in May there is so much to be worried about: will everything go okay, how will Elijah do with a sibling, what about my students at the end of the year? But, I don't have to worry about those things. God's got it.

The journey of 2007 has been one of seeking joy in situations where joy has been hard to find. I have not succeeded in all situations but as I continue my quest to seek joy I think it will be easier if I simply remember that God works for the good of all his children. Even if I have no idea what that good is. There is joy in knowing that God is looking out for me, always.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Come out! Come out wherever you are!

Where oh where has my joy gone? It seems like it has been one thing after the other the last few weeks. First our schedules got crazy busy with practice for church productions, work, extra work, and visits. Then Elijah got uber sick with the double whammy of croup and pneumonia so sleep became a luxury while we listened to him breath and cough and wheeze. Then of course Chris got sick and I got sick (still am, darn colds). To top it off my aunt passed away this week. While that doesn't really affect me too much since we weren't close but what does affect me is seeing my grandmother's heart shattered at having to bury another daughter.

Where oh where has my joy gone? It is in the healing of my dear sweet son, who is back to his old, twoness. It is in the pride of performance well received. It is in the knowledge that God heals all wounds, even shattered hearts.

My joy never really left. I just forgot where to look. My joy comes from my Father, who daily blesses me with an abundance that leaves me darn near speechless. My joy comes from my Father, who never forgets me and who always loves me; even when I can't see it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

American Idol?

This was too cute not to share.
video