Thursday, February 20, 2014


Sometimes there is a lot of beauty. 

Little girls, dressed up like a princess, skipping down the sidewalk, as carefree as one could possibly be. Dancing to life. Drinking in the sunshine. That is a beautiful, lovely sight.

However, sometimes there is a lot of ugly.

So ugly our stomachs twist in knots and we have to lock ourselves in the bathroom to compose ourselves before heading back into the tumultuous sea storm of "whys". 

It's impossible to completely shield your growing child from the reality of the world we live in. They get to grow up right smack dab in the middle of the good, the bad, and the ugly, just like all of us. 

This week has certainly brought a resounding call of why from all over the nation. Kids and "grown-ups" alike have surely asked it, if only to themselves. 

The problem is, as such "grown-ups", we are accustomed to answering questions. We get to practice daily.

"What day is it?"
"Where is the moon?"
"How tall am I?"
"Will you take me to...<fill in the blank, parent>"

Sometimes a simple two word answer suppresses the curiosity of a child before they head off in a completely different direction. Other times one answer leads to another question. And another.

And another.

This week, a 10 year old beautiful, innocent girl was kidnapped in broad daylight from her own neighborhood by a complete stranger and murdered. My stomach churns just recounting it.

Thinking of that precious girl's family and the unbearable weight of grief they are going through causes much prayer and anguish to rise as incense out of the hearts of many. 

The ominous "why" returns. Peeks it's gnarly head out looking to be snatched and locked away. If only we could physically grab hold of it. Contain it. We could have our answer, things would look better?

Feel better?

I am reminded of a time about 12 years ago. I was going through a difficult situation of my own and my husband, who at that time was simply a caring friend, did something I had not experienced before. We were not dating, however, the following experience sealed my heart to his.

The tears were pouring. I shared the pain I was feeling with him, not knowing at that time what I was looking for. As he responded, his words full of compassion, in some strange way dulled the pain, if even just a little.

"I don't know what to say. I have no words. I wish I did, but it is just hard."

So many times, well intentioned people want to bring comfort, heal the hurting. They can tend to think that if they could just "explain the why", they might bring help to those in mourning. 

I have read books about, heard discussions on, had others try to explain to me the infamous~ "why bad things happen to good people" and never once has it brought about the intended results. 

Sometimes a simple, compassion filled statement from someone who loves us can bring a soothing balm to the open wound:
             I don't know. I wish I did. I have no words. It is so hard.

The Scriptures bring such life and put things so simply when we as humans can tend to over complicate things.

It is okay not to have the answers. Most of the time, if we are honest and pressed, we do not have an answer anyway.

Monday, February 10, 2014

You Can Have it All

You can have it all...

Someday when you are six feet under in this world and your spirit is alive and free in the next, face to face with Jesus, angelic hosts singing, pearly gates, all of that, you will have it all. I will have it all.

All meaning everything that will at least matter. Except, a lot of stuff will not matter.

But in this world a lot matters. Or at least we live like it does. Worry like it does. Stress and blame and get angry like it does. 

Look at other people's lives and compare ourselves like it does.

Get anxious about everything from what so-and-so thinks to how the heck we went over budget again in groceries like it does.

Living this jumbled up, topsy~turvy, sometimes tornadic-esque adventure has got me thinking a lot about what I deem "important". I'm talking down right necessary to life.
Like food and water type category.

In the past three weeks I've had a few tears. A few let-downs. Disappointments. 

I tried going to a movie with my baby (which you may already be thinking, well duh, that is a bad idea but we trial and error, ok?) and she started crying before the previews were even finished. I had to leave the theatre. 10 bucks, or however much a movie ticket is these days, down the drain.

I attempted to get us all ready and go to church and made it 1 out of the last 4 weeks.  

An overall, general sense of overwhelmed-ness (yes, I like to hyphen and add endings to words that make non-real words) has been tugging at my heart for a while now.

You see, I am experiencing what many scholars and well-trained minds have termed- "life".  It's ups.
It's downs.
It's stagnation.
It's kicks and spins.

I have felt at times like I was going to fly off, or maybe that I wanted to let go, but I'm still here. Still hanging on.

The list of important-cies (there is a made up word again) is always in our faces:

!) Pay bills
!!) Make sure everyone in the family is doing well spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially, mentally
!!!) Give ourselves and our time to the best possible things we can to better ourselves, others, our world
!!!!) Be fit
!!!!!) Have enough food stocked in the cupboards 
!!!!!!) Clean clothes, clean floors, clean nooks and crannies
!!!!!!!) Be a good friend, or at least be somewhat social
!!!!!!!!) Fix broken stuff
!!!!!!!!!) Be cute
!!!!!!!!!!) Live in the moment
!!!!!!!!!!!) Learn, grow, be better at... everything 
!!!!!!!!!!!!) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Until finally, the list gets filled up more and more with important-cies and we are just trying to stay above water. 
Do not drop one of your spinning plates.
Do not fail.
Do not give up.
Do not.....whatever your little voice inside your already overly stimulated brain keeps telling you that you mustn't forget to do or not do...and you just cannot keep up and you start to let go of the ride of life...
and you do...
and Someone catches you.
Holds your tired body in His arms.
Says nothing but everything through His embrace.

And as He holds you, the room stops spinning. The noise in your head settles. Nothing more has been checked off your list but suddenly, the list is no longer what is important. It's just you and Him. 

I have been experiencing "Him" more than my little fingers could possibly type. I am realizing, maybe for like the bagillionth time, when my focus is on what, or should I say, WHO, is important, my perspective of everything else just naturally falls into place. Not everything changes in my world. Sometimes, or maybe most the time, nothing changes. Or it gets worse. Encouraging, right? But He holds me. And many times, without words, just keeps me there until He has "spoken" so much to my little overwhelmed heart that I get up.

I clean up another life's mess. 
I bandage another life's wound.
Because no where in this world will those things end.
But having the strength to get up and keep going can be the single greatest accomplishment. 

And one day, you will have it all. A perfect house. The perfect family. The perfect finances. The perfect emotions. The perfect hair. Or maybe, someday we will understand completely what we get glimpses of throughout this life, that we do not have to be perfect.

Because He is.

And He just might say...