10/25/2020 1 Comment
This is my story. This is my song.
My own reflection in the glass of the China Cabinet caught my eye one evening after tea company left and I scrambled to rinse and dry each dirtied piece before dinner.
A picture snapped with an arm full of delicate pieces held safely against me. Some doubly handed down from Grandmother to Mother and finally to me. Treasures. History. My history. Their history.
The old hymn played on my phone while I rinsed and dried all the fancy things;
“this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long...”
The hymn and my duties collided in that moment when I saw my reflection. Living out my story in the simplest of ways - stacking dishes and humming, slippers scuffing the cracked stone tiles that have seen more use than they’re able to handle, hands wet up to my elbows and my hair tossed on top of my head like a red bow.
We live to the quick in this house, deeply in our rough skin and sometimes rough hearts. We clash at times and bend for, and blend to each other at other times. Every day is different but the lessons and living always the same;
“Pray about it sweetie, God will show you.”
“Your dinners warming in the oven, babe.”
“Forgive him quickly and try again.”
“Leave plenty of room for others to speak.”
“God will never leave you, keep courage.”
He grabbed my hand on what was likely to be the last warm night of the year and dragged me onto our quiet road. He had shut all the outside lights off and began to walk, towing me beside him.
“I have cookies in the oven, I really can’t stay long” I reminded him.
“It’ll only take a minute.” He said. “Look up.”
Stars. Thousands of glittering specks of light tossed into the blackest sky I’d ever seen. And a slice of moon giving it’s best shot at stamping shadows all over the ground. We walked silently down the center of the road, heads tilted, necks craned and nothing but the sound of our steps beneath us and the breath within us.
“God’s so good to us, Andy.” I whisper into the darkness.
I could hear myself breath, the rise and fall of oxygen to lungs repeated effortlessly bearing awareness to my feeble life, my tiny frame in the mix of all the other small and quiet lives lived before me. And I wondered, how many people have breathed life down this road? How many people believed their one moment to breath held purpose? Their breaths of pursuit and ambition, with vision and story, hardship and labored strength were more than unconscious behavior but by great design. How many starry nights had God looked on and watched desperate hearts reach to the heavens, craning their necks to see, taking their one chance to inhale and live and seek His face?
So many came before me.
And here we are. It’s our turn to breath and to live, to walk empty roads under the starriest of nights and pour hot tea into pretty china for those who exhale beside us.
With breath in your lungs I remind you - You have purpose. Today is your day. This is your hour. This is your story. This is your song.
“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.” -Psalm 150:6
10/12/2020 0 Comments
That's my son...
They call it “special time." My kids do, when they ask to do something alone with me.
“Mom, can we have special time?” They say.
I’ll be honest, I don’t always feel like parting the sea of normal routine and productivity to create some miraculous quiet hour for two. The mere thought of it can sometimes cause me to shudder when measured up with all that screams my name, claiming superior importance to my time.
But isn’t that how all relationships are? A weighing of what’s really important verses that obnoxious nagging to be productive and keep things looking together?
Everyone else had had a turn but him. He had waited without any complaint. So early one morning I quickly prepped two egg and cheese wraps, a to-go mug of cocoa for him and a hot tea for me and whispered in his ear, “can we have special time?”
A bike ride to a favorite tree where we sat on the side of the road and munched on our breakfasts and sipped our warm drinks.
The air was cool but we didn’t care. We talked about all that’s important to him and laughed about riding our bikes around the world someday.
It was quiet. Only the farewell cry of the departing geese and a distant crow in the pasture could easily be heard. The wind-swirled leaves skidding across our vacant road made for the best visual effects of an autumn day.
It kept playing in my head as I watched him pedal ahead of me, “that’s my son...that’s my son...”. Without the distraction of a busy morning I could see clearly who this boy was and relish in my heart his forever position as my son. His belonging to me, a gift rekindled in a moment of time allotted for him alone.
Maybe my relationship with God is quite similar when I choose to give him more than just a passing prayer while scrubbing sticky pans at the sink. Though these “work-prayers” whispered while dutifully walking out life are pressing to a healthy relationship with the Father, how much more will purposed time in prayer with God strengthen our relationship?
Could it be that the idea of special time desired by my children is exactly what we all should be desiring of God each day? I believe so.
Three weeks ago I began a designated prayer time without my hands bubbly in the sink or pushing the vacuum across the rug. I suppose you could call it “special time” with God.
Kneeling in prayer with a list of requests from friends and family and my own aching soul, I begin each day. Empty handed. No phone, no coffee mug, only the words and a heart ready to be known and heard by the Father.
“That’s my daughter...That's my daughter...”
I hear it deep within, breathtaking and real I know my belonging once more, morning after morning my place in Him is set.
The relationship deepened, the child seen, the requests made known and the Father glorified. It will never be a waste or a weak attempt to set aside time to speak with God. Do not be fooled, each bending of knee is a reset of where you belong and to whom.
And take a bike ride with someone you love...remind them and yourself of their belonging to you.
"My life passes as swiftly as the evening shadows. I am withering away like grass." Psalm 102:11