Monday, February 23, 2009

Singing the song of Miriam and Moses

At night, my thoughts swirl around like so much muddy water. Tired. Weary. Lesson plans. Grading. Good grief, I grade my life away. Miss people. Do I have recess duty tomorrow? Arm hurts. Should help Mom with the dishes. So tired. Fraction of who I want to be. Hmm, forgot to do laundry. Tomorrow?

I am amazed that there is always a Word for my need. Spoken into my exact spot on the time/space continuum, written ages ago. Tonight it's Exodus 15:2-3, 13.

"The LORD is my strength and my song;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise Him,
my father's God, and I will exalt Him.
The LORD is a warrior;
the LORD is His name.
In Your unfailing love You will lead
the people You have redeemed.
In Your strength You will guide them
to Your holy dwelling."

Yes.

How good it is.

How good He is.

Were it not for His power, would we have hope? Praise You, Father God, for You are strength to the weak.

_______

On a lighter note, this funny thing happened a few nights ago. "The Lord is a warrior," Exodus says. Caedmon's Call says it too. Do any of y'all know that song on the "In the Company of Angels" CD? "The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is mighty indeed." Aaron had put the CD player on shuffle as we made potato soup, and that song came on.

"Doesn't this song ever strike you as odd?" he said. I lifted my eyebrow. The Lord is a warrior. We both agree with that, right? Seemed pretty scriptural to me.

"Um," I said.

"I mean," he continued, "It's got guitars and flutes. I feel like I'm a jester in a court, not like the Lord is a warrior. A warrior!" He gave a grunt. Next thing I knew, he broke out the William Wallace brogue and started pumping his fist in the air. "The Lord is a WARRIOR! We will follow Him! We will fight for Him!"

I laughed so hard my laughter turned silent. And then we looked over to the kitchen window. My mom was peering in, watching Aaron with a mixture of confusion and amusement.

Aaron stopped the fist-pump in midair and slouched against the counter. He poked the spoon in the soup pot. "It's got flutists in the background."

Boys. There's something about their kind that I don't quite get yet. :) I have a feeling I'm in for some more surprises.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Worry

Sometimes it feels like bars of steel
I cannot bend with my hands
Oh - I worry too much
Somebody told me that I worry too much
-Buddy Miller

I remember this song from my father's collection. Funky beat imprinted upon my child's mind. Ohhhh, Ohhhh, somebody told me that I worry too much.

I worry too much. I have been aware of it acutely since my return from India, but I think the pattern started long before then. Aaron comes down with a 103 degree fever. I worry that he might have meningitis. I heard on the news that two soldiers at a nearby base just died of meningitis. Surely it couldn't be. But maybe? Peter dislocates his thumb at a intermural game. I worry that the injury is much worse than I know. Possibly, he will suffer from the pain his whole life. Abby runs around the house. I worry that she might find a whole grape on the floor and choke. Or run into a sharp corner. The economy slides. I don't know anything about the economy, but people say it's bad. People know, right? The older men shake their heads and say, "It's not a good time to be young and startin' out. Too bad." I feel the weight of something I don't understand. Something that hasn't quite trickled down to me yet.

It's not concern. It's worry. Call it like it is.

Sometimes all of this feels like bars of steel. I can't do a single darn thing to bend the circumstances. My desire to be in control reveals volumes about my trust--or lack thereof. Oh friends, I need to believe in my soul, deep down and true, that the very fact it's not in my hands is the good news. Do I believe that His eye is on the sparrow, that His eye is on me, that He is good and His love is eternal?

I ache to say I do.

A little honesty from my weary soul today. I'm worn out from worrying. Trust and faith. May I be a fertile garden for their growth.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Perpetual Wonder

I'm giving myself ten minutes to write this post. I am at school. My class is in P.E., and bother, I ought to be grading papers or planning lessons.

Ten minutes.

Okay. Well, Aaron and I have made a pretty big decision. Yay for the joyful struggle of discussing things, opening hearts up and laying forth what's within, praying together over options, and learning to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Harder for me than him, I believe.

We've decided to stay in Bolivar next year. Aaron is going to stay on staff with K-life, a youth discipleship organization, and I will be his right-hand woman. I've decided not to teach again, as I want to be involved in kids' lives with Aaron, and teaching would pit my schedule against his very seriously. (I still, however, harbor dreams of becoming a coffee-shop barista.)

Of course this means that you have an open invitation to come and visit our little home. It will be very little, happily mirroring the size of our little town. Lest you doubt, let me assure you that good things come in small packages. Bolivar being no exception. I can take you to the Dunnegan Park, the Dunnegan Art Gallery, the Square, the Tea Garden, and the McDonalds. Also the Wal-mart. But really...um...enough of the attractions. The biggest draw, by far, is human hearts and smiles and warmth and welcome. All of which we offer aplenty. So please come. From near and far. We would love to open our home to you. (May I clarify that we don't have a home yet and won't until July, but after that, let the floodgates open.)

I am at peace with staying, but that doesn't mean my heart is always compliant. Sometimes it rises up, in those middle-of-the-night sweaty moments when you second guess every decision or in the wistful yearning of reading other people's adventures. This negates my scheme to draw visitors, but the honest truth is that Bolivar isn't really an adventure. I am learning that is okay.

"The things that Jesus did were of the most menial and commonplace order, and this is an indication that it takes all God's power in me to do the most commonplace things in His way...All the ordinary sordid things of our lives reveal more quickly than anything what we are made of. You do not know what you are going to do; the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing...It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder--you do not know what God is going to do next."
-Oswald Chambers

The only thing I know is that God knows what He is doing, and contentment is proof I gladly accept that truth.

Blessings to you all!