Saturday, January 7, 2012

Lesson learned

Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I get so caught up in the roller coaster that has been our lives since about 2005 that I forget.  It really does seem like we've been trundling up one hill, cresting for a mere second before something else happens and we're falling into the next valley of crisis. Sickness, depression, dealing with a parent, sibling, child, self. An unending roller-coaster ride  for so long that I can't remember what it's like to get off, to stand on solid ground and simply walk at a pace slow enough to catch my breath.  So I forget.  Or maybe it's like being on a ship in a storm tossed ocean, the waves overwhelming, the troughs deep and no way out but through it.

So I forget. We just have to keep steady on through this storm, or keep riding the roller coaster. Holding on to the bar of the roller coaster or the ship's wheel as if we had a hope in heaven of steering the thing--which we don't. But we keep trying, at the mercy of it all.

Early this morning, however, while I was standing in my kitchen doing the dishes, God reminded me. I'd gotten side-tracked after dinner with this thing and that, then it was well after midnight and I couldn't figure out why Jackson was poking around in the living room, trying to outlast me rather than settling back on his bed for the night. Then I walked into the kitchen to all our shepherd's pie fixings still sitting on the counter. No wonder. He was hoping against hope I'd go to bed and leave him to get at them. So at 1 AM I found myself doing dishes.  This probably tells you more than I'd like about how disinterested I am in domestic pursuits, but there you go. Anyway, as I washed, I was mentally writing a New Year's letter about all the hard things we've struggled with in the last year. And just as I was reaching my stride, God began reminding me of what He HAS done for me.

And I was caught short. Had to grab the sink to keep from falling. Really. Though it should have pressed me to my knees.  In repentance and awe.
Because, of course. Duh! How dare I forget. How dare I be fixated on what has gone wrong, how we live from crisis to crisis that I don't taste and see that the LORD IS GOOD?

So with my hands sunk in soapy dishwater, I began to list those ways in which I most feel God's presence in my life:
My relationship with Beve, without whom I cannot imagine doing life
JESK (or E, J, SK in age order) who are the best gifts God ever gave me
My family of origin (and, by extension, their children and spouses)--who, after my first 4--are the most vital people in my life
Living where I live--this home, this life, this place
The specific gifts of writing, speaking, thinking that come from Him and (hopefully) return to Him
Relationships with friends old and new--and the deep, rich conversations that spring from those relationships
The opportunity to minister in many and varied--even unexpected--ways
My health, as quixotic as it is--as an unending opportunity for God to reveal Himself
The final days with the elders--that, as hard as some of those days are, we are here for them
Quilting-- my 'prayer-quilting', as one of my friends calls it

And, of course:
The Word of God

Here's the most amazing thing. This morning when I opened my Bible, the Psalm for this day is Psalm 118.  Verse 17 says, "I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done."

"EXACTLY," He tells me. "Just what I want you to remember. Today and every day, proclaim what I have done!"

As E would say, lesson learned.


E said...

Lesson learned, again and again.

Recovering Church Lady said...

wow, great reminder. I too have been so tempted to carefully list all the hard stuff this last year brought us. It all seems to be right in front of my mind all the time. But there are good things also and this is a good reminder of which list to look at. Thanks!

Elle said...

Thanks for the post! Not only is it a lesson for me too, but I also found the Hebrew alphabet next to Psalm 118 in the Bible. Useful! I didn't even know they existed there, although now that I think about it ... duh.