Saturday, June 29, 2013

In-between


 Typically good things are "in between" something. Peanut butter and jelly are in-between two slices of  bread, the cream in an Oreo cookie is in-between two cookies, and when you hug someone you have the love between you and that person smack dab in the middle of that embrace.
A lot of times the in-between's in life aren't as desirable as strawberry jelly or the cream in an Oreo. And come to think of it, when a person is 11 and 12, they are often referred to as being "tweens". Not a child, but not a teenager. Simply just somewhere in-between two stages of life. A lot of times a "tween" doesn't know what is going on in their world. There are so many physical and emotional changes and often they can't even recognize themselves any more.I guess in life we are technically always "in-between" something. There are a whole lot of events, experiences and changes that happen in-between the bookends of birth and death. There are times in life where we are certain what the probability of an event is going to be, and there are other times when we haven't a clue as to what is coming next. 
One week ago I had the privilege and the blessing of being able to fly home for a week to visit my family and have them meet the love of my life. There were many hugs, kisses, conversations and some tears. It became surreal to have the blending of people from both of my homes; to know that one home and family was where I came from, and the other one was where I was led to by Gods hand. 

When we came home to visit my family, one of those days we drove a few hours to Lanesboro, Minnesota for a family "day-cation". My mother was absolutely insistent that we all go tubing down the river together as a family. Jeremy had to remote into the office in SC and do some work, so he opted out of the adventure, but the rest of us marched down to the river, not exactly sure what to expect.

The tubing trip lasted about 2 hours, and in-between the launch into the river and ascension out of the water there were many events that took place. There were moments that were scary, like going right when we were supposed to go left, which landed us in a precarious, rocky part of the river where my brother Aaron tried to rescue my sister and I, only to realize that the current was far too strong and we just had to hope that everything was going to turn out okay (and it did!). There were also moments of pure relaxation as we let the current of the river pull us along at the speed that it wanted to, while we enjoyed the warm sun, the clear blue sky and the serenity of the outdoors. However, we never did know when the pace and the feel of the river was going to change, and when it did we quickly learned how to hang on tight and ride the river the way that the river wanted us to.

There was a bald eagle sighting, which was an answered prayer for my mother who had silently prayed that one would show up, but there were also scrapes and bruises from jagged rocks in shallow portions of the river. I felt like tubing down that river was one very obvious visual and analogy of our lives. As I sit in solitude with a cup of Snickerdoodle flavored coffee and hymns playing through my head phones, I am becoming fully aware of what I'm "in-between".

I am in-between a major life change of being single to being married. From working with seniors to possibly going back to school. I am in-between dreams coming true, new ideas and ambitions taking place and most importantly, in-between where God has me now and seeing where He will be moving me. Some of you who are reading this may be in-between test results, selling a home, funeral preparations, an argument with loved ones or maybe a change of understanding a concept that you've believed in for years. Or maybe you are in-between the death of a loved one and the possibility of a new spouse, in-between jobs or a weight loss goal.

 There are moments where it's tempting to try to push myself out of the middle of the tubing adventure to the part of the trip where I can spot the landing destination, but in those moments I am reminded that I cannot force the pace of the current. All I can do is paddle in the right direction when needed ( as to not run into a large pile of rocks), and to let the current just pull me at the pace it wants to go. 

Don't fight the current. When we fight the current, we become tired, stressed and powerless to do anything worth while in life. When we fight the current, we miss the eagle flying above our heads, the purple flowers in the oddest of places and the people who are on the journey with us. Instead let God push you along. Trust Him that He will pull you the right direction when you go the wrong way. Believe that He knows what you are capable of, and believe even more that He knows what He is capable of. 

The in-between's of your life have purpose, despite the fact that it seems to have no substance other than frustration and confusion. Trust that God will allow you to see the eagle soaring across the sky when the time is right. In the mean time, just let go and let God move you in the way He sees fit.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Longing


Hello to anyone who is reading this :)


It's been awhile since I've been able to sit, reflect and eat a cookie. Okay, maybe it's not been awhile since I've eaten a cookie (confession of the day), but it has been awhile since I've been able to sit still long enough to think, process and eventually write those things in a blog entry. 

It's a quiet morning over here in North Carolina. The sky is full of rain clouds ready to do their thing, with the wind creating a cool and calming breeze. Perfect weather for a relaxing cup of coffee outside, but sitting in this recliner has proven to be more inviting at the moment.

How is it that life can seem to go by so fast, and yet seem to take forever, all at the same time? It kind of reminds me of some of those sci-fi movies that Jeremy has been introducing me to in an attempt to broaden my movie horizon. I can hardly believe that it has been a little over 10 months since I moved to the South, and over 6 months since I was diagnosed with mono. I look back and am absolutely humbled and amazed by the unfolding of Gods plan for my life, but struggle to live in the "now"as He continues to reveal His plan and timing.

While we are living on this earth we will always be longing for something more. The 5 year old longs to cross the street by himself without needing to hold someones hand, the 11 year old longs to be a teenager for a later curfew, the 14 year old longs to be able to drive, the 16 year old old longs to graduate from High School. During college the 21 year old longs to graduate from college, the 23 year old longs to meet the love of her life, once she meets the love of her life she longs to be married, once married she longs to have children. The longing continues on and on and on throughout her life. It never stops until our life on this earth does.

While we spend time longing for more, Christ longs for more of us. How I desire to long for Christ as I do for other things. I want to ache for him like I ache for marriage and a permanent home, because in Him I already have those things. But true to my version of humanity, it takes me awhile to come to that understanding.

What do you long for? What are you struggling to have patience for? What seems to be taking forever to happen? Sometimes when we identify what those things are and put them out in the open for us to deal with, we are able to put things into a better perspective.

I pray that the physical things of this earth that you long for will be placed with spiritual longing for knowing Christ deeper, for that is a longing that will be met. A met longing that will satisfy and give you strength to endure the wait for His timing for things on this earth.