It’s funny how going higher enables us to go lower.
Standing in the kitchen, in the corner of the room, frustration having mounted up and spilled over, I pray desperately: God grant me Grace. Perspective. Peace. Love. Wisdom.
Setting my heart and mind on that realm where He dwells, where I see Him and encounter His heart again enables me to step back into the situation and to go lower. To humble myself again to that 5-year-old boy. To take a deep breath and serve the little toddler. To take hold of the eyes of Heaven as I see my frustrated 6-year-old.
It seems to be my nature that the simple truths are the ones I need to be reminded of again and again and again. It’s not only the children that I’m training that have short memories. I forget too. And I forget often. But in that moment, in the kitchen, I remember. I remember the Humble One. The Meek One. I remember the way in which His kingdom operates. To go high is to go low. To gain is to lose. To be the Greatest of all is to be the Servant of all.
The opportunities to remember are here and now and always. I don’t need to wait for the next morning alone. I don’t need to wait to be seated in the church in front of the altar. The altar of remembrance comes when I pause long enough to gaze and encounter.
This is where I see the Highest One who went to the lowest place. Suddenly serving my children seems less impossible. For that moment anyways. But that grace encounter will carry me through to the next altar, the next moment of casting my gaze high so that I can once again go low.
On the journey of giving thanks for all things…
blue sky…a beautiful blessing
and green appearing on the earth…
little bits of ‘us’ arriving in our boxes from Oz
a DIY project that’s good for the time in-between
my laundry helper
hama beader extraordinaire
this blossoming boy
and this man…amongst other things, wakes in the night to deal with the sick
For all these things I give You thanks.
I was sitting eating popcorn with my youngest son, watching him shovel it into his mouth, his little fist disappearing and coming out with broken shards of soggy popcorn. As I was looking at him and watching this unfold, I was contemplating things that have changed and taken place over the last few months. I was feeling something in my heart that I hadn’t felt for quite some time. Peace. The absence of internal conflict and striving. The removal of trying to work out, figure out, understand things on my own. My heart is finding its rhythm again. Rediscovering peace and rest and life is moving me very much beyond the circumstantial realm into an awareness of His heart and His nearness. Sometimes it takes awhile to see His heart, it takes a removing, a renovating to uncover what was always there.
Oh sure, then Monday morning rolls around and the three little troopers try to topple me from that space I’ve found in God. But peace is more than just a momentary feeling. It’s an affirmation again and again of who He is and who you are to Him. I’m under no illusion that the days will be sunny from here on out. In fact, it’s raining now, I’ve got a mountain of laundry piling up in the other room, I’ve got two kids who are incessantly bored and we have yet to find a place of our own. But what brings peace is the growing confidence in His unchanging nature. He is committed to bringing forth what is in His heart. Yes, there is frustration when I’m not sure of exactly what is in His heart, but I can be confident in His character. A God of love always responds in love. A God of mercy always responds with mercy. A God of faithfulness always shows Himself faithful. This is where I find rest and peace.
It’s not very often that I can convince my boys that something with flaxseeds in it is delicious. But that’s what happened. And because my grinder is still making its way across the waters from Oz to the rainy, misty land of Norway, they could actually see the flaxseeds.
I don’t have an overly strong conviction of the health benefits of the little seed, but somewhere in the back of the brain, I know it’s good for you. And looking at the list of ingredients, I knew these would be little balls of goodness that would be too easy to pass up.
After arming myself with all the ingredients, I set to the task with three boys at my side. No bake, no fuss means happy mom. Tasty little hidden morsels of dark chocolate mean happy boys. And ball-shaped food means happy toddler. You can’t go wrong.
Granola Energy Balls
2 cups oats 1 cup coconut flakes 1 cup puffed rice cereal 1 cup peanut butter 1 cup ground flaxseed 100g chopped dark chocolate 2/3 cup honey (I use raw, unfiltered.) 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1.Mix all ingredients thoroughly. 2.Roll into bite-size balls. 3.Store in fridge.
Recipe slightly adapted from The Marathon Mom
I want to get into the habit of writing intentionally. I’m one of those types that don’t really know how I’m feeling or doing until it is expressed. I don’t want to lose the world that is taking place underneath the surface simply because I don’t use the shovel that I have to dig deep for understanding. So rather than seeing a blog post as a daunting activity that has to be big or grand or insightful, I want to see it as a way to express my heart concerning my world…and right now that world seems rather small, close.
My household…household31. Me, my husband, and my three little nippers. I want to dig for the glory and the beauty in the daily, the mundane. Because right now, that’s what I have. My world seems to have been whittled down small. But I know that as God plants His desires in my heart that world will expand…it always does. His heart is a giving heart, a welcoming heart, a serving heart. My expectations are that as I find my feet, He will increase my capacity, my desires, and my longings.
So here is me, starting over, starting small. My intentions were for this to be a place I come to often to write about the normal, the goings on behind these doors, behind my heart. I have felt overwhelmed by thinking that it has to be significant and meaningful all the time. Well it doesn’t. Because the reality of life is that it is not significant and meaningful all the time. There are days that blur into one another simply because they don’t stand out. I want to document real life. What does it mean to find God in the small? Surely I don’t believe that He is only seen or only known in the grand? Is He only seen on the mountaintops? Then why did He plant such beauty in the valleys? It was all made for His glory. My days, they were all given for His glory.
Looking for a house is a lot like owning up to reality. You start with an ideal of what you would like. And then you look at what’s available. And then you look at what’s available in your price range. And suddenly there comes a re-orientation of mental processes.
That’s where I’m at…owning up to the real.
As I’ve been flipping through brochures and looking at homes through the computer screen, I’ve come to realise that they can be presented in ways that seem very enticing. Upon further inspection and arrival at the home, you realise how deceiving a fish eye lens can be. What you thought seemed light-filled and spacious, suddenly feels small and pokey. What seemed liked a wonderfully renovated home, now looks like a home that might barely be standing on questionable foundations. I have come to discover that I would much rather have the truth up front than be lured into thinking that a home is more than it is.
All of these house hunting discoveries have got me thinking. How am I presenting myself? Do I own up to the truth of who I am or do I give way to the temptation of presenting things in a different light? Do I place a filter over reality that way what is seen gives the illusion of what I would prefer to be seen? Being in a new place I am given opportunities every day to unfold the truth of me and my realities.
I’ve had to own up to the truth that we are in the ‘fixer upper’ category of homes. It pains me to come to that realisation. And truth be told, I myself am in that category as well. Everything is not all glossy and made over. My flaws and shortcomings are as obvious as the outdated carpet in a 1970′s home. But rather than bemoaning what is not, I’m wanting to embrace what is.
It’s a lifelong struggle to live in the paradox of fallen yet redeemed. Guilty yet pardoned. Dark yet lovely. 1970′s bungalow yet great location. This is the life we’ve been given. With our eyes fixed on Him, we walk in His light. His is the lens, His is the filter. We own up to who we are through His eyes, sometimes with great difficulty. And we own up to who others are through those eyes. But it’s as we walk in this light, His filter, His gaze, we have fellowship. No surprises. No covering up. We see rightly. We are all saved by His grace, and grace alone.
Happy House Hunting!