She’s Just a Child

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “she.”

She’s just a child, this granddaughter of mine, all legs and arms, straight as a rail and railing against the genetics that causes it to be so.  She has a mouth full of braces and sneaks candy when she’s not supposed to; she tells fibs with the childlike naïveté that convinces her that Mom and Dad won’t find out.  Every.  Single.  Time.   She is tormented by, and torments in return, her pesky little brother.

She’s just a child.

But she asks questions about current events.  She sees what’s going on in this country.  She’s concerned about our world. 

And she’s learning compassion.  She sees the classmate who is being tormented and left out by the mean girls this week and tries to include her.  She does this because she has been there; she is still there from time to time.  From time to time, she comes home from school with red-rimmed eyes because of the mean girls who, sadly, learned their behavior from their moms. Moms who, even at 30 and 35 and 40 years old, cluster in groups and whisper and giggle and give other moms that side-eye that says, “Yeah, we’re talking about YOU.”

She befriends the new kid in class; she sits with the girl who is sitting alone.  She is torn between wanting to be with the cool kids and understanding at a deep level that they aren’t all that cool.

She’s just a child.  She’s imperfect, as we all are, but when you look past the childish imperfections you can see the beautiful woman about to emerge.

She’s just a child.  A child on the brink of womanhood.  She’s 13.  The world is about to be gifted with an amazing woman.

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Gamma, it’s Broken!

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “broken.”

This world is a mess.  This country is a mess.  Everything’s a mess.  A hot mess, as my kids would say.  It seems like every time anything even remotely positive happens, ten negative things happen.  It seems like everyone picks a side, and when the “other” side talks we stick our fingers in our ears and shout, “La la la la la la la I can’t HEAR you.”  We refuse to acknowledge that there might be some, any, even a tiny smidgen of veracity to the other opinion, because in doing so we forfeit ground, and nobody anywhere is willing to forfeit ground.

So we all dig in our heels, take our sides, entrench ourselves in our positions.  And we are bombarded by All. The. Bad. News.

This world is a hot mess.

It’s broken.

And it’s so easy to think we are a planet in the universe in some sort of free fall, just spiraling out of control, headed for a collision with the sun.  It’s easy to think God is shaking His head, wondering how his beautiful creation ever devolved into this quagmire of ugliness.  It’s easy to think He’s either given up on us or is just about to, that nothing He’s tried has worked and we’re just hopeless. 

But it’s not so.

I am reminded of the day a while back when I was watching some of my grandchildren, and little Emily, about two or so, was coloring.  I heard her calling to me – “Gamma!  Gamma, it’s broken!”

I went to the table to see what she meant, and she held up a crayon to me – a perfectly intact, whole crayon, and said, “It’s broken,” her little brow furrowed.

It was a white crayon, and she couldn’t see it on the white paper.

“No, baby, it’s not broken.  It works; you just can’t see it.”

Okay, so that concept was completely lost on a two-year-old, who insisted it was broken, so I eventually capitulated and exchanged it for a different color.  She was satisfied, and I figured she’d learn the white-on-white lesson another day.

But it was also a lesson for me. 

God isn’t broken.  God’s will for this world isn’t broken.  God hasn’t stopped working just because sometimes I can’t seeing his handiwork. 

Nothing that is happening in this world, or this country, or my life is taking God by surprise.  And He has not, and will not, give up.  Because He promised.  He said in this world we will have tribulation, but rejoice! He has overcome the world.  And He said He would never forsake us or abandon us.  He said would be with us, even to the end of the age.

So while our world looks mightily broken, our God is not.  May His kingdom come, and His will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.

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Everything in Moderation

I saw a blog headline on my Facebook page the other day that I haven’t been able to get out of my head.  “It’s Not My Turn,” it said, along with a picture of a young mom surrounded by several very cute, smiling children. 

I didn’t read the blog.  I have no idea what it said or what it actually about.  So if you did see it and read it and find that what I’m going to say has nothing to do with that actual blog post, don’t shoot me.  It was just the headline that acted as the catalyst for this.

I’ve read many “young mom” posts over the last few years.  Now you might be wondering why, since I am by no means a young mom.  But I have daughters-in-law who are, and so I’m interested in young mom life.  Because, let me tell you, young mom life today is waaaaaay different than it was when I was actually one of them.

This is what I find to be true about so many YM blog posts:  There’s not a lot of moderation in them.  They seem to be either all about the importance of self-care or all about kid care.  There seems to be a dearth of good posts about how to moderate the two. 

I see posts that instruct moms how to nurture themselves, give themselves grace, make space for their own lives in the midst of the chaos of family – don’t feel guilty, don’t neglect yourself, you’re important, you do all the things, you deserve all the things etc. etc.  And I’m not saying that’s not true. 

But then the other blogs tell these same moms you have to nurture those babies.  They grow up so fast!  They need you so much, you have to be here, you have to make their childhood a wonderful thing for them, you have teach them and read to them and play with them and care for them and snuggle with them and and and and.  And I’m not saying that’s not true, either.

I’m saying there has to be some balance. 

So when I saw that headline – It’s Not My Turn – something inside me rebelled.  I imagined another blog about the importance of you moms setting aside your ambitions, your dreams, your needs at this crucial time in your children’s lives to care and nurture them.  It’s their turn.  They’re only little for a short time; don’t squander that on your selfish pursuits.  Children need your focus; children need your support, your attention, your everything.

I rebelled.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I do not advocate child neglect.  I do not advocate having children at all if you want a lifestyle of footloose and fancy free.  Children need focus.  Children need support.  Children need attention.  And they are little for such a short time.

But there’s a balance.  There has to be a balance.  Because in almost every case, the years that your children are growing up will be the same years that you are in the very prime of your life – your 20’s through your 40’s.  Or maybe these days it’s 30’s through 50’s, but still – prime years! 

When I was young, the majority of my friends, and the majority of women in my church who had children, were stay-at-home moms. So when I had my babies, I quit my job and stayed home. 

But I loved my job. I missed my job.  And I felt really guilty about that because wasn’t I supposed to want to stay home with my kids?  Well, I DID want to stay home with my kids. But still…I missed my job.

When my younger son started school, I went back to work.  That meant after-school daycare for both the boys, and some frantic dashes trying to get them picked up on time when I had to work late.  And I felt guilty a lot because all the women’s events and ministries at church were held on weekdays under the assumption that women were available to attend because, duh, stay-at-home moms. 

It was a lose/lose.  When I stayed at home and missed working, I felt guilty.  When I went to work and wasn’t what I thought Christian moms were supposed to be, I felt guilty. 

Until I decided not to feel guilty.  Until I looked at my boys and saw that they were doing fine.  They were happy.  We managed to get them into whatever sports or scouts or whatever they wanted to get into.  We managed to find a way to be all the things without my having to be only half the thing I needed to be. 

Okay, maybe not all the things.  Maybe we said no to some things.  Maybe they didn’t get to do Every. Single. Thing. 

But was that bad?  No.  I don’t believe it was.  Because starting at five, six, seven years old, the boys learned that the entire universe did not revolve around them.  That they were two pieces in a four-part puzzle, and the puzzle was only complete if all four parts were complete.  That every part of the puzzle had to make some sacrifices at some point in order for everything to fit together.

These boys are adults now.  They each have their own families, and while they aren’t perfect (yes I said that; I acknowledge I did not raise perfect children), I can see them raising their children well.  I can see them teaching their children the same lessons, even if they don’t know it:  That the family is a puzzle, and the pieces all need to fit together, work together, sacrifice together to make the puzzle whole.

So all you young women out there, when you read those blogs, try to remember – moderation is the key to everything.  Sacrifice for your kids, yes, absolutely, because they are your sunshine.  In moderation.  And have them sacrifice for you, too, in moderation, so that they learn what astronomy has taught us – no matter how bright and beautiful it is, the sun is not the center of the universe.

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It’s Okay to Not be Okay

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “permission.”

Permission.  That’s a big word.  And not just because it has ten letters and three syllables.  It’s a big word because it carries big weight and sometimes big consequences.

I thought about this word throughout the morning, about what I might write and how I might write it.  At first I thought about my daughters-in-law and the pressures of young motherhood, and I thought I should write that these young mamas today need to give themselves permission to not always be perfect, to not always do All. The. Things.  To not always know how to handle everything life throws at them and to sometimes throw up their hands and hide in their happy place – in a good book or a hot bath.

But then I thought about friends and family I know who are tip-toeing around one another because they have different political or spiritual beliefs, and in today’s highly charged atmosphere that’s hard to negotiate.  Every conversation seems to hold some hot-button issue; every issue seems to polarize people who once enjoyed nothing more than one another’s company over a good meal.  So I thought, I should write that we need to give each other permission to believe different things, to have different ideas and ideologies and approaches to life.  To make decisions we might not agree with, to support causes we don’t support.  And still get together for good company and a good meal.

And I eventually came around to something more personal.  I thought about myself, and about the week (year?) I’ve had, and about how at Bible Study on Tuesday morning, a study on grace, a simple question about forgiveness opened the floodgates and I fell apart, weeping, laying before my sweet sisters all my fears and failures.  And then apologizing again and again for being so weak, for lacking faith, for losing control. 

And I realized I needed to write this for me, and for anyone else who might be like me, who might be at that place in life where we are supposed to be these strong Christian women, full of faith and fortitude, dependent on God and God alone, a tree planted by the water.  And I needed to say, we have permission, you and I.  We have God’s permission to weep when life is too much.   Mary wept.  Martha wept. Peter wept.  

Jesus wept.

God gave us tears.  We have permission to be weak sometimes.  Because His power is made perfect in my – our – weakness.  If we could do it all without Him … then I guess we wouldn’t need Him, right?  But oh! how we need Him.

So yes, I want to be strong and courageous.  Yes, I want to be anxious for nothing.  Yes, I want to depend wholly upon God, knowing that in this world I will have tribulations, but rejoicing because He has overcome the world.

But sometimes I have to give myself permission to weep, knowing that God is collecting all my tears and putting them in His bottle, because my tears are precious to Him.  That thought helps me hope in the Lord, and that renews my strength.

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Savoring the Unsavory

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “savor.”

Savor. Doesn’t that immediately make you think of something that gives you great pleasure, but that you know is going to be fleeting, so you have to eke every second of enjoyment out of it while you can?  A good steak.  A fine wine.  Moments with your grandchildren. A book you can’t put down. A rare date night with hubs. Early morning quiet before anyone else wakes up.

So, so many moments in life that we savor, cling to, relish, want to never forget.

I wonder, shouldn’t we also maybe savor some of the bad times?  Savor some of the hardest, worst, ugliest, most horrific moments of our lives? Yeah, I know, I’m a little weird.  But hear me out.

Isn’t it going through those awful, hard, ugly times exactly what makes the good, wonderful times that much better?  How could we really relish the taste of a good steak if all we’d ever had to eat was good steak?  How could we appreciate a really good book if every single book we read was excellent? (Okay, I would actually like to give that one a shot.)

Life is hard, beautiful, painful, joyous, ugly, wonderful.  Without the depths of the bad, how can we truly experience the heights of the good?

So maybe we can remind ourselves, when our hearts are hurting, when we hear that diagnosis, when our children are suffering, when our finances look hopeless, when we’re living a life that isn’t what we expected it to be … maybe we can remind ourselves to savor it a little bit, because without darkness we wouldn’t know the joy of the light.

Here’s a poem I wrote years ago.  I read it every now and then to remind myself that the lows of life have a purpose.

There is some comfort in a temperate clime
A steadiness of soul found only there
The days all pass in rhythm and in rhyme
No raging storms nor sunshine more than fair.

Safety dwells in landscapes flat and low
Where eye can see all that lies ahead
Surprise can’t hide nor trouble bid its woe
Time marches straight and steady without dread.

Yet absent wind, how can the calm be known?
And absent gloom, how can the sun seem bright?
Does rain not cleanse, and senses sharply hone
And storm-filled darkness birth the day’s warm light?

If no deep valley, menacing and bleak
Where danger lurks and pain leads to despair
Then no ecstasy of reaching the high peak
For ’tis the peak which cast the shadow there.

So through the trough of hardship let us go
And all our heart and will and strength employ
The path indeed is difficult and slow
But worth the agony to find the joy.

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Who would Janet be without Mary?

I was weeding my garden bed the other day in preparation for spring planting, and it made me think of my sister.  Now, you’d think that was because my sister is an awesome gardener, an actual horticulturist by profession, the one person in our family who can grow anything anywhere. 

But no.

That’s not how my brain works.  My brain went on one of those journeys – I was going to say train rides but really, that’s not right because trains are on tracks, aren’t they?  So they don’t have much choice but to end up where they’re supposed to end up.  Unless someone along the way pulls the wrong switch, I guess …

But anyway, my brain tends to go more on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang kind of rides.  Or maybe Mr. Toad’s Wild Rides.  Oh that was always one of my favorites at Disneyland.  Even as an adult, I was caught off guard and laughed and screamed right along with all the kiddos …

Okay wait.  I’m writing about my sister.

So my brain went on one of its wild rides.  I was pulling weeds, one of my least favorite things to do in a world where I have a lot of least favorites.  Pulling weeds made me think of my granddaughter Calie.  Last year I hired Calie to pull weeds for me, and it was money well spent, let me tell you.  I was thinking, sitting there in the mud and trying to get to the roots of those little suckers, that I wished Calie were there to do this job for me again. 

That got me thinking about Calie, and how much I loved that girl.  And about her siblings.  I thought about her little sister, Emily, and how good Calie was with her.  It was too bad, I thought, that they were so far apart in age – Calie is 13 and Em is 4.  Because it’s nice to have a sister to play with when you’re growing up. 

And that is what made me think of my sister. 

Kids didn’t stay as busy with extracurricular activities back when we were growing up.  I’m not saying that’s good or bad; it’s just what was.  We had Campfire Girls and Girl Scouts; my brother had Boy Scouts.  But we weren’t involved in a church, and we weren’t involved in sports, so our time was spent to a great degree playing outside with each other and with the neighborhood kids. 

My sister, Robin, and I played together a lot.  I mean, we were built-in best friends, right?  And one of our favorite things to play was house.  But we didn’t call it playing house; we called it playing Janet and Mary.  I was Janet, and she was Mary.  Whenever we didn’t have anything else going on, one or the other of us would say, “Wanna play Janet and Mary?”  Never Mary and Janet.  Always Janet and Mary.

And we would don our grown-up personas and become Janet and Mary for hours and hours on end.  Early on we were mommies to our baby dolls, doing all the things we imagined mommies loved to do.  Like cooking and cleaning and taking care of our imaginary husbands (oh the naivete of youth).  Later, as we got a wee bit older and our play became a wee bit more sophisticated (which means we didn’t let anyone else know we were still pretending to be Janet and Mary), we became the girlfriends of the likes of Davy Jones and Mickey Dolenz.  Or Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith, depending on who we thought was cutest that week.  Okay, well, every week one of us claimed Davy Jones.  That was a given.  The other three rotated turns.

Janet and Mary had so many awesome adventures.  They went to all the places and did all the things.  They were the best mommies, the best wives, the best girlfriends.

And they were best friends.

I sat in the mud in the garden, pulling weeds and thinking about Janet and Mary.  Thinking about playing house with my sister.  Thinking about that summer she had rheumatic fever and had to stay very quiet and not run around and play – she and I spent hours and hours playing with our Barbies, sitting under the dining room table, which we pretended was Barbie’s mansion.  The chairs were the upstairs rooms, the floor was downstairs, the tabletop was the third floor.  Hours and hours and hours with Barbie, Ken, and Skipper.  And when that got old – Janet and Mary.

My sister and I live miles and miles apart now, and we have our whole adult lives.  But she’s still my best friend.  She’s still the one I turn to when something is on my heart.  She’s still the one I want to share my good – and bad – news with first. 

She’s still one of the greatest blessings of my life.

She’s still Mary to my Janet.

Happy birthday, Mary.

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“Enable” isn’t a four-letter word

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “enable.”

Last week’s Five Minute Friday word was “enable.”  I haven’t written for a couple of weeks because life has interfered, but I couldn’t get that word out of my head, so I thought I’d just write it up anyway, even if it’s not Friday and I’m a little late joining in with the FMF community on this one.  Because “enable” is a really, really loaded word.

It’s gotten a pretty bad rap, really.  I mean, nobody wants to be an enabler, right?  That connotes drinking and drugs and abuse and All. The. Bad. Things. We think of it as a bad word. A six-letter four-letter word.

Sometimes I hear people tut-tutting (which is just as less ugly way of saying gossiping) about this family or that, facing this crisis or that, and how the mom and dad, or the wife, or the husband has enabled that bad behavior.  Mom and dad need to use a little tough love and make that kid grow up.  Hubby needs to cut up those credit cards and quit enabling that shopaholic.  That woman needs to stop putting up with that physical/emotional/whatever abuse and get out of there. 

And I don’t disagree.  Those circumstances all exist, and that kind of enabling really is self-harming, self-defeating, self-crushing.

But that is just one little side of enabling.  There’s so much more to that word.

If you’re a parent, you get it.  You know.  Because from the time that little one was put into your arms, you started enabling.  It was your job to enable.  The first months it was all about enabling that baby to just live.  Eat, sleep, stay clean.  Repeat.  But then it started progressing, right?  Enabling, encouraging, teaching baby to hold up his head, sit up, crawl, walk (oh heaven help us now). 

And from that point on, your whole life as a parent was enabling that child, those children, to grow, to learn, to become the people they would (or will) eventually become.  You enable them to choose friends wisely; you enable them to understand how to deal with pain – physical but more importantly emotional. 

You enable them to learn compassion and empathy.  You enable them to learn kindness and decency.  Sometimes that is an ugly process, because sometimes they have to learn how to treat others by being treated so horribly by others that they never want to make someone else feel the way they felt.  But when they come crying into your arms with all that pain, you enable them to turn it into compassion by telling them it is a gift from God, that God is using that hurt and that pain and that ugliness to refine them into the kind of people He will use for grace and mercy in the world.

And then they are grown.  They marry; they have families.  So you’re done, right? Yay! Woohoo!

Wrong.

You’re still an enabler.  Because you’re still a parent.  And they’re still your kids, and now you have their husbands and wives as your kids too.  And their kids as your grandkids.  Your job as enabler has just multiplied exponentially.

You enable them to have some time together by taking care of their babies while they go out.  You enable them to get by in a world where it is very, very hard to do by helping out financially if you can.  When they face their own crises, and they will, you are there – always – to support them with your time, your love, your money if necessary … whatever they need.  Because family supports family.

And when you yourself get old, and infirm, and lose your marbles a bit, and need their support, they will be there.  They will take care of you, and support you, and enable you to live your final days in dignity.  Because family supports family.

And because you taught them how to be an enabler.  The right kind of enabler. 

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It doesn’t make any sense

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “once.”

My five-year-old granddaughter, a teeny little firecracker of a girl overflowing with personality and sass, asked her mama how to spell “once.”

“O-N-C-E,” mama answered.

“No,” said Firecracker, “no, it starts with “W.”  Wah-wah-wah-wahnce.”

“Well,” replied mama, “That’s how it sounds, but it starts with “O.”

Firecracker would have none of it.  To her, a word that started with “wah” had to also start with “W.”  Anything else was just, well, dumb.  (Welcome to the English language, sweet child.)

She’s not wrong.  It is illogical.  Language would be so much easier if things were spelled as we expect them to be spelled.

Life would be so much easier if things went as we expect them to go.  If families were all like Ozzie and Harriet (I am possibly dating myself here) and any mild conflict that arose was settled sweetly at the end of every half hour episode when we all sat down to a nice dinner together.  If “I do” always meant you really did, forever and always.  And if “till death do us part” never came sooner than it should – whether that’s five years or fifty years.  If our children were never anything but semi-perfect (perfect is tedious) and the worst thing we had to deal with during their growing-up years was that time one of them scratched an unmentionable word into the desk at school.  If, when they grew up and became “adults,” their lives flowed into perfect worlds of college-jobs-marriage-children-happiness without any heartache. 

If people we loved never disappointed us.

If we never disappointed people who loved us.

If we never heard those words, “It’s cancer.”

If we never had to sit in the waiting room … waiting.

If we never had to bury someone we never thought we would have to live without, and then try to figure out how to live without them.

But life is like the word “once.”  It isn’t anything like you expect it to be.  And that’s really okay, because you know what “once” has going for it?

Once upon a time…

Once I was blind, but now I see…

Once there was a man called Jesus…

Once is unexpected and still full of promise.  So is life.

Just wait till Firecracker finds out xylophone doesn’t have a “Z” in it.

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New Every Morning

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “sunrise.”

I’m fortunate enough to live on a river in a beautiful place, and in the winter, when the sun is as lazy as I am, I often get to witness spectacular sunrises, with burning skies and likewise burning water.  Or other times, beautiful striations of color, bands one on top of the other painted by the Painter’s brush just for my pleasure.  I take picture after picture, but they never do justice to the real thing.

Of course there are also gray, dismal sunrises.  The kind that don’t light up the sky; the kind that make the river look dark and murky and oh-so-uninviting.  The kind that don’t prod me out of my chair to gasp in delight.  The kind that, quite frankly, often make me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. The kind I never take pictures of. 

Forest Gump said life is like a box of chocolates.  I think life is like the sunrise.  There are times when it’s breathtaking, exciting, invigorating.  So much beauty; so much promise.  A new job, a new love, a new baby, a new grandbaby – sometimes nothing new at all, just the absence of anything bad.  Picture after picture taken that never do justice to the real thing.

There are times when it’s quite average.  A little gray, a little color, nothing much to move you one way or the other.  Just another day to do just-another-day things.  Just-life days.  Maybe a picture taken here and there, for posterity.

And then there are the dark, dismal, totally gray sunrises.  The ones where you can’t see the sun at all.  You know it’s there because it’s light – sort of – but nothing looks beautiful.  Maybe it’s raining.  Maybe it’s just … dark.  Those days when you wake up and for just that one second it’s nice, until you remember.  A broken promise.  A broken heart.  A gut-wrenching loss.  That diagnosis.  The pain.  No pictures; we don’t want reminders, but we will never forget.

Life is like the sunrise.  Every day is different.  With God, though, we know these things are true:  His mercies are new every morning.  Each day is the day the Lord has made, and no matter what our sunrise is like, we can rejoice and be glad in it, because the Lord our God is with us wherever we go.

Always remember, joy comes in the morning.

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It’s Demo Day!

I’m linking up for Five Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung at Link-up – Five Minute Friday. Today’s prompt is “design.”

Because of a dearth of anything worth watching on TV these days, or maybe because there are way too many stations and streaming services and choices and we are old and easily overwhelmed, hubs and I find ourselves watching a lot of HGTV at night when we’re ready for a little mindless entertainment.

We are amazed at how, in the course of a half hour, these people can take a ramshackle, falling-down old house and turn it into a stunning storybook home that anyone would just die for.  Bathrooms with soaker tubs and body jets, kitchens with the perfect back splash and islands the whole world could fit around, living rooms just begging to be, well, lived in.  And don’t even get me started on the master suites – with closets bigger than any bedroom I ever had growing up. 

And it all comes together because of vision and design.  People can take something I wouldn’t even look twice at and imagine what it could be, and then make it so.  I myself have trouble picking out throw pillows.  And they do it in a half hour!

But … not really, right?  Because if you watch the shows you will often notice whole seasons changing between the beginning of a project and the end.  You will see women go from announcing they’re pregnant and need a nursery in that amazing home to bringing home baby at the reveal.  So we see it happen in a half hour, but in truth of course the process took much longer.

And so it is with God’s design. 

Sometimes – I think kind of rarely – we can see the big picture, the top side of the tapestry, for brief moments, little glimpses of God’s mighty work completed.  But more often we are looking at the underside where all the threads are criss-crossed and mangled (unless you’re a very OCD needle worker in which case just go with me here, okay?). 

More often we see the mess of construction.  We see the walls torn down, everything deconstructed. It’s demo day, baby.

Our lives are so often more about the demo more than the remodel.  Because the remodel takes time. 

This much we know, we who love God and are called according to His purpose:  He has a design.  He has a plan.  He is working on the remodel in our lives, and even though we might be in the midst of demo right now, even if we can’t visualize how it’s going to look at the end or how it’s ever going to be beautiful, we know that God is working for good.  He is taking that diagnosis, or that trauma, or that loss, or that bad choice, or that heartache, and he’s going to make some good out of it, somewhere and somehow.  We know it because He said so.

He has a design.

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