The Marvelous Mundane

Open skies. Flashing lights. Chills, shivers, goosebumps. Warrior angels. Supernatural healing conferences. Double portions. Gold, gems, glitter.

Where does it end?

I can’t deny, my younger newbie Christian self has been there. I grew up Pentecostal Holiness/Apostolic so I was no stranger to some “manifestations”. Then I had the pleasure of being exposed to a more Charismatic church experience (I say that with a slight measure of sourness). It was appealing because much of it was on the opposite end of my considered legalistic upbringing. 

[And I encountered many a strange thing.  Some things of which I was wary and uncomfortable but was willing to let slide because, after all, it was “The Anointing” or whatever other Churchese term.  I was young and quite impressionable.  But I digress.]

I preface with all that not to debate or offend but, rather, to emphasize where I am now.

And now:

  I find a holiness and pleasure in the scut work of cloth diaper duty.

  I am equal parts humbled and in awe of The Kismet’s ability to see past my moments of frailty and freely offers her affection and forgiveness.

  The careful and earnest way she says “Please” makes my heart melt and eyes tear; my spirit sores to petition Abba Father with my own “Please”.  And I feel so special, so loved, to know His reaction is mutual.

  I breathe in my little one’s bliss each time she witnesses the miracle of wind making its way through the trees– sometimes gently, sometimes fiercely. Everytime invisibly.

  The way she dances with complete abandon, then takes my hand and  invites me to join her makes me laugh and think we should worship this way always.  With complete abandon.

  The rise and fall of her tiny chest as she sleeps is a testimony to the existence of a Creator. The sound of her snores strengthens my faith.

I pause here, only for fear I might burst with praise. I’m not saying I don’t believe in the supernatural workings and miracles of God. I’m saying I don’t need them. I’m saying the everyday extraordinary–the marvelous mundane–serves to turn my heart and head toward the Cross each and every time.

 

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Good Grief

A dear friend recently went through a miscarriage at 8 weeks. I could not, can’t, imagine the feeling. I do know I would be devastated. And a whole lot of silent. And…I just don’t know. And I write this as my little one is tucked in the nook of my underarm, contentedly nursing in her sleep. And I wish it could have been Madeleine (her Rainbow Baby’s name) tucked in whatever comfortable groove of her most deserving Mama. 
 
As awful and unfair as this may seem, God is truly wondrous. 
 
It is so incredibly inspiring to me, the way grace just flows through and over her words like a paintbrush blending and softening the harsh edges of grief. The way she presents her broken heart uninhibited, asking for the prayers of others to lift her and family closer to the arms of the only One who can sustain and heal.
 
He is wondrous, indeed. 
 
And as I contemplate Grace through grief (with all its stages), God gently informs me that I am grieving. 
 
I am grieving the loss of an ideal.  The ideal of how life would be for The Kismet and I. The people that would surround and support. The sense of close family I could offer my little one. Little dysfunction. Lots of wholeness.  All lost and seemingly to never come to fruition. 
 
I am grieving and I now realize I am in the stage of Anger.  It sneaks up on me periodically.  Sometimes there is a trigger, sometimes the quiet is enough to spark an inner outburst. I would chalk it up to fatigue most times because I don’t want to talk about it. And when I acknowledge it in prayer, I don’t want an explanation and a solution. I just want to cry a little and keep being angry because, after all, I am justified in my anger, aren’t I? And besides, Lord, the anger is just a momentary lapse due to the near burnout I’ve been mentioning. And I just don’t want to talk about this right now, God, because I don’t even know what I need. 
 
In God’s giant tapestry, we don’t always know how or where the threads connect. But they connect so profoundly and so beautifully. And though I dare not compare, He (in all His wondrousness) wove the heartache of Madeleine’s Mama into my own. 
 
I am grieving. And I am in need of the prayers of others to lift me closer to the arms of the only One who can sustain and heal. And I need Grace to flow through and over me like a paintbrush blending and softening the harsh edges of grief. 
 
Amen. 

And the sucky days are the best days…

Because they are when I am most teachable.

This morning started out rough. I was frustrated to start with because of lack of sleep. The Furacaoinha awoke at 7am and it truly felt as though my frustration became greater than my affection.  You have to understand, this had not been a regular occurrence since…what feels like ages ago. I did begin praying almost immediately but I got nothing. In honest retrospect, I wasn’t really attuned to the Spirit because I was feeling a bit justified in my unwarranted anger. As though I was at least owed these few moments because, heck, I do a great job at maintaining my cool and blah blah blah. I can only sit and shake my head at myself.

At around 11am, I just felt stupid. Silly. Bossy. Meany.  The whole morning I had been impatient and unempathetic. I owed The Furacaoinha an apology and explanation.  I told her I was very tired and angry because I was tired and how I hated waking up so early and how I was sorry it seemed like I was unaffected by her cries.  I wasn’t. I was just feeling selfish.  And my selfishness along with my frustration was greater than my affection.

Her response? An understanding “Yeah” as she leaned in to kiss me. That was followed by “Huuuuh” (she has a tough time with that ‘G’!) and her little arms wrapped tightly around as much of me as possible.  My little toddler showed me the heart of Jesus and in that moment I was so thankful that His affection for me is always greatest.

Then we snuggled close and napped.

Primal Worship

There is Eden in my heart. 
   
I am staring down the barrel of burn-out…if I’m not, in fact, in its throes already. And the only reason I’m afloat (albeit slightly) is because I have an open-door policy–so I’m not the Bible-thumping Recluse (as has been found throughout my bloodline, sigh). What I am is the quiet check-out line worshiper, thankful I can afford groceries to feed myself and family. I am the park bench praiser, amused and amazed at the little marvel that is my daughter. In the shower. In bed. At the desk. Watching TV. I have recently become fully cognizant of my contented humming every time I walk outside with my toddler resting on my hip.  No, I don’t ever find the time for tea and devotions these days, but it’s okay because it’s that time at any time and all the time. AND THAT IS WHAT’S SAVING MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. 
   
So how in the heck have I found myself surrounded by a very real and no-nonsense burnout? Because of my open-door policy. Parenthood is draining. 
   
So I’m needing to mend this the only way I know how: Worship. And not my usual check-out line “Thank You, Lord” or playground “Hallelujah”….because that’s become ordinary, and ordinarily that would be just fine…but not today. 
   
I need to go to my heart’s Eden. Where You are worthy to be worshiped not because of what You have done. Not because I am needy. Not because of any ulterior “when praises go up…” gravity spiel. 
   
But because YOU ARE GOD. Because I know this to be true so far down deep in my being, that it’s primal. 
   
And oh my…honestly, if nothing mends and burnout is still waiting for its supper and the piles of clothes still need to be washed…YOU ARE GOD. 
   
And God, You are glorious.