Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A New Creation

It's been a while since I posted. A whole season has just about slipped by. I have been writing, in my head and things I haven't published. This summer has been...all muddled and messy. I'm realizing, for someone who thinks she doesn't like schedules, I sure do fall apart when we don't have one. The weather was tough for summer fun here in the northeast. Rainy and cool for most of the season. That made spending all our time and boys' big energy at the pool a little difficult. My sister had major spinal surgery and her kids needed some tending to; my bother's son needed a decent babysitter. I got all wild and crazy and decided to Be the Gift for my 34th birthday last week, {because I wasn't stretched just about thin enough as that week rolled around!}.

Earlier this month I stopped cold and looked at myself and I was more than slightly disgusted. 

I was wondering just how long my voice has sounded that angry, frustrated, harsh. When I realized that it's been months and maybe even years it sent me sort of spiraling. I spent most of the summer trying to teach my kids to be giving. We had lots of chances to practice. There were many needs to be filled. My modeling of the giving spirit left a bit to be desired. It's difficult to teach love and patience and generosity. It's exponentially more difficult to do it under stresses of surgeries and shuttling truck-fulls of kids and just making it all work because that's just what we do...It's even harder still when I don't even have a handle on that which I'm trying to teach.

I neglected my soul for many months, or maybe a whole lot longer. And when I try to teach something that I don't have myself, well, that's just a recipe for a mess.

Self preach before I child teach. I had forgotten that part.

So sometime last week God tapped me on the shoulder, or honestly it was more like a big shove{apparently I had been ignoring the gentle taps for a while now}, and I hear Him remind me of this year's name. His words flooded my soul:

 "Trust me, Child. With your boys and their attitudes, with your sister and her recovery, with the peace needed in your home that got more than a little jostled when your sweet (and extremely lively) nephew needed a place to be this summer. Trust me with your marriage and your money and your little sisters and their needs and your work schedule and the upcoming school year and all your striving to do. TRUST."

I forgot to live what I had named my year. All summer I strove to DO and to Do some more and I had struggled with trust. And then words I read came to mind:

I remembered I need to give thanks so I can lay out my planks of trust. I give thanks because it's a way of remembering all He has done and all He's promised to do.

I can trust where He has me right this moment, that I have all I need for today, that I should look to no other person or situation to give me what I need, because He already has.
And live like I do.
That means that I trust instead of worry.
Worrying about what I've done or what's to come is impossible if I trust.
It means I trust instead of nag.
It means I'm never stretched too thin because I always can trust Him to do what I can't.
I trust instead of complain, even when it's just inside my own head.

I'm so thankful He readied my heart because yesterday my whole family was baptized.

Baptized. Immersed in the water.

The four of us, down at the creek, all in the water at the same time.

It was pretty...amazing.

We sang with this sister congregation and worshiped and we laughed and we went under the water and rose back up again and we proclaim that it is no longer we who live but HE who lives in us. We saw young and old do the same. In the woods we sang praises. In my heart I gave thanks. Thanks for the work He's done, thanks for the people there, thanks for my mom shouting out her loud amens and my brother and his family getting lost and trekking through the woods to find us and how he did and right on time. And for my aunt who just missed us going under but stayed and praised for each of the others.

And this is the truth: we are new creations in Him. All the ways I fall short, all the ways I feel inadequate and all the times I feel like I'm failing, these are not what define me nor do my good days when I manage beautiful lesson plans, pretty meals, and the kids  are being polite and selfless. I know this but I forget this. Again He reminds me: I can do all things through Christ. All things. ALL things. But only through the One who is my Salvation.

The rising up, the water washing over, it reminds me I am alive in Him. I am defined by Him. Made new by Him.

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