Saturday, February 26, 2011

the beginning...

something in me sparked. something in me lacked. i was dry and thirsty and had no idea how to find a cup or how to operate the faucet. it began with a need for prayer. people in my life were hurting, they were asking, i was being held accountable to these prayers and i was letting people down. not that they knew it because i so nonchalantly threw around the phrase “i will pray for you.” it was a token, a passing thought to fill in the awkward space between news given and response needed. a default phrase that ate away at my heart each time i let the words pour off my lips. I will pray for you, I did pray for you, do you have any prayer requests....oh how it made me hurt and ache. i didn’t even know how to begin to pray, my laundry list of prayers, sickness, regrets, a little gratitude always felt fake and insincere. i wanted to be the girl on her knees, crying out to her father seeking guidance and protection in a broken world. but instead i found myself sitting with my list and with lips that wouldn’t move, frozen before the King of my heart not knowing how to mutter a word.

then i asked for help. and she responded enthusiastically with hard questions and accountability.

the questions came..

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

getting to know her.

this whole writing process is a search for honesty. for me to rise to the occasion and learn more about me. if i take the time to sit down at this computer then i really am taking a step away from my life and changing perspectives. i am now looking at sarah rather than looking through her. i am forcing myself to be a critic, a friend and sounding board for hopes, dreams, fears and the big what if questions. what if you try and fail. what if you chase after something and find it still doesn’t complete you. what if my hopes and dreams wrestle up more fears than i care to put to rest. what if all of that is just an excuse.

it works.
my questions turn into thoughts, thoughts that keep me awake at night and thoughts that eventually push me to action.

the last couple months have been filled with me asking questions about my faith. my knowledge. my desire for growth. my passion. i don’t have any answers but by putting pen to page i am at least discovering more about me. something i haven’t taken the time to do in a while.

it is exciting. i think i like her.

Monday, February 21, 2011

rest. where do you hide?

The earth seems to be moaning under the weight of all this ice. As the wind blows the branches of our mighty oak tree creek and crack, I can hear the wind coming down the chimney howling and groaning with the cold. First the snow fell, hard and heavy, covering our green grass and dry roads making it look like winter again. Then the rain came and turned the snow to mush and as night ushered in everything turned to ice. We lost a large branch in the back yard, it broke with the added weight of drop after drop. As the list grows longer with school cancellations, churches being closed and businesses opening late it seems that West Michigan is once again waving its white flag of surrender to Mother Nature.

So here I sit in an unexpected day off. No work, hard to travel around town - just me and Lucy sitting in the living room while B sleeps in preparation for working tonight. I got up to make coffee and while reaching for a filter I noticed the cupboard was a mess of tupperware chaos, I was filled with angst that it must been cleaned and organized. I walked by a closet that I know is filled with unfolded towels, boxes of hidden treasures and a mess of hastily folded sheets - another area of my home hidden behind a door, out of sight out of mind. The list continues to grow - mop, scrub the bathroom, start a new “get my house out of the 1950s” project, laundry, organize, sort and add order to our life.

I sit down with my now brewed cup of coffee overwhelmed by my walk through our house. Why is it that when given the gift of rest, when told - don’t come in to work, stay home - I create a list. A do this, wash that, clean up, fix it list that haunts me. It whispers you are lazy, unproductive and will waste your day if you don’t do any of these things. I long to scream back “go back into your closet and behind your cupboard door! I don’t have to work work work - I deserve to rest!” But I don’t - usually I do. Two weeks ago we had a couple snow days, I took down wall paper in our pink tiled bathroom and painted it a more tolerable white. Idle moments are always filled with a task, a list or a job to do. I get anxious if the sink is full of dirty dishes, if the hamper is overflowing, if the bathroom sink has built up enough toothpaste and dust that it is no longer white.

I seem to be programmed with an override on my rest button. Growing up my dad was a do-er. Always productive, always active and always dragging us along. My sister and I worship rainy days. We still call each other when rain is pouring down and giggle at the welcomed day of being stuck inside. But now I seem to always come back to my to-do list. I hate that I may become like that branch in the yard. Broken under the weight of list after list, of task upon task. The branch that now lies in the yard will never again feel the warmth of the sun, it won’t experience the melt of winter into spring and the stretch of the growing season.

How do I surrender my list, my drive and my angst to enjoy the gift of rest? How can I seek out rest in a busy day or difficult schedule?

Genesis 2:2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.

Exodus 16:23 He said to them, “This is what the Lord commanded: tomorrow is to be a day of Sabbath rest, a holy sabbath to the Lord. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.”

Matthew 11:28 Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.