Thursday, December 27, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

Ever wake up feeling fragile?
No explanation, really. Just questioning everything. Examining your life. Coming up short.
Maybe it's the exciting lead-up to Christmas. All the preparation, all the excitement and the music. Just like that, the day comes....and goes.

It was a wonderful Christmas season.

There were lights and hayrides and "snow"

 and cookies and lots and lots of books.

There was quiet time together, and plenty of adventures.

There was warm fires and trips to the beach.

Moments spent under the stockings reading the Bible together. Asking questions and answering them. Learning together and listening to each other. Growing. And resting.

Culminating in a Christmas Eve and a carpeted garage packed with Christmas lights and a tree and tables and tables full of family and laughter.

JT had to work Christmas Eve and Christmas this year. It wasn't what we had planned, but in the end it worked out fine.

"But this I say: 'He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every work."
-2 Corinthians 9:6-8

I've always read these verses in regards to money, and have had limited trouble believing it in a material sense. But this Christmas Eve morning as I gave up my husband, my plans, my wants- as he went to work- I realized that this verse means so much more.

On Christmas Eve, as many many other days in the past (he's always had these unconventional jobs), I sowed my husband into the ground. And I did it cheerfully. Only by God's grace, and only by remembering these wonderful promises. That if we give, of ourselves, of our own desires- we WILL someday reap bountifully.

It's not even just tomorrow that we reap. Sometimes we wipe away a few tears as we go out, but who wins the most when we sing as we sow those seeds into the ground? He gives us abundance in our hearts. In our lives.

On Sunday night, thanks to my wonderful visiting sister and her kids, JT and I were able to go on a date to see the Hobbitt. I suppose it is more of a guy's movie than a girls'. But don't we all have that sense of battle inside of us? Girls may not fight externally as much as men do, but we all have that deep sense of honor within us. The desire to see good win, evil fall.

As I watched Bilbo grudgingly leave his comfortable "Shire" to help the Dwarves reclaim their home, I clung to the analagy of greater purpose. We are not meant to stay where we are comfortable. We are meant to go out, reach in, help others find their place.

"Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth. Shall you know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert."
Isaiah 43: 18-19

What a wonderful verse to read as the year draws to a close, and a fresh but dreary January approaches, filled with lonely weekends while my husband is at work.

8 years ago, God gave me this verse as I considered leaving this area. I was starting to think maybe God's plans for me had dried up here. That he wanted me to move on. 6 months later, I fell in love with JT, and suddenly in the wilderness sprang up the brightest of roads.

This morning he once more pressed those verses upon my heart. And as I look toward the new year- 2013- The year of our 6th anniversary. Aquaman's 5th birthday, The Dude's 2nd....
I can't help but hear the water as it trickles from the streams. There'll be waves to pass through. Fires to walk through. But through it all- hands to hold.

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