Picture this. We're young and probably immature. It's a family member's birthday and he's just ever so slightly older than us. There's not a history of exchanging gifts, but we do seek the perfect card.
The one. Simple. A line drawing - almost a sketch - with just the minimal water coloring to fill it in.
Is there such a thing as the perfect hybrid of wonky and geeky? That's what this youngish looking line drawn man looks like. The text balloon above his head says, "Remember when you were 14 and you couldn't wait to grow up?"
Inside - "Who's good idea was that? Happy Birthday anyway..."
Ha. Ha. It was funny back then since we had just entered into the realm of grown up, newly married, finishing up school, managing finances, and excitedly living the adult experience.
Fast forward. May 2012. Being a grown up is tough. Although many are in bloom, things just aren't coming up all roses around here. And being "grown up" is a good idea.
We've encountered unprecedented challenges in parenting. The mini farm we're gratefully developing taxes all our limits. Finances are strained. No kidding, our cows ran away and took a three day mini vacation in the 100+ acres of woods, swamp, and neighbors fields - unbelievable stress and exertion tracking them, understanding their away from home habits, and eventually just waiting for them to come home. (Do you want to hear more on this later...it has the potential to be a pretty entertaining post?)
And here's the biggie. Unemployment. Ugh. That's a weighty one to type. After many years of commitment, sacrifice, and personal investment, Weekend Farmer Husband's company has severed ties and he's out of a job.
So, how could this possibly be a good thing? A good idea?
Although the stress and discomfort produces a constant ache in my chest, there's a deeper knowing even more central. This is the process of maturing. The coming to contentment in plenty or in want. Personally experiencing weakness, completely coming to the end of ourselves, and resulting in the increased understanding that when we are poor He is rich. It's the feeling like you're at the edge of an endless abyss and circumstances beyond your control shove you in.
And it feels like a bad thing, this free fall.
But, God's ideas for how we grow are far beyond ours. And He is always good.
So, for those of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and live to glorify God our Father, this is a good idea. It necessarily and logically follows.
Because this free fall doesn't require or even offer a safety net - no matter how much we want or think we need it.
Unconcerned with how fast, how far, how sloppily we fall we can only end up in one place.
We fall into the infinite character of God who never changes and who's promises hold fast.
And when all else seems to be coming undone it comes to me as more than a good idea. It is my only comfort in life that I belong body and soul to the One who holds all things together for His glory and my good.
- In uncertainty and want, the Holy Spirit tenderly leads through scripture, songs, and worship to minister to my fearful heart.
- Friends rally.
- Holiday weekend takes the edge off no office hours required.
- Plenty of deferred work getting done in barns, around the property, and the messy stashes of a busy life.
- Cows quietly enjoying their green pastures while the electric fence (newly reinforced) hums all around them.
- Strangers providing for needs we didn't even know we had.
- Friends just showing up and praying.
- Seeds going into earth promising a harvest and providing metaphors for hope in this gritty personal growing season.
- Mercy poured out and lavish forgiveness for the guilt I bear from selfish sin.
- Excellent hospitality in recent weeks growing relationship in our community of faith.
- Enough for now. Isn't that always enough?
- White Horses stampede and threaten to sweep away, but this repost reminds me it's all good.
- Grace aplenty.