Friday, December 5, 2014

The Story Of A Girl Finding Holy In The Ordinary

Holy in the ordinary.

It's what I've been asking for my eyes to see.

I read the pages of this woman's story and it is changing me.

Changing my vision, changing my thoughts, changing me.

I have an opportunity that neither the mundanity of motherhood nor my children's not-yets will ever thwart.

I can find Him right here (in this farmhouse).

And in searching him out,

I can invite his technicolor majesty in and through what might otherwise be grays...

I can grow in intimacy with Him, anywhere.

When I hear God speak over the beautiful crucible of parenting's repetition and it's unknowns, when I invite him into both of those aches, I have an opportunity to adore Him through the story that my household is living.

I could spend most days looking for the golden moment ahead, when the gold is already in front of me... Available for every_messy_minute.

There is something crazy about that to me.

There is holy in the ordinary all the time in this place and for whatever reason I find myself stuck in the mundane rather than in the glory of the story that is unfolding before my very eyes... Here... in this place, in this house, with these kids, and this man, and a great great God.

Let me tell you what it's like to be a mama of many small children. It's easy for me to feel like the crazy lady.

We went to our brother and sister-in-laws house for Thanksgiving this year. They have a lovely home and one beautiful daughter who's 14 and helpful, and creative, and can engage in a rather delightful conversation with adults. There were cousins and Aunts and Uncles and Grandparents.

And then there was me. There was me with my adventurous one-year-old that finds every last thing that he shouldn't have. A one-year-old that unrolls the toilet paper in every bathroom. A one-year-old that chucked a rock over their balcony and came within an inch of breaking a window on my brother-in-law's rather nice car.

I also have a four-year-old that is not yet quite aware of his body and what's around him. And my sweet little boy decided that he was going to bring me his plate because he was done eating Thanksgiving dinner and he was looking up at me with his charming, beaming smile, when all of a sudden he tripped over the dog and his food flung all over the place. He started sobbing. We cleaned up the mess. Wiped away my boys tears. Everyone there was kind and gracious.

Outwardly everything was truly fine.

But inwardly it sparked a little chat between the Lord and I.

I want to be a light. I want to exemplify Christ in my actions, in my words, in the way that I live.

And sometimes I wonder how that's possible when I feel like the crazy lady.

But that's the thing about Christ. He gave me these treasures. He knew they would draw me to Him, they would humble me, they would cause me to surrender my control (the control that I am realizing I never really had in the first place.) He never asked that I make myself look pretty to the world. He asked if He could take my ashes and turn them into something extravagantly beautiful for His glory and my joy.

This life is hard on our souls because we were made for perfect communion with God. John Piper says it so rightly, "the fight for faith is the fight for joy." Yep, that. We're only going to find that deep down, bursting out of our skin joy, when we seek Him and find Him because His love is better than life.

I sat in a living room full of woman this morning and I thought about the struggle I have to love these kids of mine the way that I want to love them. I want to love them the way that the Lord loves me. And it dawned on me that in order to love on them like the Lord loves on me, I need to be saturated in the knowledge of the ways that Lord really does love.

SO here it is.
He delights in me when I'm good and when I'm struggling.
His delight is steadfast and not dependent on the state o my heart.
He calls me the crown and glory of all his creation.
He laid down his life for me.
I am his daughter.
He calls me his own.
He constantly forgives me.
He cherishes me.
He treasures me.
He fights for me.
He's all of the fruits of the Spirit towards me, all the time.
He lives 1 Corinthians 13 perfectly towards me.
He is at work in me, always, even when I feel like He's not.
He is always trustworthy ,always kind.
He blesses me not as payment for my good works, but out of the overflow of His goodness towards me.

This is our God.

This kind of love changes everything.

It changes the way we approach our children.

It changes the way we define the mundane.

It makes all things ordinary, a resting place for the Holy.

The Lord is alive and well in this farmhouse.

But I am learning that what so often feels ugly, can indeed be made beautiful...

Holy in the ordinary.

This Holy in the ordinary...
It happened to me this week.

There are two treasures in this place that struggle with each other more than the others. They rub each other the wrong way and the harsh speaking turns into  yelling which turns into two broken and hurt kiddos sitting on the living room floor unable to get it together.

And me, being the fabulous spiritual leader that I am, found myself walking into the room and joining in on the yelling. Within 30 seconds, the three of us were on the floor all in a fluster and I looked at both of them, at a total loss for words, annoyed at myself, annoyed at them.

And then it happened.

Not having the slightest clue what else to do, I pulled them both in close. And there on the living room floor I found myself praying the most vulnerable, most heart-honest most humbling prayer that I might have ever prayed in front of these treasures.

There was a heart softening taking place.

And then my boy... Oh my sweet boy... He began his own prayer... and through his tears he told the Lord how much he hated his sin. And that's when I knew that on a Wednesday in the old farmhouse, holy came in the ordinary.

How do we know that we are children of God?

It's not that we get to a place where we don't sin. It's that we find ourselves in a place where we hate our sin, and we believe God when He says that He has made our sins as white as snow through the death and resurrection of His precious son.

A softening of the heart is a place for the Spirit to do His mighty work of molding us into the likeness of a holy God.

There on the living room floor, the three of us saw Holy in the ordinary.

There on the living room floor, the repetition of kids learning to speak kindly to one another and the repetition of a Mama trusting the Lord to train her mouth to only speak words that make their souls stronger, there was glory in the not so mundane.

There on the living room floor, he turned our ugly into something beautiful. Something that could only come from Him.

I'm learning that being the crazy-lady, is also being the beauty from ashes lady.

I'm in over my head and my God is happy to show me that He can help me learn to walk on water...


in this place,

in this family,

with these kids,

and all our struggles.

He is making all things beautiful.

{Pics from our holiday in the Bay Area with Gramma & Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. Thankful for sweet memories made.}

{Exerts from a lovely little book titled: Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet.}