The streets are shining under the streetlamps behind the little yellow cottage. Ravinia Rd, is a curl of glass between two houses and school is out again. All of my plans must be remade and it has been over a week of erasing plans and opening my arms to an unknown vision of the day. Sometimes change is a joy but all it takes is a quick glance around the house to remind me that there will not be a Monday cleaning frenzy establishing order. At least one without a fight. (Perhaps you would enjoy this perspective bringing piece by my friend Linda?)
Can I hold each day, an open page, saying “yes” to the colors that will be painted there?
Can I look around in each circumstance, accept the people, accept my honest emotions and bring them, fingers wide open to Jesus in a sort of pre-thanksgiving? Can I allow myself lamenting or celebrating through the honest struggle?
This is where I go:
One long metaphor of accepting God’s will: Hinds Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It was just a half a page of description but became carved on my daily imagination. She was named “Acceptance with Joy,” this little yellow flower planted in the desert. Her round petals turned up toward a drainpipe drinking the random drops that fell. She was available to the life she was given. Hannah Hurnard painted such a compelling image that I adopted the name at the end of my journal entries as a teenager, hungry for the rest that comes from trusting the Provider.
“The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms,” Deuteronomy 33:27a
It has been a fight toward acceptance ever since. And here I am back again today.
Change is coming.
It will uproot me and transplant my little family away from this darling town (no town deserves to be called “darling” more,) and replant us where? We don’t know as yet, though we grieve the going (in perhaps 6 months?) and the people and the town and the 10 years of root growth.
What did Andrew say in his sermon yesterday? A friend had told him of his discerning the will of God and the struggle, “I don’t know where I’m going, I just know to grieve what I’m leaving behind.” And so we are. We grieve leaving the kind of people who we say “I love you” to when we leave them, who stocked our refrigerator with meals when we came back from vacation, who placed a white star on the eastern corner of our house. The kind of people who have not demanded a professional distance but allowed us to share our messy lives.
Can I accept the jumble of grief mixed messy with the surge toward a new adventure?
Can I stay fully present? The tea bag quote from Henry David Thoreau on my kitchen window sill reminds me: “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit.”
Can I daily turn toward that drain pipe, reach up to my Jesus for drops of pure unadulturated Life?
In the midst of the struggle toward acceptance, I am learning to give thanks:
- Snug wool mittens and soft fleece inside
- Alison Krauss: A Living Prayer
- Glimpses of ice rolling in the harbor
- Hands and open hearts and tears and the honest thanksgiving
- A husband with rock solid maturity to carry us through
- Bowling with the kids and the Brughs last night? Can I have a bumper too?
- A day to cuddle and read and then crunch through ice covered snow
- Soft long cardigan with sparkly buttons and LL Bean slippers
- A clean upstairs closet the children have turned into a hobo jungle (?) I know, too many Great Depression books.
- This great post by Ann Voskamp getting my wheels turning. I’m envisioning the endgame with Pinterest’s help.
Connecting with the wise Laura Boggess here: