Friday, December 30, 2011

Magic Dancing Shoes

“And now, I’m glad I didn’t know

the way it all would end,

The way it all would go.

Our lives are better left to chance;

I could have missed the pain,

But I’d have had to miss the dance.”

-“The Dance” (sung by Garth Brooks)

(written by Tony Arata)

I was watching Sesame Street the other day (because that’s the only thing you can do when you have a three month old and a three year old and your sweet three year old decides to wake you before the sun has come up), and they had on an episode that I’ve seen a few times before. It’s a story I think we’ve all heard some version of, but on Sesame Street Gonegan the fairy wishes he could dance but doesn’t think that he is able. He’s given some magic dancing shoes and has to chase them around the room. The moves he does while trying to catch the shoes actually are dance moves…he didn’t really need the shoes at all, but the “magic dancing shoes” allowed him to dance and eventually showed him that he never even needed them…he was able to dance the whole time.

Older folks always seem to say things like they don’t regret the bad things in their life because they made them who they are, and I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around that idea. There are things that have happened in my life that I just wish hadn’t; I felt like in my fantasy of how my life would be perfect, if those things had never happened I might be different, better somehow, and wouldn’t have had to feel the pain.

But I had this moment last week when I realized about a specific instance in my life that I wished had never happen because the aftermath was so painful, that this very thing actually helped me to realize some potential and gain confidence in myself that I definitely did not possess before. My confidence began by leaning on an unstable foundation, but even when that foundation fell, those gifts were still within me as long as I was submitted to God. They were God given strengths that I didn’t know were within me until I found this “prop” to lean on…and once I had built the strength and muscle, I could stand tall in these, firmly rooted in Christ without the prop to hold me up.

I feel a bit like a tree that’s been newly planted in the yard. At first I needed some help to stand, but eventually I can weather the storm without the ties because my roots are spreading further and further in the foundation of the Lord.

Painful things will happen in our lives, and the things that we counted on (people and things) will let us down. But God is still on His throne, and He prides Himself by making something beautiful out of the dust.

God is our hiding place; He will protect us from trouble and surround us with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7) Songs we can dance to, like we never knew we could dance before. So “I might have missed the pain, but I’d have had to miss the dance.”

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rose Colored Glasses

Today as we rushed out the door to the car and I started to pack my daughter into her car seat, I looked up and realized that we forgot her glasses. We were on a time crunch to get things done, so I rushed back inside to grab them. I picked them up, lifted them up to the light, and saw that her lenses were smudged. Usually I can just run the cloth over them a couple of times and that wipes the smudges clean but this time it was particularly difficult to get all the dust particles and smears off. (You can only understand if you’ve ever seen the face of a three-year-old after they’ve eaten…now imagine they have glasses…yeah…gross).

As I took the extra time to wipe her lenses clean, I thought about how, as parents, we are largely the lenses through which our children see the world. And we are often careless about taking care of our own minds, letting ideas, words, images, etc. endlessly fly in and around ourselves without a second thought. But what we fail to realize is that we leave our children to look through glasses that are smudged, scratched, streaked – they are left with lenses that keep them from seeing hazards clearly and cause them to bump into things or see things out of proportion. It reminded me to keep my heart and mind clean and clear before the Lord – let Him wipe my glasses clean and give me new glasses altogether if need be, so that I can help my sweet children to walk forward in peace and clarity.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo Card

Picture Tree Christmas
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Song of Redemption

There are few moments as precious as the moment the torrent of pain breaks wave into a bursting forth of song.  What a sweet, sweet release.

This was not what I expected
This was not written in my plans
but somehow you have not rejected
me and all the mess I am

You are more beautiful
than I have ever imagined
and You are more gracious
than I have ever believed
and You oh You Lord
only You could make this happen
Oh God
You are all I need

Now I know what it's like
to cling to you for dear life
I thought that I was strong
but oh I was weak and I was wrong

You are more beautiful
than I ever imagined
and You are more gracious
than I've ever believed
and You oh You Lord
Only You could make this happen
Oh God
You are all I need

This was not what I expected
This wasn't written in my plans
but somehow you have not rejected
me and all the mess I am