Thursday, February 28, 2013

Picking up the pieces...

... Of one of my dining chairs :/

Three days ago I had one of those awful, crisis- infused days of renovations. I started off the week with high hopes of making huge strides in the kitchen, knocking it out with such speed and awesomeness that I'd have plenty of time to dive into the craft room. it is still a mess of furniture piled in the center of the room with walls and trim begging for primer and paint. Not so. Here it is, Thursday, and not only am I squeezing in a poor excuse of a blogpost, but Im doing so with little to show for my efforts this week.

It played out like this, totally worthy of the reality/ sit com that is my life. I was in the kitchen, scraping the existing vinyl sheet flooring off the ground, because it was lifting and I didn't want to just add to the problem by layering. I hadn't really factored in the amount of time it would take me to scrape the adhesive away, and the amount of upper body strength ( that I most certainly do not have) it would require to pull all of the vinyl out. I was having to move appliances around as I worked, and in my enthusiasm pulled too hard too fast and left some gaping craters in the floor. Argh. This required the purchase of a patching compound before I could lay the new floor. No big deal, except that we are currently down to one car and I spend most days at home with no way to leave. Boom. Enter massive frustration.

In just the next room, my boys are snacking. My 7 year old is feeding my 2 year old an avocado. He is super excited about his very favorite food (also prone to flinging it, thus the help) and keeps climbing onto the table to get closer to the spoon. Despite my best efforts and constant nagging for him to sit on his rear, the inevitable happens. I am drawn from my flooring crisis by a loud crack and a silent baby. I run in shouting 'what happened?' over and over again to find him lying on his back on the chair that is obviously flipped backwards. I scoop him up, hush his now blood-curdling scream, inventory bumps and bruises, and lean over to reposition the chair. That's when the back completely fell out. On top of everything, he broke my chair?!

I moved the chair into the corner of the room and mentally noted that it was "un fixable" and would have to be replaced. Yesterday I finally made time to search the Ikea site for a replacement chair and was less than thrilled to find that my new chair would be another $60 (a huge hit to our reno budget) and that they didn't sell this color anymore. So, I set my mind on repairing it. With some liquid nails and some paint it will be almost as good as new, just a little scarred. And it will always be a reminder of this wacky season of life. That's kind of awesome.

Father instantly turned it into an afternoon devo. How many things, people, situations have I written off as un fixable? When in reality, the effort of repair is part of the process, and totally worth it. And the scar? It always tells a story. Let me be found mending, encouraging, loving, and pressing through. He is telling an incredible story with my life.

Also, when you wonder why I never blog anymore, keep in mind that I'm probably doing something ridiculous- fishing rodents from walls or stepping in drywall mud or falling between the couch and chaise lounge while painting trim. These amazing stories will all be yours to share soon.

Happy Thursday.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

the sting of things.

This business of diving back into my blog has been an arduous process. I've been coming up with all sorts of reasons why I can't, but today I ran out of excuses. I'll start by dealing with the elephant in the room.... my complete withdrawal from every single thing that God undeniably purposed me to do. Sewing, crafting, creating, writing, dreaming- you name it, I shelved it. Ugh.

Here's the skinny. I spent a weekend at a ladies retreat and had all sorts of face palm moments. It would take me hours to share all of the crazy cool stuff that Father is showing me about restoration and stillness and purpose, but I can't even go there, not yet. I have to start at the beginning. I have to start with the thing that had me convulsing in my seat, ugly crying for the whole world to watch.


The devil's so dumb. We moved back to Texas in October after 15 months of being transplanted to Virginia. I came back with so many lessons under my belt, so many new passions. I also came back with some serious baggage. I was hurt, not surfacey bandaid-able scratches, but deep cuts to the heart. And I was just running around bleeding all over everybody.

Just the other day my boys were watching a nature show about Africa. They love that nonsense. I walked in just in time to see a giant hand-sized wasp. If you're like me, then you feel like anything that has a stinger is the spawn of Satan himself. The tiniest honey bee can send me into arm-flailing screaming fits. So this Satan bug is an Africa tarantula wasp. It kills by injecting it's victim with a paralyzing venom, and subsequently injecting an egg into their stomach area. The egg then hatches and eats the spider alive from the inside out- emerging as a full grown adult. Oh.My.Goodness. Gross.

 I've spent most my 32 years touting an ability to remain unscathed by people and their opinions. Pffft. You don't love people. Crafting is a hobby, a waste of time, God can't use that. You're just a housewife. You spend too much time chasing things that don't matter. Photography isn't important if you're not going to make a job of it. If ministry was important to you, then your kids wouldn't be an issue.  You haven't made any friends here, because you refuse to make this your home. You're moving back because you love Texas more than you love us. You don't know how to hear God's voice. Some of these things are direct quotes. Some of them are just paraphrased versions of what I "heard" in my heart. Whoa. I let these things, these seemingly small rotten things that people said to me... about me, take root in my heart. They were planted deep, and together they hatched as self-doubt, fear, withdrawal, disinterest, and lack of purpose. Even lies bear fruit when you start believing them. I was being eaten alive.

Acts 8:23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity....

My first mistake? Entertaining the wasp. I invited him in, close enough to sting. That's not hard to do. You just simply cut yourself off from the truth, stop spending time in God's presence and you step into dangerous territory. My second mistake was letting myself get bitter over it all. How dumb. If you're bound up in lies, or hurtful words, forgive. And then recognize that your best defense against lies is truth. I was very much alive, still connected, still searching, but so paralyzed. It took a moment of stillness, of pulling away from busy-ness and chaos to see what Father had been whispering for months. The noise around me was just too loud for me to hear. I am rejoicing today over God's purposes, over His delight in setting His kids free, and over every single passion that He's spent the last two weeks unearthing and dusting off. He redeems all things. I am pressing in, EVERY day to hear from Him. I am done believing untruths, done returning to hurt feelings, done letting them stir my heart and steer my course. Are you?