Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Late to Lent: Days 23-24

the story starts here  and you have a few days left to enter my Blogiversary giveaway.

Day Twenty-Three
I have thoughts pinging around my head like little Pac Men freed from the constraints of black boxes. They nibble away but don’t seem to be connected, at least not that I can see. So I’m laying down trails of little white dots between them to see if I can make anything meet up.

Sometimes I go to church and feel warm and embraced, and then there are the other days. The days when I feel the much needed course correction: when the sermon seems to burn in deep and I stare wide eyed trying to absorb because I am hungry and this is the food I need. My pastor taught on perspective and giants, and what happens when I look at my life through eyes of fear. It’s not pretty. I know because it exactly describes what happened to me Saturday, what I’ve been struggling with for a while now. The alternate choice proffered Sunday was to view life through eyes of faith, eyes that believe that whatever challenges I see, God can meet if I am following Him. For over two years I was marching, hard and strong, with eyes of faith, doing all I could to partner with Him to heal, grow, serve and prepare for what I believed was next. What I was so sure I heard. But now, it just seems that I heard wrong, and the disappointment is so heartbreaking that my faith is rocked. How do I walk when I am no longer sure that I can see clearly enough to follow? There is a song that plays often in my car right now and the lyrics describe this place so well.

Do you feel cold and lost in desperation
You build up hope but failure's all you've known
This let down hurts so much that it is hard to grab onto faith and walk. Fear creeps in and settles over my eyes and my heart. I see the future through the lens of fear of pain. That in itself is painful. These eyes of fear turn my feet to stone and my heart to mush. I want eyes of faith again-eyes that expect that God is for me and He has good things for me and to do through me. And He will teach me the way I should go. Psalm 32:8 I don’t want to be one of the ten spies whose fear goggles cost a generation the promise land. I want to dance in the fields of milk and honey. I want the spirit of Caleb, a different spirit; one that follows God passionately.

Ann is still keeping me company while I quiet my day and seek Him out. She writes “Expectations kill relationships-especially with God. And that’s what a child doesn’t have: this whole edifice of expectation. Without expectations, what can topple the surprising wonder of the moment?” One Thousand Gifts, p.169 Without expectations? How can I walk in faith without expecting something from God? Yet I have also been taught that expectations breed resentment. But that usually refers to me expecting people to act as I want them to, not as they have always done. Me expecting them to change. So is the problem not having expectations of God, but having expectations that God will do what I want or what I think He will do? Was I following Isaac, not Jehovah? The promise and not the promise giver? But how do I passionately follow the promise giver without believing His promises?


The perspective of a child, there is something in that. I don’t agree that children don’t have expectations. I spend a fair amount of time with kids and even the sweet two year olds I watched this morning have expectations of me. They expect me to know where the snack is, to change their diapers if it’s uncomfortable, to give hugs, kiss owwies, play when asked, and help when needed. But they don’t have an overarching plan as to how our time will go. They don’t walk in with an agenda. Sammy and Wesley find joy in the moment by moment discoveries we have. Maybe this is where the little dots allow the Pac Men to meet. Perhaps I am supposed to expect that He will meet my needs, fulfill His plans, show me what to do and when, all while allowing Him to set the agenda, the time, the how and the details. I let Him be big and I’ll be small and I’ll follow Him, asking Him for my snack and to kiss my owwies, help carry toys I can’t lift and hold me when I need to be held. Will this lead me back to delight in the moment by moment surprises of what He brings me?  But first...

Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go
Let it go

“Iridescent”
A Thousand Suns by LinkinPark



Day Twenty-Four

































 
  























goodnight,
Blog Med Sig 4

telling tales with Emily and friends

17 comments:

Brian Miller said...

beautiful pics...i agree on kids and expectations, but i totally see them living in the moment..smiles, did you just quote linkin park? nice.

happygirl said...

Beautiful pics. Green grass, blue sky, blue/green sea. A riot of color on a resting place in the sun. Rest in the knowledge of God's love for you.

David N. said...

What about the Sundays when you leave wanting to set fire to the pastor's house? Am I the only one?

Also, I thought you would find it amusing to know I had an involved and strangely funny discussion of time, death and Emily Dickinson last night with Yosi before bed. It may or may not become a blog post someday.

Old Ollie said...

JB - you are on a good journey here a journey of faith through words and pics. Nice work.

Jen said...

I love the line about God being big and us being small and just following. The pics of the beach remind me just how big and beautiful He is.

Cathy said...

Lovely. After 1 broken promise (fir they never forgave me) I told my kids this: 'I can ONLY promise that I will always love you, no matter what.' That put an end to both their expectations and my sometimes thoughtless promises.

Rachel said...

Enjoyed reading your pondering today. Good point about expectancy not being in what I expect God to do for me but in who He is. Our hope and expectancy are in His character and knowing that he makes our crooked paths straight, whatever is meant for harm he will turn for the good.

I know how you feel about feeling like you missed it but this is a journey, I have gone through the same thing and then it has taken me a while to get built back up. The book Prayer finding the hearts true home really helped me with this. May you have a blessed week.

Rachel said...

I forgot, I also wanted to say how beautiful your beach pictures are, thanks for sharing.

Cindy said...

Beautiful words, beautiful pictures, both reflecting a beautiful soul; one that is allowing the work of purification to burn through to the very core of being...and someday soon, you will be able to reply to this question "Who can dwell with the consuming fire (i.e. God)?" Isaiah 33:14 with the words "I am...". Your words of simple trust, of allowing your heart to grow to match your faith, are so inspiring...perhaps this stage is "the dark night of the soul" that even Jesus was allowed to experience...perhaps the prize is your tested faith, not whatever you thought you were headed towards...

I bless you sweet blogging friend...

Kati patrianoceu said...

"How do I walk when I am no longer sure that I can see clearly enough to follow?" ... I've been in that place a lot lately, and have decided I'd best embrace those moments. Walking when I don't get it is all I really can do and it's a solid, albeit tiny, step of faith.

And I love how your pictures are an application of the lesson. Gorgeous.

Cheryl said...

This was beautiful:
"Was I following Isaac, not Jehovah? The promise and not the promise giver? But how do I passionately follow the promise giver without believing His promises?"

Great thoughts. I very much relate to what you wrote. Thank you for causing me to ask along with you.

I am your latest follower. I look forward to reading along with you.

Oh, and I am going through Ann's book as well on my blog. She has made a huge impact. Would love to hear your thoughts if you have time.

Craig said...

First of all – not fair writing what I always think but seldom say – “You build up hope but failure's all you've known”. And it does take the faith of a child doesn’t it. To think big thoughts and dreams – but to let go – and grab onto the Father’s hand. You captured it beautifully.

Day 24 did absolutely nothing for me at all – but make me way jealous – and smile (◠‿◠)

God bless you Joy.

Jodi said...

Boy oh boy, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. More than enjoyed. It really helped me work through some stuff. I love what you said about children and expectations. I agree - they have them. "But they don’t have an overarching plan as to how our time will go. They don’t walk in with an agenda." Yes, so true. Good insight. There's a lot here to think about. "Ta" (British lingo for thanks - tee hee)

emily wierenga said...

this walking with you, with your honest soul, this is beauty joybird. i am so enjoying learning with you. and along with everyone, i agree with you re: children and expectations... for so often, every day, i fail to meet my son's, as unrealistic as they are :) (his tears and pouty lip speak for his unfulfilled desires)... love to you.

Melissa@one thing said...

Beautiful post! Thanks!

alittlebitograce said...

Your pictures are fantastic! As it has just barely started to warm up here(there was snow more than once this week), I'm jealous!

I understand so clearly what you shared in the first part. I thought I was following God, pursuing healing, doing the right thing and then my world crashed around me. I've wondered if I'm crazy a lot. *hugs*

Yes, I do make yummy curry, sometimes from scratch, sometimes from a paste. We enjoy eating Indian and I've been blessed with Indian friends and a local Indian grocery. :) If you ever end up in my corner of the world(SW Ontario), you are definitely invited over for dinner! :)

Anna said...

The photos are blissful, peaceful, restful...ahhh, I just want to step into those pictures. The journal entry for day 25 was touching...told so beautifully. "If he can, then so can I." I needed to hear that today, Joybird. Thanks for sharing those moments.

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