Monday, July 12, 2010

Item by Item

I am still on my productivity kick. This afternoon I had a sitter to play with the children while I spent 2 and a half hours tackling my office. I haven't really reorganized since moving into this house 3 and a half years ago. My 'office' is a tiny little room/closet off my laundry room which unfortunately lends itself to being a catch-all space full of books and magazines I intend to read, important papers to be filed, little reminder notes of quotes or subjects I want to write about one day and countless other miscellaneous things.

I have never scrapbooked a single page for my children--preferring instead to write here on the blog and keep other meaningful things tucked away in shoe boxes or file folders. Apparently I have 8-9 of those folders because as I was cleaning today I kept discovering tidbits from my family's life so far. I am not overly sentimental about 'stuff' so I was pleased that I had indeed held onto some meaningful things.

I found copies of a couple of e-mails my husband and I had exchanged back during our two year 'sabbatical' from dating. I quote: "I really hope it doesn't complicate things for me to reach out to you, I just miss knowing how you are." (Love it! Love HIM!)

I found the legal pad where my husband and I wrote characteristics of our ideal job and community as we were embarking on his post-fellowship interview process. We consulted the 'dream list' after our visit to our now-home and the interview for his current job. It was astounding how many of the criteria this place met!

I found a torn out piece of journal paper where I scribbled down the perinatologist's reasons for removing my terbutaline pump the day before my children were born (allowing me to go into labor after 8 long, hospitalized weeks of doing everything to hold it at bay.) It included symptoms I was having (although we did not realize it was heart-related at the time) and his prediction that all three of the babies would be around 4 lbs (biggest was 3lbs 3 oz).

I discovered letters I wrote to each of my children on their first birthday--and every birthday invitation for the five years since then.

Most revealing was a journal I wrote in when my children were infants. I wasn't blogging then. In my sleep deprived, overwhelmed, new mother state I wasn't doing much of anything apart from survival. There were only a couple of entries, but my heart's cry was for a ministry, for a fire for the Lord, for time to be with Him. I teared up as I read my desperate, exhausted words and reflected on how incredibly faithful the Lord has been since then. It seems like a lifetime ago. I reflected on prayers He has answered that I don't even remember praying.

I know my selfishness, my short attention span, my sin nature, my lack of consistent devotion. I did not earn this life. And yet, my Father has been faithful in providing for me. I seek to be faithful in deflecting all glory and honor to Him.

God knew He would bring my husband and I back together within the covenant of marriage.
God knew this small town would be His divine appointment for us to live and grow and raise a family.
God knew what would be involved in my delivery and the aftermath.
God knows how many more birthdays my children will celebrate.
God kept His promise that those 'who seek will find' and has shown Himself to me day after day as I have sought His face.
God knows the plans He has for what is still yet to come.

Tonight I rejoice in serving a God who is faithful, sovereign and full of grace. He rules and reigns supreme over the universe, but never misses a single detail along the way. I love the description of Him as Author and Perfecter of our faith in Hebrews 12. As I was looking up the passage to post it here I swallowed hard at the Message translation:

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! Hebrews 12:2-3 The Message

I loved that last encouragement to the weary 'go over that story again, item by item...' Isn't it the truth? When we get nervous about what God may or may not 'do' next, let's not forget to pause and remember item by item what He has done.

Thank you, Father. I am blown away by your loving provision.

And, yes, remembering does seem to shoot adrenaline into my soul.


Kylie and crew. said...

Powerful words. You are an amazing writer. Thanks again for sharing your gift! It's hard to believe I've been reading your blog since before you moved into the house you are living in now! I love the little glimpses I get of your family.

Lindsay said...

Wow. So I was sent here by Carrie from 4 The Love of Family (blogspot) and I'm glad I came. I needed this today - as well as a few other of your posts.

I need to remember that God is faithful - no matter how "bad" I think my circumstances are.

We are in the process of a working diagnosis for our 11 month old - hypotonia and mild cerebral palsy. THAT was a blow I was certainly unprepared for. Carrie mentioned your son has the same (not sure which diagnosis she meant) but that now, at 6, you can't even tell. So I was wondering if you have any advice as we face this head-on with therapies and such.

Thanks in advance. I know you are busy.


Darla said...

Love this. Forwarding the verse in Hebrews to a friend going through a hard time.