Thursday, November 10, 2016

a tale of two paths

Each time I leave my neighborhood - my comfort zone - I am faced with a choice. I cannot go straight ahead. I must choose, left or right.

To the right, and I will be met with rocks, potholes and dust. Yet it is quicker, and I often turn that way when I am in a hurry.

To the left, and I will find sheep grazing and a church that rose from the ashes. The lightning strike is emblazoned on my memory, much like the flames that burst forth and the black smoke that seemed to hover for days. In one brief moment I saw God aim His power to consume a temple constructed by man. He had something greater for His people.

I can reach my destination by either path.

The bumpy road or the smooth one.

The parched earth or the green pasture.

The choice is mine. I wrestle it more often than I should. Most days I instinctively turn to the easy route, but some days I involutarily choose the other. I set my jaw to absorb the jarring, squint against the dust, and pray I'm not causing any permanent damage to my car. Sometimes the road isn't as bad as I thought, but not as often as I'd like.

Inevitably, when I've reached the other side I promise myself never to travel that way again. And I keep my word.

Until the next time.

Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
-Psalm 25:4-5

Monday, November 7, 2016

joy

You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and wine abound.
~Psalm 4:7


I close my day and the second full month since leaving my girl in a strange room. Her eyes danced in a mix of nerves and excitment. Mine were steely blue, unaware that tears would come a few days later.

They still come at the strangest times.

It's been two months in this new normal. It's been more difficult than I imagined, in ways different than I expected. I'm realizing how much of my identity - even, maybe especially, in our home - has been tied to being a mother. The daily demands of motherhood no longer clamor for my attention, a truth that saddens more than it relieves.

Treading this foreign territory frequently requires more balance than I've been able to muster, though I am learning. Learning to find joy, because there is much joy to be found.

Phone calls and text messages from my girl.

Library books that whisk me away to England, France, and New York.

Ella Fitzgerald's voice filling the air as I prepare dinner.

Board games and laughter.

Autumn's long-awaited arrival.

All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well. - Julian of Norwich