A Glimpse of Heaven

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Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. -Romans 5:3-5

For most people, the hike up to Emerald Lake won’t kill them. It’s not a strenuous hike, but it does take effort. And if you are like me, it takes quite a bit more effort than, say, the rest of the youth group whom you are hiking with. If you are like me, you will be the last one in your group to make it to the top. But you will make it. And it will be worth it.

In many ways, I think I keep viewing life as one long, tiring hike. It’s not impossible, but it is all slightly uphill and sometimes quite steep and there are plenty of spots along the way in which it seems to make more sense to just turn around and go back already, but that seems silly because when you’ve been hiking for so long, you are bound to eventually get there and what if there is just around the next switch back? Why would you turn back when you’ve gone so far?

The thing is this: we can’t see what’s ahead. There’s no way to know if we’re really almost there. When I was much younger, I had this idea that by the time I reached the age at which I currently am, I would probably be there. Now I’m beginning to wonder if there doesn’t get to be reached in this present lifetime, and instead of arriving, we’re called to continually climb, perhaps stopping occasionally to sit for a moment and take a sip of water, but to then get back up and continue.

The path is sometimes beautiful and sometimes really difficult, but still we climb. Sometimes it seems impossible, but why would we turn back now? We’ve come so far. There might be around the next turn. We can’t see it, we have no map telling us how far we still have to go, and yet we continue, trusting that when we finally reach it it will, in an instant, wipe out the struggle it took to get there.

 

 

 

 

 

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Be Thou My Vision

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Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one

It’s October 17, 2016 and I’m sitting here in my living room. My 17yo just kissed me on the head and said, “Now don’t stay up too late, Mom,” in a funny turn-around of advice. And yet, I have that potential tonight. Potential to sit and ponder. Sometimes pondering is good for the soul and sometimes it just brings up the dregs of the past.

It’s funny to be in this new life with an almost totally different identity than I had before. Occasionally I will mention to someone that I used to homeschool the girls and they are usually surprised. Bozeman only knows me as the working mom whose kids all attend a 5-day Classical Christian school. They don’t know the me who directed a Classical Conversations group for three years or the me who was always available to do all the school things when the girls started in at the blended-model school, or the me who cried over giving newborns and preschoolers back to the state to hand over to someone else. They don’t know the me who spent all the weekends driving between two cities, two-hours apart, to help with my mom during her last months of ALS. They don’t know the me I think I am. And maybe I’m not that me anymore. Or maybe I’m not willing to let anyone else in on the me I think I am.

The me that I thought I was was seriously rejected. And, yes, it’s been 21 months now and you’d think time enough to let things go already, but I don’t know that you can ever let that kind of rejection go. It colors everything you do moving forward. Every conversation has a giant “what if” in the background. What if I say something to someone who ends up keeping a list of things I said. What if I confess a marriage or parenting struggle to someone in friendship-confidence and it ends up being used against us later as a reason to fire my husband? What if I trust people again and…later realize I never should have?

And I find myself praying again. Sometimes for vindication of the past, sometimes for the grace to move on. Sometimes for both.

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And then sometimes I lift up my head and take a good look around me and thank God for bringing us to this place. And sometimes I thank him without the qualification of the how we ended up here. Because if I believe God to be sovereign…and I do…then I need to believe he took us out of the one place and brought us to another. And I need to stop grieving over the process.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art

High King of Heaven, my victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heav’n’s Sun
Heart of my own heart, whate’er befall
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all

Another Cat Story

Granted, it isn’t nearly as good as the original cat story, but it’s still a story involving unintentional cat encounters. I posted it here on Chevy’s Mommy Madness STL site.

I also have another riveting video in which I can’t for the life of me figure out how to open the door to the gas tank to fill it up.

I think I’ve discovered that carrying around a little flip video camera and talking into it is sort of therapeutic. I never quite realized just how much I actually do talk to myself until I started recording it. I’m almost certifiably insane.

Have a good Monday!

Megan Dunham: This was totally my own fault. from The Dunhams on Vimeo.

Retreating

I’m going on a retreat with some women from my church tonight. I don’t retreat very well. I mean, I don’t retreat with others very well. I’m sure it will be good for me, yada yada yada. I’d still sort of rather stay home and watch a movie with my kids.

As it is, I’ve arranged to ride with three other gals (shocker), but I’m not becoming an entirely different person. I just received Katie’s Writing With Ease Level 1 workbook from The Complete Writer series in the mail today. I’m taking it along to read on the way.

Am I a dork or what?

So, off I go to pack my backpack and get ready to have a rip-roaring good time.

Peace out.

I’m Projecting

Project due Monday night; working like a crazy fool today, knowing my mind is on the fritz when I actually labeled three categories within our report this way: Education, Either/Or; Education, Kickin’ It Old School; and Education for my Home Boy (and Girl).

I have a feeling my editor is going to have a thing or three to say about that, but it won’t be until after the Missouri/Oklahoma game tonight. After clocking 10 hours on the project himself today, he is officially on a football break.

8 RanDOm tHiNgs ABoUt mE

1. I’m a bad meme-er. I usually forget to follow through, but if I do, it’s usually because I’ve been tagged more than once. (This post brought to you by both Lyra and Janeen).

2. I’m an ISTJ, yet I’m choosing specifically NOT to follow the rules for this meme because I have a streak of rebellion in me.

3. According to our family scrapbook, we still live in Colorado. We moved to Missouri 2.5 years ago.

4. I like to read Stephen King books, but in very small doses (like one book every two years).

5. I also like to read Jan Karon books and was a serious Janette Oak fan in middle school. I have all her books and plan to introduce my girls to them at a similar age.

6. I dislike talking on the phone, and to this day can’t leave a coherent message on an answering machine. I stumble and blabber on and on before coming to my poorly-made point.

7. We have a complete collection of Little House on the Prairie on DVD lined neatly up right beside our complete collection of The X-Files on DVD.

8. I’m supposed to provide a store-bought pre-packaged snack for Maddie and Chloe’s baseball game tomorrow morning, but I’m too tired to go to the store for something like that, and don’t have the extra cash for it anyway. Instead I’m going to make whole-wheat banana oatmeal muffins in the morning and take my chances on the kids not eating them because they look too healthy or didn’t come in a Little Debbie’s box.

I’m supposed to tag folks right now, but see random fact #2.