Monday, November 29, 2010

What's in a Name?

If you are anything like me, which I'm sure you are, there are times when you just haven't got a foggy clue what you are doing, and you are pretty sure that no one has ever felt as lost as you, and that no one could ever possibly get the disaster your brain is in. Can I get an "amen"? Anyone? Thank you.

I remember one such time. It was way back in the days of "the Townhouse" which is code for "the days when, yes we were living in the townhouse, but more than that it was in the time of life when we had 4 kids under the age of 4, and I was embroiled in my biggest life battle to date".

Someone had directed me to a blog and forum for moms where I went to find someone who understood me. Someone who'd been there. I tried to submit two questions about my state of confusion and exhaustion on the forum. The first they refused to post as it "encouraged something the moderators didn't endorse". So the second question, I made sure to be broad and unoffensive and something that would stir some helpful conversation.

What I said was something like this: "I'm a very young mom. I stay at home with my kids all the time. I love it and wouldn't have it any other way, but I'm really tired. And sometimes pretty sad. Can anyone relate?" What I received back was a bunch of platitudes and "right answers".

"No, I love it! I'm so blessed to be at home and I never feel tired or grumpy at all!"

"No, the joy of the Lord is *my* strength. I sure never feel sad at home at all!"

"Who could ever feel lonely when Jesus is your present help and comfort?"

And you know what? I knew all that. I knew that was supposed to be my reality, but the reality was that I was still tired: physically, emotionally, spiritually tired. My spiritual life was not stagnant. I was not being disobedient, or ungrateful, or rebellious. I had a wonderful husband with a fabulous marriage, and a supportive church. My little children were good sleepers and fairly obedient, all things considered. Life wasn't bad. I wasn't complaining. I was just a busy, tired woman. And no one understood. Or so I thought. They weren't hearing me. They weren't getting me. They couldn't help me.

One day in my quiet time I sat down hoping to hear a word of encouragement in my daily reading. I felt a strange prompting to read 1 Chronicles 3:8. Really? Really.

I kind of ignored it, but it wouldn't go away, so I finally turned to that spot thinking I was probably imagining things. Sure enough, the verse says this: "Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet". Nope. Not a word from the Lord. Just a list of names.

I tried to move on, back to my scheduled reading for the day, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was to read that passage again. So I did, and the whole chapter looking for something in the context. Nothing. It is just a list of the descendants of David. I was hoping that those 3 names were not the ordained names for my next 3 children!

Still, I felt like I was supposed to "get" something out of that verse. Finally, I thought to look up in a bible dictionary what those names meant.

Here's what those names mean, and what the Lord wanted me to know that day: "The Lord hears, The Lord knows, and The Lord will deliver."

He understood me. He heard my prayers. He knew my heart. And, as my present help in times of trouble, he would deliver me in his time and in his way.

How grateful I was that day for 3 funny sounding names. And how grateful I am still that we have a Lord who sympathizes with our weakness, and who understands our frailty, and who can speak to any specific circumstance in our day through the Word.

What does the Lord mean to speak to you today? What burden do you need Him to carry for you? He is more than able. And more than willing. And that is a very, very good thing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What Love Looks Like

You’ve seen the movie: the music swells in the background, the lights darken around the edges with one bright, piercing ray of sun shining in the center of the screen, while a perfectly manicured, make-upped and hair-dooed couple embrace, vowing that *this* is forever.

Or maybe you’ve seen this one: the house is burning to the ground and the stunningly gorgeous, yet humble girl-next-door-type is trapped in the upper floor, having swooned gracefully and fallen in a semi-conscious state to the smoldering ground. With her, seemingly, last breath she calls out the name of the man whom she has, up to this point in the film, scorned, and who, unbeknownst to the citizens of this quaint little town, was a firefighter before he hit the bottle following the death of his first wife, and who, just now, as he realized he was about to lose this woman forever, found the courage to suit up again in the uniform of his former life, swearing off of the Devil’s elixir forever, and climbed into the towering inferno and towards certain death just to see her one.more.time. And as he reaches her in that semi-conscious state, he calls out her name too and lovingly cradles her perfect head in his sculpted arms, and as she flutters her eyes open one last time, she says, “You came back for me” to which he responds “I’ll never leave you again”; then depending on what kind of ending you like in a movie they either die together there in the fire so that their love is never less perfect than it was in that moment, or they leap out of the window into the pillow-like field of forget-me-nots and live happily ever after.


I don't know about you, but this isn't what life in my house looked like this week. To read what love really looked like in my house, click here to read the rest of my latest Heart of the Matter Article.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wow-ful Women Wednesdays

You have to love Miss Piggy. And who doesn't think Christopher Reeve is dreamy? A little lighter fare for this spring-like November day. (My 11 year old is doubting the Wow-fulness of today's post. Don't you think Miss Piggy is pretty Wow-ful?)