Thursday, August 15, 2013

Aware of the Extraordinary

That first morning thought. Sometimes clear and concise, partnered with this feeling that you must have been mulling it over long before your REM pattern changed. Other times a blurred line between your dreaming and conscious states. Most of mine come into clarity after my first cup of coffee. But there's always a first morning thought. Right?

This morning mine was crystal clear, as if God wanted me to not forget it. Today is August 15 and it's our two month anniversary in our Dream Home. Being summer and without schedules and all, dates are nothing but an after thought or a question asked. But not today. It was as if God was celebrating this date with me before my eyes opened.

Two months. 60 days. 1,440 hours. 86,400 minutes. 5,184,000 seconds. When broken down, time seems much more significant. 2 months versus 5 million seconds. My mind pauses as I consider it all. Two months feel like a blip on a radar and forever all at the same time. Time has not stopped and waited for me to pay attention to its passing, but the contentment of here has caused me to forget where I came from.

And yet I still wake up, still meander into my kitchen, still light the gas stove and turn on the lawn sprinklers, still mosey up the stairs to where my no-so-littles hang out, and I smile. Smile because the goodness of God is in every wall, every window blind, and every blade of grass that paints our front and back yards. And it's in the aroma of our home created by the combination of paint and wood floors and ... us.  

Every home has its own fragrance. It's distinct and recognizable, like a name. You may become so familiar with it on a day-to-day basis that you stop paying attention to the comfort it brings. But just leave for a few days and it's almost automatic that the first words out of your mouth when you return will be, "Ahh, it smells like home."

Every address I've shared since becoming a transplanted Texan has held its own unique place in my heart. From being the first in Double Oak to representing new beginnings in Bedford; from starting over in Keller to down-sizing in NRH and re-imagining in Roanoke, memorable moments have been carved into my mind that I carry forward with each passing year. 

But this place. This Dream Home, my Ephesians 3:20 home as I've called it from first sight, is something extraordinary because it represents God's Above-And-Beyond-All-That-I-Could-Ask-For-Or-Imagine Kind of Goodness. It's extraordinary because it represents a tidal wave kind of miracle. It's extraordinary because He brought us out of the depths of loss and placed us in a palace of promise. It's extraordinary because it represents the blessing of God and His gracious generosity. And it's extraordinary because it came with a promise of God's faithful provision. 

Hebrews 10:23 - Let us hold fast the hope we confess without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Choosing Differently

Today. Today I read this and this and this as I carved out time to just enjoy the morning. Window shades pulled up to let light in. Coffee in a spill-proof cup because I still haven't found the night stands I really want and the coffee has to sit in my lap for now. Covers all messy around me and over me. Laptop waiting with words that will fill the emptiness created by not purposing to fill it. Instead I've just allowed myself to ache over emptiness and then ache some more. Boredom and emptiness beget boredom and emptiness. Yet in the low places where they both wait, it takes effort to not be lulled by them into complacency and then settle for them as companions.

So I chose differently. Today. I chose to sip at the drink that I've unwittingly abandoned, the one that ever satiates my thirsty soul. Words beautiful and words deep breathe life into me. Words written from the heart of God and placed in The Book that will never be out sold, and other words that He delivers, written from the same place but bound with a different cover, or none at all, with a different title, because that someone bowed in passionate obedience and listened and then set those words free.

I've neglected words, and I am well aware again of the price I pay when I do. Thirsty. Parched. Dry. Cracking. Apathetic. And then bored and empty.

But today I chose differently. That's all it really takes. Choosing Differently. Yet that choice can feel too hard and almost beyond my ability when I neglect it for too many days in a row. Or weeks. Or months.

And it's not that I've disregarded His Word for too long. Because they are there. Always there. It's in the choice to sip and walk away or linger and drink the entire cup that determines my level of saturation afterward.

No, it's not that I haven't chosen His Word, but instead the addition of words He chooses to write through attentive hearts. And I've neglected also allowing Him to write through mine.

And it's not that His Word isn't enough, it's always all and then some, but there's good reason that He also chooses to give words to others. Because His heart continues through those who sit with Him and then release to us. 

And it's not just words. It's every gift really.

But for me it's that written trifecta. That perfect storm that keeps my heart alive and fresh and inspired, and keeps boredom and emptiness at bay: His Words. Their Words. My Words. Really ALL His, but dealt out to different hands and hearts.

Words inspire me and feed me and drive me and love on me. And today I chose not to abandon them but to abandon myself to them.

What feeds you, drives you, loves on you and inspires you? Then choose it today. Remember, that's all it really takes: Choosing Differently.