Sunday, October 30, 2011

lessons for my boy.

I've found myself thinking about being a parent quite a bit since I've been with child and all. I thought maybe I'd write a few of things down that I hope to teach my boy someday. This could come in a few installments. And might not matter to any of you, but golly it's my blog so I get to do whatever I want. :)

1. The world might try to convince you that cynicism is normal and just a way of life and that you're naive if you're anything but cynical. It's not and you're not. There's all kinds of hope in life to find.

2. You don't need an iPhone. Or an iPad. or an iPod. or an iMac. But if you do get one, remember what a blessing it is to have such nice things.

3. Loving people well will inevitably separate you from a majority of your friends. But don't stifle the goodness you have to offer the world. Your joy will be much greater in life if you care for people.

4. Watch your dad. He's more of man than most "manly men" will ever be.

5. Work hard doing whatever you do and do it the best you know how. A simple work ethic speaks volumes. And gets promotions.

6. Turn the water off when you brush your teeth, for goodness sake. You should see how far African children have to walk to get their water. Be respectful of the incredible resources we have in America.

7. You'll learn sarcasm from your mother. Use it sparingly.

8. You will likely grow up in a world of "church" that looks very different from what your parents grew up in. I hope you learn to value what it means to bring the good news of Jesus to everyone in your life. I hope you see it modeled in us.

9. Make friends. Simple enough really. But sometimes it's easier to not have friends than it is to maintain relationships. Deep friendships bring about some of the most bountiful blessings. It's worth the effort.

10. You will be silly. I feel it is certain. You will learn most of that from your father. Embrace that. It's what people will love about you.

With love and hope,
your mother

(Sorry if that took things to a weird level for everyone. It's the metamorphosis of motherhood! )

Sunday, October 16, 2011

our wait.

You might recall a while back when I wrote this entry about waiting. It was nearly one year ago that the Lord began to saturate my world with the charge to wait. Wait, for what, we weren't sure. At the time, our life seemed to really be caving in. Ryan and I weren't getting along, his work situation was getting increasingly difficult and the plans we had sort of made for our life weren't really connecting the way we saw them going when we got married in 2007. You'll recall that I wasn't super enthused about this "waiting" because it really didn't feel like an answer. In some ways it felt like prolonged despair. However, we were hopeful and certain that our waiting would be a testament of faith and I guess what I want to share with you now is how, indeed, the Lord is faithful.

Shortly after I shared that post in November we really felt like things were getting better. We had started to really immerse ourselves in our church community. We found ourselves in more leader-type roles pretty quickly and realized that this movement that we were a part of was really more of a lifestyle than an activity. This felt like good progress. It wasn't a solution to Ryan's career, but it was an indication that there was hope to be a part of something that was greater than our world and a place that we could put energy into something Kingdom worthy rather than worldly gratifying.

Ryan had also started to pursuit the idea of finding different employment and by the first of the year had a couple of interviews lined up. Neither of those came to fruition. That was confusing and disappointing because it seemed like such a great thing at the time to even find a great place that was hiring and that really loved Ryan, but something just didn't sit will with him and he ended up not taking those positions. In the meantime, things had seemed to improve at his current spot and we were grateful for that.

As we've looked back on it now, we're realizing that in the early months of this year we had figured our wait was over. That our answer was our community. Ryan's job hadn't really gotten much better, but we assumed that the end of the wait was finding ourselves as a bigger part of this community and just managing the frustrations of the other stuff. Even just writing that out makes me realize how small I can make God sometimes.

Months passed from the time I decided that the whole "waiting" thing was all said and done to the time that it, well, wasn't. Till right now. Truthfully, I didn't even think about it that much. There was a baby to think about and my own job. And then everything exploded. Literally. Bombs. Okay, not literally. But in the figurative life-sense, things exploded. All at once on a day and at a time in life that we truly had no intention or idea that things would change - they did. In three days, Ryan left his job without having any plans set-up for the next step. Visions of my life as a mother working 3 jobs to make ends meet after we sell our home and all of our possessions while Ryan found a job at the local 7-eleven and we eat fried bologna for dinner flashed through my mind. (What a life, huh?) While I would have persevered through a lifestyle like that (and have great admiration for those whose reality that is), that's not where we ended up. Instead in one week Ryan called every connection he had and set-up meetings with them. Suddenly, he was getting offers to work freelance jobs for some quick cash almost everyday which paid for the time he was unemployed almost entirely. And at the end of his first week of leaving his job he had a pretty certain offer on the table for a position that didn't even exist until recent months by a company who loves Jesus.

Ryan started his new job on October 1. He works for a company who is really, really excited about getting behind the things that we're trying to do in our community. They pursued him. And they truly like and appreciate who he is. You should see the way the God of all hope and peace has grown the heart of my husband. And you should see how happy he is. It's a little overwhelming to think about. Overwhelming and really beautiful.

My humanity often gets in the way of God's extravagance. I don't think I'm gonna say that our wait is over because the Lord's blessings never cease and my expectancy to see Him move should really never wane. Waiting doesn't always have to be uncomfortable. It can be hopeful excitement. Should be, perhaps.

We have a little expression in our community after we tell a story like this and it's, "He can do the same for you too." So. This is my story and God can do the same for you too. Just wait.