The Summer of Some Other Time

Somewhere between spending the last two months in a different state and being temporarily apart from my husband, I seem to have fallen off the edge of the known world. Sorry, is that an awkward way to start a blog?

I’m not in a head space to get into the whole story right now, but let’s just say that a summer road trip coupled with an unexpected work opportunity for my husband in another state (yes, a different state than the state that I’m currently in, also a different state than the one we usually reside in) has resulted in my 2.5 year-old son and myself house-hopping all over that delightfully peninsular state in the south east of the country. How I went from California in a drought to Florida during hurricane season and may soon end up in one of the coldest winters in Minnesota is a bit mind-boggling, but I guess I should have seen that coming when God told me at the beginning of the year that we would not believe where we would be by the end of the year. I need to stop underestimating God’s ability to follow up on what He says.

I do not imagine that I have an adoring public or those who wait with baited breath for my next blog, but about the point that friends started calling me asking if I was still alive, I realized that I should probably alert the world to my continued existence. Yup, we’re here, we’re good, still trucking…

This constellation of events has also resulted in my inability to accomplish anything that I had been working on when I left home. Those projects include a campaign for which I missed the date of launch, a book which needs to be dissected and reassembled, an album composed of songs but no musicians, and a host of other small tasks such as putting out a semi-predictable blog. Although I will say that Publix baked goods have greatly contributed to this downfall in creative productivity… calypso crunch cookie bites, I blame you. Also, I’m constantly in the presence of family that up until recently I never saw, which also takes up a great deal of my time. No regrets there. I can’t say I am disappointed with the sudden turns my life has taken. I always used to dream of adventure (enter ironic laughter here), now it seems it has found me.

The real question I have in the midst of all of this is not the one I thought I would be asking. How do I continually seek the Holy Spirit in the midst of so much noise? There is so much to do and see and be right now, I don’t want to lose sight of the fact that He’s as much here as He is in my quiet home. He is as much in mess as He is in the silence. Sometimes, I set my mind to finding Him and I am surprised by how close He is. He knows what He is doing. None of this surprises Him or phases Him at all. The only person who has been thrown for a loop in all of this is me. I guess I should just pull up my big girl panties (or rain slickers or snow suit…?) and deal with the fact that some things are on God’s time, not mine.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:20-21

Sometimes Bibles are Heavy

My little 2 year old is sitting in the corner of my living room with his Bible stories book on his lap. It’s quite the book. While most of his books are about the Bible, this particular volume seemed to be an acquired taste. I am pretty sure that is because it literally weighs 10 pounds. I found it at a book sale for $6 about a year ago. It has an inscription from a grandmother on the inside of it. It is an exhaustive collection of short, accurate stories, each with a beautiful full page drawing. I’m sure it was at least $30-$40 new. It’s pages are gold lined so it glows amongst his other books. He has only recently started reading it and he can only walk around with it because of his Samson-like strength.

So, I’m getting a head start on my taxes. I read some of Ezekiel while I was eating lunch during his nap and I wanted to read more, but I kept thinking about our taxes. We run our own company so doing taxes at the end of the year is a beast. But I have been pressing into the Holy Spirit’s sweet Presence and I really wanted to go into my room. Welcome to my life, I’m a Martha learning to a be a Mary. The taxes won. I felt really proud of myself. I am three months into one account, double-checking charges and marking checks for 1099s. We have seven accounts… I will have to do this on all of them. Yeah, I am being productive!

Then, my little son catches my eye, heaving his Bible book into his lap. He sits down on the folded comforter on our wood floor and the book slides down his legs towards the floor. Undeterred, he pulls it up to his lap and sits farther back on the comforter. Finally, after getting situated, he starts turning the pages. “Muito agua,” he quietly exclaims as he looks over the page about the flood. I watch him out of the corner of my eye so as not to draw his attention away from the book.

“God, You know my life.” This is often how my prayers begin these days. They come while I’m changing diapers, while I’m cleaning my flood, making dinner, washing dishes, and doing taxes. He does know my life. He gave me the blessings of a husband, a son, a house, food to cook, clothes to wash, the list goes on. When I read Proverbs 31, I see that God recognizes the sometimes mundane work of a woman and honors her for it. I also read that He honored Mary instead of Martha because Mary sought the imperishable things of God. It’s such a fine line to walk. I sometimes reminisce about the days when my life was simpler, but these are all BLESSINGS that I prayed for. And yet, in God’s grace, I can walk through them gracefully. When I am sensitive to the Holy Spirit, my life takes a more ethereal shape – less predictable, more moment-to-moment, inexplicably complete – things get done eventually and I feel His Presence more tangibly.

I don’t do New Years resolutions. Since the New Year starts in Spring according to the Bible, I don’t see much point in them. I have this one pursuit and I will continue striving for it. I want to know God. I want to seek the face of my Creator more ardently than ever before. I want to know the Holy Spirit more deeply. I want to hunger and thirst after righteousness. I want to press into His Presence continually. I want to hear and recognize His voice. I want to serve Him in every way humanly possible. I want more than to be plucked out of the fire. I want to live thirsty.

I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. – Psalm 143:6 ESV

O God, you are my God; I will seek you diligently. My soul thirsts for you; my flesh longs for you as in a dry and weary land without water. – Psalm 63:1 LEB

For I will pour out water on a thirsty land and streams on dry ground. I will pour my spirit out on your descendants and my blessing on your offspring. – Isaiah 44:3 LEB

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LordAnd they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. – Amos 8:11-13 KJV

Now on the last day of the feast—the great day—Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let him drink, the one who believes in me. Just as the scripture said, ‘Out of his belly will flow rivers of living water.’” Now he said this concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.) – John 7:37-39 LEB

And the one seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new!” And he said, “Write, because these words are faithful and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the one who is thirsty I will give water from the spring of the water of life freely. The one who conquers will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be my son. – Revelations 21:5-7 LEB

 And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And the one who hears, let him say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty, let him come. The one who wants, let him take the water of life freely. – Revelations 22:17 LEB

The Bible tells me that I was made to be thirsty and I am. Sometimes I have so much longing in my heart, I don’t even know what to do with myself. When I was younger, I thought, “I’m just bored. I’m longing for adventure.” When I grew up and moved across the country, I though, “I miss my family. I must be longing for them.” When I started actively pursuing God, I realized that this is the pull of heaven. I long for the living water of God. I long for the Presence of His Spirit. I long for the end of all things when I will be immersed in His Presence and Light forever, where I will have the water of life freely.

I don’t know where this New Years finds you. Maybe you’re living off the fat of the land, too full to feel thirst. Maybe you’re lifting your head from the pig’s trough to find there’s better food in your Father’s house. Maybe you’re in the center of His will, seeking to know Him better. Wherever you are, it doesn’t matter. Our purpose is the same.

Instead of making a New Years resolution that you won’t keep (or remember past February), commit your New Year to a new pursuit. Resolve to seek the Presence of God in your life, to know the Holy Spirit like a friend, to hear the voice of God because you’re finally listening for it. Sometimes your Bible will feel heavy, your voice will sound hollow and your tears will be more plentiful than laughter, but if you press through your feelings into His Presence, this will be the most amazing, fulfilling, worthwhile year of your life.