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Untangling the cords…

Recently, I found myself fighting with a tangled vacuum cord. Have you ever wrested with a tangled cord? Wondering how something could become so tangled? The more I wrested with it, the worse it seemed to get. I yanked, I pulled, with little change in how tangled it had become. 

I became very frustrated and before too long I realized that it wasn’t really the vacuum cord. It was feeling like all of life is a tangled mess that has to be wrestled with. Can anyone say 2020? 

Finally, I slowed down, and calmly worked to get the cord untangled so it would be usable again. As I finished vacuuming the carpet and wrapped the cord once again, I wonder how many times we get frustrated with the tangles in our lives, and if we would just slow down we could untangle it a whole quicker. 

The image of the tangled cord stayed with me most of they day, as it seemed I rushed from one tangled mess to the next. Becoming frustrated and weary of how so many things could become so tangled.  It doesn’t take long for us to realize that our world is pretty tangled. One side or the other  has a way to untangled it, so they yank and pull. Mean while the knot in the middle grows tighter. 

I spend a lot of time trying to fix tangled messes. It seems like there is never a shortage. In the Psalms David spends a lot of time writing out his petitions to the Lord. Some of those Psalms he wrote during some pretty big tangled messes, some of those messes he created himself, and others were brought on by others.  

After my battle with the tangled cord, my heart went to the words of David, written in the book of Psalms. 

But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain. Ps. 109: 21-22 

I felt like the Lord was saying, “let me untangle the mess because I am faithful and good. My strength and reputation is far greater and reaches beyond what you can imagine…”

I let the words soak in for a few minutes. I realized sometimes tangled cords/messes aren’t ours to untangle. But it is our job to slow down, and listen to the Lord. Often times in the hustle and bustle of life we try to push, pull and hurry through the tangles, when really he is just asking us to let him handle it and rest in him. 

If we want to become usable again, we have to become untangled. It usually takes some time and  we remain calm. But on the other side of mess, is a story still waiting to be written. 

So, if you are feeling a little like a tangled mess today, go ahead, take a big breath and let Him untangle the cord…

 

 

 

Life is messy…

Its been a little crazy the last few weeks. However, I feel like I now substitute the word “crazy” for “busy” these days.  In just a few short weeks, my third child will graduate from high school. That means for the past 3 years I have hugged my grown children and threw a party to celebrate their accomplishments and send them on their way to college, to adult decision making, to the freedom of being.

Life spins on… Summer is coming… family decisions to make, and life to live.  The thing about time spinning on, is that some days the spinning seems to fast and the moments go to quickly. This week, I was with a family, and unless a miracle occurs, one of them will lose the battle to cancer. There were tears, hugs, laughter, questions, prayers, more tears. Life has a way of catching us off guard.  We can’t control the number of breathes we take, but we can control how we handle the moments we have. We can enjoy each day, no matter what it brings.

I was just telling a couple of my kids that we have a choice to make. We can be vulture or a humming bird. One flies around all day looking for the dead, the decay, the bad laying around, while the other flies around all day looking or the beauty and the sweet.  We can choose to see the good around us. That doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge that there are bad things going on, we just choose how we want to live and what our focus will be.

And some days I am the hummingbird. I can see the good, smell the sweet… and other days the vulture… the dead and decay seem to be all around me. And I want to give up. I want to retreat. But something brings me back…

I ask Jason this week why is it with all that has happened to us in our 21 years of marriage, why do we cling to each other instead of leave like so many others. What made us…us? It was a rough day, followed by several rough days in a row. Our hearts were broken for situations we have no control over.  Life is messy and spinning and I found myself asking questions and writing it out. ( Jason gets all the blogs that never make it to public view)

 

On that day my feelings were stuck in my throat. I kept choking back the big tears that threaten to spill down my cheeks. And yet there were a  few that  escaped and cascaded down my face.

Failure seems so terminal. You know? Its like it has a death sentence. And yet I know that isn’t true. I look around and I see failures, my own, those of people I love, those the media makes news… Failures happen. It is the lessons learned in them. My own failures are still teaching me lessons, sometimes I wonder why I haven’t learned the lesson yet, and other times I see that I am learning and growing because of them.

I listen to a man for cry out this week, that he didn’t want to die, I still hear his cries. I see his face. I feel his hand grasping mine.

 I do believe in grace and grace that is never ending. I believe that God forgives…always. And I believe that he loves us. I believe that he is faithful to forgive us and welcome us when we breathe our last if we confess our sins and honor him. My faith has questions just like everyone else. I don’t always understand His yes’s , His no’s and His wait… But I don’t have to understand… I just have to trust. (which goes back to my word for the year!)
Then there are days that I fear if most people could see inside I would be exposed as a fraud. That inside is messy, fearful, doubtful, a little girl looking for the safety of her Abba Father.
I seek God, and I know he isn’t hiding, and yet some days it feels like he is. Friends are not a few minutes away to go and vent, cry and seek together. What is familiar is gone, and vacations seem like a dream.
And 20 years of ministry with all of its stories, the good, the bad, the heartbreaking, the hurtful adds up in my heart and I wonder why would anyone sign up for this? Its heavy and overwhelming.
And here in the midst of it all, I feel like I am drowning… slowing at first and faster sinking deeper and deeper, not being able to catch my breathe. I see brighter days but only through the lens of my failure and will I ever be able to overcome. So here I am… at desk…filled with more questions and doubts than I have had in a long time and I surrender… again!
And maybe that is where it is at… the surrender over and over. The laying it all down when I pick it up. When I try to fix when I should just be trusting. Maybe its in the tears that trickle and some time stream down my face that shows God is still working on me, and that my heart isn’t hard towards him, and he is still molding me.
Maybe its in the worship song, that brings me to my knees with no spoken prayer…just tears being collected by the heavenly father who promised to never leave us or forsake us.
Maybe its in the clinging to my husband, when everyone else leaves. Maybe that is it, I conclude to Jason… that  we know that deep down God has us… and we cling to us out of our desperation for more. More of Him, less of us! More of what he can do, less of what we can do. More of his grace…because we need it! More of his wisdom…
SO maybe at the end of the day that’s it… its the good the bad the ugly and the beautiful that makes us equipped to do this thing…
In the middle of our mess….