2006-04-01

On Being Chosen

So yesterday, we heard from the school "We find that we do have places for your 2 children at __ depending on our coordinator approving their work. If you would like to prepare some reports and send it to me I will pass them to her."

Officially I guess that's good news, but it didn't make me feel that way. It made me feel like I have to try and prove now that my kids are good enough to get into this school. I'm sure it's mainly a question of whether their English is good enough. And that's a reasonable thing for a British school to ask. But still, I don't like that feeling of having to measure up.

It really got under my skin, which made me wonder why that was. I started thinking last night about the dynamic of "being chosen". I'm not talking pre-destination here. Being chosen on a much more basic level.

I realized that even though I grew up in an affirming home and environment in general, I have a probably skewed aversion to being in positions where it's a matter of being chosen. Like for teams in p.e. class. Or being someone's friend. Or whatever. Why is that? And is it just me, or do we all struggle with that? Do the people that always get chosen for the team right away still feel that clenching in their stomach until they hear their name called?

How many times in our lives are we chosen? Obviously, my husband chose me. And friends choose me. But sometimes it's the daily choosing that can be the most heart-wrenching I think. Those are the ones that can get under your skin.

The thing that I think is the most comforting is knowing that not only did God make me, He also CHOOSES me. Every single day. And if He chooses me, the rest falls into line behind that.


2006-03-31

Color Change

Although I loved my black background, it was starting to feel heavy for spring, and with all sorts of people lightening up their blogs, I was inspired :)

2006-03-30

Going Public

For awhile now, people have been telling me that I should "go public" with my blog. Right now the only way you can find it is through a link on other pages, or if I give you the address. You wouldn't have found me by clicking on "Next Blog".

I have had my reasons for keeping it that way. By nature I am a private person, and I began this blog mainly for people that KNOW me. But I think that maybe it's time.

One of my biggeset cheerleaders is my friend Mary. I met her several years ago at our staff conference (both of our families are missionaries with CAI). When I first met her, my heart recognized a kindred spirit and so we began developing a friendship over the distance. She has been a huge blessing to me.

Mary is a gifted writer, and she has recently published three books. Ordinary Mom, Extraordinary God is a great devotional book that reaches straight into the hearts of women where we feel inadequate in our motherin. Building the Christian Family You Never Had
is an honest and beautiful look at how to parent when your own childhood was less than ideal. And I am dying to read Mary's first novel Watching the Tree Limbs. (I just ordered it, Mary! you'll have to sign it later :) !)

All this to say, that Mary has encouraged me in my writing, which I had left by the fringes of my life for many years.

My hubby is my biggest fan and encourager. Thanks Troy, for believing in me and cheering me on in my writing.

Here goes nothing....or everything...or something.

Meaghan's Heart

Meaghan has such a sensitive little heart. She was home sick last week with a fever and headache. I sat in our room with her and worked on my laptop. Even though she is a model patient and never complains or whines when she is sick, she does like company.

After I had cranked out a few hours of work I decided to watch The Secret Garden with her. She hadn't seen it yet. I did a mental review to see if there was anything in the movie that would upset her, but nothing came to mind. So we snuggled down to watch.

Un oh. There is a brief scene where Mary, the little girl, has a dream. In it, she is a tiny girl, and her mother is beckoning her into the garden. But then she turns and leaves and Mary is left cowering in the bushes, crying and calling for her mother.

The abandonment undid Meaghan, and it was only after a lot of reassurances that she was willing to crawl into my lap and continue watching.

Hours later as I was getting ready to leave to go into the city for my home group, Meg fell down a few stairs. I could hear her crying as she came down to find me in the basement. She sat on my lap and I hugged and kissed the tears away.

In a little voice, she sniffled "I'm still sad about that dream." I cuddled her close and promised she didn't have to watch it again.

A few more snuffles and then "I'm going to miss you tonight."

At that point I asked her it she just wanted to sit on the couch with me for awhile. The answer was "I just want to be with you."

So we sat and cuddled in the quiet. I pondered the bond between mother and daughter and the mystery of its strength. It's clear that Meg already feels it. And at 37, after my Mom has been gone from my life for 16 years, I still feel the pull of it.

A twinge when a girlfriend gets a call, or a letter or a package from their mom. Or a visit. It's always bittersweet to watch.

At any rate, Meg and I already share that special bond that will only be ours in life. And you can bet that I am going to savor it and cherish it.

Psalm 23

God has been good to me and has been speaking His presence into my weary heart.

I realized that I trust that God can take care of finding us the home we need, the contract terms we need, the finances we need and the school we need. I don't doubt at all that He is able.

I guess that the doubt that has been faintly echoing in my heart is whether He is willing.

I mean really. He already has given us one miracle home. Part of me feels like maybe it's selfish to ask for that again. Maybe we've already had our chance.

But I don't think that is what God wants me to believe. Today I cried out to Him about something specific and His answer was swift and deliberate and full of grace. He heard my plea, and as always, He was big enough to absorb it and answer me in a clear way.

~~~

It's interesting; I wrote this on the train on the way into the city tonight. I had already planned on doing a meditation on Psalm 23 (thanks Elizabeth!) for our worship time. It talked about prayer being approaching God with open hands and not only releasing things to him but also receiving from Him.

As I released my fears and worries to Him, He put these words into my outstretched hands:

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

2006-03-28

Tide Going Out

I begin to feel the tide of stress loosening its grip around my ankles.
The sand doesn't feel like it's sinking out from beneath my feet so quickly.
It's still very early in the evening, but I know that I need to feed my soul and rest my body.

I was pondering, dreaming of God today. Through a friend's blog, I found this site. It ministered to me.

Especially this:

You Catch My Eye

You catch my eye

In the eye of the storm;

You hold ointment appointments

When hell's hornets swarm.

When I find no time for stillness

You tell me there'’s still time;

When my words are clashing symbols,

You are Reason

Rhythm

Rhyme.

You are the song that rises

In my soul

The coin that clatters in

My begging bowl

You're a bed of roses on a crowded street;

A peppermint balm to my blistered feet.

You are rich in rest,

When rest is radium-rare.

By cool pools you position me

With passion you petition me;

In fog and smog,

You re-condition my air.

You are the unexpected cheer

That lifts my game

In the vinegar and lemon juice of life

You are champagne

Like honey on the throat to Frank Sinatra,

Like a goat's milk bath to Cleopatra

You surround me to astound me

You soothe and smooth.

You are the stalker

Who is good for me;

The jailer

Who can set me free;

The trap and snare

To bind me into love.

You who have refined me

Come find me

Mind me

By grace grind me

And bind me

Gentle jailer

Into love.

© Gerard Kelly, 2004

2006-03-27

I hate doing the limbo

It's getting to be crunch time. It's almost April. That means that major upheaval is about to hit. I need to start calling about apartments. We need to get schooling nailed down. We need to figure out how we are going to get our stuff from here to there. We still need to get rid of a lot more junk.

For the past week I have been unreasonably emotional and crabby. I am irritable and weepy. And I am physically tired beyond belief. Yeah, so part of it is hormones. But that doesn't cover it. I think it's just because there is so much up in the air right now. We don't know for sure about school. I dread calling about apartments only to be told that they require a year bank guarantee.

It's the limbo; I hate this dance. I'd like to be able to fast forward to June, to be packing, but to know where I am moving to. To know what school uniforms I need to buy. Basically, I just want to KNOW something. And right now it feels like I know plenty of nothing!