Sunday, May 23, 2010

I've forgotten what I started fighting for...

There is nothing wrong with my eyes. It is my vision I am having a hard time with.

Here is the scene: Days into labor, and I mean about five days. Finally, my midwife and I decided it was time for her to come, ready or not (I was only 10 days overdue), so after a few doses of a terrible tasting drink (herbs to get labor going) around 9:30 that morning, I was in heavy labor. Hannah is my fifth child, so I knew what to expect. But this just went on and on and on... I would set a goal. I can make it until 5:00 pm. I can make it until 9:30 pm. I can make it until midnight... At some point, I quit trying to see the end and just tried to make it!

It was about 2:00 am and I walked out of the bathroom into a HOT bedroom. Our bedroom door opened to the sunroom where the wood stove is and that was now stoked high and very hot. I remember so well saying, "You guys have got it entirely too hot in here!" My midwife answered, "I want it warm in here when the baby comes."

"BABY? Who is having a baby? Where is the baby? OH, that is what is going on here? This labor is going to end soon and there will be a BABY?" I will never forget those thoughts!

In my hours and hours of labor, I had forgotten the goal. I was so consumed with labor that I had lost the vision of the baby. As REO Speedwagon sings so well, "I've forgotten what I started fighting for..." There I was with a belly so big, I couldn't see my toes, and I was so distracted by my pain that I let go of the joy to come.

I remember when I went through a season of healing in my heart a few years ago that I thought the pain would never end. But I trudged everyday, sometimes taking a step back, but always moving, not stopping, trusting that Jesus was a Shepherd that knew where He was going. And now that I have walked all that healing out, I can say that whatever form the pain comes in, it never compares to the joy on the other side. Don't get distracted by the pain, press into the vision that there is healing on the other side.

I feel like that about a lot of things in my life lately. I get so consumed with the day to day that I forget why I am doing all this in the first place. Days of breaking up fights, cleaning up spills, folding clothes, washing dishes all make it so easy to forget that the children that require my endless time and energy will one day be adults. All that is being poured into them today will come back out tomorrow on the world. But how easy it is to get caught up in the fifth load of laundry of the day or the seventh time I have asked someone to clean up that mess!

This is my prayer for all of us: that we would be able to see beyond ourselves. That the Holy Spirit would give us vision so that we could run with endurance toward our goals. I pray that whatever situation you are in, your vision is as clear as your sight.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Seeing past the trash

I went for a much needed walk tonight after supper. A rainy day inside with five children wired for sound makes a mama don her raincoat and head outside!

Now, if you have never been to our house, you might not know we live in the woods. We live at the end of a cove surrounded by forests. Today it rained all day, and one of my favorite places to be on all the earth is in a green leaved forest after it rains. The earthy smell of the damp forest floor... the deep green of the leaves against the dark brown of the wet trunks of the trees... the coolness of the air and the quiet solitude of Nature watching her bathe in her renewed vigor... It is a time that I watch in expectation to see a little piece of magic in all that enchantment.

It was so beautiful. It calmed my tumultuous soul and soothed my mind to just stand there on the road gazing into the forest. It was one of those moments that you forget all about going home or when you were supposed to be there.

And then I saw all the trash the rain water dragged along the ditch as it raced by on its way to our pond. Trash! It was so out of place in that beautiful moment! It was like the camera catching you with your eyes closed in the everything-else-was-perfect family portrait. I got so distracted by the trash that I forgot all about what had stopped me in my tracks in the first place!

I tried to keep going back to that feeling I just had, like waking up from a dream and trying to will yourself back to sleep. But I just couldn't get passed that trash!

So as I walked home, I started thinking how very much alike the scene I just came out of and people are. How many times have I been stopped by someone because I glimpsed that rare beauty and then, just as I began to breathe him or her in deeply, I got distracted by the "trash"? Maybe they thought differently on some oh so important issue, maybe they *gasp* said a bad word!, maybe they were gossiping, maybe they had a life story that was a little too much information, if you know what I mean.

Or what about my children, or my husband? What about the people I really cherish and love, my friends, my family? What about their trash? Heck, what about my own?! What about the complaining, the arguing, the hurtful thing that was said yesterday? Are we really going to get distracted by that trash to the point we no longer linger in the beauty?

I must admit, I know where I have come from and who I was. Trash would have been a compliment to describe me...

And still I have the most incredible friends who love me. A husband that encourages me and cherishes me. A family that cheers me on. Children who absolutely don't seem to see any flaw in me (yet!). And best of all, a Savior who has forgotten more that I will ever know about my trash, and He is wild about me!