In which the last few months reflect an unlived life…

I haven’t blogged in recent months because I haven’t really been living them. Oh I still breathe and eat and sleep and run–although I have to say the sleep thing is a work in progress. I feel like I’ve survived these months since my last post.

I just haven’t really lived them.

Ever have an out of body experience? That’s what August through December felt like. I did everything I was supposed to do and did it well enough to pass inspection. However, on closer examination, I won’t be winning any medals for seizing the day.

I get in to these ruts at times. Where I feel like I’m doing the bare minimum to live without really experiencing or growing or maturing at all. It ends up feeling like a holding pattern and in the meantime, I grow more and more restless. Until something crazy or ordinary shakes me out of the doldrums and I’m once again careening on the path of adventure.

I’m still on a quest to discover whether these “doldrums” are really all that healthy for me. I know it does nothing positive to excite my creativity and I end up seeing the worst of myself in big ways. I stagnate and grow frustrated, which in turn reinvents my patterns of laziness. I like to call it lack of motivation on my denial days. It sounds better that way.

All I know is, it’s a vicious cycle, until something comes along to break me out of it and I dance my way through the minefields with new vigor and purpose.

I think it was the Christmas cookie baking that did it this time.

So in an uncharacteristic show of “motivation,” I’m going to go beat back insomnia and hit the pillow a little early tonight. I’m back.

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In Which a Walk Down Memory Lane Begins with a Phone Call

“Look dad! A big rock. I’ve never seen a big rock before.” My three year old son excitedly chattered about his amazing find on our family walk this evening. He’s dressed in daddy’s shirt and big boy undies and wearing socks with his sandals. It’s an interesting get-up, but it fits him somehow.

In the grand tradition of three year olds everywhere, he’d already forgotten about the pile of “big” rocks he’d found the day before. Those treasures are now sitting in a basket on my dryer while I wait for him to forget about them so I can replenish our gravel street. Thus repeating the cycle of a rock collecting little boy who probably picked up one from two expeditions ago.

My husband and I smile at the antics of our children. The five year old has found her own collection and is attempting to pawn them off on us so she can run on ahead without the extra burden in her hands. She’s also grinning like a mad woman when we decide we’re going to have a swinging session.

Jake and I each grab one hand and on the count of three, we send them soaring right up to the clouds. Or so they say. Then it’s a race to see who gets to steal who’s turn and we set a limit. Three turns each and then switch. We manage it for two rounds before both of us are sweating and laughing too much to continue.

The littlest little is content in his sling on my chest. He chatters and coos once in a while, but mostly vacillates between sucking his thumb while his eyes grow heavy and darting quick glances all around at the dusky landscape.

We hear the crickets chirping and a lawnmower in the distance. The breeze blows through our hair, cooling the summer evening to just the right temperature.

At some point, middle little has discovered a new treasure. “BIG dicks, mom! Look dad. I found some dicks.” For those of you wondering, that’s kidspeak for “sticks”. Get your heads out of the gutter people… :)

 

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My mom and I chatted on the phone earlier today. We were discussing many things, but among the topics was the benefits of exercise and how much harder it is to keep in shape nowadays. I mused on the idea of our lost village mentality. When I was growing up, we had neighbors.

No, I don’t mean the people who live on our street and we see in passing on a family walk or when the neighborhood garage sales start.

I mean neighbors who knew us backwards and forwards and we knew them the same. Neighbors who had cookouts, Sunday morning brunches, and evening walks with our family. We kids would leave the house in the morning after our chores were done and we didn’t reappear until lunchtime. Mom handed us all sandwiches and water bottles and we at on the trampoline for an impromptu picnic. Snack time took place over at the neighbor’s house and somewhere in between, we managed to traverse MOST of the backyards on the entire street. There WAS that one neighbor who had a fence because they didn’t like kids.

We managed to get around it anyway.

I heard recently that we aren’t necessarily living in more dangerous times. We’ve just become more paranoid and thus, less a village and more an island unto ourselves. Each family unit, taking walks on their own, collecting rocks, and having no clue who our neighbors are. It’s sad really.

I love our neighborhood. It’s quiet, out in the country, yet close enough to town for convenience sake.

I don’t love our neighbors. Not because they are horrible people or anything, but because I don’t know them enough to love them. I miss the village.

I think this Christmas, we’re going to bake cookies for the neighbors. We may not get the village back, but I’m determined to at least love our neighbors the best that we can.

In which the darkness tries to hide the light…and fails…

It’s been a rough year so far. I’m pretty certain that’s been mentioned before in my blogs.

But hey, I’m actually getting in a blog a month now. What do you know? At some point, maybe I’ll stretch and make the three blog/month mark.

Anyway, in the midst of financial woes, medical emergencies, raising young children in the midst of cold springs, weird schedules, and insomnia, I’ve felt the darkness pulling at me.

It’s not something I’ve ever gotten a diagnosis for or experienced time in therapy to deal with the implications of this darkness. But these little demons of despair and depression and discouragement (that’s a lot of D’s) seem to creep in during times of high stress and little to no sleep. They chip away at my energy and my joy and fill my brief dream states with disturbing images and dreams that wake me in a cold sweat. I’ve been running and praying and pleading with God to keep the demons at bay, but sometimes I forget in all the running and praying and pleading, to fall.

Fall into the arms of my Savior. To stop running, stop praying and pleading.

Babies seem to get this concept of falling. As they learn to walk, they kind of toddle until they cannot keep their top-heavy bodies upright any longer and look for the nearest pair of arms into which they can tumble. Ungracefully, certainly not very well. But they trust in those arms with everything in them. When logic and reason tell them there’s no way they will be caught (sometimes those arms are halfway across the room and have to hurry close to make it in time) baby knows–believes–those arms are already there.

I do not care much for falling. I like my legs to carry me with control and poise. Stumbling looks foolish and stupid. Needing Someone’s arms to catch me when I’m perfectly capable of carrying myself through the darkness? I scoff at those arms when I should be trusting them to carry me.

I hate it when the darkness overwhelms me. I feel less than human, non-functioning. A piece of scum on the bottom of a very deep ocean. Drowning because I need light and air and freedom. And the chains are heavy, dragging at me, pulling me into the darkness with an ease that frightens me. I fight back, but often have reached a point where I just don’t want to care.

It’s easier to stay in a little comfort bubble. To let the darkness take me. I can sit in oblivion, not noticing life passing me by with all its joys and sorrows and amazing light. Oh, I go through all the motions, and probably do it well enough that no one would notice the difference unless they knew me inside and out. Even then, I’m pretty sure I’ve fooled my loved ones too.

Because the darkness is all inside me. I cover well and cling to sanity like the last lifeboat casting off a sinking ship. I go through the motions and pretend it’s all right, when in reality, I’m screaming for help inside and no one can hear me. It builds and builds until I finally explode with it.

It’s crazy. I find the darkness recedes the most after I’ve had a great worship experience. I’m not just talking music either. I’m saying worship in all of its colorful forms.

A long chat with a mother whose encouragement is often found in the form of a kick in the pants but I know she struggles with the same thing, so it doesn’t have the ring of judgment it might have had if she didn’t know what I needed most.

A good, solid run where the sweat drips down my back and into my eyes and I’m gasping for air like a land-stranded fish desperate for the ocean again. Where the pain reminds me that I’m alive and God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Making love with my husband (and I defy anyone who says that’s not the sweetest form of worship for a couple bound for eternity in the eyes of God). I will leave this one right here.

Cuddling with my littles, when all is right with the world and they haven’t filled my day with complaining and griping and, “Mommy, he got more than me,” and “Mommy, she hitted me.” When they haven’t drained me dry with their wants and needs and demands on my time and energy. When I have a little more to give and I’m glad to give it. Such precious time when we say, “I love you” and mean it with everything that we are.

When my fingers fly across the keyboard as a new burst of inspiration fills me with ideas for my manuscripts that have seen too little light and too much time in between the writings.

When a particular piece of music sends tears to my eyes. I revel in the beauty of a melody so profound, it can induce me to a blubbering mess of snot and salt water puddles.

When laughter overwhelms me for no reason I can begin to explain. I giggle at first and then fall in to those deep belly laughs that hurt so good.

What joy I experience in these flashes of light through the darkness of days spent wandering far from God and wondering why He hasn’t answered my plaintive calls. The lost little lamb, stumbling around in the dark valley when all the while the Shepherd’s fold is so very close and the only thing He asks is for me to turn around and run back into His arms.

The darkness never wins. It can’t. Because I run to a God who is so much bigger than the darkness could ever be. I never doubt His ability to overcome. He is good, all the time. All the time, He is good. It sounds cliche, but it can’t ever be, because it’s so very true.

Peter grew overwhelmed by the waves and began sinking. BEGAN being the operative word there. Because he never ended with sinking. Christ’s arms were right there, the moment Peter cried out. Peter never had a chance to drown because Christ would never let him.

And so the darkness threatens His light; but once again, it never had a chance to win.

 

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Book Review: All My Belongings

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This book has become another favorite. I read it in one night (about three hours total) because I knew the busy week ahead would hold little time for reading. I woke up exhausted the next day, but it was completely worth the lack of sleep. :)

Warning: There are spoilers, though I will not tell the ending…just for your information.

All My Belongings is the story of a woman trying to find home when home is a place she cannot wait to escape.

I resonated with this, even though our reasons for running were vastly different. I came to a point in my life where home was full of bitter regrets and stifling rules without the saving grace to buffer me. I did not know who I was apart from the four walls of what I imagined at the time to be my prison cell.

I know now that there is healing and grace and forgiveness in the relationships and bridges I tried so hard to burn. I found Christ for myself, though I knew Him all my life, in the great big world. I discovered my identity in the Savior and realized that running away would never fix the wounds I carried. So I found home again, in the arms of those I loved and with new-found perspective to see them for the children of God they really were.

This book is exactly that. And it’s a whole lot different too.

Because I never had a father who practiced the crime (or art depending on who you talk to) of mercy killings. In the stylings of Kavorkian himself, Jayne’s father helped (or forced) many people to take the final step into the afterlife–including her own mother. Even before she walked in on him administering the fatal dose (and reported him to the authorities) her parents had shut her out of their lives and their home. Oh she was still present physically, but she was unwanted and a necessary annoyance in their world of disease and devastation. She gave up everything–her hopes and dreams–to care for her ailing mother and it all fell down around her with her father’s devastating choices.

To escape the stigma attached to her name after her father’s trial and conviction, she changes her name to Becca Morrow and moves across country to take care of the sister of her dear friend and mentor.

Upon meeting the elderly woman and her handsome son, Becca realizes just how difficult it will be to keep up the facade her life has now become.

How does one continue a lie when one is desperate for truth and love? When one is desperate for a home to call her own?

Just as Becca is settling in to her new life and finding peace in the midst of a new normal, tragedy strikes again. She’s once more at the center of a murder investigation, only this time, she’s the chief suspect. The victim? The mother of the man she’s fast falling in love with, and he doesn’t even know the real Becca Morrow.

I love the redemptive power in this story. Not only is there reconciliation with her past, there is a genuine chance to start fresh in the beauty of an identity that is God-given. No longer is Becca homeless and destitute and unloved.

She is a daughter, a friend and beloved. The pain of the past is not erased. Her wounds have to be reopened for true healing to occur. But she finds home in the most unlikely of places and a chance for redemption in the loving arms of her Savior.

Cynthia Ruchti has the amazing ability to take such raw, emotional topics and weave them into a powerful story of forgiveness, healing, and the binding up of the captive’s wounds. She writes of tears and laughter and life and hope that glows in the dark. I find myself swept up in another tale that doesn’t have all the loose ends tied up in neat packaging with easy answers and quick fixes. It’s one of the reasons why her stories restored my faith in the Christian novel. Because life is not always neat and wrapped up pretty.

Life’s actually a lot like guacamole…you can’t get the good stuff without getting the mashed up bits.

And life’s really good with chips and a side of guacamole..

In which I honor my fallen heroes

My family has a rich history of service to our nation’s military. I can honestly say that every branch of the service is represented in the fine men and women with whom I share a genetic bond. I am proud of every one of them for what they have sacrificed and fought for down through the ages.

I want to also remember those who have fallen, either in battle or in the natural passing at the end of their lives. I also want to remember those who have fallen in a different way entirely. Those soldiers who have fallen in to civilian life and do not know quite how they fit in the puzzle that is not a war zone. Those soldiers who have fallen because war hardened them and shaped them in ways even they cannot fully comprehend. All bitter memories and pain too deep for words.

My grandfather died in the natural course of his life at the brilliant age of 89. July 25, 2013, three days after my husband and I celebrated our seventh anniversary. I’ll always feel the bittersweet of those memorial days now. He lived a long, amazing life. A man of integrity and character, he knew what it meant to build with his own two hands, the life he wanted. He fought death so hard, because he was stubborn enough to try to outlive it. I loved that man and wish I’d told him more, exactly how much he meant to me.

My father is also fallen but not in the eternal sleep either as a soldier dying with honor on the battlefield or an old man at the end. My father has been broken and changed and rebuilt and destroyed by life, not just as a soldier, but as a man. He won’t admit it, because pride comes in many different forms. His wounds aren’t all shrapnel and amputated limbs and the stench of gunpowder in his lungs. But he too clings stubbornly to life with the tenacity of a man who’s still fighting on the battlefield. I love this man too and even with all his wounds and his pride and his damned stubbornness, he’s a hero I’m h0nored to know. I wish he could trust in THAT truth above anything else. It would sure make our relationship a little easier.

But I have my own wounds, and while I was never on a battlefield (unless you count the reenactments during the civil war days or a museum at Cantigny Park) I too fight my own battles. I hope to follow in the footsteps of these two great men and in the footsteps of my other family members who have fought and fallen before me.

In the great exodus of the Israelite nation, the people stopped along the way to commemorate both the bitter and the sweet of their journey. The battles they fought both within and without, the lives of the fallen and the lives of those yet to fall. They memorialized things that to some, might seem trivial, meaningless. Unless you’d been there and witnessed it for yourself.

Today, I want to commemorate the men and women in my life who have fallen and those who have yet to fall. In life, falling is not always a bad thing, though we seem to make it that way with all of our ideas about failure and fairness and black and white. Sometimes, falling is just the precursor to learning to walk. For those who are learning to walk and falling a little or a lot,

Thank you.

 

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A Blessed Memorial Day!

In which I fall apart…

I’m falling apart and I really don’t know why. Reading the Bible feels repetitive, my daily routines are shot by three needy, chaotic kids, and my husband is trying to be a rock while struggling with his own work and faith problems.

Now before anyone gets any ideas, there is nothing wrong with me or my family right now. We have bills and health issues and crazy times just like everyone else and probably no worse than anyone else. In fact, I can name on both hands and toes how many of my friends are going through rough stuff right now and it’s far worse than anything I’m struggling with right now.

My son killed a baby bird today. And I LOST it. Not temper, screaming, throwing stuff lost it. Like broke down in the middle of my soggy yard and bawled lost it…

The thing is, these little things in life are really tripping me up right now and I don’t know why. My son makes a mess somewhere in my house at least once a day…most of the time more than once.

For some reason, I’ve been seeing mountains in these molehills.

I mean, okay. So I told my son about fifty times that if he touched the eggs in that nest (who builds a nest in the middle of our raised garden beds anyway?) he would be facing consequences. And he still dragged all four eggs up to the house with a grin on his face to show me his “find.” It’s a wonder they weren’t all broken in the process…that he only managed to kill one is a miracle.

And yes, that same son has been told a million times that taking the lid off his sippy cup and dumping out the contents is a definite NO. As soon as I get distracted by the baby or something else, I’ve got a huge puddle on my hands. He’s been disciplined for it and it still happens and I’m just so frustrated that I can’t get through to him.

Is it a huge thing? No. It’s a phase and he’s testing boundaries (God, is he testing boundaries). It will pass and I will survive.

For some reason, I can’t seem to convince myself of these facts though. I feel like I’m having a mental breakdown and it’s doing NOTHING for my already short fuse.

It’s amazing. Sometimes I have all the right words for other people who are struggling with doing life. I know exactly what to say. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m listening to the music below and knowing exactly where I need to go and to whom I need to go.

My son just came to me to apologize. And I fell apart while I held him. Fell apart and fell on Jesus. Prayed for my son’s heart and for mine. That He would fill us both with obedient spirits and tender hearts. That He would heal those breaks and build our relationship into something beautiful. That He would fill my heart with an abundance of unconditional love. That my first response to failure and sin would not be anger and judgment. That my first response would be love and falling on the One who did the same for me on the cross and every day of my life.

 

In which I grab my attitude and give it a shake…

Having a good attitude on a normal day is a lot of hard work and the Grace of God.

Having a good attitude on the days when everything is going wrong and life just seems to suck all the joy out?

Now that’s just God’s Grace hard at work…

I naturally lean a little to the negative side of life. It’s one of my many weaknesses and definitely not something I’m proud to admit. Staying positive does not come easily.

That said, I feel a lot like marriage and family has been a pivotal game changer in that particular struggle. Making my family overflow with the joy of the Lord is now my top priority and I know that God’s Grace is giving me a huge boost. I love seeing my husband excited to be home with us and my children’s smiles and giggles. I love taking part in that joy.

My weakness is still there, lurking behind the scenes. It pops out when I’m vulnerable and tired.

Facts:

1. The first four months of 2014 were hectic, laden with stress (both good and bad), and exhausting.

2. January brought my last month of pregnancy to a close with the birth of our third child. Three kids…

3. February brought my mother fears to light with the hospitalization of said third child. Four days and a large, LARGE hospital bill later…

4. March brought me a 30th birthday and my very own hospital stay complete with emergency surgery. Two days, a botched billing statement that we still have to fight, and another VERY LARGE hospital bill later…

5. Our debt snowball just grew again, even though we JUST paid off another student loan and were getting ready to pay off the second to last one. (See: above hospital bills)

6.. May just started, but I’m already feeling overwhelmed and a little scattered. I’m actually beginning to panic every time I wake up in the morning, thinking another bombshell might be dropped…

7. I have a GREAT God, full of GRACE, MERCY, and a whole heaping pile of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. And a LOT of patience…

 

And really, that last one is all that matters.

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Reading Challenge 2014 – March

Forgive the lateness of this blog post. I’ve been dealing with sick kids, a crazy business project, and my own foray in to emergency surgery when my appendix decided to call it quits. Apparently, working for me wasn’t rewarding enough, so it packed a bag and fled the scene. Fortunately BEFORE leaving behind any damaging remnants…

In the meantime, I DID read an amazing book in March in spite of my many trials. I’m discovering that reading three books a month (like I’d originally planned) is reaching a bit high on the goal meter. Apologies for promises not kept in that regard, but apparently mommyhood means I actually DON’T get all the time in the world to read any more. Who’d a thunk it?

On to my review…

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I’ve read many retellings of the classic Bible stories, but very few that caught my eye like this one. For one thing, it doesn’t actually retell a well-known story. Redeeming Love tells the story of a little known prophet named Hosea and his relationship with the prostitute turned wife who added gray hair to his head and ultimately left little in the way of a happy ending for the man of God. At least, no happy ending was told, though it might have been implied depending on how one reads the book of Hosea.

To give some background. Hosea was a prophet living in the time when Israel had fallen far from God and God had finally had enough. He sent his prophets and judges to administer truth and justice to his people, while foreign kingdoms ravaged both the land and His wayward Chosen. Hosea was given a task. A job that would ultimately show the Israelite nation exactly what God meant when he called them unfaithful.

Hosea was to marry a woman KNOWN for her casual, paid sexual encounters with multiple partners. Some called her whore, prostitute, loose woman. No matter what they called her, she was a prisoner in the life she lived and it only led her down a deadly path. So Hosea in a very real sense, saved her and destroyed her chains when he bought and married her. He gave her respectability, a home, a name for her children (even the ones that weren’t his), and the love of a strong man of God.

Here’s the kicker. Gomer could not seem to accept the fact that her chains were gone. She went back, again and again, to the life of prostitution. Her illegitimate children were still claimed by Hosea, but she stomped on his heart time and again every time she returned to the men who used and abused her. She was beaten and raped and violated and she still chose to run away from the only man who showed her what true love and forgiveness looked like.

I remember reading this story as a young girl and wondering how a man like Hosea could continually pursue such an unworthy woman. Who cares what God asked of him. No man should have to suffer with the humiliation and degradation of an unfaithful, ungrateful spouse.

What I didn’t ask until much later was this: How far gone was Gomer, that it took SO MANY rescues for her to finally get that she was no longer a prisoner? How many years of suffering and poor choices and degradation did she experience to make her cling so tightly to the chains that once bound her, because she was so very afraid of the freedom she’d been offered?

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is set in the 1840’s gold rush in California. Michael Hosea is a god-fearing farmer, unafraid of hard work and with an unfailing love for his Savior. On one of his trips into town, he meets a beautiful, haunted prostitute and hears clearly God’s command to marry her. Of course, what sane man would willingly choose that life, regardless of how beautiful the woman is? In a time where the brothel women were sex slaves to powerful men and women (actually, the sex slave trade doesn’t seem much different even now), Michael knew the cost of freeing Angel went far deeper than just offering her his home and bed. In the end, after much prayer and wrestling, he gave in to God’s will, saving his reluctant bride just in the nick of time.

The problems only began when he brought her home and tried to care for her needs, while refusing to be just another Tom, Dick, or Harry to the wounded woman. In the meantime, Angel’s bitter past leaves jagged scars that refuse to let her go. Though Michael tries hard to understand and help her heal, she repeatedly runs from his love and tenderness. How can someone who’s known only abuse and hatred her whole life, understand what love and forgiveness looks like? How can one who’s only seen demons ever comprehend what God looks like, even represented by such an amazing man like Michael.

In the end, Michael must release her from her god-worship of him so Angel can finally see that he was only a representative of the One who could and would heal all of her wounds and love her unconditionally–in spite of her unfaithfulness.

In the end, two wounded souls discover a healing that goes both ways, and a promise of forever from a faithful God who knows our true names and understands exactly why He chose to covenant Himself with our broken spirits.

Readers Challenge 2014

Readers Challenge 2014 ~ Book One

This February has passed me by and I’m reeling. Still wondering where it went.

Oh yeah, I remember.

So my six week old son decided to scare the pants off me and spend a week in the hospital with RSV. He was on oxygen for a short time, but otherwise responded very well to symptom treatment like suctioning and cluster feeding.

Now you know why I did not get out the promised book review last weekend. I have since written up all three and will be posting them on a pre-set schedule this week. And pray that March does not hold too many crazy life happenings.

I need a vacation from winter too…

Anyway, here is my review for one of my favorite books of all time. I found it during my college years (too long past) and have re-read it over and over again for the simple truths and divine comfort it inspires.

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The author is Philip Yancey and Disappointment with God was not the first book of his I’ve read. But it was definitely dropped in my lap at a time when my faith was feeling smaller than a mustard seed and my questions about God seemed completely unanswerable.

Disappointment with God not only restored my faith in God, it also made Job my favorite book of the Bible.

Yancey tackles three of life’s most perplexing questions. Is God fair? Is God Silent? Is God hidden?

The interesting thing about the author’s take on these questions, is that he concludes God not only Loves us desperately and completely, but His agenda is far greater and more fulfilling an answer to these questions than our own expectations of Him.

Yancey does not negate pain and suffering, nor does he pack God into a box built by the human experience. He counters the questions with the concept that God is so much bigger than we can ever humanly imagine, yet He’s made His place amongst us as deeply personal and highly spiritual. His interactions with the human race have ramifications in the spiritual world as we are a big part in a cosmic battle between good and evil. That God chooses to honor us with this role (really, who would have thought we’d be judging angels someday?) is inspiring and a bit intimidating.

It was our choice to put distance between ourselves and God. It is His ongoing choice to continue bridging that gap. The problem we face is the consequences of our choice to turn away from Him. We still have to suffer with those consequences and we also need to realize that sin affects more than just our own spirit’s connection to His. It also caused destruction and decay in the universe God created. We cannot blame God for the choices WE  made (and make).

The author also speculates that the reason God often appears silent or distant is because of something called a Divine Shyness. He could prove His power and authority in one fell swoop if He wanted to, but He chooses to allow the world to continue as it does. Suffering and death and destruction do not end with one blast of His breath. Another word for this is Divine Restraint.

God’s story is all about Love, not Power. He does not grasp for our fealty with displays of a mighty hand or vengeance. He does not force our hand–instead, He works in the midst of compassion and charity and grace. He demonstrates His desire to bridge the gap by the ultimate sacrifice–death on the cross. He chooses to restrain Himself in order to reach us through love, not force. He does not want automatons serving Him. He wants us to come to Him freely of our own accord.

Even the miracles Jesus performed did nothing in the end to convince those who would not be convinced of His divinity and authority. He met needs with no expectations and gained devoted, free followers by showing them what it means to be a servant leader.

Disappointment with God speculates that we are asking the wrong question. Why is not the right question. Instead, we should be asking, To what end?

God holds back because He has chosen to use the human race to restore and reclaim the Universe for Him. He takes the slow path, knowing that our expressions of faith in Him reverberate throughout history and throughout the entire universe. So while we balk at the suffering and the pain and destruction, God is busy waiting on His creation to prove that we believe, even when it seems there is no reason for that belief.

In which I enter a Readers Challenge for 2014…

I cannot resist it…the call to read is far too loud and enticing for me to ignore. It always has been. Even when I was ten years old and avoiding my homework by hiding under the covers with a good book…or three. Even on my third anniversary when my dear husband willingly gave up his time to spend it with me in a line at Barnes and Noble as I waited for the last Harry Potter book. Even later that night, when instead of enjoying a romantic evening with me, he allowed me to read the entire thing in four hours while he slept.

I will give up a good many things for time with a good book. I consider myself a social introvert since I LOVE spending time with friends and family, but I am only truly refreshed after a few hours with one of my favorite tomes. My dream in life is to not only be an author, but have an entire library in my house covered in floor to ceiling bookshelves.

I am a simple person with simple dreams…

So when one of my fellow contributors on OneFunMom.com chose to host a readers challenge for the year 2014, I jumped at the chance.

I will be blogging and reviewing the books I read each month and as a bonus, will add my own list of favorites to the reviews on top of the one required book. I’m hoping to review three books a month. Be on the lookout for the first one this weekend. :)

If you wish to join in the fun, use the link above or click on the image below this post to get your name added to the challenge and to link your reviews!

I look forward to seeing your choices and adding my own! :)

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