My life has been a montage of moments. I mesh of memories, current compellings and future hopes. Frustrating, exciting, drawing, drowning, underwhelmed, overwhelmed and just.whelmed.
It isn't the simplicity of those sweet soft curly headed days when diaper explosions and dinner explosions were the biggest deterrent in my otherwise (mostly) structured world. Where bed time was just that, bed time. Sleepy eyes drifted shut (even if they needed some coaxing first) and the quietness of the house enveloped me as I would often draw out my leather bound bible and the hard cover of my journal would flip open to the next neat page.
Life was order.
I couldn't see it in the buzz then. But it was. My faith and hope grew in leaps and bounds in those days. Studies, sermons and searching which was more readily available then I realized then.
Will they stay up? Will they stalk me for a late night chat on life and living and growing. Will they jump up early to join me in the quiet of Bible time, flipping up their leather bounds and hard covers? Will they need me? Will they busy themselves? Will they laugh or cry today? Will hearts explode while dinner cooks? Will sleepless nights ensue as futures loom?
Like is non-stop.
This non-stop, fast-track, all in need of one mama's heart while this one mama's heart scrapes and searches for those deep heart moments, alone, wrapped in the quiet that once was in sleepy hours with a leather-worn Bible resting on my knee and journal pages filling with His Word, His Hope and the heart of a mother on the grow.
I never would have guessed or expected life to be like this.
Right smack-dab in the mix I lost something. I lost my focus in the mess of the montage. Praise be to God who never looses His focus on me though. In the midst of the mayhem he filtered in messages.
When bitterness over past experiences and present knowledge of the health (or rather, unhealthiness) of the church began to scrape for a hold, His voice whispered give grace, don't let bitterness sink in.
When weariness of the Work was wearing me down, tugging at my temper, His voice whispered hold on a little longer.
When fear reached for a grip and worry was trying to overwhelm, His whispers did not stop, I am your comfort and your peace.
Monday was mayhem. I was certain the chaos of the montage in my mind could not get much worse without breaking me. Friday I laughed out loud and all but danced to the song in my heart as victory laid claim to the dry and parched land.... streams of water gushed forth.
All that I blog about here, Ashley's prospects for school and work, Brenden and Brooke preparing for summer missions, our family's experiences with the church in this country, extended family full of brokenness and this one mom who, like most moms, often asks if I have, am, and are planning to do it all right.... have I done my best part in each of these situations and what is coming down the pipe... what do I still need to do... and so on.
Somehow all this din deafened me and in the past 24 hours the trumpet shouts broke through.
It started with a song. One of those which drifts over the radio waves in familiar tones. So familiar you tuck it aside. I can't remember the name of the song, I was doing such a good job of tucking it I barely paid attention. Yet, in the midst of the hum these words drifted through and lodged in my heart and mind:
...You are the God of the Mountains that I face...
I looked up and there before me I saw montage mountain. Un-climbable. Right above Mt. Montage was my heavenly Father and I knew right then: how could I ever doubt my ability to climb a mountain when, with my eyes fixed on Him, nothing was impossible.
Then, last evening, an un-expected email addressing a real-time problem in a church we once served came through. My heart ached for their dilemmas and I knew I had to let go. My prayers were the best I could offer and in the midst of this mediated message between other parties were the words, focus on your blessings, and the reminder of how our focus greatly impacts our spiritual health.
How could I have lost this focus? I thought I was doing fine.
But I wasn't.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
Psalm 29:2 (KJV)
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Something told me I didn't have the beauty of holiness right now. Worship is HUGE to me (it should be to every Christian but that is another story for another day). Needless to say, my heart broke. If I want to give God the glory due to him then I needed to worship in holiness. My best holiness was missing. In that moment my heart ached and I asked, how do I get it back?
God reminded me that I had shifted my focus from Him to my circumstances. Even something as small as the garden, He was in control. He also showed me how I had quit praying over all the little things. I had even quit praying for his guidance and blessing over our finances, instead reverting to a mode of 'I can do this' and a business-like attitude in all my dealings. Faith isn't business, it is a way of life.
Priority and Pray. Prioritize life's needs both financial and physical and pray over each point. Quit looking at the moment. Instead, look to God who is over the mountain. NOTHING can overtake me and steal my joy if I do.
Prepared to close my journal with excitement, one last word filtered in. I felt led to read ONE entry on my Bible Read-through plan which, in my next installment, had me in Psalms.
Put not your trust in princes
in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation
When his breath departs
he returns to the earth;
on that very day his plans perish
I had been looking to princes all this time. Why? When they are gone... when I am gone.... when this world falls away, their plans will perish. God's Word jumped right off the page. It didn't stop there...
Blessed is he whose help is in the God of Jacob
Whose hope is in the Lord his God.
When I remember and heed God's help, placing my hope in Him, I will be blessed.
I want to be blessed!!!
...the Lord loves the righteous...
I want to be righteous! I want to worship in holiness!!!
The Lord watches over the sojourners...
I am only passing through. I have not passed out of His sight. God is with me and I can see his face IF I keep my eyes on him, His help and His hope...
Leather bounds and hard covers closed with an AMEN! I flipped on the radio and danced across the room as this song came blaring through the speakers:
I could hear that thunder and I sang His name and rejoiced as a result!
I don't want to turn back. I don't want to slip back where I have been. It may take time and accountability and deliberate directives, but it is worth it!
I pray your montage moments don't run a-muck in your life! That you hear the thunder, sing His name and feel the pouring rain on dry bones...