June 17, 2016

Heuristic Leaning

I feel as if I've become something of an insomniac. That's dramatic, I've become a night owl. What has happened is that my baby is no longer a baby and my toddler doesn't put up a wild debate every night about bedtime. So when operation put-kids-to-bed is finished I actually have a little bit of energy left.

At night my mind comes unwound from the tight coils wrapped around my day-to-day living. Emotions and to-dos had turned around themselves and then crossed over fears, some doubts, making its way back around to joy.

Some mornings start out in a slow long line, they rise or fall, veer left or right until the pace of productivity sets and we're off rounding bend after bend. There are days that start with a screaming baby in early hours, or a migraine (thank you hormones). Those mornings jerk me into a coiled spring so small and tight I could slip between your toes and be trampled underfoot. Most common are the days we wind around ourselves with the routine of thoughts, commands, events- coffee, shower, ask nicely, don't climb on the table, let's get dressed, don't argue with me, yes you are arguing with me, where's a binky? 

But coiling isn't a rotten nasty curse of humanity. It gives me the tension to jump further, push deep into the day and come out ahead. At every curve there's a questioned motive or underlying message. All those moments are speaking something, something I can be taught by. I like to think all this reflection makes me a sensei in my own right.

And when the kids are quieted in their beds and my mind is free to think its own thoughts, my life spins round my head. The words I spoke, frustrations, questions, and deep down longings. It's all there. A mess of multicolored threads going this way and that. 

The real problem is this. What I want, and have always wanted, I won't get. I've been waiting for someone to show me the blueprints for my life. To point out why every screw and board and wall has been constructed. While I trust God is building my life, I would have really preferred a more open line of communication about it all. I don't want to show up at the end to find out what was happening, and I don't want to wait for retirement or an empty nest to live the things I really love. I want to be in on the plan, getting it all done now.

What I really can't grasp is that God cares more about the me that's involved in the plan than the actual plan. I'm far too anxious to comprehend how someone could be so hands-off. But heuristic learning doesn't frighten Him. All my wanderings He watches and counts as significant journeys. The seasons of long graceful strokes and the ones where day after day small dots gradually reveal something of movement; learning by discovery, learning by leaning into the moment and its whispered dreams.

Whether roads are rocky, wide, or barren, He's there. His very presence making a way before me. Making feet like a deer and streams in the desert He sustains me; the sun to rise and set a path He leads me. And all the anecdotes I've heard of giving up to gain ease my heart into peace so that slumber can fall.

February 29, 2016

Can't Tame This Heart

For what brings grace and liberty to one, condemns with weight and death to another.

I'm going on week three, this phrase pounding in my heart, prying apart duty and calling. Embracing this truth is unwinding miles of knotted wandering, years of struggling to find where my lines fall. From every angle, an opinion for how my road should travel. I could take these early years of my babies' lives slow and steady, pour every ounce of my attention into their souls. I could run hard and fast after the dreams (big or small) that keep me up late into the night. I could let my house rest in mess. I could work my body hard, trained to fight laziness and apathy. These wouldn't be in vain or waste, causing my life to shine, and yet my soul could be dying.

If these last eight years could say anything, most likely, they would say don't doubt it.  About a dozen things I expected (or outright declared) I would never do, I've excitedly and whole-heartedly pursued. These divergencies could bring dismay, but I'm clinging tightly to the grace I've received. It's the grace to work outside the home, sow into my children by exampling a woman who loves life. Grace to stay out way too late, squeeze in a few hours of sleep, and make up the difference later. Grace to lock the bathroom door for five minutes to regain my sanity. Grace to believe things that aren't popular.

There are overloaded bookshelves of self-helps and blogposts cheering us on, but somehow I still feel that we're missing one cosmic gap. A hundred thousand wild spirits are beckoned to follow a calling only intended for a handful, and a pile of knotted cord is benching our best players. Tragedy is a life lived in fear, turning all-stars into bench-warmers.

Many days I've wished for no burning heart to tame. But I'm no good at that. It's just too much weight and I've never been good at faking. I love change, progress, finding solutions, making improvements. Right now they carry me out my front door and don't let my mind rest. What seemed to be so hard, is too hard to ignore. I can't tame this heart.

And it's truly amazing how this letting go of law has caused truth, the real 100%-don't-doubt-God's-opinion truth, to go so much deeper. Where tangled up roots made my mind hard and rocky, liberating love has allowed my convictions to go deeper still.

Fear wants to speak filthily that the baby will be thrown out with the bathwater, but God always rushes in to show His great Love that isn't threatened by our wandering off the beaten path.

"A great gift of any adult to a child, seems to me, is to love what you do in front of the child." - Fred Rogers