Sunday, January 23, 2011

Leaving and Cleaving

The children were crazy tonight. Everything was hilarious to them, making the household volume extra high. Several times during dinner (which is more like an extended snack time on Sundays) someone fell off the bench. This resulted in more laughter or short-lived, extra-greivous tears. I'm so glad they had fun together, but I breathed a sigh of relief when they were all tucked in for the night.

Earlier this week we took a spontaneous trip south and spent a night on the coast. So fun. For the first time I let the kids pack for themselves and it was funny to see what ended up coming with us. I made sure they had included the basics- a change of clothes and undies, toothbrush, sweater for the beach at night, etc., but Jacob still filled his bag with toys and a couple Christmas decorations he got from Sunday School. Michael brought a book he can't quite read yet, and Andrew brought a note pad and pencil. Olivia, of course, was the most sensible; she had extra shoes and outfits "just in case."

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera. I was super bummed because there could have been some fun shots. Oh well. I'll including pictures I took one day last fall at Olivia's riding lessons instead.

She just loves riding! She's very good at it and eager to try new techniques. My somewhat timid little girl becomes very brave around horses.

The boys and I hang out and watch. Or they play and I work at keeping them safe, or from spooking the horses with their noises and movements.

There are a few reasons I had for starting this blog. Apart from it being a place where I can record some of our family times and pictures, I wanted to have a place to remember the things the Lord is doing in my heart. Changes are usually a process, occurring over a period of time and as a result of many factors orchestrated by God. For me, it is sometimes helpful to write out what I am thinking and feeling in order to better understand an issue. It sort of crystallizes an idea. On the other hand, I am a slow learner and whatever I learn today I will undoubtedly need to revisit again sooner than I would like.

There is a fear, however, that some of the things I write may be misunderstood and that some who read may jump to conclusions. It's a risk I take, however, knowing that I'm mostly just writing for myself now and for my children later.

Every time I return to California from a visit to Canada, I wrestle with contentment. I'm a country girl, and I so love the area where I grew up. It's different here. Of course there's lots that I love and have learned to appreciate, but its always an adjustment for me to come back. The mere sight of the yellow-brown smog visible from the airplane window as we make our descent nearly chokes me. But no, the huge lump in my throat is usually what does it.

And so after spending time with my family last fall, I came back knowing that I would have to work extra hard at finding things to appreciate and to be thankful for in my surroundings. And there are many, it's just that longing for one thing can be blinding as well. Over the course of time, my thoughts began to turn to what the Word teaches about leaving and cleaving.

I had always thought of "leaving and cleaving" in terms of people-- parents and spouse in particular-- but not so much about preferences that seem to be ingrained into one's person or personality.

Cleaving is great. I love cleaving!

Leaving is harder.

Sometimes I just have to let things go knowing that what God requires is always so much better. And if there are some things that I didn't know I was holding onto with clenched fists, I am glad to be aware of them now.

But just like other things God requires of me (such as love for enemies, patience, wisdom), I won't arrive at any of those perfectly and instantaneously. It's a process.

I want to be completely where the Lord has placed me. Fully engaged. But sometimes my feelings on an issue take a while to catch up. I desire one thing, but feel something else. Praise the Lord I don't have to be driven by emotions because, by His grace and His transforming power, my stubborn emotions can be corrected. Not only that, but He understands and has compassion on me.

In the end, really, home is where Jon and our kids are. And we want to be where we are certain the Lord wants us to be.

He is ready to pour out blessings to those who obey and walk in faith.

Thank you, dear Lord!


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