Tuesday, March 8, 2011

More Than I Can Chew

Coming off the heels of February, I've been left with lingering thoughts of love on my mind. Not to mention, bags of candy and chocolate, safely tucked away from eager little hands. Although that doesn't stop little feet from climbing on counter tops to reach sweet treats. And we still have loads of snow, blanketing the countryside...its hard to believe that we are in March, with spring just around the bend.

It's been a long winter. We've watched more movies than I care to count. I've cried more times than I care to admit: how many times can one break down, when seeing the character 'Andy', play with his toys, one last time? I can't bear to watch it again. And then there's the floating house, carried to paradise by a bunch of balloons...who knew animation could create a love story that would go to such lengths to keep a promise. It gets you right in the chest, when you least expect it.

The anticipation of spring has me looking forward to getting outside, starting seeds for the garden, feeling the color green beneath my toes(no socks necessary!). It also has me gearing up for what could be another wave of grieving...for it will be 3 years now that my mom was beginning to exit this life for a better one. It's hard to believe that amount of time has gone by. So much has happened, and yet it seems like just yesterday that we were made aware of how sick she really was...and then just days later, our baby daughter entered this world.

Love has been on my mind. I'm learning about how much God loves me. It sounds rather trite, but I can't begin to put it into words...because I am human--and I cannot humanize a love as great as God Himself, embodies. There is much evidence around me to prove that I am cared for. Even in the midst of pain, I can see His hands, holding me--carrying me through. One of my struggles, in grieving my mom's loss, has been accepting her love for me. For many years, I didn't believe it. Too much had happened, and enough didn't happen--so that I felt otherwise.

We often give love in the way we'd like to receive it. When it doesn't come packaged the way we like it, sometimes we don't see it as love. There is a great book out there: 'The Five Love Languages'(by Gary Smalley) that goes into more detail about this concept. I've found it to be helpful in understanding the different ways people give and receive love. Reading through the scriptures, there is so much evidence of God's love for us. Even in crisis and loss, He is there. He has compassion on us and I do believe that all things work together for good if we love God and accept the purpose that He has for our lives. Even if I have yet to fully understand that purpose(Romans 8:28).

Sometimes all we can do is speak out loud what we know to be true. My favorite way to do this is through singing. Last Sunday, I was leading worship, along with several of the young at heart. We were all tired out from skiing the night before. (Troy and I like to tag along with the youth group and pretend our bodies are 15 years younger, as we navigate the slopes. The event has now been renamed 'NEFC Family Ski' instead of 'Youth Ski'. I guess there are others who also feel as young as we do!). Truly, we are excited to have many of the young people, at our church, share their talents with us. It is so much fun to play and sing with them. No matter how our practice time goes, early in the week, I am amazed at how God meets with us on Sunday morning. He can take a tired group of instruments(including vocals) and create such an amazing sound and energy!

While we were up there, a normally shy little boy was making his way up the main isle. He climbed up the steps, onto the stage, looking up at me with eyes that needed something. What could I do, with microphone in hand, except gesture him to sit down? Friends in the congregation started to gather around, trying to coax him away. Finally, his daddy saw what was happening, exited the sound booth, and retrieved our distraught son! It was cute. After we were done, I went back to our seat to sit with Adrian. I asked him what it was he needed: 'I want a piece of gum, mom!' *LAUGHTER* Every Sunday, after the singing is done, he gets a piece to keep him busy during the message. I guess he didn't want to wait this time.

There is a lesson here for me. I need to come boldly, before God. Not afraid to ask of Him what He already knows I need(Hebrews 4:16). I may not get it right away, but I know that He loves me and welcomes me as a parent would any child--open arms and all. And many times, what I need is not what I ask for. I'm learning to trust God, to walk with Him, and better understand His ways.

I received an amazing confirmation of love this morning. As I was having my coffee and some quiet time, my son wheeled through the room, on his 'motorcycle'. As he passed me by, I heard him say, "Mom, I love you." What was that? He passed by again..."Mommy, I love you." And followed that up with a smile...and a hug. I was already crying, before this--thinking about God's love, working through some stuff. And there He was, giving me a perfect demonstration of it. We have an awesome God, don't we?