Reminders to Remember

It has been a month since the If:Gathering Austin. I left inspired in a way that I have not been before. I was moved. I was motivated.  As part of the closing portion of the meeting, we were given a smooth stone to remind us all that we learned.  The rocks symbolizes the stones that God commanded the Israelites to use when He called them to remember what He had done for them in parting seas and tumbling walls.  The word I wrote on my stone was WRITE. I would write daily.

Not too long after I left that conference, I wrote my last blog entry.  It had been months since I wrote on this blog.  For almost all the same reasons it has been over 20 days since I wrote after that long drought.   LIFE happened as it usually does. February in particular. It happens every year, but yet I am often surprised by it. The shortest month of the year but one of the longest if you know what I mean. The month after the excitement of Christmas has worn off.  The long-short month of hogs and flowers.  And chocolate.  Sickness.  Cedar fever, if you live in Central Texas.  Cold mornings followed by warm afternoons followed quickly by snow.  Crazy making weather.

I had great plans to finally be inspired. To WRITE – but WRITE what? I don’t imagine God envisioned that writing checks to pay bills and making a grocery list would qualify.  My emails to teachers and admin staff at the kids school would have to count.  I have this foolish and naive vision that I live separate lives:  one is the mom and wife who lives in Austin Texas and the other is the writer of “Trashy Romance Novels Without the Trash.”  This is the type of novel I aspire to write.  I will.  One day.  Again, I set a goal of a novel finished by this year.  To do that, a few things need to happen.  God is making that happen.  Just in ways that I would not have planned. That is another blog.

I woke this morning with a lady I heard at If:Gathering on my mind. Her name is April Smith.  He and her husband lost their two boys in a tornado last April.  That is about all I remember.  After getting up early this morning, I googled her and read a little blog entry her friend had written about her.  She is awe inspiring.  She has faith.  She lives her faith.  I want her faith, but I don’t want that faith to be tested.  Not like that.   An unbelievably hard event that defines who you are.  Most of us have events like that in our life.  Maybe not losing a child or losing two children.  But still a singular event that marks a turning point in our faith or life.  It changes us irrevocably.   My early twenties was that period for me.  (Again another blog entry.)   Often, we spend the rest of our lives trying to heal and learn from that event.  If we allow it, our testimony grows from that event.

The Scripture that was quoted on the blog entry is this:

Isaiah 55: 8-11 (The Message)

“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.  Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, Doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry.  So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed.  They’ll do the work I sent them to do,  they’ll complete the assignment I gave them.”I guess this where the phrase “God works in mysterious ways” might have originated.  I dunno.  Again, I digress.

If you remember anything about me and what I have written on this blog, it is about trapezoids and box- avoidance at all costs.  And about being married to a linear thinker.  You cannot be married to a box-loving person without it influencing you on some levels.  The most straight path is between two points but that is not how we often live our lives.  It is however how we often PLAN our lives.  My life plan this month would not have been what I experienced.  Are you kidding me?  I won’t list my challenges because yours are just as very daunting to you as mine have been to me.  My challenges have centered around my children this month.  My challenges have been their challenges.  Challenges questioned in the counselor’s office, the doctor’s office and the principal’s office.  Very humbling.  For one of kids, I feel like I am reliving the worst parts of my childhood/pre-teen years.

So back to that writing thing and waking up with that lady on my mind.  How do they tie together?  I know that God’s ways in my life and my children’s lives are higher than mine.  He has asked me to turn some of my faulty ways over to me and trust Him in a few areas of my children.  He ask called me to repent of some of my “less than best” parenting practices.  He has reminded me to remember what He has taught me.  Did you catch that?  He has REMINDED me to REMEMBER.   Several times in the Bible, God reminds us of Him.  The whole nation of Israel forgot about God.  I have sat through numerous sermons and such thinking what kind of a blockhead forgets God?  Well, this one.   He gives us stones – figuratively and litterally that speak of His nature.  His Goodness.  His Creation.  His Character.

God reminded me to remember to write this morning.  As I have written this blog entry, He has reminded me that I have written.  I have not typed at all on a new or existing novel.  However, I have written some notes for my oldest in helping her with a homework project that she has.  I have spoken words into my children:  admonishment, correction, exasperation, love, guidance, funny and advice.  I wrote a few funny social media comments and a few funny texts.  I have poured out my heart to a few friends and listened as they poured out their hearts to me.  And, ironically, I have not spoken a few words that would have meant harm.   I wish I could say that I spoke no words that were not harmful or edifying.  I cannot.  For that I ask God forgiveness.

So a month after I wrote on my stone the word “WRITE”,  I will continue to write.  Not at all in that linear box-like way, but in my trapezoid meandering type way.

By the way, the two verses of Isaiah offer me hope:  Isaiah 55: 12-13 (The Message):

“So you’ll go out in joy, you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause.

No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thornbushes, but stately pines—
Monuments to me, to God, living and lasting evidence of God.”

 

Personally, I cannot wait to see those stately pines and giant sequoias.

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