Oh, hello, Blog. It’s me, Hannah. I’ve been away for a bit. Sorry.
I blame summer. Summer tends to steal things, like my schedule. And my children’s bedtimes. And my clean-ish bathroom. And my desire to blog.
But in case you were wondering, we are quite well. And thank you for asking.
Josh is growing a beard stout enough to shame a lumberjack, and I still love him in spite of it. A week or so ago, in honor of 12 years together, we shared an overnight date and a steak the size of a ping pong ball. But the rolls were delicious, so, you know, it was well worth 85 bucks.
And because it’s summer, the kids are happy (most of the time.)
There’s the river.
And there’s a newly discovered box of costumes from the attic.
And, of course, there’s mom’s sudden disregard of bedtime.
Life is lovely when you’re a kid in summer, isn’t it?
Enjoy it while it lasts, kiddos.
Whatever you do, just don’t start watching the news.
Do you feel it too?
That feeling that everything’s horribly screwed up here? That this isn’t how it’s supposed to be? That, dadgummit, why wasn’t I born a few log cabins down from the Ingalls family, with Pa and his fiddle and Ma stirring beans over the fire?
Why am I raising kids now? Here? In this? This mess.
What is going on?
God? Hello? Where are you?
Why don’t you fix this?
And it’s not just the news. You could ignore the news and still feel it.
Families nearby are facing devastating diagnoses and we stand around helpless and broken for them. We send pies and lasagnas because there’s nothing else we can do but pray, and sometimes that just feels small. And the hope we beg God for just feels absent. And the earth just feels shaken.
But we all know.
Just because we feel something doesn’t make it true.
I debated writing this one. (As I often do.) More words, I thought? There are plenty of words out there already, plenty of people who’ve already said it and said it better. Should I say it too? Would it make any difference?
I don’t know.
But I know this: When I start to feel desperate and helpless and like prayer is just some big tease, then I am forgetting who God is.
And that, above all else, that is the most foolish thing I can do at a time like this.
Because God does not change.
His promise to love us and hold us and be our light and our refuge and our strength and to be faithful in times of trouble is still as true to today as it was when God first said, “I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).
And as a wise friend reminded me a few days ago, God has to be faithful because that’s who He is. In the same way, He has to be good. He has to be merciful. He has to be just.
He cannot, will not, will never change. We have to know who God is. We have to. Our faith will not survive without anchoring itself in Him.
And though that may not always feel true, it doesn’t matter. It is.
Because Jesus is a big deal. “And He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:17)
That’s the super-simplified way of saying that Jesus is everything and that everything here is for him and through him and that we exist because of him. Not so that we can live cushy lives in our quaint log cabins and without any troubles. But so we can look at all this awfulness and remember that we are not to love this place. We are to be looking ahead and beyond all this and to remember what Jesus won for us when He died on the cross.
This may not feel true, but it doesn’t matter. It is.
Because faith is grabbing hold, hanging on, and refusing to let go.
If we didn’t cling to Him before, let us cling now. If we didn’t hope for Heaven, let us do so now. If we didn’t pray or if we’ve thought that prayer felt insignificant, let’s call that lie out for what it is.
Because God’s goodness may not feel true, but it is. He doesn’t change.
Because Jesus may not feel like a big deal, but He is. His death gives us hope in all this mess.
Because faith may not seem worthwhile, but it is. God says so.
That’s what we do right now then, friends, when all else seems lost.
We grab hold, hang on, and refuse to let go.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” (Heb. 10:23)
Soul sister, I have wondered where you’d been. Me too, me too. I have no words left at the end of all this grief, and I’m not even talking Orlando. It’s been hard times here, too. But thank you for the reminder. He is faithful. He is just. He is mercy. Because HE IS. Nothing else.
And I want to live in the Ingalls cabin too. Always have. But sometimes I remind myself… she wrote those as an old woman, as a reflection. She remembered the good over the bad, the love over the fear. That’s what I hope I leave my children.
Thanks for wondering about me, Lindsey. 🙂 I’ve mainly just been busy, but also just didn’t really feel like I had anything to say. But I have no idea if I’ll ever get back into blogging weekly. Maybe when school starts back up. We’ll see.
And it was when I read the last book in the series–the First Four Years, I think–and Laura’s newborn dies and she just has to move on and get back to work, that was when it occurred to me that life back then wasn’t all cozy fires and reading by candlelight. Call me naive. But I guess just like my childhood memories are mostly good– that must be God’s kindness to us at work. Letting us we’ll remember the good and forget the bad.
Thanks, as always, for reading. 🙂
$85 “steak the size of a ping pong ball”. You have such a way with words Mrs. Hall. I learn from your biblical encouragements, but I particularly love some of your phraseology! Happy Summer. 🙂
Thank you, Jan! I’m just glad someone else could get some enjoyment out of that miniature steak too. 😉
My heart needed this today <3
Thank you, dear. So did mine. 🙂
Thank you, Hannah, for the reminder that God never intended this to be all there is! He intends that His people remember where their citizenship truly lies, but wow, the journey is at times long and arduous. So we cling. He IS faithful!
I’m glad to know you, Karen. Besides all the other benefits of being your friend, you give me excellent blog material. 🙂 Thank you.
Thank you, Hannah. I am going to read this about twelve more times today and then repeat for the next lifetime. Why do feelings seem so real and overwhelming–especially when they are negative? Holding unswervingly is, I suppose, where faith becomes an action. Love you, sweet friend. Thanks for writing….
Thank YOU for encouraging. 🙂 Praying for you today.
Thank You Dear Daughter for putting God first above all else!
Thanks, Marmee. 🙂
ha! Your answer made me laugh. I used to call my mom, Mamsie, and she used to call me Phronsie. The joys of mothers and daughters sharing books.
Thank you for writing, Hannah. He is good and will be good no matter what we face in this world. Now, I have to beg to differ about Little House. My kids and I just finished Little House on Plum Creek, and it feels like they only stay alive by one miracle after another. The grasshoppers, the blizzards, the wildfires, the droughts… Yikes! We’ve always desperately needed Him and still do!
Okay, okay, good point, Heather. 🙂 And there was also The Long Winter which was surely about as bad as it got. It wasn’t easy times then and it isn’t now. But God puts us in the time he wants us in, and I might as well be content, eh? Fiddle-playing Pa or no…
Thank you for this one this week, Hannah!! Our world is truly a crazy awful place and Alan and I talk often about what a crazy mess of a world we are raising our daughters in. No matter how crazy and awful though, we can rejoice in the fact that it’s only for a short while. Not long-term, and then we’ll be in the most amazingly wonderful place imaginable with our Lord and Savior. Until that day comes, we can only pray and have faith and be there for each other as we all raise our children together on this earth.
Catching up on your posts. This is a good ‘un. But, then, they all are. Thanks!
Thanks, Sally. Glad you’re back. 🙂