Christian is running.
Everywhere he goes, he runs (and pushes and bites.) He’s a serious little combination of stout legs, strong torso and an accidental (but convincing) Three Stooges haircut (compliments of his mother.)
He is two this week. Beware.
Hattie loves books, asking questions and crying. A lot. She is emotional, a fantastic hand-holder and makes us laugh on purpose. A lot. She has thankfully recovered from that horrible bang trim I gave her a year or so ago, and her long, naturally highlighted waves are beautiful.
She will be four in two weeks. And I am giving up on cutting hair.
Edy is six and has inherited my regretfully sassy tongue. She caught Christian a few days ago just before those fast little legs carried him into the road. She is becoming a little mother, and I am proud. She has also started favoring a side ponytail, and without those two front teeth, she looks like I did at that age. I see myself in her, and I pray for her. She needs Jesus, just like I do.
I watch them all growing and changing right in front of me and I am happy-sad. Everything changes.
Except what I want to change. Namely, myself.
I didn’t want to write about last week. I actually did put a blog post together, but then I re-read it and it screamed hypocrite. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me, and whatever I was supposed to be learning from it wasn’t tidy enough to share for the Internet world to see.
Our life-lessons are not always dealt out to us in perfect little packages. Drawing out a reason from our Why-is-this happening-to-me moments can require some painfully intentional introspection. (And introspection can really stink.)
God finally (and mercifully) has used an outside situation to give me a hint or two into my own sour attitude.
It is a lesson I was supposed to learn a long time ago. I think I’ve even blogged about a few times, as if I had it figured out. That’s a laugh.
Usually God whispers, but sometimes He has to shout.
HANNAH, LIKE I SAID BEFORE, THIS LIFE IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
And then I whisper, thinking maybe God won’t hear…
(But I want it to be.)
My kids grow up and change and it’s a good and natural thing.
But my growing up is much more difficult and the process much more painful. So, here’s the part where I yell:
WHY THE HEY IS IT TAKING ME SO LONG TO GET THIS?
And God says, “I don’t know.”
“So let’s try it again.”
So that was last week and this week and probably next week because Hannah is selfish and needs to grow up. And new opportunities to die to myself are popping up endlessly and I hate every stinking one of them.
And it stinks to write all this down for you to read too, but it’s a struggle that isn’t getting easier (seems to be getting harder, in fact), and it wouldn’t be honest if I acted like these last few days hadn’t been something out of a horror flick…where I, unfortunately, played this part:
Ask Josh. He’ll tell you.
(He’ll also tell you that he advised me to shrink that picture. Too scary, he said.)
But I was walking one morning early last week. I noticed how the leaves never fail to turn and the wind never fails to cool and the earth never fails to remember that fall must be God’s favorite season. And though my kids change, and the earth changes and I don’t change in ways I wish I would, God, in the very best ways, remains unchanged.
He said it himself, “I the LORD do not change…” (Mal 3:6)
His plans for me are still good, even when I flub up. His heart for me is still love, even when I don’t love back. He doesn’t, hasn’t and won’t ever stop being who he is. He persists with these stinking life lessons because he’s not finished with me. He still has hope. For me.
God is so good, friends. I am so thankful for that. Because I need a good God. Don’t you? More than anything else.
Even on this flawed earth full of flawed people like me, I have hope for better days ahead because God has said I do. And he doesn’t change his mind.
So watch out, Freddy Kreuger. Your days are numbered.
*What about you? Which part of God’s incredible character gives you the most hope for the future?*