I wrote this last week, and now, in the wake of yesterday's tragedies, I must add a few words.
First, all human life is valuable and eternal. Those sweet children are with their Maker and we can at least take comfort in that. Praise God for that hope and assurance.
Second, I want to remind all of God's children and especially those touched closely by yesterday's nightmare, He is near to the broken hearted. He is a shelter in the storm. He will carry you. He will see you through this. Hold out your hand and your heart to Him. Let Him carry this. He's got this. Truly, He does. Just put your head down and hold on. He will see you through this. He will never ever leave you or forsake you. He has not forsaken you. Even in your heart wrenching pain, He will bring you through this. Trust Him. What else have you got? Nothing and no one can give you the support, help and comfort like the Lord Jesus. He is enough. In the days ahead, when you are tempted to allow your anger to turn to bitterness, don't go there. Forgiveness is going to be your only relief. I know that right now the grief and unbelief and anger are all intermingled like a dark storm raging wild in your life, but keep putting one foot in front of the other and hold His hand tight. He is going to see you through this wild howling darkness. The Lord is near. Call out to Him. Tell Him all of your pain, again and again, let it go, to Him.
Its been a month since I have typed a single word on this key pad. Life happens fast and full in one months time. We continue to press forward into the Kingdom of Heaven with renewed zeal. My sister and her family left one week ago today. It was a very sad parting. Oh what joy to live life with my sister and to get to know her husband and children. Our relationships are hence forth never to be the same. They came to Alaska seeking if maybe this is a place that God would plant them. They discovered that they were already planted somewhere else. That was very hard for me to accept, but who am I to argue with God, right? I am just so blessed to have spent 2 months with my sweet little sister. She is such a great person and friend!
Recently, I have spent some time evaluating what I am doing here with this writing thing. I am still waiting on God for specific direction. I know that my ministry gift is encouragement. There are so many ways to be used in that gift! This blog has been an exploration in that. The thing about blogging is that you don't really know if you are being effective. There is very little feed back, and I am very sensitive to wasting my time on fruitless endeavors. So I am waiting on God for clear direction. Am I being used to encourage others through this blog? I don't really know. This whole life is just a walk of faith, isn't it?
We have been on our annual fall break from school. We take the second half of November off each year to first process the deer my husband brings home from his annual hunting trip and then for our jelly business. I guess I wouldn't exactly say we completely stop schooling, we just do school in a much more hands on way. We work together butchering and packaging all of the deer. We make jelly from the berries we harvested together during the summer. We label the jelly, and travel to sell it. We go to the bank, we pay the bills, we go shopping, and the children learn a lot about real life. We make life together as a family. It's fun and it's A LOT of hard work.
With my sister's family leaving we extended our break for a week and just spent lots of time with the cousins. Now life is sort of getting back to normal, considering Christmas being right around the corner. I am looking forward to the days ahead, after the first of the year. Things really settle down into a routine then.
Looking forward. That reminds me of something I have been meditating on lately. Living completely presently. Completely today. Completely immersed in the moments we are given. Appreciating those moments as gifts of time. In the hurry and the rush of holidays it is easy to totally lose it. Isn't it? I mean it is so easy to get caught up in a bunch of stuff that has no real value, especially eternal value. Think. What around you right now has real value? If you are honest, you would probably say the same as me, not much. I must say that I find it sometimes difficult to really focus on eternal things. I know of nothing except people that has any value beyond this life. And those closest to us are the ones we are going to impact the most. And who most likely will impact us the most. I have been struggling with this lately.
I am finding it difficult to do this motherhood thing. I have nine eternal souls in my care, ages 19 to 3. It is a most interesting place to be. Relating to all of my children requires constant effort. I am tired and feel like I have nothing to give, yet they don't stop needing me. Ever. And I can't relate to my 16 year old daughter the same way as my 7 year old son. They require so much of me. So what do I do? Well, first I admit my total lack of anything to give. I accept my frail human limitations. Oh yes, how very frail I am. And I look. I gaze. I wait. I know that I do not have what it takes to do this well. Heck, lately I don't even feel like I have what it takes to do this bad, or at all! But Jesus says he will not allow me to be tempted with more than I can bear. He also calls to us, He bids us to come to Him, He promises to those of us who are weary that He will give us rest. He also promises to give us strength when we wait upon Him. To renew us! So this is what I've got. This is all I've got. It's all you've got too. Nothing and no one can give us what we need except Jesus Christ. And praise be to God! It is enough! His grace is sufficient for me, for you, for all of us! Glory! I hear the words echoing in my heart and through my mind, Do not lean on your own understanding, in all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths. He will make a way, when there seems to be no way. Yes, my Lord, yes.
Maybe you don't have the dynamics of nine children in your house, but whatever is feeling too big for you right now, it isn't. IT IS NOT. We have the promises in the Word of God for a reason. They are there for us to lay hold of. To grasp, to hold tight, to believe. To Live!
I hope these words encourage you. Remember, we are not alone. We are all going through this life together and we all struggle sometimes. We need Jesus, and we need each other. Lets live life real together. I am far from perfect, but in Jesus Christ I am made whole and new. It is His love and hope that I want to share and encourage you with. He is enough.