Wednesday, October 25, 2006

well, here are some uncategorized pictures. haminha was a blessing. it was timely and quite profitable. a lot of fun, a lot of nursing (3 babies!), and a lot of repentance. oh, that God would heal us and make us outward focused. without sermonizing i will just say i (re)learned such:
1. i cannot protect myself
2. Christ is sufficient and compassionate to betrayers (me)
3. life is but a shadow of glory (oftentimes a very dark one)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

the lie in the soul (melancholia)

due to recent and semi-recent occurrences i am arriving (albeit reluctantly) at the bitter conclusion that life is not sweet. sorry natalie, your song is misleading at best and downright treachery at worst.

as i attended RUF when knox was yet seven days old, reverend serven waxed melancholy about the trial that is following Christ. not the best type of thing to hear when post partum hormones are raging unchecked through your body; but the gospel is a double-edged sword, is it not? so, perhaps it was the best type of thing to hear after all. i have, in the past four or so years, had this sinking suspicion that life is not what i have deemed it to be. not only that it is not presently this, but that the future holds out no such hope for my deemings. i feel like the leader of the rohirrm in LOTR, "dare not trust nor hope; such things are forbidden in these lands" (probably not word for word, sorry LOTR nerds). death and loathing are breathing down the neck of the church. they have swallowed up the culture, and the church seems to be the next course on their menu. at this RUF doug said that some of the people in the room might endure terrible things: divorce, the death of a child. i couldnt help but think, "divorce? but we are reformed...we are covenantal!". would that such vain labels could protect, save, even. but in these things they are only infinitely impotent. only Christ will do this, but he does it in a way that is not how i would have it done. as doug pointed out, he waited three days to see about lazarus. the anguish, the seeming torment in this life is inevitable. we will endure it. a cold and apathetic Christ we will not. this was emphasized further by the guy who spoke at church two weeks ago (ruf arkansas guy). He has not left us indefinitely to the "dark night of the soul". He will bring all things to light, including our mourning.

i will not have the american dream life that in my head was by divine right to the truly reformed and truly covenantal. i will have a mother who is gone early in my life. i will have christian friends who lose their marriage. i will have a church body that is torn and tested by greed and selfishness, gossip and lies. i will have friends who are swallowed up by sin so deep that only severe mercy can thwart their eternal ruin. i will have loved ones who are swallowed up in death forever. i will have realizations that in my own marriage there is sin so profound and so intimately painful that i dont know how to forgive it or how to be forgiven of it. God knows what else awaits in this shadowy pilgrimage. this is true for all of us. the point of life is not to avoid these things, but to surrender in them utterly to Christ who gives grace and peace in death and chaos. this is i suppose what is meant by "consider it pure joy" when these depths seem to engulf us. He is sanctifying us, He is refining us. one day He will have before Him a bride, blameless and pure.

el fin: joy is attainable, it is hearing Christ in the loudness of life's harsh circumstances. it is knowing it isnt about your personal happiness, but about becoming like your Father in heaven, who is holy. if this depressed you, listen to "for all the saints" on i grace. the best is when it talks about the church surrounding as the "king of glory passes on His way".

Thursday, October 05, 2006

five times the fun!

so, life with a five person family is in many ways what we expected, but in many ways not quite such. there are times when i feel crazy, of course, but there is so much for which to be thankful. God is good. we have three healthy, robust children. one is coming out of the terrible twos, one is redefining the terror that is the terrible twos, and the other is completely peaceable. i am thankful to God for the changes i have seen in whit. he still has his moments, but on the whole is so much more compliant and kinder than he has been over the past year. his countenance is much sweeter and his love and care for his siblings is endearing. he is, in equestrian terms, broken in. of course, he still has flare-ups (today has been a bit of a relapse).
norah catherine...well, today i spent a good seven (think about that, really, that is a while for one issue) minutes praying with her asking, begging, God to help her obey and stop being so hasty to sin and wholly stubborn. she is definitely going to take a work of God to break. i am intensely grieved by her ugliness, i think because i know my struggle against God for autonomy is not so different from hers.
then there is knox. he is great. God has blessed our nursing work, and he is gaining weight rather nicely. he is quite varying at nite and unpredictable, sometimes wanting to eat every two hours. it is exhausting each nite, and days with a baby and two toddlers after nites like that...well, hard. but God must really give grace to this and we always make it without any obscenely large crisis. also, it is for a season and i am praying for perspective.
i have learned: the transition from no children to the first child is the hardest. it is so hard that it is a wonder people have more children. from to one to two is much easier, but still quite hard. from two to three, even easier still, but of course not lacking in it's own difficulties.