Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the tightrope...

i feel like life these days is a balancing act. i think it always is. but right now my awareness is heightened. so many precious things to fit into so little precious time. the incessant cries of dishes and laundry and vacuuming...the gentle tug of little hands, "play with me...look at me....talk to me..."...the constant desire to just sit in silence....dinner to cook...a baby to feed....and on and on...

i checked Crazy Love (by Francis Chan)out from the library last week, and last night after the girls were in bed, while Mike was immersed in a PBS documentary, i finally started reading. here's an excerpt that has me thinking...a lot.

"It's crazy that we think today is just a normal day to do whatever we want with. To those of us who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money,' James writes, 'Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes' (4:13-14).
When you think about it, that's a little disconcerting. But even after reading those verses, do you really believe you could vanish at any minute? That perhaps today you will die? Or do you instead feel somehow invincible?
Frederick Buechner writes, 'Intellectually we all know that we will die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes a part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true. On the contrary, we tend to live as though our lives would go on forever.'"

and then there is this excerpt...

"Stress says that the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control. Basically, these two (worry and stress) behaviors communicate that it's okay to sin and not trust God because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional. Both worry and stress reek of arrogance. They declare our tendency to forget that we've been forgiven, that our lives here are brief, that we are headed to a place where we won't be lonely, afraid, or hurt ever again, and that in the context of God's strength, our problems are small indeed. Why are we so quick to forget God? Who do we think we are? I find myself relearning this lesson often. Even though I glimpse God's holiness, I am still dumb enough to forget that life is all about God and not about me at all."

oh friends...how much of my life i spend thinking of myself....not even grasping a tinge of the reality that life is ALL about GOD and not about me at all. how rarely i ever consider the brevity of life...the reality that there is no guarantee of tomorrow...no guarantee of another breath. there is no guarantee that there will be a tomorrow for playing games or reading stories to my babies...no guarantee of tomorrow to "get it right" when it comes to gently and patiently instructing my children...no guarantee of tomorrow to tell that neighbor, friend or family member that Jesus died for their sins. there is NO guarantee. and yet, i don't live like that very often.

i raise my voice with the girls rather than patiently instructing and drawing them to the grace of Jesus.
i sleep an extra 20 minutes rather than awakening to meet with my Savior.
i let stress over household chores consume my time rather than savoring the moments with my family.
i struggle with jealousy when others life seems "perfect" rather than clinging to the truth that He is working out something beautiful in me...and that the truth is that no one's life is trial or struggle free.
i complain within my heart about who God has made me rather than embracing my gifts and appearance.
i focus on the fussing, whining, and arguing rather than the beautiful laughter of my children.
i am full of pride and arrogance rather than humility and love.

and i could go on.

i am walking the tightrope...balancing the priorities of life....and i am falling short quite often. but i do know He is gracious. i do know that He is kind and full of love. i am praying that He would remind my heart often of the truth that i WILL die....that my tomorrow are not guaranteed...that even my next breath is not a given. oh that Jesus would mercifully teach me...that He would take my hand and lead me through each day, each moment, each and every second...that His Holy Spirit would grant me wisdom to discern the "best" for every choice i need to make...especially when it comes down to choosing between the "good" and the "better".

...and yes, i do have smiles i want to share...but right now my heart is in a deeper thought mode...wrestling with those excerpts...in so many ways that i just can't put into words yet. i'm thinking i might need a lot more than the three weeks the library allotted me with the book. perhaps this evening i will find some time to share smiles...i was going to say, or tomorrow...and then i giggled a bit, because, after all...tomorrow is not a guarantee, right!?

7 comments:

Rebecca said...

thank you for this...

Amy's Blah, Blah, Blogging said...

I hear ya. Life should be about God, about a focus on Him in even the smallest of jobs, a moment by moment prayer to Him. I started reading that book awhile ago but life caught up with me and I haven't finished it. I should do that. Oh...but I need to do my reading for school first. So many books, so little time!

Anonymous said...

I am right there with you, struggling with the same things. Thanks for sharing - it was exactly the reminder I needed. God bless you, Amanda!

swell.life said...

So, so beautiful. Thanks for sharing these excerpts and your heart.

You're absolutely right, stress is so selfish. We are so feeble and foolish to think we can bear our own burdens and make things right in this world.

God is so good and your post just magnifies his greatness and power.

Now on to my dishes and vacuuming...

Dawna said...

I think I may stop blogging and just write "me too" in your comments every time you speak the truth!

Wendi@Every Day Miracles said...

Amanda - Wow. Just Wow. I read that book last year - and think I really need to read it again.

I was like "amen-ing" every line of this post. :)

Girl - I just love you to pieces. Your words went straight to my heart and I NEEDED them.

Lindsay said...

GREAT, GREAT post ... got here from Wendi ...and I want to say THANKS! I needed to read this today! Blessings to you ~