Eternity Bloom :: Yay God Vol IV


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

I announced it to my mom a week ago and I've uttered it to a few more times since: I finally, after nearly a full year of this two kidlet gig,  'feel like I'm not drowning.'

We make it outside nearly every day. Often without a full on scream fest from my youngest (or oldest, for that matter.) Most days, even with the cries, my head doesn't feel quite so blurry and when we laugh, it's genuine and nestled in rest. The to-do's feel a bit trimmed down, a bit more manageable. Life feels a bit more, dare-i-say-it, easy.

It's surely not coincidence that when Ben and I have both prayed over this year, we really feel like our focus needs to be on prioritizing peace. To most it's just a trendy Christmas word, but after such a jarring year previous with  everything else feeling a bit battered, the idea of peace is just what our hearts need.

The best part of all this word business is how much I can already see God's hand in bringing about the very thing. I mentioned to Ben last night that some of the struggles we've faced seem so far off now. Even if it was just a season ago, I know it's because of Jesus. No wounds heal like those healed by Jesus. No situations change like those changed by Him. No peace is like the peace of Jesus.


One way I'm finding peace is by chewing on the idea of the long-term. This in itself is such a BIG IDEA for a mom who very much has to live in the moment. Most of my brain is used for cataloging where a certain girl's special chapstick, tutu or other hidden jemstones, like her babies bottle are. So to find myself thinking in terms of next year, a few years from now, and sometimes even eternity is surprising. Surprising not just because I actually find myself thinking of such thoughts, but surprising that I'm not itching to get to it. I'm not eager to get to the year that everything is easier. Sure, I have my moments of pinning, but what I'm finding myself thinking is more along the lines of "do the work now, we'll see the fruit later." 

This is astronomical in my heart. I'm a quick results kind of girl. If my children are reflecting something distasteful I want to shut it down ASAP. If I feel a certain restlessness in my heart I want it fixed stat. So, to begin to think of this work as sustaining or planting, to realize that sometimes it isn't time to reap.... To think of life, and my children's hearts, and my body, and our food not as projects to get results but as...things that will be (hopefully) here for the long haul. Well, it changes things. 

My job in life is not to produce outcomes, but to be faithful with the things I've been given. God has clearly called me to one or two things (although I often find myself wanting to add a few more for the ego boost.) And those things? I'm called to be faithful to. He equips me to parent. He equips me to take care of my body. He equips me to do the work I've been given outside of this home. He calls me to motherhood, to being a wife, to being a friend. This isn't for my glory, but it is for my joy.

As I've really started to see this concept weave into my thoughts, it's forced me to look at things and challenge some of my actions and heart motives. I've noticed that I've ingested a few things said about me over the years. My actions have since either worked hard to defy those things, or to maintain them. For example, I've been told I'm dependable and stable. So when I feel shaky, or feel anxious, I feel tempted to hide. Why? Because I want to be 'stable'. I don't want anyone to think that perhaps I'm not not dependable.

I once was the butt  of an off-the-hand joke. The punchline was essentially that I wasn't a good listener. As a young college aged gal, majoring in counseling...the idea that I wasn't a good listener was basically like telling a doctor he can't understand biology. It's the BASIS of the practice. If I can't listen? Well...

And so my identity became wrapped up for a very long time in proving to people I was a good listener. Did I in fact become better at listening? Maybe? But my motive and my heart work wasn't honoring to God. I can nearly guarantee it gave him very little glory.

Why? Beyond the fact I was in it for myself, I was allowing someones off-handed(most likely unintentional) joke to decide many of my actions. It influenced my decisions for years. Rather than actually looking through the lens of "Hey God, is this some thing I should listen to?" I wanted to be the listener of everything and in so doing muffled listening to Him. Often, filling our heads with words of people can choke out the voice of the one who matters.

It took me a long time to embrace the reality that what God says is true-is in fact true for infinity forward. When God saw all he created in the garden and called it good, I really believed it was good just in that moment. You know, before Eve and Adam janked it all up. For someone reason, I couldn't fathom how, after all the heartbreak he was sure to go through-he could call it good for future tense. 

But I now know otherwise. 

As a mother (not even knowing the end story) and as a wife, in my imperfect view-I can see my children and I can see who they are now.  I can see my marriage and what it is now. I can with a clear head, knowing the ache that I've carried from parenting and our relationship and with 100% honesty call them fully, completely, utterly good. They are FULL BLESSINGS.

Is there room for God to work in them? Sure thing. Yes, please. I get to be a big part of that good work. But who my people are? They are good at this very moment. They are whole at this very moment. Because they are his, he is pleased at this very moment.

God wants to bring peace. It's who he is. A big part of that in my life is embracing the reality that when he sees me in current time he sees a finished work. He's wholly pleased with His creation. He does delight in bringing more fruit-and that looks often like pruning and calling me out and leading in different directions, and almost always that can be scary and painful (in the least ) but he sees beauty the same way a garden is seen by the gardener. He anticipates the bloom, even while weeding. Even when the thorns prick him, he is tender. He delights in his handiwork.

He calls it good because he knows that what he plants is ALWAYS good. There are seasons in my life where I can see it. "Man Jesus, I look good! I AM BLOOMING!" and there are some where all I feel is the digging. All I feel is him piercing a bit deeper, planting a bit more sturdy things and I think "Surely, you cannot call this good." When the anxiety, and the deep fears, the depressing thoughts, hasty mean words all come flying out... He's dug up some nasty. Yet, he somehow still calls me good.

He's blessed this ground and my heart with his word and his truth. He's produced good fruit, and is gonna keep on doing so. 

Right now, he's sowing in peace and it's already sprouting up. Right now he's teaching a crazy mom of two that he's in it for the long haul. Right now he's giving me glimpses into that future garden, the eternity bloom.

and it looks like peace.

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