Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I Don't Get It

What makes a woman; who is otherwise capable of remarkable acts of compassion; who has otherwise demonstrated a great capacity to promote and respond to spiritual experiences...completely and consistently neglect the very people that the Lord himself has placed in her life and asked of her: "If ye love me, feed my sheep."?

I don't get it. Help me understand.

How can a woman sit by, when the Lord himself is in the vineyard, grieved and pained and asking "What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done?" How does anyone sit by and not jump in that vineyard and labor by his side? Is his grief in the vineyard somehow more acceptable than his grief in the garden?

I'm talking about serving. Caring. Ministering. I'm talking about visiting teaching.

50%? 60%? The same people over, and over, month after month not getting visited. The same people over and over, month after month not doing the visiting.

Oh, excuse me. Is this too scathing? Am I in your face? Well, consider yourself rebuked. Please feel free to enlighten me as to why you're not living up to your privileges, I'd love to hear it.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Yes!

You've asked for years and years, and I realize now that it may be too late to answer, but I have to say...YES! Yes Mr. Rogers....I do want to be your neighbor! I would and I could.

Aawhhhhh....this feels so right.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Life Longing

Do you have a life longing? Is there something that you long for, but that you have been denied? Not something that I would refer to as a "comic book longing" such as wealth, eternal youth, fame, or super-human abilities. But something that a lot of people have and that is so common, most people take it for granted, something that only you would recognize as being remarkable to attain? Yes? Then you have a life longing.

One common characteristic of life longings is the Almost Factor. The Almost Factor is probably the most cruel part of it all. You almost get there. You almost have it. Or maybe you have it, but just long enough to love it...before it is taken away. There just seems to be one little step, one little detail, that is missing, that keeps your dream away...at longing's length.

And then there's the Why Not factor. At some point, if your life longing is really a life longing and not a gimme-gimme, you'll find yourself asking "Would it matter Lord? Would it really mess anyone up if you let me have a spouse? or a baby? How would that hurt anyone?"

Good questions. I don't have an answer, but I do have this story (which has nothing to do with life-longings, but is just an example of considering the unknown). I had a big responsibility at church when I got cancer. We call them "callings" in my church. I thought I would be released from that responsibility to deal with my illness, but I was not. Many times I wished I was released. But cancer came and went and my calling stayed. When I look back, I think about how hard it was to do both and how much better it would have been to be released, but then the thought always follows...I have no idea how it would have been without the calling. Maybe it was easier to have that distraction and those opportunities to serve. Bottome line; I just don't know what it would have been like to go through cancer without the calling. Maybe it would have been worse.

So maybe my life longing is a blessing in disguise and someday I'll realize that it was better to live without attaining my dream than to actually have it fulfilled. I don't know...we'll have to wait and see.

My personal belief? That we all are given a life longing. Some of us can talk about them, which is helpful. But others have longings that by necessity, must be carried alone, which is hard. You can take comfort and solace in knowing that deep inside, we're probably all nursing a tiny little broken heart. Maybe the next time you cross paths with a real jerk (and I hope it's not me), just remember there's a possiblility that that person is acting a little jerky because he/she is feeling like 'the only one' that day, or maybe even really believes at the moment that they are the 'only one'. After all, pity parties don't exactly bring out the best in us, do they?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Happening and Un-happening

Just as fast as everything happened...everything un-happened. Happening and un-happening at such speeds is quite cruel; evidence of a demented, sinister universe.

The clock started ticking July 27th at about 4:30 pm, when after months of searching and deliberating, Mark and I settled on a lot, a house plan and a builder and we finally signed one signature-starved contract.

One of us is very happy to be keeping our current residence as another rental, the other one of us is...if you s t r e t c h it far enough...just happy to be trying to be happy about that??? Anyway, not quite 77 thousand ticks of the clock later, a voice mail message is retrieved informing us that there is potentially and quite magically, a very interested buyer for our ever so off-the-market home.

The second not-so-happy to be happy guy is suddenly very happy when said buyer makes us an offer we cannot refuse, landing us in contract number two, in less than forty-eight hours.

So in just two days, and a lot of signatures, we find ourselves contently basking in what we assume to be a supernatural confirmation that moving our family is indeed, somehow sanctioned by God.

This basking lasts through a family reunion, and a family float trip. Twelve days of basking (1,036,800 clock ticks to be exact), only to be interrupted by unexpected voice mail number two: the lay-off.

This is shocking. Unemployment always is, but the surprises don't end there. Imagine a long-lost realtor from your past contacting you after six years to let you know your old home in North Carolina is on the market again, ON THE SAME DAY YOU LOSE YOUR JOB. And if that isn't enough, imagine getting a job offer, from a company in North Carolina, ON THE VERY SAME DAY as well.

One might think that moving to North Carolina was the new "sanctioned by God", we sure did. But North Carolina is a bigger move than we really wanted to make, so we become a little conflicted and spend an entire weekend consumed with making the right decision...if there even is one.

The arrows don't stop pointing us in that direction (East) and our hearts don't stop wanting it to be otherwise (West). The diverge is maddening. We take comfort in the fact that we are still in a contract to build a house here and decide that honoring that contract must trump all other indications.

Finally at peace, we move forward with our builder and send him our design choices the next morning. Unbeknown to us, this is where the un-happening begins. He tells us that we can't, after all, build our house on that lot. Their are CC&R issues and lawyers and what not. Bottom line; our last hope for a sign that says "stay here in Utah" is yanked out from under us, we are no longer contract bound, with the exception of our already sold home, which we'll have to move out of at the end of September.

I surrender. I guess I'm moving to North Carolina. I can't deny what I can't deny. God sold my home so that when my husband lost his job, we could move to North Carolina. That must be it.

UNTIL...the phone rings yet again, six hours later. This time, it is our miracle realtor. The one who sold our house that wasn't even on the market, for full asking price. What does Mr. Miracle have to say? The buyers are backing out.

Oh.

Okay. So...did we just go in a circle? Because I feel like I just went in a circle. Like I'm right back where we started, only with a new job, that by the way....will let us telecommute and not have to move at all. Okay. So what was the rest of all of that for???

Can you say demented and sinister?