Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Beach is to Relaxation as God is to Goodness

If you've been around me more than once, I hope you know that I KNOW that God is good... All the time. Most recently, I have strived to look for Him in the corners, closets, and open spaces of my life.

 I started reading "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp about 10 months ago when I had just given  birth to Mindy.  I felt like I was in a tornado similar to the one that led Dorothy to Oz. I wanted so badly to leave my "Kansas" to go to a perfect Oz. But my tornado wasn't calming down. The things, people, and ideas I had about my life and purpose were sucked up into my storm.

 Realizing that I was the tornado, I was the source of the storm, was rain to my parade. I needed help, the Lord was my help,  the Lord was my strength. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)

These things, this tornado, it wasn't draining strength from me. It was giving me the strength for future things. Things unknown to me. My tornado landed me back on Larry Drive in Ringgold, GA. Surprisingly the things and people that had recently spun out of control were in a place. The perfection of their placement isn't, and won't be important, what mattered was that my focus was focused on the joy of the things provided.

I like the little things best that just work out through God's grace. The son that sees the goodness of the day when I just can't. When the husband smiles, shakes his head, and says, "Oh Elle..." The time the dogs ran away and brought back a half starved black kitty cat to their home, where they knew there was love enough for it. Checking out at the grocery store and wincing as the cashier prepares to tell me my total, only to my amazement it is half of what I had anticipated. 

Life can be so busy and full of the little things yet we still feel like God is holding back on us. For me, I am usually the one holding myself away from His goodness. Fear, anxiety, obsession over details are all things that keep me in the shallow end. If I really want to be honest, sometimes I am tip toe-ing on the steps into the shallow end with a life vest on; watching people jump from the high dive, submerging feet first down as far as they can go; rising up with a smile of triumph. If that same water in the deep end is the that is tickling my toes, why am I not diving in? If God is still the God of Abraham and Moses, can He not lead me to a Promised Land that is just as fulfilling? 

Being able to go away to the beach with my family for a week showed me that my Promised Land was home. The fruit and other food is there, I just have to harvest. Blessings and purpose don't come without some work. Plowing and sowing can be enjoyable when you put a whistle to it. And you know what the best tunes are? The ones that have the most memories are the songs that stick. 

I've got a river of life flowing within me;
It started gushing up when God set me free.
That I keep the flow is my only plea. 
I've got a river of life springing within me. 

Spring up, O well, within my spirit!
Rise up and tell, so all can hear it!
Spring up, O well, so I experience
That life abundantly.