Saturday, November 26, 2011

of cool fronts and thanksgiving, comfort zones and fear...

It's raining here... a delicious cool front has come into town, and from the weather report says it will be staying all this new week.  A welcome visitor indeed.  Perhaps summer's warm temperatures have finally packed their bags once and for all?  But in Texas, there is no guarantee that they won't be back week after next.  That's just another great thing about living in Texas though: if you don't like the weather, just wait a few hours; it will probably change.  

We had a lovely Thanksgiving filled with joy, blessings, and the peace of God.  Lea and I brought our grandpa up on Tue and brought him back down yesterday.  It was a good five hour plus drive round trip both days, but how thankful we are for good roads and good company to enjoy on such trips.  Grandpa hadn't been up to visit us since my high school graduation... nearly nine years ago now, I guess!  

He's quite the interesting character... all German with sharp blue eyes, smart as a whip, amazing long term memory, sassy and stubborn, but yet kind and sensitive all at the same time.   Every once in a while he spouts off some off color something or another; the next, he's the perfect Southern gentleman of well bred manners and high standards... he was cut out of unconventional cloth, and quite the rebel.  No box will you stuff him into, by golly!  He'll see to that.

Grandpa moved down even further south to take care of his step-mother, but even after she died he's lived there alone for probably 10 years or so.  For all our prodding over the years to move up near us, his reply was always to laud the praises of low tax rates, no traffic, and a grocery store that has anything he could want.  

Now days, I do believe the companionship of a low tax rate has proven to be bad company and with his visit here this week, he's realized that he's missing out on the lives of his only family. 

It's taken 10 years and many missed memories to realize that change isn't always something to fear.  

When we picked him up on Tuesday, before we even got outside of the city limits of his little town he began remarking on how long it'd been since he'd seen various landmarks... the further we got from his gloomy little home and comfortable small town, the more alive I could feel him becoming.  During the few day visit, he was all things cheerful and social.

On the drive back yesterday I could almost feel him shrinking back at every mile that brought us closer to his home.  

He'd stepped into the light and warmth of family and love... of conversations over coffee and memories shared with his only daughter... of cheerful homes and granddaughters that bustled in the kitchen.  

Comfort zones and familiarity didn't seem quite so safe anymore.  It's not safe to miss out on the good things God might have in store for you, just because of fear.  Fear of anything, save the Lord, is bad company to keep.  

Lea and I drove up to his little house near the water... we walked him back in his dark bachelor-kept little living room... we prepared to travel back home... he broke up and started to cry and said he wished we didn't have to leave.  I wanted to cry and wished I didn't have to leave.  I felt like someone who'd let a butterfly from it's cocoon, and then after letting it soar a bit, stuffing it back in it's dark corner.  Offers to make a pot of coffee and stay for a bit was met with his over-riding concern about us getting home before dark.  Bless his heart.  

I think he will move here eventually.  Hopefully soon.  I think he's finally realized that comfort zones can be dangerous places and that fear is a bad companion.  A fresh and good reminder for me too. 

It forces me to examine my life... comfort zones I am clinging to and fears I am friending.  

Whenever Grandpa does move down, I know there will be growing pains.  Things to get used to.  Give and take.  That's life.  

This I'm learning: there's no life in clinging only to what you know because you're afraid of what you might get.  I must choose to open my heart and walk outside of my comfort zones.  There is always risk involved in both of those things... but to choose risk is to choose faith, and to choose faith is to choose the way of blessings.  

I want to choose the way of blessings.  I want to choose faith.  I want to say no to fear and no to perpetual comfort zones.  I want to say yes to Jesus.   Always.  Every time.   The Jesus way is always best. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

stuff and nonsense

I really haven't a foggy idea of what to write about, but I feel like I ought to anyway.  Write, that is.  The day just feels perfect for it.  It's been a knockout of a fall day... cold (for us), gorgeous, and windy. And sunny too.  There are two varieties of lovely fall days: the sunny blue sky sort, and the gray cloudy blustery sort.  Today was the former, but I'll take either and be just as delighted.  After tying up some business loose ends, Mom and I had a very nice jaunt into Small Town for a few errands.  I found little Christmas gifts for my Chinese girls and a new Christmas tree for my room (every since Lea and I stopped sharing a room, there has been a custody battle going on over our little shared tree.  Today, I found a BIGGER and BETTER one... bwahahaha. She can have the wee one footer... I found a FOUR FOOTER for an extremely reasonable price. ha.).  Fitting it in my room could prove to be interesting though.

My life these days is a series of twists and turns and everything up in the air.   Well, not everything everything, but too many for comfort.  But since when has God been concerned the most about my comfort?  He likes to make me uncomfortable, and I appreciate that.  Because the uncomfortableness is always prodding me on to new territory, more battles won, and a greater empathy for others. 

I'm learning to trust God with the unknowns, which is a lifelong lesson, I think.  At least in my life to date.  Not just the big unknowns (those can be easy sometimes), but the small ones... like if I put my name out there for as a piano teacher, will I actually get takers and will I be a good teacher?  And if I do, how will the schedule work out, and should I put my name out in three separate towns, and if I do what day should I do which and will it all work out?  It is confusing.  It is a practice in trusting God.  So that makes it good.

Other than that, the continual stretching of the soul and friendly sisterly battles over Christmas trees, not too terribly much has been going on.  Nothing truly interesting to report. 

I have rambled enough now and should go inside and make pumpkin bread to bring to a couple of neighbors.  Sounds like a pleasant and wise use of time, yes?  Soon all the family will be coming home and together for a warm and cozy dinner and then we'll watch the Republican presidential nominee debate.  We love watching those things so much, we clear the whole night's agenda for riveted debate watching.  Whatever needs to be done is always done either before or after the debate; never during. Only listening or the occasional talking-to-the-tv is allowed.  We're a family of political junkies.  Okay, I really am going to go make the pumpkin bread now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

reminders of His great love

The other day I was sitting on my bed prinking (to prink:to pray and think interchangeably; to prayerfully think).

I looked up and happened to focus in on my little scripture card,
the sun clearly outlining the silhouette of my little cast iron knight standing behind the card, behind a clear promise...
that it is HE who will fight on my behalf.

{Sometimes women, girls, everyone really, needs to be reminded that they are not facing the battles alone.}

I need only to hold my peace and rest in Him. The Lord will fight for me.

Children of God walking in the Light are never alone, never without a loving Shield and Defender.

May the Lord be your Warrior and your Peace today. 
We need only to stand back and let Him.

"The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace"  ~Ex. 14:14