Friday, March 18, 2016

Livin' la Vida Loca

For months I have wanted to sit down before a blank computer screen and fill it up with words about the changes we've been walking through as a family. I wanted to take the hurricane that had rolled in and enveloped our life and write about it until my words forced it into tranquility. In the past twelve months we have lived in three houses in two different states and grown into a family of seven, and it has been impossible to wrangle my thoughts into meaningful sentences. Greg and I are stalwart people, pragmatic and predictable. You know those people who move around like lighthearted gypsies, changing jobs and houses so prolifically that you cut them from your Christmas list out of sheer frustration? We are not them. We favor stability. We pick one thing and stick with it, rooted in the belief that good choices, given time, will bear fruit. So what happened? It's taken me time and silence to uncover the simple truth: God had other plans for us.

I remember when a good friend told me that she just wanted to hold everything dear to her in an open hand, stretched out as an offering to God. That sounds hard, I thought. I like things to fit neatly into a box that I have time to wrap and ribbon, nice and neat. I looked at people whose lives seemed unmoored and I judged them, assuming it was the result of poor decision making or lack of vision. What I understand now is that in order for God to accomplish certain things in Greg and me, He had to drop us into a hurricane. I've learned that sometimes He opens the door and we walk through it. Sometimes, metaphorically speaking, of course, He puts His foot on our back and gives us an almighty shove into the place we're unwilling to walk ourselves. He loves us too much to let us stay in a place spiritually that is simply not enough for us anymore.

So we moved away. We lived in a new place for a while. It was hard, and it was good. We grew closer to God and to each other. We learned what we were willing to settle for and what we would not compromise on. We sharpened our vision for what we wanted for our family and took risks to get it.

I've missed this blog. I don't have much time these days, but I'd like to record as much as I can in this little space, and I realize that time is fleeting. My first nephew, the one who was born yesterday, just graduated from high school. I flew down to Georgia so I could watch him walk the aisle in his royal blue gown and matching cap, take his diploma and shake his principal's hand, grin triumphantly at the camera. The passage of time is bitter and sweet. Those of us who held him when he was brand new rejoice at the fine young man that he is, packing his boxes for college already, training his eyes on a future full of possibilities. But we mourn, too, for the cherubic little boy he was to us so recently, laughing through tears at the funny things he used to do and say. So I will take my pictures as often as I can and I will write my words here in the wee hours of the morning. I will do my best to keep recording the moments of the crazy life God is allowing me to live.