“If you just trust God…”

trust

“If you just trust God, everything will work out.”

Is that true?

            Earlier this year, we learned we were expecting our first child. I floated around the house singing “I Get to Be the One.” We thanked God for the new life we got to nurture, and I trusted everything would work out. In fact, I just “knew” it would.

Only a few weeks later I sat bleeding in the ER, as a dear brother in Christ (and doctor) sat beside me, looked at me with sadness, and said, “You may be losing this baby.”

…But I had trusted God!

___________

            All my life I wanted to get married and live happily ever after. The years ticked by, with no relationship The One. Age 27, 28, then 29 – it sounds young, but when you come from Christian circles where everyone’s committed to abstinence until marriage, that’s old! Pastors and friends told me God would give me my heart’s desire – that this romance would happen for me someday.

     But part of me stopped believing it would. I could no longer “know” for sure.

            Then one summer, at a community garden workday, I met a man who thoroughly impressed me: When we met, he stood to shake my hand. (Thank you, U.S. military, for teaching your service members signs of respect.) This man became more than I could have asked for, calling me to be better, calling me to be humbler – and holding me when life brought us pain that couldn’t find words.

…But I hadn’t trusted God!

___________

Trusting God and having things “work out” is not a guarantee. There is no formula.

What I’m trying to trust, instead, is: God is here. I hope all of us can take comfort in a God who is present in any season, both the ones we couldn’t have wished for, and the ones we wouldn’t wish on anyone.

8 types of toxic parenting

  1. helicopter parents – hover too close
  2. karaoke parents – try too hard to be cool
  3. dry-cleaner parents – drop their kids off for others to raise
  4. volcano parents – erupt over minor issues
  5. drop-out parents – let their kids down
  6. bullied parents – don’t stand up to their kids
  7. groupie parents – treat their kids like rock stars
  8. commando parents – let rules rule over the relationship

I have seen 1, 4, 6, and 8 in person. Mean Girls showed #2. The Nanny Diaries featured #3. I think I’ll be most tempted by 4 & 8.

courtesy of Tim Elmore

Parenting is like driving a car.

I remember when I first got my driver’s license, I couldn’t imagine how anyone ever falls asleep at the wheel — or, for that matter, eats/texts/fiddles with the radio while driving. There was so much to worry about! So much to keep track of! I would hunch over the wheel, back tense, and give it my undivided attention.

Then I got used to driving and became as drowsy as the rest of them. (A horrible game to play with yourself is to look at the faces of other drivers as you pass them on the other side of the road. They are invariably a) half-asleep, b) actually asleep, or c) looking down at their phone.)

When I imagine staying at home with a newborn and toddler, I imagine it to be full of endless stimuli. How could I ever get bored? There is so much to worry about! So much to keep track of! Parenting is such a new concept — to me, anyway — that I doubt I’ll ever lack for distraction or something to do.

Am I wrong?

anger on the altar

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Last Sunday in worship, we wrote down what we needed to leave behind, let go of, before we could take the next step Jesus is calling us to. I wrote “anger.” There has been resentment wearing away at my heart, for a couple months, and I know I can’t keep letting it rot in there.

Of course, several times this week — while thinking, while cooking, while showering, while driving — I picked the anger back up again. I told myself, “You left that on the altar. Don’t pick it back up.” But old habits die hard, and thought grooves get worn down in our brain, ’til those neural pathways are hardened arteries.

One thing that helps is doing a breath prayer, which I started right around the time the resentment began. I breathe the word “mer-cy,” one syllable per inhale, the other for ex. So when I tense up in anger, I remember I’ve already left it behind, and breathe through the prayer word instead.

I have about an 8% success rate.

Let it Be with Me – an Advent song

I know it’s Lent, not Advent, but we just performed this song live on March 2 and I thought it could be worth sharing:

These lyrics were written in the hopeful early days of thinking about a child and expecting one. I would get up early each morning, go down to the basement, sit on the floor, and sing.

so Lent begins

Kate Bowler Ash Wed

I watched a grandmother take her toddler granddaughter up for ashes. The priest said, “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return.” Afterward, the little girl kept wiping her eye. Some black dust must have fallen in.

I watched the grandmother carry the girl, wiping her eye, back to their seat.

“We are creatures destined to die,” says Stanley Hauerwas. And mothers consent to give birth to such creatures.