Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Rain, rain, go away...."

Rain is really interesting, I realized this morning. I sat in front of the window looking out over the valley as the clouds rolled in. The fire was roaring in the wood stove, and with a cup of tea to warm my fingers, I was ready for whatever those clouds would bring, except that I had procrastinated on feeding the horses. The first drops drizzled down on my head while I went out to the barn to be greeted by Patches and Gunner, and the free range chickens who were seeking shelter from the wet.

Coming back in, I pass my herb garden which is drinking in the life coming down from heaven. The roman chamomile that was wilting and lying flat yesterday is perking up, and my basil plant looks like it is coming back to life.

Yes, it's cold, and it's wet, and it's soaking the firewood pile which means I have to carry logs in to dry them out, but for once, the rainy day feels joyful to me.

Rainy days definitely have a stereotype – stay inside, drink some coffee or tea, curl up with a book - (none of these are bad things to do, just sayin') that goes along with a mood, and that's where I run into a problem. Melancholy, dreary, discontented solitude isn't the way God designed me to live. There's something about rainy days that brings out the selfish in me. “I'm gonna do what I wanna do, because I don't feel like doing anything else.” (The attitude that sucks the life out of anyone around.)

But rain pours itself out on others and in conjunction with sunshine, brings life! The rain comes down until there isn't any rain left, or until the wind moves it away, and then the sun warms the earth, and it doesn't take a trained eye to see the beauty that comes of it. Isn't that how I ought to be living out my faith, and my love for the Lord?

Instead of rainy days being an invitation to serve myself, I want them to be a reminder for me to pour out love on others, so that in conjunction with the Spirit of God, life will spring up.

Monday, April 20, 2015

"...better than good enough."

I've been challenged much lately by feelings of inadequacy. There's nothing like getting married and jumping from life in the city to life in a tiny cabin to let a girl know how much she DOESN'T know.

“Oh my goodness, that horse is dead!!”

“No babe, horses actually like to lay down in the sun like that.”

I'm so thankful for this season of my life, but if I was going to write a novel about it, it would be titled “The Great Adjustment”. All of the life skills that I previously thought were valuable seem unusable, and I've had to learn how to do everyday things.

Yes, I can navigate the grid of LA freeways in rush hour traffic and find 4 alternate routes to my destination. But we only have one road here, and part of it is gravel. “Some help you turned out to be” the enemy whispers.

Yes, I can whip up a 4 course dinner for 16 or 30, or even 40 people with an hour's notice (and a quick trip to Costco) but cooking for just me and my husband is baffling. “You're a terrible housewife!”

I could paint a house, assist with numerous drywall, plumbing, electrical, or even flooring projects, but my husband trains horses and takes care of their feet. And my knowledge of horses is minuscule. And again the enemy whispers, “You're worthless. You have nothing to offer.”

“Don't speak. Don't share. You can't help. You have nothing that they need.”

But Truth cries out and fights back. “NO! Lies!  Lies!  All lies!!”

And my husband assures me that he knew ahead of time that I wasn't a country girl and he really wanted to marry me, and he's glad he did.

And the Holy Spirit gently prods me to offer myself. Because God created me in His image and that is enough.

And in church yesterday my obedient and introverted friend stood up in front of everyone and spoke powerful words challenging me to step up and say “yes” to God when I am inadequate, so He receives all the glory when He does big things through me .

And the tag on my cup of tea this morning read “If you have nothing else to give, give a smile.”

So excuse me while I go split some logs to start a fire that will warm up this cabin before I go out to feed the horses, and then put our little home back in order after a crazy weekend.  And even if I can't accomplish everything I set out to do, I will try my hardest, and I will smile.   Because I am a child of God, and that is better than good enough.