The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. Psalm 16:6

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Out of the Ordinary Life

I pass another little bowl of Cheerios to awaiting hands. It is such a novelty, Cheerios. Now that Kurt is eating them, everyone else is remembering how much they liked them when they were “little.” They are like edible memories. Remembrances of simpler times.

Kurt is learning so many new things right now. It's a world of opportunity for him. He has begun crawling, if you can call it that. What he does, actually, is throw his chubby little hands in front of him, up over his head, and then drag his entire body forward. His feet and legs are completely uninvolved in this. I've never had a baby crawl this's too cute, albeit a surefire way to get really dirty. Thankfully, he's still pretty slow. Thankfully, I've had time to move things, cover things up, rethink the layout a bit.

This, too, has been a reason to discuss “how I crawled when I was little...” One thing that I really adore about having a baby with older children in the house, is that every “new” thing for Kurt is an opportunity to share memories from when the bigguns were littleuns. Also, every new thing that Kurt can do is reason for a complete family-wide celebration. Wow! Kurt can sit! Wow! Kurt can feed himself! Wow! Kurt is drinking out of a cup! Hooray!

Oh, what an immense blessing to see every day the way my precious children see every day. To live in the joy of the new and unknown. To breathe the freshness of every hour. To see the sunshine in every moment:

There is sunshine in my soul today,
More glorious and bright
Than glows in any earthly sky,
For Jesus is my light.

~Eliza E. Hewitt

I always hate to see those old annoying sins creep back into my life. Those discontent, restless thoughts that monopolize my moments. The joy-quenching irritations that should be blessings. The sunshine-less soul. That voice inside that speaks of better things, not just this ordinary life.

And then I always inevitably remember: I deserve none of this ordinary life the Lord has blessed me with. Yes, blessed me abundantly with. The Lord God of the universe owes me nothing. Zilch. Zip. Zippo. It is with the prideful sense of entitlement that this soul becomes discontent. Entitlement to what? Happiness? Wealth? Children who are perfect? Who of the wicked, sinful human race deserves these things? Not I, for sure. Not I.

Hannah Whitehall Smith says: “Doubts and discouragements are, I believe, inlets by which evil enters, while faith is an impregnable wall against all evil.”

How true is that? It is when I become discouraged with the blessings of the Lord and doubt his goodness that the floodgates are open wide to evil thoughts, bitterness, pride, resentment.

Ann Voskamp over at Holy Experience writes so eloquently, and yet so convictingly:

The words reverberate inside of me, and ring true, sure. When I expect something, demand something, presume, anticipate, await something, I fail to be to grateful for what is. I smother the gift of what simply is, in my stampeding expectation for what I proudly, arrogantly, wrongly think should be. My expectations of what kind of life God should give snuffs out my gratitude for the life He has given.

It gets uglier: my pride drives my expectations. I
deserve sunshine today, a working washing machine, healthy children, a husband who gets out of bed, electricity. Food on the table. My arrogance and sense of entitlement inflates my expectations of what I should get today, what He should bestow.

Those words cut deep into my heart when I read them. Surely that's not me, I thought. But nary a second passed without that confirmation from within that, yes, this was me. In spades. Why can't they wake without fighting? Why does my hubby get to sleep in...again? Why is there never enough money/time/energy/space/insert prideful expectation? Why are we here in L.A., with little space and no yard and traffic and smog? Why? Why? Why? Not the kind of genuine, curious 'why' at what the Lord will do in my life. But the demanding, foot-stomping, show-me-why-this-is-all-I-get 'why.' The joy that should come from the perfect gift of this ordinary life has been smothered, curbed, bridled, suppressed.

And yet, the truth is there, staring at me plainly and unwaveringly. I have not gotten what I deserve. I have not, and never will, receive my due 'reward.' And because of this plain fact I should be shouting from the rooftops: Praise God!

The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
Genesis 6:4-6

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16

May my longing be only for Him. May I look and see that He is good. In spades. His mercy endures forever. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary has given me a clean heart, freedom from the shackles of sin, an invitation to live with my Savior in paradise for all of eternity. What I have to be thankful for so greatly outweighs any discomfort, trial, or irritation this sinful world can deliver. May thankfulness overflow the banks of my heart and spill forth from my mouth in words of adoration and praise!

Praise God for this out-of-the-ordinary life. This exceptional, incredible, uncommon life!

1 comment:

Harasick Family said...

Nancy, I truly enjoyed reading this blog post.
It is indeed a praise that we do not get what we 'deserve'! We deserve anything we get is gravy!
You are a dear sister in Christ, and I am so thankful He put you in my life.