Deep Thoughts

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At the last Bright Lights meeting, we had a spontaneous time of sharing. It was wonderful. Some really cool thoughts and stories were shared and I am starting to think that I can learn more from them than they can learn from me.

One of the thoughts was from my friend Brianne. She talked about how God is teaching her that often the most beautiful things are found in the most dangerous, scary places. She told a story of how she was hiking with her mom, and they decided to chose the scarier looking path (complete with spiders) instead of the well traveled one… and how that led to some beautiful oak trees that made it all worth it.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot since… and it’s so true and so deep. Especially with love.

Love is terrifying. Might as well just say it. It’s hard. It hurts. It’s pretty much… impossible.

That is, without God.

We’ve been talking about God’s love over the past three meetings and… I think it’s finally starting to sink in. For me. I spent hours thinking and praying about it and I finally got to the point where I wept.

He asks that I humble myself–that I stand before Him with no excuses, nothing to hide behind–and admit my sin. To Him. Holy, Holy, Holy. Who cannot bear to look on sin.

That is a horrifying thing to do.

But when I did it, I found, once again, the most beautiful truth of all: He loves me anyway and has made a way; has paid my fine.

His love and my sin stood in such terrible contrast… I saw how unworthy I am and yet I KNEW, deeper than ever, that He loves me. Oh, what a life-changing truth.

And… my heart is being softened, again. I am remembering that I am Loved and because of that I am free to love others.

It hurts. It scares me.

But I am learning, like Brianne, that this path is worth it; that ultimately it leads to the greatest joy and beauty.

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And… it Already Happened.

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The trip was amazing in so many ways… I will be blogging about it for a long time, most likely. But there are a few things I want to talk about right now, and they’re thoughts that came after the trip. So… here it goes.

Coming back home was way harder than I expected. I didn’t want to leave… and then when we got to the Atlanta airport and there were two TVs on one wall with a stupid story about Duck Dynasty and a newspaper article with “Obama” in it, and there were so many people who weren’t happy and weren’t speaking Spanish, and there was SO MUCH STUFF and it was so bright and there were so many words and… I just wanted to go back. It didn’t help that more and more team mates were leaving at each part of the trip, starting the day before.

I was happy to see my family, but even home felt odd and unfamiliar. I’m afraid I wasn’t very mature in working through it… nor was I focusing on others.

Sunday morning, though, I went outside to pray and think and read my Bible… and I realized something.

When I was in Central America, there wasn’t the slightest wondering whether or not I needed God’s help. I was tired and sick; I was in a strange place; I was with loads of new people; I was doing things I’d never done before; I was very obviously involved in God’s work… and so forth. I knew right from the start that I had better spend time early in the morning praying and reading the Bible or it just wouldn’t work. And I did. And God gave me strength and words and blessing. It was hard; but He was there.

Back home I wasn’t spending time with Him first thing. Somehow I thought I didn’t need Him anymore; not consciously, of course–not in so many words–but that’s what I was saying. And that’s a huge part of the danger here. There, we were well aware of the dangers, both physically and spiritually. We were alert; on guard in our prayers.

Here, you don’t see the battle sharply. It’s still there; in some ways even worse than in Central America. But in America we can afford to cover it up. There, when you don’t know if you’re going to have food for the next day, and your life is in danger from many other directions, it’s pretty hard to pretend. Life and death is a real and constant struggle. But here… we can actually seem to get along okay without God. We can distract ourselves from our soul struggle. We can bury it. Of course it doesn’t quite work, but we still try. And to some extent we don’t see it anymore; we don’t have to face it straight on.

There, you look into these beautiful faces and you see a person without God, without hope, and your heart aches for them to know, to see. You so badly want them to get it–you want them to come to Christ. And you pray and you cry and you hike and you keep on even though you’re sick and don’t really have the strength. Because how else will they hear?

Here, you hurry along quietly in your busy busy day (why must we always be so busy? What’s so wrong with just being alive, talking and BEING?), mostly ignoring others. They are just as lost as those dear ones there; but yet, somehow, it is easier to ignore. They can figure it out; someone else will tell them. They already have enough information, they already have their own beliefs.

There, you speak words of encouragement and blessing to your brothers and sisters in Christ… you realize vividly how tough the battle is for them. You ask how they are, and really listen. You do whatever you can for them with what little time you have, and you wish you could do more. You give hugs. You pray. You love them. And you can’t even speak their language.

Here, we’re often “too busy” (with what, pray tell??) even for that. We don’t usually take the time to really know how people are doing; we don’t love enough to help even though it hurts and it’s messy. We know the language; we live close by. And yet somehow we don’t see how hard the battle is here, for them. Perhaps because they aren’t sitting in a mud hut and telling you about how hard life is as one of the only Christian families in the area. But that doesn’t mean that things are okay.

It’s tragic, really.

And I pray it ends with us. Let’s not be too busy for people, saved or unsaved. Let’s take time to listen, to really care. To pray. To help.

17 Days!

Til we leave for Central America, that is. Crazy! I don’t think I really believe it yet. I probably won’t till after we are on the airplane, and even then I probably won’t. Oh well.

All the legal and money stuff is done now, which is awesome. Now we just need to keep learning Spanish, stop eating sugar (for the last two weeks, in hopes of staying healthier and maybe getting less bug bites.), pack, and hopefully get more donations (both monetary and actual stuff) for the people down there.

I don’t really feel ready, particularly spiritually. I’ve been struggling with unbelief/doubt. By struggling I mean that I have not just been giving in to these thoughts– I’ve been fighting against them in various ways. But it’s… not nice. I would appreciate prayer.

I am realizing that God is preparing me, though, even through the doubts themselves, and that as I submit to Him, He will prepare me in the way He knows is best. So I am resting in that.

Besides trip preparation, we have a lot going on.. my mom left for Missouri yesterday and won’t be back till next Sunday, plus we have something going on every day this week. (we definitely have no reason to say we are bored!)

Bright Lights is tonight (we bumped it to the third week this one time because last week we just returned from camping.).

It is about being fully dedicated to God–a pretty huge topic/decision. Not something I want to present or ask lightly. If you do it–or rather ask God to–He will, and it will be hard. Glorious, but hard. It will be worth it all in the end, but we must be prepared to stick it out, to stay in the fight. Even when it doesn’t make sense and there are so many doubts and difficulties. If you see this tonight (Monday the 18th) , please pray for us. 🙂

The Rock Tumbler

So I’ve been struggling inwardly with various things–some of them really deep. (prayers appreciated!)

Last night I finally prayed the way I needed to… and during that prayer, something came to mind that helped some things make more sense to me. Whether or not God showed it to me, I’ll leave you to decide. But it helped me out quite a bit, and I thought it might help some of you. 🙂

I first thought of a jewel or a gemstone… and then rather abruptly saw the process that went into making it all smooth.

First there was the more drastic part of sanding/cutting away parts, making it roughly into the right shape.

But then there’s the tumbling part; the part where there’s lots of little grains of sand, and lots of tumbling, and lots of annoying noise, and you can’t see what’s happening, and it takes SO LONG. (at least the little dinky one we had once did.)

And I’ve been feeling that lately.

I don’t see what God is doing. Sometimes I think I haven’t got anywhere at all, at least not on the inside.

There are many little “grains of sand” that annoy me and bother me and distract me.

I’ve definitely been feeling quite tumbled about, especially in my mind. It’s hard to know which way is up sometimes.

There’s been a lot of noise, inwardly and outwardly, and it doesn’t seem to be doing any good. All it seems to do is confuse me.

It seems like I’ve been in this place for a while, a long while, and I don’t know when it will end and I wish it would just hurry up.

And… having that image in my mind of the rock tumbler makes it all make a little more sense. God IS working, even though I can’t really see it and it just feels annoying and confusing. I’m realizing that I am not really used to this part yet. I was braced fairly well and mostly trusted God for the first round; the really hard stuff. But now this endless tumbling about with tiny grains of sand… ugh. Not nice.

But now I can understand, a little more, of what God is doing. And I am learning to be patient with Him as He allows me to go through this time in the Rock Tumbler. He knows what He’s doing, and He knows the outcome. I just need to submit to His work.

My Life Lately

So… the last week/two weeks have been intense, especially this past weekend. The good kind of intense.

It’s interesting how it works. I started praying more, and then I started getting lots of requests for prayer (Even though I didn’t announce that I was praying more), and lots of opportunities to serve. It’s been so awesome this time, too, because I feel like I finally have started learning to serve out of love and joy for God’s glory.

On Friday I was busy with housework and keeping my siblings busy… in the evening I went and took pictures of a young couple from church at the beach.

Saturday, Hannah and I helped scrape carpet glue off the floors in the new Pregnancy Solutions location (that is about five minutes or less away from our house!!) for a few hours and managed to get blisters on our hands (which was actually kind of cool in an odd sort of way. I know it’s very small, but there was something exciting about suffering in a physical way for Christ.). Then we cleaned and cooked in preparation for company the next day (I managed to burn both of my hands and my face with the jalapeno. Thankfully Hannah knew to put oil on it, so it only lasted a few minutes.) went shopping, and got Panera Bread. We rushed home, did a few last minute things, and then Mama, Emily and Esther got home! (with papa and William and Matthew who had gone to pick them up. They were in Orlando helping family.)

On Sunday a Missionary spoke and told about some opportunities for short term mission trips. Afterwards, he and two friends came and ate tacos with us. (yum!) After they left, I “randomly” decided to charge my phone. Then I took a nap. 😀 We started watching a movie, and then I checked my phone (which is actually a rare occurrence.) and deleted some texts since my inbox was full. Just as I finished that, I got a text from one of my friends and she ended up calling. We had a really good talk that lasted about an hour and a half. The day wasn’t over then either–Papa, Hannah, Emily and I went to church again and set up for Bright Lights.

Monday morning, Hannah and I were at work talking to Papa. And he said, “I think you two and Josiah should go to Central America in December.” We were like, um… okay! So we started looking up the website, printing stuff out, etc. Then we had to pull our focus back to Bright Lights, haha. So we prayed and talked about that… towards the end of the day, I had a talk with a cousin of mine who is quite troubled, and Hannah talked to another friend of ours on the phone who is also going through some really hard times. We picked up one of the BL girls, went home, ate chili and got stuff, went to church, picked up another girl and did Bright Lights. Later I talked to one of the BL girls on Facebook… she’s making hard but awesome decisions. Finally went to bed well after midnight… we were all excited and talking. 😛

There are many other little things that happened in the days before… conversations, prayers answered, new prayer requests and so on.

I guess I just wanted to mention all this to say that… God is amazing. It is an incredible privilege to serve Him. And PRAY. Seriously. That’s where all this other stuff starts. You’ll soon find, as I have, that an hour isn’t long enough.

Also–please pray for us as we get ready to go to Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) in three months!!

P.S. An hour of prayer early in the morning, even if you went to bed late, is much more energizing than coffee. Seriously, you should try it.

Other Things

Hi there.

I’m sort of at an impasse (inside mine own head, which is the worst place for that sort of thing), because I have other things to say that are not related (at least not directly) to the abortion/prolife series. And I really didn’t want to do this, I wanted to continue along nicely with my beautiful outline (That I haven’t even looked at in over a month.) and actually do a proper series for once.

But, alas, it’s just not happening. Sorry folks. I promise I will write all of that, though. It may be a little book. And I may show it to you sometime. Not sure. (Why did I suddenly think of the quote that nothing is certain in this world except for death and taxes? Besides, that isn’t even true. God is more certain that either. Ahem. Anyways.)

So. Now to try to talk about the Other Stuff. There’s a lot of it, this Other Stuff.

(And if you didn’t already notice, this is going to be a rambly post. It may very well make no sense at all. Or maybe different bits will make sense to different folks. One can hope…)

My personality (whatever that is) is INTP: which is also known as the Thinker. I live up to that quite well, I think. (Seriously, I didn’t mean to do that. I thought of saying it before I realized, and then when I realized I said it anyway.) INTPs are also known as “The Warmest Machine”–which may or may not make sense. But the gist of it is that my natural tendency is to think a great deal and feel very little. Which is a very queer way to be, at least if you’re female. I remember even very early on, when my sister Hannah was being praised for being so compassionate (She would cry when other people cried, even if she had no idea why they were crying.) and I’m just there like, “Why on earth are they crying, and why are you crying too, and that doesn’t make any sense, and how is this a good thing?”

It went along like that quite nicely (Sort of) for a long, long time. Sure, I cried–once a month. Nearly literally. Sometimes twice, or sometimes none.  Mostly over stupid things and mostly when I was really out of it. It wasn’t heart-crying.

Until. Until… I loved someone. A boy. And he–he loved me. It was really, really confusing. I still don’t get it. I don’t even know what love is. I only really started understanding it when this happened. And he was on the other side of the ocean, and there were other complications, and–I finally cried. I cried for a lot of reasons. But it was the first time in a very, very, very long time that I had cried because I hurt inside. (*wonders if I ever had before that time* *decides I probably had*)

It opened up this terrifying new world of feeling. I suppose it scary for anyone, but it is especially frighting if you have very little prior experience in that department. From that point on, I would actually cry about stuff. I realized, through him and through this experience, that crying was actually–actually okay. It was even… good. Which was very hard to wrap my head around. But I got it. I learned that pain was good. I learned that God teaches us through it. I learned that He is very near the brokenhearted. I learned that weakness is—is Good. Because then God can be strong in you and for you.

This went on quite some time. There were many ups and downs, many tears, many smiles. Things done right and things done wrong. Finally–he was going to come and visit us, for a month.

And then–and then there was… lightening. Cut right clean through our paths. In one moment, everything, everything, was different. He was……arrested. (Very long, complicated story that isn’t mine to tell.) We never even met.

That night in the airport–well, I will just quote something I wrote before.

Shocked, stunned. Cold flooding through me, my heart racing. Stiff. Still. Trying to comprehend. Matthew started wailing. Emily did too. I tried to calm her down.

Papa handed me his phone and told me to tell [his mom]. I couldn’t figure it out at all and I was shaking too hard anyway. I gave it to Emily and said I need to pray.

I looked around hurriedly… there was a place. I am still amazed that it was there… just an odd little area out of the way, with a plant in front of it. I went in there and got down on my knees.

I prayed so hard it was out loud. I couldn’t help it.

I prayed for him, for peace and safety. I prayed that God would be glorified in this. I told God that He was good even in this, that He knew.  I tried to pray Psalm 20 for him. I prayed that… that they’d let him go. I looked up, wishing, hoping against hope, that I’d see him. He wasn’t there.

I thought how strange it was that we were in the same building and yet… I couldn’t see him. He was there, but he wasn’t.

That was the beginning of a strange, wonderful and dark journey. I realized eventually that it was called “grieving”. Very odd thing. Don’t recommend it. 😛 (Just kidding… mostly.)

It’s been a year and almost 7 months. He’s still in prison. Away from his family, his home, nearly everything he held dear. Including me. I have barely been in contact with him over the past year and 4 months or so. I can’t–can’t explain how many layers of hard there have been. How utterly dark the path has grown. How hard it has been sometimes to simply be–alive. How sometimes (like day before yesterday) you feel like maybe, just maybe, you’re beginning to be more… normal again–like maybe, just maybe, the storm has really subsided. And then… not too much later, and you’re crying again, and you cry out to God and He helps you, but it’s–hard.

And all this is so confusing, so strange, so… deeply personal, that I am loathe to speak of it. I don’t even know why I am right now. And even to those who know, I don’t… don’t like that I STILL have such a hard time. That I STILL don’t know what to do, don’t know what’s right, don’t know what really happened. Because I like things to MAKE SENSE. And  this just plain doesn’t. Not in human terms, anyhow. And I suppose that’s what has kept me sane: looking above the human. In fact, I KNOW it is what has done it.

I look back on all that has happened in the past few years, and I see God’s incredible grace and goodness. He lovingly prepared me in countless small ways for this trial–something that you really can’t be prepared for. And yet… He did it. And even in the stripping away of everything, He was so kind. It all went away so gradually, one thing at a time. Oh, it was awful, believe me. But at least He didn’t take everything in that one night. And I saw–see–His wisdom in it all.

There have been an enormous number of ups and downs and wildly confused turns. I haven’t, by any means, handled this perfectly. There were a great many things I could’ve, should’ve done differently.

I never SAID that I didn’t trust God, but I learned it. At first, I think, I trusted Him. But wave after wave after wave after wave after–and eventually,  I wore down. Or, at least, I saw where I was lacking in trust. It was–has been–awful. Fear crept in and took a very deep hold on my heart.

And I still haven’t completely beaten it. I still am afraid. I still doubt, sometimes. I still have moments of–“I just don’t get it!!!!” But God is working. *smiles* He is so good…
I am learning to trust Him, more than ever. I am learning to rest in the greatness of who He is, of His love.

Well, this post has gone rather differently than I expected.

I was really going to write about the sorrow I know of in other’s hearts. I suppose… I am, in a way, because without my sorrow I would not understand (quite literally) the pain of others.

It my wonderful and terrible privilege to know the pain of so many who read this blog. The broken families. The loved ones gone in one way or another. The trafficking. The physical weakness. The broken hearts. The self-harm. The infertility. And so many other things. It makes me think much harder over what I say and don’t say.

I guess… I guess I just want to say… that… I am so glad.

God has given me an amazing gift in all of my tangled sorrow. The gift of compassion. Oh, what a terrible cost. But it is worth it.

*grins a bit* I’m still awful at showing it, though. So thank you to those who I try to comfort for your patience with my awkward hugs and my attempts at just listening and not fixing (which very often fail. :P).

But know this–my heart hurts so badly for your pain.

Especially when I pray. And that’s the thing. This is such a God-gift. I have long moaned (inwardly) over my lack of ability to feel other’s pain and comfort them appropriately–my natural lack of love, basically. But I realized that it’s actually a blessing–because now when I am able to be like that, I know that it’s God working in me. I still get in the way sometimes though. 😛

For those readers whose pain I know, and for those whose pain I don’t–hold on. God is really, truly good. And He really, truly does know what He’s doing. And He really, truly can make beauty out of your ashes. I know it’s impossible. But this is God we are talking about.

*smiles*

I’m Back (Also a Rainbow)

For those who were waiting for my next post on the abortion issue, I’m sorry I haven’t posted it yet. I inadvertently took a break from blogging as well as social media for the last few weeks… I’m back now. I should be continuing the series shortly. 🙂 Until then… I just wanted to share this with you.

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Yesterday morning, I was getting ready to go to work, putting my things in the mini-van. I sat down inside the side door way, and began praying for the Bright Lights Leaders (we had a meeting on Sunday and they all gave requests.) I looked up for some reason, and to my total shock, there was a brilliant rainbow. My mouth literally fell open. 😀 It was not raining at all… It did not make any sense that there was a rainbow.

It was one of those times where you just feel like God is smiling at you. That He knows, He cares, and He’s looking out for you.

It’s especially awesome because those things are all true. They aren’t just feelings. Still, though, it is very kind of Him to let us feel it sometimes, too. 🙂

Fairy Tales (And How it Really is.)

So… in fairy-tale land, this is how it supposedly goes.

1. Person (no, wait, fairy) has some sort of trial or hard time or whatever.

2. Fairy struggles with dark thoughts and heartache.

3. Fairy finds Jesus (or already knows Jesus.)

4. Everything is great–no more problems.

5. The End.

Okay, so actually there are no fairy tales like that. (That I know of.) But it seems to be the way people imagine it should/does go.

But it doesn’t. 

(Unless I’m a freak of nature, in which case you can just ignore this post. But somehow I doubt I’m the only one.)

It’s more like this:

1. Person has some sort of trial or hard time or whatever.

2. Person struggles with dark thoughts and heartache.

3. Person finds Jesus (or already knows Jesus and remembers this.)

4. Person still cries a lot. The main difference is that they pray a lot now too, but many of their prayers are basically, “Sob, help I don’t understand, I’m glad you do, sob.” (seriously, I am not a dramatic or emotional or sappy or cry-y person, but I’ve been there.)

5. Person is surprised when the sun comes out and they can see how God is working

6. And then Person watches in dismay as the clouds come back and just being alive is hard.

7. Person looks up again and “sees” God there, suffering too.

8. Person is really grateful but it’s still hard.

9. Person learns to trust God more, and timidly starts believing that they are LOVED.

10. Person realizes that maybe this is what is meant by healing.

11. Person still hurts so much they want to scream sometimes.

12. Person holds on, barely (or rather God holds them.).

13. Person realizes that healing doesn’t mean not caring and it doesn’t mean not hurting, and they become okay with that.

14. It’s years later and they still have really awful days.

15. But they know it will all make sense in God’s time, and so they keep moving forward in God’s strength.

16. And it doesn’t End, not here. It still hurts. It still goes round and round in cycles that seem endless.

17. When Person goes Home, finally, it will end–and they’ll see the glory of it all.

18. But until then, Person will learn to love and trust and hope in God’s strength, knowing that His timing is the best of all.

People say you’ll heal, that time will help, just pray about it.

And it’s almost a year and a half in and it still hurts so much I can hardly bear it. In fact, I can’t. And that’s why I continually go to my Papa God, begging Him for help and casting my burden on Him. Because how else can I live?

And others let me glimpse their pain and I feel the vastness of it, underneath their heart-surface. And it overwhelms me, because how do I tell them that even though there’s hope, even when you have Jesus, it is still so hard? How do I tell them, when I see that they are writhing with pain underneath, that it will all be worth it in the end and they’ll see, God will use it, that He already is?

Sometimes my answers sound so “pat”, so unhelpful, so Christianese–even though I care so much it physically hurts. So I do the only thing I know will help, and I bring them to God in prayer with a heart that breaks with it all.

Oh, Lord Jesus, come quickly.

Dreams and Dying and Real Life

Last night I dreamt that I was going to be hung. It sounds rather horrific, but fortunately I managed to realize (in my dream) that it was a dream, so it didn’t actually happen. I also reasoned that people don’t really kill others by hanging much anymore. (I am still logical even in dreams. Fancy that.)

So then, in my dream, I started wondering–if I really were about to be hung, what would I want to say first? And also, what does one think about while one is being hung? (Sorry. My brain just really does work like this.) I also wondered how I’d feel about what I’ve done so far in my life.

It was really quite fascinating, (especially since I knew it really wasn’t going to happen) though I don’t remember any brilliant revelations or speeches anything like that.

But… what would I say if I were going to die soon?

I’m not quite sure. God knows best, so I’d definitely be asking Him what to say. Overall, though… I think it would be something along the lines of, God is awesome even in this, I can’t wait to see Him, I hope you know Him, if you don’t, please seek Him. (I imagine I’d speak in run-on sentences if I only had a few minutes left to speak.)

What would I think about while I was getting hung? (Sorry if this is making your neck hurt.)

In my dream, I remember having a sort of “duh” moment: Jesus. What else would I think about? I think that’s a good answer. I’d also probably think about seeing God and heaven and others who had gone ahead. I might think back on my life. I might think about people I loved who were still on earth. That would be sad, but there’d be hope of them coming along soon. I’d probably think about random fascinating things like I usually do. Or maybe… maybe it would be so painful that all I could think about was Jesus. Maybe I’d just be glad that I could suffer for Him, and thankful that He did this, for me, only so much worse.

What would I think about what I’ve done so far?

I dunno. There’s a lot to be glad of… but there would be so much more to be desired. I think I’d be sad over all the wasted time. I think I’d wish that I had spent more of my life joyfully serving and loving God and others. I think I’d wish I could’ve brought more glory to God. I’d be grateful for grace…

Sometimes I think it would be easier to die early. Then people could read all my journals and blog posts and stuff, and they could see all these lofty notions of following hard after God (and also how scribbly my handwriting can be and how I’m not really that good at spelling and how repetitive and lame sounding I can be.), and they’d think I was an amazingly godly person. Though, actually, I’m not, not really… not like I want to be, not like I talk or write.

But I’m still alive, and that means that I actually have to do the stuff. (Plus, who cares what people think when you’re actually dying/dead??)

I can’t just write, can’t just rant, can’t just blog, can’t just teach, can’t just talk, can’t just write encouragy letters/emails/FB G+ posts… I have to get down on my knees and let God change my heart and life. And I have been. And it is hard and it hurts and I still try too much.

But Jesus Christ Himself is living in me and I am in Him, and He is teaching me, leading me, changing me–and surely He can make even me into the vessel He wants.

What would you say, think, reflect on if you were going to be/getting hung?

Look Up!

“Look up! Find the walrus!”

Briefly, she looks up.

I pour the water, trying to rinse away soap.

She jerks her head down–too soon.

The wailing begins.

I wipe her eyes patiently and explain, again, that if she’ll just keep looking up, the water won’t go in her eyes.

We try again. Same thing. I tell her to look up. She looks down. The water goes in her eyes.

This scene, or one very like it, has been repeated countless times in the bathtub in our home (and I have a sneaking suspicion that it may happen in other homes too.). For some reason, little people find it very difficult to understand that when they look down, the water goes in their eyes and hurts them. This seems very odd to me, since it happens every single time. And yet, they continue. For a while. Until finally, finally they learn.

I was thinking about this recently, after yet another bath time that included this little scene… and I realized that I am like that.

God says, “Look up! Look at Me!”

Briefly, I obey.

And then I jerk my head back down and–whoosh go the troubles, into my eyes, blinding me to His goodness and causing me unnecessary pain.

And He patiently reminds me, once again, to look up.

It’s so simple, really, and so common sense. Yet, in my foolish rebellion, I continue to look back down. And He continues to remind me.  I’m very grateful.

And someday… someday, maybe I’ll finally learn, too, like all the siblings preceding Esther did–just look up.

And keep looking up.