Monday, May 11, 2015

God Mothers Us (#SmallWonder Link-Up)


Getting found almost always means being lost for a while. – Anne Lamott in Small Victories

Too high.  Too great.  Too marvelous.
 
These are the kind of things my heart was snagged on this morning.  My eyes were lifted up toward the future, toward a time of change which I sense is coming and cannot yet see. 

We need extra income.  I need meaningful work aside from mothering.  And yet I cannot seem to get the two things to align. 

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We left in the middle of the sermon this morning after I turned to my husband crying, worrying over past decisions and anxious for the future.  Outside the sun blazed as we sat in its heat, unenlightened, circling again the same questions without answers.  Then we went back inside the still-new-to-us building to get our kids. 

No one stands around talking at this new church, the parking lot and Sunday school classrooms empty in seconds flat.  Alarmed at having been the last kids left for several weeks now, Isaiah made me promise this morning to come to get him “fik” (quick) when the service was over. 

Today I was the first one there and his face beamed.  “That’s my Mom,” he said, buoyant with his own unique brand of happy love. 

We stopped at Home Depot on the way home and I ran into the garden area while the rest waited in the van.  I was looking for perennials to fill the two permanent pots out front, but most of what they had were flashy annuals.  The perennials sat in the back, discounted and dry, so I left without buying anything.  I didn’t want a bargain just because it was cheap and I wanted something that would last. 

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By the time we got back home, my heart had found its footing again.  I can't tell you exactly how it happened, but it had something to do with my OneWord for the year – small – and something also to do with this Psalm, the one I shared last week in stillness.

Lord, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.

But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time on and forevermore.
(Psalm 131)

I studied this Psalm in seminary with well known Old Testament scholar, Patrick Miller.  As a Psalm of Ascent, Psalm 131 is associated with the pilgrimages to Jerusalem.  From what I remember, it’s believed that these psalms were written and sung or prayed on the journey.  Miller suggested this psalm, because of its intimate reference to “the weaned child that is with me” is one of the few we can reliably conclude was written by a woman. 

A woman walking.  A woman on a journey, praying.  A woman looking at her child and seeing in the child’s face a mirror for her own soul - the calmness, contentment of a child trusting the one with whom it walks. 

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Earlier this week Isaiah lost his sister’s helium balloon.  His little hand opened for a second and the balloon shot up into the air with its ribbon tail trailing behind.  

“How will we get it?” he asked.

“We can’t.” I said, with finality.  Then I knelt and hugged him as he raised his hands to cover his eyes.  I would’ve given a lot to be able to reach up and grab that balloon. 

The balloon was unfettered, lost. 

//

That’s how my soul felt this morning.  I was looking too far ahead, worrying about decisions already made and before I knew it I was somewhere far away like that balloon, lost.  I forgot the One I am walking with, the One who bears me on the journey, the One I trust to get me “fik” when I am waiting.

God does not leave us lost for long, though.  Like a woman sweeping, like a shepherd with its sheep, like a father with a son – God seeks we who are forever getting lost.  God plucks us out of a wide sky of fear and worry, out of the lofty heights of ambition and anxiety.  God mothers us on the journey as we walk together, side-by-side.     



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Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.

What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God? 

That's my proposal - that we gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.  

You're invited to link-up a brief post about a small moment of wonder.  Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are. 

While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.  



8 comments:

  1. I am reading in the Psalms of Ascent right now, and so appreciate your insights. I've never heard the conjecture that a woman wrote Psalm 131, but I see that, and I love the idea of a woman on a journey. It sounds as if you, too, are on a journey, and I pray that you will find answers to the questions that your heart is asking in these days. I pray that you will find fellowship, and that your church could be a source of joy for you, and I pray, today, for your garden. May it be full, and fruitful, and blooming with beauty.
    Thank you for hosting us today.

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  2. Kelly, so much of our time here is spent looking ahead or looking back. As I read your post, I remembered this quote I read last night by Oswald Chambers ... "Beware of spending too much time looking back at what you once were when God wants you to become something you've never been." I think the same could be said of looking ahead. May we keep our eyes on today & not miss what He has for us in this moment and what He is wanting to work in our lives. Thank you for this much needed reminder this morning. Blessings!

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  3. That time of in-between, the unknown, the answer-less---it's a hard time indeed. Glad you were able to make peace with it. I still love that your OneWord is small. Such a powerful concept and I love the way the Lord is unveiling it to you this year. Our eyes aren't made to see too far ahead. I know it's by the Creator's design but it's still hard for me to accept at times too.

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  4. Oh my... from that quote from Anne Lamott, to the Maternal Heart of God, to Come fik, to everyone leaving church so fast... I feel you on this one, my friend!

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  5. Kelly,
    Oh, your words resonated with me and especially the line about how God doesn't leave us lost for long...may you continue to be found as you wait and trust in this time....it is so hard to wait...((hugs))

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  6. The way you weave all these stories together into threads of the same; the way you draw out images of a mothering God; the way you remind us how a mother journeying, walking, with her weaned baby strapped to her mirrors her own soul. I love the way you write, the way you see, the way you walk this journey. I'm so grateful for you.

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  7. I've looked anxiously after that lost balloon. For answers, reasons, a plan. Only in remembering my childhood explanation, the one I tell my children - that "balloons go to heaven to deliver prayers" do I relax. What a gorgeous, hope filled telling and remembrance of the mothering spirit of God.

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  8. "God plucks us out of a wide sky of fear and worry, out of the lofty heights of ambition and anxiety. God mothers us on the journey as we walk together, side-by-side."

    Oh Kelly, this was so timely for me to read. I am greatly encouraged. I spend so much time in anxious worry about the future, so much time in useless regret for the past - and I know that God doesn't want me to be in either place. He wants me in His eternal *NOW* - resting in His arms, trusting Him for the journey, one step at a time.

    I will calm and quiet my soul.

    GOD BLESS!

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