Tender days

 

There was a plan.

Roger and I have been faithfully working on that plan for many years.

The plan was to be debt free. To have our house paid off along with all the debts in our lives.

Now imagine being able to know that the finish line was only a year away and then…..

A young person walks into my house and compliments us on a lovely home and asks me a question, “what brings you back to Lawrenceville?” To which I answer her with our long term goal of being debt free. She then looks at me with her beautiful big shiny eyes full of excitement and curiosity and asks me, “then what?”

I look at her and stutter, “what do you mean, ‘then what ’?” The goal is TO BE DEBT FREE, to which she says, “yeah, that’s awesome, then what”. Can I tell you that my ears started ringing a little bit. My mouth went dry and my heart was beating a little too fast.

All I can think of was, “oh no, there might be some reason we are doing this other than to ENJOY BEING DEBT FREE.” I don’t know why it never entered my brain. To know me is to know that I overthink everything in life. Everything in life is not an exaggeration. Thinking is what I do in my free time and I believe I even do it while I’m sleeping!

It is as if I literally saw a new mountain arise behind the mountain we were currently scaling. The mountain called debt.

Then the wrestle began with the still small voice.

No, no, no, no, no, no, it can’t be that there is another adventure to be had. Another mountain to scale, another B zone to conquer.

God, you do know that I just turned 50 right? That’s oldish if I do say so myself. Not the time to be taking financial risks and doing daring things (I said in my best hobbit voice). It’s time to grow up and enjoy some of the payoff that living right and hard work has to offer.

Then I could sense that heightened awareness of God’s presence wanting to get a word in edge wise. “You were created to live on Mission Rozy”, is what I kept hearing over and over again.

In my younger years I would have done the not so polite thing of putting my metaphoric hands over my ears and start singing lalalalalalalala, I can’t hear you, by choosing busyness and distraction.

But being older and a bit wiser, I know those are just delaying tactics.

It was time for me to just listen to the whisper of possibility, to pull an old dream out of the dusty basement of my soul and remember it.

When I was younger I would dream about having a house where learning and living and thriving could happen. Where people who were worn and tired or just needed to remember the goodness of God could come and be rekindled. A house of bread and wine, of laughter and joy and surrounded by all things beautiful.

“Home is a place of ministry. Redeeming words, thoughts, and actions are shared and taught, the wisdom and instructions of God is passed along, and God’s love is offered to all who come under its influence.” -From the Living Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sarah and Sally Clarkson

I had packed that dream away and tucked it just out of arms reach. But it wasn’t out of the Spirit’s reach.

After much prayer and courageous conversation, Roger and I decided it was time to house hunt again, closer to where I work in Gainesville.

To find a home where souls could flourish. Where our whole family could continue to thrive together.

I’m happy/scared to say that we found one. We are set to close on March 18th and move on the 19th.

Moving is hard on my sentimental soul.

So if you think of me offer up a prayer.

Sky Cottage

Version 2

IMG_5619

On a lake in Gainesville GA.

An unscripted life.


The last few years of my life are radically different than I had planned.
Having sat in a church with a strong leadership emphasis, I was diligent to set out goals and worked to achieve them.  There is generally nothing wrong with that unless you happen to be praying for the “more” of God.

Then all of a sudden I read books like Crazy Love by Chan or Radical by Platt and my heart became disenchanted with my limited experience as a disciple of Christ.  Don’t get me wrong I was busy and productive on paper and on the church calendar but there was this deep witness in my spirit that what I was living was too safe and scripted. It was like I had written out a complete manuscript and I just needed God to fill in the few empty spaces.  Somehow God wanted a whole blank page and the thought of that just filled me with anxiety.  God was asking me to live a life I couldn’t control.

Something in me kept whispering that it was time to take the love of God out of the walls of the Church and that the church needed to have legs on it.  The Lord has always been relentless in my life.  God thoughts can at time feel like a thorn in my brain that cannot be forgotten.  The dialogue when a little like this:
“Rozy, when are you going leave this safe structure behind and go be the church?”
“Rozy,  when are you going to take the light into the darkness?”
“Rozy my grace is sufficient for you, why don’t you trust me?”

My answers sounded like this:

“I can’t afford to travel the world Lord, what on earth are you thinking?”
“ It’s not safe to travel to areas where their governmental structures are unpredictable or non-existent.”  “What if I get into an accident or need a hospital?”
“ I don’t have a missional call on my life, I never wanted to be a missionary.”

On and on those conversations would go and at time I thought I presented my case quite well but winning was losing in God’s economy.  I kept talking myself right out of the more of God.

Then one day I stopped making excuses.  An invitation was given. I said yes and never turned back.  In the last few years I’ve worked, cried, laughed and invested more intentionally than I ever thought possible.  I’ve walked on the 5 different continents and I’ve lost count of how many countries I’ve visited.  I’ve ministered to missionaries and loved on strangers. Fed and housed more young people than ever before.  My heart has been torn open to be an unrecognizable size.  I have had to face fears I never imagined and experienced extraordinary measure of the grace of God I didn’t know existed.

I feel like I’m finally part of His plan instead of having God in mine. I have only one regret, that I didn’t say yes sooner.

The experience of trust.

Trust – what an interesting word and a delightful experience if ever you are the one being trusted. I often spend a lot of time thinking.  One of the thoughts that I often struggle with at the root of any situation is essentially my lack of trust in God. I really want to trust Him (God) but I don’t know that I ever wondered what God was experiencing in moments that I did trust Him.

The other day as I was playing with Storie, my almost 2-year-old grandbaby and I received a little demonstration of this pleasing experience. Storie was running down the hill (my driveway) and enjoying the curb at the end of it. If you know anything about this age group, repetition is everything in their world. So up and down she went totally zoned out in her own world with the occasional hand grabbing if she were to lose her balance. That’s exactly how I do life, running around thinking I’m achieving something and just zoned out and enjoying the feeling of being in control.

All of a sudden my friends happen to drop by for a quick hello and wanted to take a peek at our little glory girl. Storie didn’t see them and just about ran into them as she was doing her little ritual of stepping over the curb and running before turning around and hitting repeat. She was stunned and startled as there were these mammoth objects in her path. My friends were exuberant to see her and she looked up, shook all over and ran right to me. Grabbed my pants with both hands and just about hurled herself up into my arms. She then proceeded to bury her little face between my shoulder and face and refused to say hello or look at my friends. I just laughed and held her tightly and breathed her in deeply.

What a compliment that she would love me so well and choose me as her place of safety. Somewhere down deep she knows her Nana loves her and wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her. In that moment I was more lost than she was. Her little head in my hand while I felt her curls under my fingertips. I was overwhelmed by her sweet scent and those strong little arms wrapped around me as if her life depended on it. What a joy to hold her and have her willingly hide herself my arms.

Wow, for one second I could imagine the heart of God when I turn to Him instead of running from Him.

Oh that I would delight His heart more often.

Wishing for West of Eden

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, it came with one command. Do not eat of it.

You live in paradise, you can have any fruit on any tree but that one.

With the tree comes the thought.

But why?

Why can’t I have a bite?

Why does God not want me to have it?
What is he keeping from me?
Why doesn’t he want me to have more?
I know what’s best for me don’t I?

Trust is broken.
Doubt is born.
Disobedience rules.
Now I am East of Eden, cut off from intimacy and trust with the God of all goodness.

I make East of Eden decisions everyday.
Today I will choose to stay away from the lying tree.
I will rejoice in the garden of goodness and when he calls my name, I will walk with Him in the cool of the day.