Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chaos All Around

I was told last week that I need to be writing in my blog more often.  Seems to be that in hard times I hide away like a tortoise in his shell, but it's in the happy times that I sing out like a bird.  Right now, these, are hard times, and the silence of my blog is testament to that fact.

I've been thinking a lot today about the "problem of evil" and of grace and of mercy... of God's plan and provision... of His sovereignty and love...  Far too many thoughts to write here, and they would be anything but coherent, I'm sure...  but, have you ever heard Sara Groves' song "Why it Matters"?

Sit with me and tell me once again
Of the story that's been told us
Of the power that will hold us
Of the beauty, of the beauty
Why it matters

Speak to me until I understand
Why our thinking and creating
Why our efforts of narrating
About the beauty, of the beauty
And why it matters

Like the statue in the park
Of this war torn town
And it's protest of the darkness
And the chaos all around
With its beauty, how it matters
How it matters

Show me the love that never fails
The compassion and attention
Midst confusion and dissention
Like small ramparts for the soul

How it matters
Like a single cup of water
How it matters

(listen to it here)

I was thinking of it tonight.  How lovely it is, and how true.  I am learning more about the beauty in the darkness, grace in the midst of chaos.

In the midst of pondering these hard things, a thought popped into my mind.  Perhaps not so much a thought as a picture... a picture of chaos--of chaos, but of joy and grace as well.

Do you see it?  My eldest there in the forefront acting as if there's nothing going on inches behind him, as he tries hard to show off his toy and snazzy looks to the camera?  And then there's the two younger in the background, vying for space, wrestling, fighting with no concern being in the picture at all.  Do you see it?  The chaos?  And the beauty?  The hilarity of it all?

Okay, so my troubles (and yours) are not so light and funny as my children's antics in front of the camera.  But, truly--do you see it?  The connection of darkness to light?  That there is no mercy without despair?  No grace without challenge?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Craft Therapy

I will admit that I am prone to anxiety.  And when there is a lot to be anxious about, I can easily slide into depression.  Years ago, after birthing my first son, I realized that unless I stopped the cycle, real damage could be done that would effect my whole family.  Now, I try to recognize the signs and do whatever I can to keep from sliding down that slope.

Lately, with all the hardships in my life, I have been tempted to hide away and wallow.  I'm thankful for a Spirit that reminds me that this is not the way to healing.  And while Bible reading and prayer is a wonderful tool for encouragement and right-thinking, I also find that I need a mission or focus when I find I have a lot of time on my hands.

Last night, as my husband sat working and my children were all in bed, I knew there was a lot of housework that could be done.  Of course, on the list of priorities, wallowing is higher than housework on any day.  And while Facebook can be a great way to catch up on other people's lives, it does nothing for my mood.  If anything, it's just a tool for coveting and jealousy when I'm already in a foul frame of mind.  I needed a focus.  I needed a project.  I needed some distraction.

So, to Pinterest I went.

I didn't have to scroll much to find a whole bunch of people were pinning this super cute baby carrier for a toddler.  I was like, "man, that's super cute.  My daughter would love that!"  I'm not so great at doing things well, but I am good at seeing something and making a basic copy.  Mine is never as good as the original.  But I know my intentions are this: to make what I want in as little time as I can and have it function for as long as I think the owner (of the thing) will use it.   So, in less than an hour, I had come up with my own version of a baby carrier, based on that super cute one mentioned above.

Using old clothes that had stains and holes, I put together my daughter's new favorite toy.  Of course, at this point in her life, she much prefers stuffed animals to dolls, and the animals don't quite fill out the carrier correctly.  But that's okay.  We made do.  I actually put a child-sized scarf in the bottom pocket so her favorite stuffed turtle could poke it's head through instead of sitting way at the bottom with it's feet hanging out. :)  And that pocket on the front?  Actually a piece of a dress that had stains on it and was unraveling.  The top with the ruffles was part of the bodice of the dress.  Yep.

Well, I have to say I'm pretty excited about my project.  Not only did it do the trick of distracting me from my foul mood, but (and even better), now my daughter is ALL SMILES!  And what's better than seeing your two year old light up a room with her joy?  Not much.