Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Serious Am I?

Perhaps I can trace my thoughts over the past two weeks to conversations with my cousin Dave. He and his wife, Rachel, are missional artists in Köln, Germany. As a potter, his story of reclaiming broken clay is all about redeeming the future. I posted about brokenness and the impact of his work a few months ago.

Dave and Rachel spent a week with us this month while in the US on Home Assignment. I spent many hours talking with and listening to them as we shared about the struggles and brokenness in our lives through the eyes of The Potter of Jeremiah 18:1-4.

It seems my thoughts continue to dwell on these things. Am I centered on His Wheel? Am I willing to be formed into something that pleases The Potter? With all the pressures of life, can I even feel His hands molding me?

Today I received a link to a video entitled, God's Chisel. I watched with tears as I realized how I fail to address the things that keep me from reflecting Christ. I know what they are. Yet I ignore, excuse, forget, dismiss, cover up . . . you pick the verb . . . I just don't want to deal with the things that get in the way of what really matters.

I know the video is 9 minutes.
Who has 9 minutes?
My prayer is that you will
give yourself 9 minutes
and see how He transforms
and redeems us for His glory.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memories and Realities of Mother's Day

Today ~ Mother's Day, 2009 ~ I am rather emotional. Sweet memories and painful realities have me torn to know what I am really feeling. So if this post seems to meander past green pastures and arid wastelands, all in the simple curve in the road, that about sums it up. For Mother’s Day, perhaps like no other day, seems to send me on a journey.

As a child, I fashioned priceless gifts for my mom on Mother’s Day. You remember the treasures ~ an empty tin can painted to be a pencil holder; a colorful paper flower with each petal displaying a pledge to do chores for her; a pin made with sequins and beads. Perhaps my favorite Mother’s Day gift I gave my mom was a shiny necklace with a scene of a tropical paradise, all made from butterfly wings. I sacrificially purchased it with my tickets at the school carnival. Really. It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw, and when she wore it, we both recognized the enormous value of that second-hand piece of costume jewelry.

I became a mother in 1977. Amy was due to arrive three days before Mother’s Day, and I eagerly awaited my first Mother’s Day. Sadly, she came 10 days late. I was well aware as I shuffled into church on Mother’s Day, 1977 that I would have to wait until 1978 to officially qualify to be honored on Mother’s Day.

When Amy and Scott were little I was awaken each Mother’s Day with breakfast in bed. Amid the giggles and battling elbows to be the one who carried the tray, I knew I was receiving the most delicious peanut butter toast any mother could ever consume. And, they presented me with their own priceless, handmade gifts, which I still treasure.

This year is different. To be honest, I am grieving. My heart breaks once again for what might have been if Scott were still alive. My soul is heavy as I carry the loss of other young moms who have placed their children in the lap of Abba Father. My eyes weep for my friends whose infant son has lived all of his two and a half months of life at Children’s Hospital.

And yet I find that it is when I am in my darkest place that I more clearly see the pain of others. On this Mother’s Day, I grieve with those whose arms are empty because their wombs are barren. I see the pain in the eyes of young women who always thought they would marry and have children of their own. I am saddened for the children who never knew the love and nurture of a caring mother.

So today, as millions of moms are honored . . . as you honor your own mother, or open handmade trinkets or expensive gifts in your own green pasture . . . look around you. There are arid wastelands where you can be a stream of refreshing love, as you become the arms of God’s grace today.