Sunday, November 20, 2011

normal.

Harris and I are slowly but surely settling into our new apartment. So many boxes, so little space. In talking with people, they always welcome us back from the honeymoon and the next question to follow is about getting settled in. We always include the response that we are very ready to just have everything settled and situated so that we can continue on with a "normal life". Normal life, eh?

After thinking about it further, I started to realize that the term we were thinking of rarely pans out the way that we picture it in our heads. Life in general is never as smooth-sailing and routine as we sometimes would like; something always comes up. Our initial response to "abnormal" life is always frustration, annoyance, sadness, or confusion. However in complacency we start to think that we do not need a Savior. Abnormal life is what creates a desire in our hearts for the One who can hold all things together and work all things for our good. If all things are going exactly as we want and plan, we would be our own god.

I'm glad life is never "normal". I'm glad none of us are "normal". God is creative, imaginative, and all-knowing. I am glad He knows exactly what I need and when I need it. He knows there are things in me that need to be worked out through this and every stage of my life.

Marriage truly does, as I was advised in engagement, reveal things that you didn't know about your spouse but mostly that you didn't know about yourself. I think that we try to fool ourselves (or maybe I should just speak for myself) into thinking that we are normal and the way we speak, think, and act are all normal. Normal can sometimes equate to selfish, rude, or something else ugly. When before we could put our best foot forward, being married allows the person you love the most to see the "other foot" that you always kept hidden before. We get tired, hungry, grumpy, and we sin. When God created this relationship to imitate that of Himself and the church, he created the perfect illustration - of course.

Anyways, all of that rambling to say that I'm learning that I love not being "normal" or having things "normal". God is at work and I see Him the most in my mess. Thanks be to Him that His grace is enough!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

helpless.

I feel as though an appropriate place to start off the new blog is with a completely honest thought. As I have gotten older I have gradually become more fearful of flying. Great. My husband wants to be a missionary pilot and, for those of you who know him, is completely fearless.

To begin, let me guide you into the mindset of boarding a plane. You know the routine: you walk down the rather warm portable hallway that connects the airport to the airplane, you step foot onto the aircraft and then proceed to shuffle your way down the tight aisle, pulling your too-large carry on behind you while repeating "excuse me" and "sorry" as you bump other passengers along the way. As you scan the number-letter combos on the low ceilings, you eventually (if you're like us and fly coach) come to your designated seat assignment. You proceed to look around and determine in your mind what your flight experience will be like based on who all is sitting around you and where your seat is located.

The pilot comes on the overhead in a muffled voice and describes where you are going, what time you're expected to get there, and then instructs you to pay attention to the safety instructions given by the smiling attendant. You fasten your seatbelt. You "turn off" your electronics. You wait.

It is at this point, I have recently discovered, that my nerves begin to make their presence known. I don't know the statistic but I believe that many people are like me when it comes to this next part. The plane rounds the final turn on the airstrip, the sound of the engines on the plane become louder, and you take a deep breath. The plane increases speed and races down the runway. There is a moment right at the end of the paved road where the plane leaves the ground and as it ascends into the sky, the pressure makes you sink into your seat. For whatever reason, this physical experience has become such a source of fear for me. I think I'm so much more aware of how helpless I am in that situation. I am (seemingly) in the pilot's hands, however skilled or not they may be.

As I feverishly and anxiously prayed for our safety, God sweetly reminded me of whose hands I am really in. "Yes, the pilot has control of the plane, but I have control of your life. I am holding you in my hands." The butterflies were physically still in my tummy, but I had a renewed mindset about the flight. My God who knows me and loves me and has prepared room for me in His Kingdom, will welcome me there with open arms when the time is right.

"The Lord is my light and my salvation -- whom [what] shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life -- of whom [what] shall I be afraid?" - Psalm 27:1

Sometimes it takes the reminder that life is fragile to spur us into remembering who knitted the strong stitches of our valuable life together before we were even known in this world.


*To add to the sweetness that is our new marriage, it doesn't hurt having a loving, patient and trained-as-a-pilot husband sitting beside you holding your hand and describing each sound that you hear or motion that you feel as you take-off and land.