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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Never have I been so glad to see mud. In my garden where there should be grass, clinging to bottoms of my boys’ boots as they climb into the mini van, smeared across the mudroom floor. I’ll tire of it, complain about it eventually, but for now I’m glad for anything, anything but the salt and grit my family tracked into the house over the long months of this cold, drawn-out winter.

Mud, yes, we can see it, now the afternoon sun has warmed the earth. But I awoke this morning to a new layer of snow, and it lingers still–in corners and shadows where the sun doesn’t shine. And so still, we are waiting. Waiting for balmy breezes, and for tender green things to make their appearance. Waiting for color, and an end to this black and white world. Waiting, waiting, waiting for spring.

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The Kilns, former home of C.S. Lewis

The Kilns, former home of C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia series

And I’m feeling that wait as I clean the mudroom floor, glance out the window at the snow, now grey, littered with twigs and leaves, and pock-marked by the rain. I’m waiting for spring, sure, but also waiting for answers to prayers I haven’t even bothered to pray, waiting for clearly marked miracles and the next bend in the road.

Because all that waiting can make me feel trapped. Trapped, like I’ve been all winter, trapped here rattling around the house with the boys,  when most days the temperatures were too low to even get out and exhaust ourselves in the daylight and snow. Trapped in the sameness and monotony, wondering why I do each little thing that I do day in and day out. Stuck with that unsettled feeling that something’s not right, and it’s more than my décor, or how clean the house is, or even how many cuddles I give the boys. Because no matter how I try to make it so, this is not really my home. And no matter how I wish it so, though I know the very end, I don’t know what comes next. 

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Oxford University, where Lewis taught

And it’s strange how much waiting can feel like fear. Strange how sameness, instead of affirming who I am, can leave me feeling oh, so purposeless, so lost.

I feel lost, but I keep sweeping that mud into a pile, a pile of black dirt I can scoop right up. And while I sweep, I think of Susan and Lucy in Narnia, waiting in the darkness of that almost spring as they watch the Lion leave them hidden in the trees to go forward and face evil. They’re waiting, though they don’t know what for, and they’re frightened because they don’t yet know the ending, or how much they can trust.

And then after, when it’s over–when it is finished–they run to caress him, to free him even though they think he’s gone. And they don’t even know what he’s accomplished, what’s been given–for Edmund and for them. And they don’t know the power he has over darkness, over evil, over death. But for the moment they are waiting, fearing every dreadful probability their minds can fathom. They fear because they’re waiting, and they don’t know what’s coming, though we on the outside, do.

So I remind myself that these times come, and I can’t escape it. In this world we must wait, though our eternity begins now.  And even though we know He’s with us in Spirit, we’re not home, not with Him like we long to be. But we know, though Lucy and Susan didn’t, that it’s coming–that being with Him. And we know, though they didn’t, just what’s already been done for us.

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Gardens in Oxford University

And in these frequent times of in-between waiting, sometimes the only thing to do is sing. Sometimes when your heart is heavy–with waiting, or uncertainty, or fear–the only thing to do is lift your voice and sing out praises to the One in whose sameness you can always put your trust. Sing it like you mean it, loud and clear. Sing of what He’s done, sing of how He’s won. Sing it till you feel His presence, feel His arms wrapped tight around.

And so I’m singing, and I’m sweeping. Moving boots and wet door mats. Cleaning this floor like I’ll clean it tomorrow, like I’ll clean it the day after that. And though I’m waiting, still I’m smiling.Because it all does matter. This home, and the cuddles, and what we say and do here.

Because He’s here. And He’s returning. And when He does, He’ll really hold us. He’ll hold us and the wait will end.

He stood for a second, his eyes very bright, his limbs quivering, lashing himself with his tail. Then he made a leap high over their heads and landed on the other side of the Table. Laughing, though she didn’t know why, Lucy scrambled over it to reach him. Aslan leaped again. A mad chase began. Round and round the hill-top he led them, now hopelessly out of their reach, now letting them almost catch his tail, now diving between them, now tossing them in the air with his huge and beautifully velveted paws and catching them again, and now stopping unexpectedly so that all three of them rolled over together in a happy laughing heap of fur and arms and legs. It was such a romp as no one has ever had except in Narnia; and whether it was more like playing with a thunderstorm or playing with a kitten Lucy could never make up her mind.

– From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

by C.S. Lewis

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Running to His arms . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3f3sNiYpuF4

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Avonlea xo

Find me on Instagram @happylittlesigh orFacebook @happylittlesigh

MONTHLY Newsletter, Morning Cuppa Tea at happylittlesigh@gmail.com 

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Finding beauty in the everyday 

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Sometimes it helps, remembering where you’ve been.

Other times it’s enough to leave you in a fit of tears.

Make you crawl into bed, yank up the covers

to hide your face,

blot your tears.

It can be regret

for what you did

or didn’t do

that leaves you feeling this way.

Regret for what you did

or what was done to you.

Other times it’s the life you had

but don’t have any more.

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And it’s a combination, I suppose, of all those things, that can get me, really get me, make me want to head for bed, cocoon myself in the covers, throw a temper tantrum of the grown-up type.

A photo can remind me. Bring to mind all that once was.

A photo, or basement, maybe. A basement full of boxes that represent my life.

Boxes. Time capsules.

And that’s just what I created, though I didn’t know it those many years ago, when I wrapped my treasured possessions in old t-shirts and lace, arranged them carefully in empty banana boxes until someday when I was older, when I’d want them again, when I’d have a daughter . . .

And I didn’t know, when with slim, tanned hands, I slid the lids off the dozens of silver boxes we received for our wedding, that I wouldn’t hear the rustle of that tissue paper or see the gleaming stainless steel and sparkling crystal again for another ten years . . .

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Now, with a house of my own back on this side of the Atlantic, they have been delivered to me—water stained banana boxes and silver gift boxes alike, and a thousand memories come back, along with a thousand questions, as I unpack it all and set on the floor around me.

It brings a smile, leaves an ache, when I remember. When I remember that we only meant to stay in Scotland for a year, though it turned out to be eight. When I recall how desperately I’ve always wanted a daughter, though God knew I needed sons.

And I’d like to claim it doesn’t matter. That I’m above all that.

All that wishing for weekend trips to London.

London, when it was just a few hours’ drive away.

England, with all the birthplaces and resting places of those literary geniuses I so adore.

Scotland. Our home.

Our stone house in the village, with our view of the valley, and the short walk to a friend’s front door.

And the rain—how I learned to love the rain!—and the sound of the kettle when we made our tea.

And the mist, and how it never did stop putting wonder in my heart.

And I’d like to claim I haven’t cried for a little girl I could gift with my tea set, my Anne of Green Gables doll.

Yeah, I could pretend. I could pretend that it’s fine.

It’s just fine with me.

And I don’t have to wrestle. Not one little bit.

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But I know, and you know, that would all be one fat lie.

And there’s such a thing, I’ve learned, as pain that’s clean.

Clean pain, like from a surgeon’s knife.

Clean pain, when you learn to see

He knows a better way.

And though I’ve always known it, in theory, that His ways are best, that He’d take you round the world and back again to bring you closer to Him, I didn’t really know it till I’d gone.

Round the world. And back.

And I have to still my heart a little, to realize He’d do all that

just for me.

And so when I doubt, when life seems about as predictable as a Kansas plain, when I’m pretending to let go, but my thumb and finger are pinching, holding tight to something I think I need to make me happy, that I can’t live without, that’s when I’ve got, just got, to remember what He’s done.

On the cross.

In my life.

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The adventure! I’d never dared to dream.

My sin! Yet He has drawn me back.

My former life can seem quite rosy, in the scrapbook of my mind.

It’s easy to forget the shadows when we think of the past.

But when Love is waiting to catch you

it’s best to let go.

Let go and rest.

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You might also be inspired by “Sinking in Deep” https://happylittlesigh.com/2013/11/02/sinking-in-deep/

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