Again

Here I am again, processing through another set of changes and struggling to put words to the immense magnitude of it all in my heart. It feels like trying to scoop up an ocean in a bucket.

Yesterday Derek was let go from his job at the Roasterie.

The news didn’t come as a complete surprise this time. About a month ago his supervisor sat him down and gave him a list of things that he needed to improve on (things the he felt he was doing already) within the next two weeks or his position would be terminated. She assured him the next day that the threat of termination was really more of a “scare tactic” (an effective one, too, from the standpoint of this wife) and said that they would discuss it again at the end of the two weeks. That date came and passed with no meeting, though. When Derek asked her about it, she said it was postponed until one of the other supervisors could be there, too, so we thought that perhaps things were settled. Derek was getting more hours again and things seemed to be going better in general. But then yesterday he went to his other supervisor with a scheduling question (they kept scheduling him during times that he wasn’t available) and was told that, actually, they’d decided to let him go. His supervisor pulled an official letter off a shelf (how long had that been there?), handed it to him, told him that if he had any questions he could call the main office, and sent him home. Just like that.

With that news rolled in a whole host of questions, from the serious and weighty (Will my job cover all our expenses? Will we still be able to go home for thanksgiving? What the heck is life going to look like in the next couple months?) to the ridiculously small and petty (Where will we get coffee now?). I have this urge to scoop them all up, collect all the details, and fit them together like a puzzle so I know exactly what everything is going to look like, exactly what to expect, exactly how it’s all going to work out. But that’s not how life works, is it? It’s certainly not how faith works.

Last night we scrolled through lists of jobs on craigslist. This morning we sat together and made a budget, discussing where we can possibly cut back expenses. Right now Derek is at the local community college, talking to someone about the possibility of going back to school next semester (something he’s been thinking about for a while). And I still have my job, crazy though it may be. Practically, I know we’ll be okay. Hopefully we’ll be more than just okay. Perhaps this is opening a door to whatever God has planned for us.

But to be honest, a part of me is so tired of the constant transition, constant instability. We just went through this three months ago. When Derek got this job the Roasterie, it seemed to offer a glimmer of hope for something more than just getting by in the moment. And yet here we are again. By God’s grace, my heart has stayed fairly steady through each transition. Time and time again, faith, hope, and love (the three that remain) have buoyed me back to the surface. But will we ever get to a season where every day stops feeling like a battle to fight, another obstacle to push through for the hope of what’s to come someday?

I feel like all of this has simplified my dreams lately: A home. A garden. Good, honest work for both of us, where we can serve faithfully. Friends nearby. Family. Time with God. Time with each other, unburdened by the heaviness of depression and discouragement. Simple celebration of each season. Vibrant relationships. Fullness of life. Growth. Simplicity. Rest. Joy. Balance (yes, here my dreams start to trail away from the concrete and into the less-definable longings of my heart).

I remember a while ago Michael Flowers spoke about the Psalms of lament and how most of them include the questions “Why?” and “How long?” I can feel those same questions welling up inside right now. Abba, will you meet us here and turn my cries “why?” and “how long?” to heartfelt cries of praise!

“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that sees for itself is not hope. For who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance.” (Romans 8:24-25)

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Because I Like Lists

I first heard about this idea on Brooke’s blog and later came across it on several other blogs. Basically, the idea is to make a list of 101 things you want to do in 1001 days (long enough to accomplish a lot but short enough to actually push you t o do things). I thought it sounded like fun and have toyed around with the idea of making one of my own for a while. I like the idea of being intentional about pursuing your plans and dreams, both the bigger things and (perhaps more importantly) the little, everyday things. Plus, I’m definitely a list person. So this week I finally decided to sit down and make my list. It took a while and I’m not sure I’m entirely content with everything on it (I found I had trouble remember all the things I’d thought about wanting to do….which is why I tend to make lists :-) ), but really, it’s just a starting point. So, here is my list of 101 things I want to do in the next 1001 days (from August 3, 2010, until April 30, 2013).

Windows to My Soul

They say dreams are the windows of the soul–take a peek and you can see the inner workings, the nuts and bolts. – Henry Bromel

The other day Derek and I were talking about the dreams we have for our family (a good thing to do periodically) so I thought I’d share some of the dreams on my heart. Some of these I’ve found already, but some are hopes for the future (in no particular order):

– I dream of making a home for our family and opening wide the doors to share it.

– I dream of a big house, with room for lots of people to gather, and a guest room for visitors. I dream of a welcoming home.

– I dream of a spacious kitchen where I can cook and can and talk with lots of people (it’s not so much about the food as it is about the fellowship).

– I dream of a garden – preferably a community garden where I can work alongside friends and neighbors – and local farmers markets in the summer.

– I dream of an endless pot of coffee to share with visitors (of whom there will be many), along with fresh baked bread and a pot of soup simmering on the stove in the winter and fresh fruits and vegetables from the aforementioned garden in the summer.

– I dream of a prayer room open al the time, where I can invite people to come and meet with this amazing God I know.

– I dream of quiet times with God in the soft morning light. I dream of a quiet corner in our home – and our lives – set aside to meet with Him.

– I dream of kids to fill our big house. I dream of our own kids, but also foster kids and adopted kids, and neighborhood kids coming to us and finding love and acceptance.

– I dream of our lives lived as ministry, loving the least of these, the unlovable, the broken and orphaned.

– I dream of friends within walking distance so I can run over and visit and they can spontaneously visit us.

– I dream of friends who will cook with me and make things with me, friends who love to use their hands creatively to make something of what is on hand, to draw beauty out of everyday, seemingly ordinary things, to transform the old and make it new. I dream of friends who share my desire to see this same reality in the spirit, too, who long to see lives transformed and made new.

– I dream of a community of people who gather together to pray for and with each other, sharing their joys and sorrows, triumphs and weaknesses. I dream of a community that worships together and reads God’s word and who actively encourages and challenges each other in the Lord (I don’t care so much about titles, but I suppose you could say I dream of a house church).

– I dream of a community that shares time and resources to make sure everyone has what they need.

– I dream of a place that draws together all people, all races, ages, social classes, denominations, all drawn together by the love of God.