Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oz, Narnia, Hogwarts and Other Signs of Heaven

I woke up from a  light sleep last night and began thinking about what many people draw into when they are under duress: escape.
When I read many pieces of children's literature, often in the main character there is a sense of suffering, of loneliness and of heartache that the reader relates to on a deep level that endears us to them.
Then the character is given a freedom that no other child is able to receive: a world of escape. 
I love escaping.  Be it "holing up" by not answering the phone and staying home,  a guilty pleasure, a weekend getaway, these things we do recharge us and bring us refreshing.  But these peices of literature I am talking about in the Narnia series, the Land of Oz books,  or Alice In Wonderland, is a place where a child who has no power is given remarkable control over their world, finds friends who love them deeply and they love in return, and becomes able to rise to a challenge they never imagined themselves they could face.
Sounds like heaven.  My family faced adversity every day, and escape for my wife and I has become a spiritual discipline.   Harry Potter's world is my hope for a brighter future.  Hogwarts express is the way to get there, taking you away from powerlessness, from unending suffering.  our favorite silly things become our couple's retreat.  30 Rock on television, Extras from BBC, these are also our wonderlands.  A sense of heaven in them , not in the content themselves (which many religious people I know would spew the coffee they are drinking right now if they read that!) but the ability to help us laugh through suffering, to cling to hilarity and to hope for a world that is a bit brighter because people cared to take you way from it for a little while. 

Escape from this world is a good thing when you are suffering and your heart is heavy.  But as in the books, one cannott stay there in the place of escape.  In fact they often must choose to return to reality, with not much to bring with them except perhaps for a reminder of the time they had away.  So it is with me.  I must return, but in my heart, the world of escape gives me hope to return to face another day. 

Anyhow, just some thoughts.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Prophetic Dream

I played Joseph this week at the local VBS (Vacation Bible School).  My first day I was decked out in prison garb from biblical times.  I had a wig on (I am shaved bald) that was long and scraggly.  That night i had a terrible sleep  I was up from 1 am to 4 am, with stress and worry.  I eventually fell back asleep after praying and meditating on God's Word. 
Later that evening, my friend Brian and I were talking and he told me that he had a dream about  me.  I was stressed in the dream with long, dark full hair!  We went on to talk about what was going on in my life.  He woke from the dream at the time I was going back to sleep at approximately 4 am. 
That is the way God sometimes reaches me.  I had prayed that night for Him to speak to me, to touch my heart.  He was already on it in his own loving way.
What did I receive from it?  As other times, for me I am mindful of the content of the dream, however the way in which the Father reached out to me was more about his mindfulness of my life, of His kid.  I needed to hear that he cares about the details of my life, to be fathered lovingly.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

dream home

Well, I am not keeping this blog up very well, but life has really taken us odwn a very interesting path.  As my last entry indicated, we sold our home without it being on the market, and then sat in limbo as we searched for another home.  Our search led me to really seek the Father's guiding hand, and through just being open to whateveer He had prepared, we found a lovely house.
Let me backtrack.
I felt the Spirit leading me to guide my family through what my heart was going through.  To pray together and sek the Lord for a new home.  I felt that this was OUR journey, and they needed to witness the process of stepping out in faith.  So we intentionally went out on a prayer walk as a family.  We listened, made a list of wishes for the next house we were loking for and asked each of our children to listen and reflect what they heard.  This was quite... well it wasnt SCARY, but it was like free falling.  Im glad Im not God, because I panic too easily.  What happened after this was a bottoming out of options and a bit more depseration and waiting.  I heard through a friend of the fmaily that a couple nearby had their hime up for sale and it was relly nice, for the top price we had been in the market for.  It was a private sale, but their buyers fell through.  I set up a meeting with them to se their home and check it out (with my mommy in tow).  The Holy SPirit was prompting me throughout.  BE PATIENT.  BE OPEN.  BE HONEST.  BE UPFRONT.  CONNECT, IT WILL MATTER.  The home was exactly what we were looking for.  It was more than we were thinking we could get with our price range, with extras.  My eldest son, after I took him over to meet this elderly couple, lit up.  This meant the world to me, as change for him can be very trying.
Now on the sad part, the couple we bought from were facing a hardship and crisis time in their lives, thus making them need to move, which is not the way you want to se someone leave their home.  THey loved their home, the view, the setup.  But she could no longer navigate the stairs with her health and they were both getting too limited to keep things up the way they needed to.  Our approaching them made things much simpler for them.
So now we have been in the house for a month almost.  It is an amazing house for us.  It has been such a rollercoaster ride of uncertainty, but of a steady level of faith that the Father had a plan,, and he would leave us unsheltered.
Faith works in interesting ways.  We as a family have been praying for our next home, in my heart since we last moved 5 years ago.  Faith required us to dream, to step out and initiate, to trust in providence, to have both patience and heightened expectation.  It kept my eyes not on what we dont have but on the provision of the moment.  It also challenged me to trust.  Now reading my previous posts, you may pick up that we havent had the greatest of year in 2009.  To trust confronts much of how I have perceieved life to throw curb balls, to see the darkness of humanity, to see God as someone who will allow suffering and yet bless his children immensely.  These seem contradictary.  I had some meltdowns.  Times where trust was sodifficult, I would close my eyes and see my loving father and feel deep pain, pain that was cause by brokeness we had witnessed and suffered through.  Was this move healing?  Yes, I beleive it was part of the process.  For one, a fresh start is helpful.  But moreso, it was an excercise to see life as more than a series of unfortunate events.
My children also got to unite with me and Pam in prayer and to watch and wait as we saw the Lord initiate our dream.  How precious!  This was to me a milestone in our life together.  One of many to celebrate.  It tested us, but not in a trial way, but more in a way that confronted that which needed to learn in our hearts.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So we sold our home.  We have 5 weeks to get a new home and work everything out.
I think what freaks me out the most is the fact that this always seems to happen, after a year of trials and difficulties, we jump ship from all we know to write a new chapter.  New job, new home, new placement, new church, we just pack it all up and say, okay, lets shake everything up.

Our search has brought us little consolation.  We have waited five years for this next house, we have prayed , we have endured 5 harsh winters in a poorly insulated house with mice, with no furnace, and with little storage.  And by little, I mean our closets are what I call our "Hobbit Holes".

We look forward to what the Lord provides next.

I think I will be changing this blog to cover more of home owning, of crazy family quirks, of us all relating to being weirdos.