Friday, December 1, 2017

Old Things

Part of me has always been drawn to old things. My mom and I like to go antiquing together. Family heirlooms capture my attention, particularly items from a ranch house belonging to generations past; a real ranch house, with cows and butter-churns and the like. My great grandparents were Wyoming ranchers, and as a child I remember marveling at the worn, weathered items that survived those hard, rich years. I still have a leather suitcase that my Great Grandpa strapped to the top of a stage coach when he traveled across the wild west. His name is ascribed inside in real ink and poorman's cursive.

I've been on a bit of a symbolic heart-and-house purge for a good long season now, longing for a simple, almost old-fashioned life. The simple, hard-working life, less clutter, less busy-ness, more things that stand the test of time. I think about what my kids' memories will be... will they remember Mama stressed and bustling, will they remember being rushed out the door, rushed to bed. Will they remember full closets and laundry piles? Will they learn good habits, the deep satisfaction of hard work, the gratitude that comes from being satisfied with little.
 The Lord has led me to patterns of my own that both got me to where I am, and can get me nearer to where I want to be. It's been a pile of self-discovery, pattern creating, and lots and lots of trips with donations to the Salvation Army.

Most days I just want to jump through a portal into the life I am trying to create, skipping past the pattern-making, the hard work of change, and just start all over- I would do lots of things better than before, right? I've learned a lot, and a fresh start would be so good, right?

A few days ago I had a brief but deep conversation with a sister. Together we admired the strength and depth of character it takes to break free from old habits and live out dramatic change in one's life. We agreed that it speaks something unique and admirable when a person, together with the Lord, undergoes a total transformation. They must daily choose the change.

This is what the Lord is doing with me. He is taking me slowly, molding me along the way. He is working deep character, the kind it will take to actually be happy in the life I crave.

 He is teaching me that my life IS a "Feeding of the Five Thousand", where through Him, I give more than I have and still come up with a little left over.

What a mighty God we serve.