Saturday, May 17, 2014

When Writing on Chickens Would be Easier

O beloved, I plead with you, not to treat
God's promises as something to be displayed
in a museum but to use them as everyday sources
of comfort. And whenever you have a time of need, 
  ~ C.H. Spurgeon (2 Peter 1:4)

I started out putting down words about chickens.

We have six of them and I'm in love with these babies (though not so much with the smell that accompanies them).

Especially my Fiona. 

But I find myself wrestling with writing about chickens; though a worthy thing to write on, it seems empty and shallow and like I'm just grasping for words to fill a white void instead.

Mother's Day, Tony took our four little ones to church and sent me out to a local coffee shop and told me to just be and I took my journal and I put pen to paper and I began to put down words that seemed jumbled and tangled that in the end left a rabbit trail that had an ending that made sense. It felt then that my soul could was good.

This space feels the same way.

There are so many things that I want to write on, but I don't know if I should. We've been in ministry now for almost 2 years but now that we are here, immersed in the culture and differences of inner city life, it feels more real. Not that it wasn't before...but I am trying to find my footing again.  So what can I write on, what do I write on? What is allowed and what should just remain in my heart?

I don't know.

Pigeons line this huge roof above me and I can hear them coo.

There is a lady who walks by our house every day pulling a wagon - she always waves but rarely talks, unless it's to frighten the children who play in our yard. I can't help but smile at her way of reaching out, at the mischief that must twinkle in her eyes at she walks by a hiding place and cackles out, Can I play too?, only to have everyone run away yelling.

I get it.

Sometimes we are so desperate to reach out that our reaching out, though brave, comes across as too much.

Talking about chickens seems so much easier.

And happier.

Keeps everyone else at a distance - I can talk about feather growth and when to leave them outside instead of saying what's really on my heart,

Two months ago I threw away a 15 year old shame, was bathed in grace and forgiveness and mercy by people who didn't have to extend it and I'm lost. I don't know how to move forward in this freedom...
I should have this all together, right?

I want to be brave, but that fear creeps in:

You don't have a right to walk free. Don't you see how you are going to stumble?

Lyla, my cautious and fear-filled eldest, she approaches her daddy in the approaching dusk yesterday,

I want to play soccer. With these kids.

Madison House has a soccer field that is used most nights for a soccer league run by one of local landscaping's a win-win. They take care of our field and then they get to use it. It's a beautiful partnership and one that is amazing to watch - and every night, on our front porch, we can watch these children play.

And my mama-heart...she's never played in a league, let alone with children who are gifted in the sport. I stand and watch her run the field by herself, dribbling the ball and I can see it. She wants to stretch her wings - those feathers of confidence are coming in and I don't want to clip them. I don't want her to see my fear, or my struggle to push her out just a little bit further.

I don't want to see her hurt...

She begins this Monday.

And she is going to fall, 

she is going to mess up.

She is going to make mistakes,

but she will be supported.

She will be loved.

Walking in freedom, walking in the freedom Jesus gives is rarely easy.

There is the falling and the struggle to let go. The fear of walking in obedience and letting the Holy Spirit move.

There are the impossible places that He points to as He says, Here. I will walk with you through here, and the fight to believe that He really will.

I am going to make mistakes.

Many of them.

There are going to be the impossible places pointed out and the call to walk.

And that will take faith.

But what I can count on, what I can know even when fear tempts me to shut my eyes tight and unbelief threatens to overwhelm my heart, 

His Hesed, His steadfast love and kindness will never leave me.

I am hemmed in behind and before.

Whether it's letting a fear-filled child stretch her wings and grow stronger,

whether it's opening a door to an impossibly broken situation,

whether it's trusting that even in the middle of chaos and fear, the One Who is Peace surrounds each moment.

And God who is holy and glorious, He comes near and in intimate ways and as I sit and watch my 6 new babies, He reminds me that even here He can speak through Fiona's wing...

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,

    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgements are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O Lord.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:5-7