Thursday, January 26, 2012

Clinging Through the Grit


I'm in a unique time of dependence on God. I need more. I mutter and plead at the strangest times and He probably thinks I'm a little bit neurotic. Maybe He laughs and His eyes get sparkly and He thinks, "Girl, get a grip. It's fine! I've got this." I'm happy to entertain, because He's here. I'm sure of it.  

Could this be an unexpected by-product of all the upheaval and uncertainty and this-world-foolishness of the past four months? Because, honestly? I thought the big life lessons would start rumbling in when we hit phase two (catch up here and here.) This was supposed to be my easy-does-it faux vacation, a stretch of serenity and rest before things started to get dirty. We would be calm and ready then, for whatever comes next.

So can God reach down and show us something new about Himself in a clogged toilet and the stomach flu and kitchen carpet? Can we be teachable in the doubt and wondering and in all the times when we believe that we've really had enough?

Every time I think I've got it down, it starts to make even more sense. It sinks a little deeper: This is the day. The one we're already in. The one that finds us buried on the couch under the down comforter for eight straight hours. The one that stretches months longer than we would have chosen.

There are lessons here. Opportunities now.

So maybe I'm repeating myself. It happens. But today, I'm thankful for the rescuing in all the ridiculous parts of life that don't look holy at first-glance.

26 comments:

  1. Anytime my husband asks me what my favorite part of life is, I say "this is it".

    It's the here and now we have to embrace and really live in. If we're looking behind us or straining to see what's ahead we stop living in the "right this very minute".

    So sorry about the stomach flu. That is no fun at all.

    xxoo

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  2. i hear you. and jimmy hears you. and He really hears you. ;) when i think holy-- i also think of a bush-- weird. a dirty manger- gross. and a cross-- humiliating. and so to me-- a clogged toilet, the stomach flu, and kitchen carpet.. well dearie that's holy ground if He says so. but seriously--- that sounds wretched and i'm praying for you right this minute. :)

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  3. "How we spend our days is how we spend our lives" -Annie Dillard

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  4. I was listening to Louie Giglio today from the 2012 Passion Conference, and he was speaking about this very thing. No matter what stage, what phase, what grit, what joy, what confusion.... God's will for our lives as stated by Paul in Ephesians is, "Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." His will, no matter what, is to speak of him fearlessly whenever we open our mouths. That was a huge challenge to me. From where I sit in my creaky old, wooden chair... you, my dear, speak fearlessly of this Mystery that is ever changing your day-to-day for His glory and renown. Thank you for listening and obeying, even when the carpet is a little too unbearable.

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  5. "the ridiculous parts of life that don't look holy at first glance." Your last sentence is my favorite :) How true! And there are so many more of these ridiculous parts than the seemingly more obvious "holy" ones.

    beth

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  6. oh the beauty in the ugly.

    ps. please feel better real soon.

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  7. Oh my goodness, I've been trying to comment since I pretend baked you banana bread, but my computer has been ridiculous with Blogger. Everytime I read one of your posts I think, "no this is my favorite". And it's true.

    I could not really fathom your kitchen carpet until I saw it there beneath your slipper socks. Just wow.

    I was born in Hicksville, OH...how's that for quirky?!

    And I had no choice but to pretend eat your bread. It's so delish when roast the bananas first. Yum.

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  8. I'm going to forever remember your last sentence . . .

    I don't know if it's your goal or your gift, but your words always have such an impact on so many of us, at least they do on me. :)

    xo sarah

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  9. i'm gonna go with a ditto up there on deb's comment. whatever it is He is trying to teach me...i hope i learn it quick. i'm not used to performing at this level of whack job for so long. and i hope you feel better soon. xoxo

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  10. "Oh Shannan," the Lord is saying, I'm sure, "just put on your ugly socks…and I will get you through the rest."

    : )

    Julie M.

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  11. Need this today. Life doesn't always look holy in the common day to day rush. Remembering this IS the day and the opportunity! Thank you for the reminder!

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  12. there is a season in my recent story where we lived in a house much like the one you're in now. blue indoor/outdoor carpet in the bathroom. thick 70s kitchen cabinetry and vinyl. just everything.

    we were to stay there 6 months. it became a much longer stay.

    but the things God did in my heart? such hard things but they tethered me to Him in a way i never thought to hope for. i've found that the tent living (spiritual or physical) is the fullest paradox of not yet and right here.

    i hope you find comfort in that. also? i like you.

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  13. He's right there...in the here and now...keeping you close to Him in the every day ins and outs of life. Don't you just love snuggling up close and hearing Him say, "It's okay, Shannan. I will get you through this."
    xoxo Dianna

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  14. This is me. This is my day yesterday. The one that started with little people and percussion instruments in the early morning and went on forever. I needed this reminder that He meets me daily. In the daily. I forget that all. the. time. when I'm there. Much thanks for this reminder...

    (PS. I'm a fairly new lurker to your blog and am smitten.) : )

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  15. I don't know how you manage to write something meaningful and spot-on everyday - but you do! I think the 'lessons in everyday' are harder to learn than the big lessons in some ways because we feel lessons should be eventful and surrounded by profundity not broken toilets! Mandy xx

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  16. Yet another lovely post! But I have to admit I'm thoroughly confused, I've only been following you since November or so, and I can't figure out why it is that you left your farmhouse for the rental house. Are you getting ready to be a missionary or something? I'm sure it's fabulous, God's lucky to have you farmgirl!

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  17. we are gonna keep praying!
    He will see you through.
    xo

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  18. Oh yes, we've had upheavel(going into yr 3!!) and throw up (my car still stinks-so bad that the NYC parking attendant rolled all the windows down, and I'm confused, chaotic, and walk around muttering "what's up, God?" all day long. Thanks for making me, once again, realize that this is life...and I'm not actually losing my mind.

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  19. yeah...these are stretching days living in this rental....I didn't think these would be the days for stretching..I thought we'd happily just BE here for two years while we save for a house to buy. Ends up, he's showing us who we really are...the parts of us that we can't see when we're owning our own homes and living comfortably.

    it sucks and it's awesome all at the very same time.

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  20. your words hit home every time
    we have different circumstances, yet the truth you share rings clear
    thank you
    thank you
    thank you

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  21. Sometimes I think there are different lessons that we glean from His repetition and other times I think we just haven't gotten ALL of the message yet. He's got you though---all of y'all---right in the palm of His hand, protecting, guiding, pruning, and watching it blossom and grow. And He really doesn't ever give us more than we can bear....even though sometimes we didn't know we could bear so much. His love continues to be amazing...and His strength what endures us. Hope you're feeling better--rest and restoration of body AND soul sometimes is just what the doctor orders....

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  22. I just barely found your blog, and is it weird to say that after only reading two posts, I already know I'll be a long-term stalker? Anyway, I love your writing style, and your voice. Thanks for letting me stay awhile :)

    Brooke
    liningthecloudswithsilver.blogspot.com

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