Tag Archives: books

Even if it’s just chatter…

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Even if it’s just chatter…

I have, from time to time, alluded to the fact that our visits with friends are among the most refreshing moments we share. We’ve been gone from Bend for about twenty months at this point. I can honestly say, with absolutely no drama, that we have made a few acquaintances but no real friends. Not yet. I know it will come. I know this is a season. Our attentions have been so focused on caring for family and getting our business off the ground that we just haven’t had the freedom to pursue new friendships. This has meant that family and “old friends” have carried a heavy load for us.

And man, oh, man, have they stepped up. We have felt so loved and supported. So cared for and valued, even from afar. I am amazed at how crazy wonderful our friends have been. I knew when we were doing life with them that they were great, but I had no idea how they would stick when we left the physical community. We are so. blessed. Seriously, an embarrassment of riches.

The thing is, if you asked me specifically, what have they done to be such amazing people? you might be disappointed by the ordinariness of the answer…we’ve chatted on the phone, traded emails and shared meals. We’ve connected over simple little life events: a senior photo shoot, a quick business trip to see a client, a short stay to pick up a camper, a run crammed into an already full weekend, a delivery of salsa. They’re simple things but they’ve meant the world to me. Simply the world. They have been breath and courage and strength and joy for me.

I read another kids book this week. (I have a weakness.) And I found such a lovely truth there. The book is The Chestnut King; it’s the third in the 100 Cupboards series. Here’s the scene: one boy, Henry, has special sight and strength because of his family and birth order, and he alone must face the evil queen. His cousin, Henrietta, and friend, Zeke, are with him but unable really to help. Henrietta is frustrated by this–she’s a girl of action and wants to be part of the solution. Zeke has a broader view and brings his baseball expertise to the situation…

“Henrietta killed her light. ‘We should go after Henry.’
‘Let me know when you figure out how.’
‘If he hadn’t lost Grandfather’s journal we’d be able to…’
The floor creaked as Zeke shifted. ‘We’re here for him. We can wait.’
‘Does he even need us?’ Henrietta asked. “It’s not like either of us did much in there….”
Zeke laughed. …’Henry’s pitching. Slap your glove and talk him up. Pitcher throws better when a team props him, even if it’s just chatter.'”

So for my friends who think it’s just chatter–it’s just a phone call or an email or coffee or lunch–I am my best self because you’re behind me. Hope I can return the favor.

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The Land Between

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The Land Between

The Land Between: I’ve been thinking a lot about this. It’s a fantastic book by Jeff Manion. His premise (with which I wholeheartedly agree) is that sometimes we find ourselves stuck between–whether in jobs or relationships or health or insert-your-situation-here. There are simply times when we must wait. Oh, how I hate that word sometimes. I feel as though I’ve been in one of those odd spaces for, well, years at this point. (I’m hopeful that it isn’t because I’m a slow learner!) Based on the adventures (or misadventures?) of the Children of Israel in the book of Exodus, Mr. Manion suggests that the wilderness, or Land Between, is not barren, rather it is fertile ground–for complaint or for growth. Our outcome depends on our own heart cry. Wow, do I want my outcome to be growth and not that whiny-bitterness that the King James describes as “stubborn and stiff-necked.”

Scripture tells us “It is good to wait on the Lord.” And to that I have often raised my resounding “No, it isn’t.” (Clenched fist optional.) As far as I’m concerned, waiting=not good. But I am learning to rest in the journey, to trust His timing. A friend posted today that God is concerned with timing, not time. And His timing is always right. So I am learning to sit here, to do what I know to do, to trust Him to put me where I need to be when I need to be.

Don’t get me wrong, I have not arrived. I still push and┬ápull against my circumstances. I still cry a good cry, miss my community, and do the I-don’t-want-to-dance more than I’d like to admit. But in the midst of it, in the space between my tantrums, I am learning to rest and praying that this will become fertile ground for me.

What about you? Are you stuck in a transition? What steps are you taking to ensure that this becomes a place of growth for you and not complaint? I’d love to hear about your successes–I may have to add them to my own resolutions!

P.S. You can listen to Jeff Manion on his podcasts from Ada Bible Church or get his book on Amazon. It’s also available for Kindle.