As it turns out, I like routine.
I like getting up at 5am.
I like praying with the sun rise and morning birds.
I like my kids knowing what is expected, what the day holds, and where they need to be.
I like going to daily mass.
I like the boring things I need to do to keep this family of mine moving forward.
I swear, moving from L.A. to Connecticut was easier and smoother than moving down the road.
This house....that we love...this spot we are in...it is just so unfamiliar.
And this weather...it feels like rain everyday.
The change in routine and the boxes in rooms and the mantels that are holding tools, and all these odds and ends that have yet to find their forever place, and the toilet that won't flush and the water pressure that seems to have gone on vacation, and the SNAKE in my garden....
it is a little unsettling.
and it does not feel like summer.
it feels like chaos.
and I want the simple and often boring order of my life back.
and I would like the snake gone, but let's be honest...I moved to a FARM....me, the city girl, is now a farm girl....and that snake is just one of many.
And isn't it so easy to slip into darkness when things start to feel hard?
How crazy easy it is for me to throw my hands up, embrace doubt and regret, and give the devil exactly what he wants: the lack of faith and trust that I am exactly where God wants me to be.
The devil does that.
He makes us question ourselves.
He makes things look worse than they are.
He really is a piece of work.
He would love for me to sit and despair, doubt and cry.
He would delight in my sadness; my failing faith.
He wants me to believe that I made a mistake.
He wants me to feel alone, and abandoned.
He wants me to give up on prayer.
He wants me to curse this house and everyone in it.
But he can't.
Because only Jesus Christ has a hold of me.
This old 1800's farm house IS what I love.
These kids of mine, frustrated and insecure ARE who I love.
These boxes and mess and total chaos WILL find their place.
This spot we are in is exactly where we are meant to be,
And God is RIGHT HERE IN THE MIDST OF IT ALL.
My exercise for today is that when I hit a bump or am faced with an obstacle, or hungry bored child, or a broken appliance, or an angry teen, that I will not raise my voice, or allow evil thoughts to occupy my mind, but rather...I will stop and LOOK to find Jesus. And when my head hits the pillow, I will not give in to tears of frustration and worry, anxiety and fear, but rather, I will recall the many messengers that God sent my way...like the friend who dropped off chocolate and wine at my door, or the lady at the pool who simply listened to me, or the e mail from the woman who had just been on my mind, who wants to meet for coffee, or the butterfly resting on top of the Saint Francis statue that rests among bird feeders and wild strawberry patches. It is just too easy to be stupidly blind to all of the life boats God sends my way, day after day. It is shameful, really, when you think about it...how much beauty and goodness God showers us with, and how narrow our minds and hardened our hearts can be.
I pray I journey through today with my eyes, ears and heart wide open, and I am truly excited to look for Jesus in every moment of this day...because although I miss him often, no matter how obvious His presence is...I do believe He is here. He is in the boxes and chaos, He is on the crazy mantle of assorted items, He is in the garden with the snakes. And His arms are stretched wide, and His wounds are a safe place for me to crawl into and find comfort. His heart is on fire with love for me, and He is throwing me life line after life line, as only He can. He does not take away my present trouble, but like a champ of a leading man, He is there, right here...in this spot...in His great glory, to guide me through it. He is sending me chocolates and wine, listening ears, invites and butterfly wings. He assures me I am not alone.
"Truly, the Lord is in this spot, although I did not know it!" - Genesis 28:16