Chasing Contentment

Thursday, March 31

The young daughter of a friend of mine accepted Christ into her heart this week. Can there be any greater joy for a parent? There must be such comfort in the knowledge that your child has accepted the greatest gift ever given.

Mike and I have been answering questions from Griff about God for some time now, and we've talked about how much we think he can understand. We keep coming bac to God saying that we need to have the faith of a small child. If God tells us that, then we must believe that our children - at whatever age - are able to accept His gift. Mike and I were both about Griff's age when we accepted Christ. Why shouldn't we believe that he can accept and understand at this age, as well?

There have been many times in the last year when I thought that Griff was on the verge of making that choice himself, and yet he didn't. Sometimes, in close-knit families and churches, there is an unspoken stigma about children who haven't yet received Christ. But I know enough about his nature to know that he won't make an impulsive choice. Like me, he's a thinker. He thinks through all manner of things in his head. He likes to have things all planned out, something I do myself.

As Griff gets older, I am becoming more comfortable with the idea that children do things at their own pace. I see his nature and his tendencies, and I want to work with those instead of against them, in all things. And so, for now, in order to help lay the foundation for Griff's spiritual life, Mike and I will keep giving Griff the answer he seeks and giving him the space and the time he needs to invite Christ into his heart.

And we will rejoice with those friends - Aleece & Warren especially this week! - whose children have delightedly joined the family of God.

[  posted by Chel on Thursday, March 31, 2005  ]

Monday, March 21

I am constantly amazed and awed by the flow of life and by how God so flawlessly orchestrates it all. I’ve had conversations with two friends – and read a blog entry - this morning that have brought me to this idea again.

So often, in our lives, things come in bunches… bunches of good or bunches of bad. And we feel so overwhelmed by the bunches of bad that it seems practically impossible to go on. I have certainly felt that way! I felt that way consistently last fall, and now, I am delighted to stop for a moment and realize that I don’t feel that way now.

Aleece said she keeps thinking of the verse that says that God will never give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13), and she said she feels like she’s got more than she can handle. I’ve felt that way. I’ve listened to other friends who’ve felt that way. I think, though, that when we need that particular verse the most, that's when we feel the least like it's true.

That's why it's called faith. There's nothing in our lives at that moment in time that would bear out the truth of God’s promise and yet we must believe in its truth anyway. Because God says nothing untrue. And if we are able to believe in Him and in His blessings, then we must believe that He will provide for our safety in the midst of our unease. And we must believe that He will give us a path. He will provide.

I’m thankful, also, that God seems to give us an ebb and flow between people the good and the bad and between me and mine. LeeAnn’s parents have had such health problems, and those problems were so difficult and frightening, and yet, God at the same time gave that family such a blessing in this baby LeeAnn is expecting. And as one of her parents became stronger, the other became more frail, each leaning on the other at just the right time. How beautiful a picture! Two hearts married for so long, leaning on the other during the good and the bad.

May Mike and I have that kind of love, the kind that stands up when everything screams that it’s time to sit down. May the two of us, individually and as a couple, fix our eyes on the One who makes everything… good and bad… and who knows our path.

[  posted by Chel on Monday, March 21, 2005  ]

Friday, March 11

My Bud died two days ago. I have been awash with memories this week, of both him and Gran. As John and I have talked, it's apparent that we rarely think of one without the other. They were so intertwined in our memories. And as we talk and remember, neither of us can come up with a single unhappy memory associated with either of them. The time we spent with them was nothing but joy.

It's funny the things we remember. John & I were talking about what objects we thought of first when we thought of Bud, and it's interesting the things we think of first. I thought of his ever-present pipe. I never smell pipe tobacco without immediately thinking of Bud. And John thought of these glazed stoneware coffee mugs that Bud always used to drink his hot tea - never coffee! - that looked like barrels with handles.

I can never remember a night in Bud & Gran's home that we didn't have a big bowl of ice cream. He ate his yucky - with chocolate syrup (usually made from scratch by Gran), peanut butter (always creamy, never chunky), and marshmallow cream.

[  posted by Chel on Friday, March 11, 2005  ]