Wednesday, February 22, 2017

let it begin with me

in shauna niequist's newest book present over perfect there is a chapter entitled vinegar and oil.  in it she parallels prayer and a bottle of salad dressing.  the smooth, thick oil (thankfulness) rests underneath the sour, acidic vinegar (weariness).

early last sunday morning i wrote the first part of my last post, the "i'm tired" part.  i wrote it in a journal, never intending to add it here.  i sat my coffee down, stood up from the couch and reflected on all of those vinegar thoughts pouring out of my heart as i made my people their breakfast and strapped on my running shoes. "chain breaker" was blaring loudly in my ears as i made the turn off of union onto the trail, pikes peak and garden of the gods coming into view.  the crisp air, the beads of sweat and my pounding heart worked like a fresh spring, bubbling thankfulness up everywhere.   i got home and added the "i'm thankful" part, letting the oil spill out of me, thanking Jesus for genuine thankfulness.

taking a break from playing in the mud to read their books.
all of my dreams for their childhood in one photo. 

vulnerability is weird, no? it's so much easier to say "we're fine".  it's less of an inconvenience on everyone if we can just somehow have it all together. this world is filled with unimaginable pain and suffering and so what kind of a person feels weary about dirty socks?  i don't necessarily want to admit that even though i am ridiculously blessed, i feel worn and weary and lonely sometimes. there is something about it that feels foolish and weak.

i was listening to matt maher's because he lives while i was tearing apart my kitchen the other day and a massive truth landed straight into my heart. Jesus's death does not mean that there won't be any more death, it means that there will always, always be a resurrection.

he finished! and now they all know how to read. shedding a tear over here. man, that went fast. 

the last few weeks have been nuts.  maybe someday i'll be able to write out the full story here.  dave and elliott could probably write a book (and i hope they do).  we haven't really known which way was up. we've been clinging to truths that we are praying are actually true.  and we've been continuously having to pour out the vinegar to get to the oil.

moving on to bigger things.  go dog, go!

we read proverbs and know that loving and trusting in the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom.

we read ecclesiastes and know that life is kind of random and broken and disorderly and bad things happen to good people and good things happen to bad people.

and as we read through job, we know that our life is but a breath.  that God's plans and dreams really are bigger and higher and more global than our own.

i think the path to our own joy and peace and hope is in bringing those things about in the world around us. there have been many times in the heartbreaking moments of this last month when i've wondered if the water raffle would even be possible this year.  and over the course of the past several days, i'm beginning to sense that it would be impossible not to do it.

until there is peace for all, can there truly be peace for anyone?

"for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:17


Miss G said...

I have been anticipating the water raffle for you and I truly trust that God is going to use it in powerful ways for YOU my dear friend Mandy in ADDITION to using it in powerful ways for your friends here in the United States of America AND for our sisters and brothers, our yet to be known well friends across the globe. In heaven we will all gather and laugh and cry and tell stories about these weeks in March year after year after year. I love you and I love Him for working in the well watered places and in the parched lonely places. (and now I'm crying) Kel

Mandy said...
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Mandy said...

You have the gift of encouragement, kelly. Thanks for always having a kind word to share. Means so much!

Megan said...
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Mandy said...

Thankyou, megan!! Raffle help might be great!