Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Memory and Desire

TS Eliot said in "The Waste Land" "April is the cruelest month, breeding Lilacs out of dead land, mixing memory and desire."

Desire can feel like the enemy can't it? What do you want for? I really want a compost pile. I have wanted one for a long time. It hasn't happened yet. I find myself thinking about it. Wishing a had it. I also want a pool. I tried talking about it as though it already was once. I gave that up. I haven't stopped wanting a pool. I will sometimes forget that I want a compost pile and a pool. Maybe even for several weeks at ta time. Then I will throw a bunch of peels in the trash or tap the coffee grounds into the trash and think...."I wish I had a compost pile to put these in!" Just yesterday I was at the public pool with my friend Laura and I thought I wish we could finish a sentence without a kid saying, "Hi Mrs Mills" or "Hey, Mrs Irwin!" Now we love these students but moments like that mix memory with desire and I want a pool! These are small things. Somewhat meaningless. My life is wonderful without them. I know one day I will have them (at least the compost pile!)

I remember before I was married I always wanted to be loved. I knew there had to be a man out there that was just right for me. A man that would love me and yet spur me on to be all God wanted me to be. Many times I gave up. Then I would remember what it was I really wanted. In seasons of my life I didn't really have words for what I wanted it but in the stillness of my soul I dreamed of it. Ultimately what I want is to experience perfect love. Brian can not give me this...yet at moments it feels like it might be..this is a mixing of memory and desire. This remembering of Brian and his unconditional love and loving expressions stir up my memory for what my soul really wants.

Remembering is important. Sometimes we forget who God really is. Sometimes we forget because we are in a time of winter. We are just in a season of trying to survive. To make it day to day. God has more for us. We know it is true. Our memory of that is what makes us push through. To make it to spring...so eventually it will be summer. Spiritual discontentment are the aches that remind us...there is more to God than we know right now...more to God than we could ever understand..someday it will always be summer. Someday in our new Earth Jesus will be the Sun...until then we will have our memory stirred up in desire.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And He Sees Me

I have just finished a seven week job at LJHS. So I am back to being a stay at home wife. Which I like but also does a bit of a number on my brain. First of all I am at home alone. Which is still weird for me. I miss Regan a lot. For eight years if I was home she was home. So, when I am home alone there is a unique missing that happens in my heart.

Secondly, when I am going really hard I do not have time to do the deep soul work that is required for an intimate walk with Christ. I still have devotional and prayer time each day but there is not time in my schedule to let God speak to me that way I like to be. It is much like not making time for a date or getaway with your family. You are living everyday together but it takes a lot of time to build deep relationships with each other that happens on vacation or weekends.

So, on Tuesday I actually got in my bed and took a nap. Now I tell you this because I have not crawled in my bed to take a nap alone since before Regan died. I did nap with her in my bed when she was alive. But it is not natural for me to nap especially under the covers in my bedroom. I have had some weekend naps and once I napped on the sofa. As I crawled into bed I thought..."I don't think I can do this anymore...I can't fight the good fight...I can not finish this race...I think I might give up."

I closed my eyes and fell asleep for thirty minutes. Then I woke up and grabbed the book I am reading for the maybe fourth time. Sacred Romance and I read "We long for a life to be better than it is. We wish the beauty and love and adventure would stay and than someone strong and kind would show us how to make the arrows go away. We hope that God will be our hero. Of all the people in the universe, he could stop the arrows and arrange for just a little more blessing in our lives. He can spin the earth, change the weather, topple governments, obliterate armies and resurrect the dead. Is it too much to ask that he intervene in our story? But he often seems aloof, almost indifferent to our plight, so entirely out of control. Would it be any worse if there were no God? If he didn't exist, at least he wouldn't get our hopes us. We could settle once and for all that we are alone in the universe and get on with surviving as best we may."

I cried...because this is sometimes how I feel. Like I am looking for God but can not find him. I wish that He had healed my little girl. I know some of you want to say..."But she is healed now!" Yes, I know that....I am not talking about that. When I think about what I want I wish that she was healed here on earth...so my eyes could see it. I still do not like it that she is gone. It is no longer acceptable with most people for me to be frustrated by this anymore...most everyone has moved on and accepted it. Some days I have. Usually I haven't. I feel like I am just surviving. Often even telling people what I know they want to hear.
Making the best of what I have been given. All along dealing with the pain of knowing the My God, the one who loves me the most, could have saved the one I love and did not.

What moves me is that exactly what my heart was feeling I read. I did not know how to say it. It renews my hope because I know God placed me at that moment to read that...so He could show me He is not aloof. He is still expressing love to me even though I am frustrated with Him. He is not aloof...I am aloof. I am often times like a little baby who wants it her way or no way. I appreciate the tenderness of a God who will meet me even when I am literally covering my head up and giving up...He doesn't! As my friend Shannon texted me a couple days later "If we are faithless, He is faithful...for He cannot deny himself 2 Tim. 2 :13

I am grateful today that He See Me! That I don't have to do all the work in this relationship. He pursuits me.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I haven't updated the blog lately because I question constantly why I should. I journal so I get my thoughts out that way...most of the time. The blog started as a way to update our family and friends on Regan's condition. Regan's condition hasn't changed in two years. So many times I think...just let it go. Everyone else has moved on...you should to.

I have been reading in 1 Samuel for my devotional reading. I am taking it nice a slow. It is refreshing to my heart. I just finished teaching Bible study over the book of Acts and spoke at 8 different events over late winter/early spring time. So, it renews me to just read and enjoy a book of the bible. A theme in 1 Samuel is the faithfulness of God. How the help of the Israelite people, for Hannah, for Samuel, for Saul...comes from the Lord.

1 Samuel 12:24 says, "Above all fear the Lord and worship Him faithfully with all your heart considering the great things he has done for you."

When I read this I am moved that this is true for me. God has been faithful to me. It is really what this blog is about. When I reread what God has done I know that He has been faithful to me. If he never did another thing all He has done is enough to sustain me for a lifetime. I say this right now but we all know how my heart goes....wondering. So it honestly probably isn't.

We went on a trip to Washington DC for Spring Break. It is like DC is a monument to God's faithfulness to our country at every turn...I don't imagine most people see it that way but was I looked at marble building after marble building I couldn't help but think...boy God has been faithful to us. We sat for a long time on the steps of the Jefferson Memorial...you can see much of DC's skyline from there. We took this picture. I cried and thanked God for His faithfulness to our country up to this point. I was humbled.

I want to be a worshiper of God. I want to do this will all my heart...with all my mind....with all my thinking...with all my strength. I want to recall his faithfulness to me. I have been making a list. It gives me mind and body something to do when I want to focus on what someone else is doing or not doing. It gives my mind relief from wanting to complain about small things. I want to be a worshiper of God who considers the great things God has done for me.

Maybe the blog will continue it's purpose.

"Afterwards, Samuel took a stone and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer explaining, "The Lord has helped us to this point."

This blog is my Ebenezer....

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lent oh Sweet Lent

Ok...it has been awhile. Lent is here. For many years now I have observed Lent. Mostly because I need Lent. I look forward to it until I am in it. Then it makes me sad. For six weeks I expect to have little happiness. This is hard for the people around me. I get this a lot "are you okay?" I don't know how to answer this. Yes I am okay. Jesus died for my sin. He rose again so I could be renewed and restored. So, yes i am okay but my own sin drives me mad! It seems like most of the time I give up something so insignificant it is embarrassing to even offer this to God as worship. I have given up coffee, chocolates, sweets, complaining, diet coke, tv, rich meat...One year I didn't give up anything because I had to give up my daughter. That seemed like enough.

This year I have given up thirty minutes of sleep to pray and read the Bible. Now I obviously already pray and read but I love sleep. I love sleep in February and March like I love the sun in July! I think about when the next time is I will get it. I want to go to bed at 8...but make myself stay up later. I am not working until April so I don't have to get up before 6:30...so sleep was a good choice.

It is still small. So is chocolate, sweets, diet coke, complaining, tv, meat....I mean it is a small thing compared to Christ. No thing we could ever give up is what Christ gave up. It is small compared to my sin. Yet...it is so hard for me to get up. This makes me crazy. Today I never even heard my alarm but woke up wide awake at 6:30...know I know it went off but I just didn't respond.

I am like this spiritually...alseep...non-responsive...."Wake up O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on You." (Eph. 5:14)

Lent is good for me. It reminds me.... I am weak. I don't like being weak. I prefer strong. Lent makes me feel exposed. "everything exposed by the light becomes visible for it is light the makes everything visible." (eph 5:13) Shine on me sweet Jesus...shine on!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Memory

Christmas is here. We are back from skiing and now we are nestled down for a few days before our southward migration. We have successfully brought Brian to the age of 37...fun! We have a restful few days in mind. This afternoon I am missing our little girl. So I remember that He came once. He will come again. Then this space between us will be gone. Until then we wait....we say "Come Lord Jesus Come."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Because You Told Me

I am currently teaching 3, 4, 5th Learning Disabled at an Elementary School here in Lincoln. Their teacher is having a baby so I am teaching while she takes care of her little one. I have been there a few weeks and will be there until Christmas. They are an awesome class. Last week I wrote all my students a note. I praised them for their strengths and told each one of them the particular blessing they bring to me. They beamed of course because who doesn't like to get a note...this is a side note but people should send more hand written mail....anyway one girl said, "I am good at math, I know because you told me so." Now the reality is she is good at math I was just reminding her of the reality that is already her truth. But this little interaction is has been challenging me to think rightly about myself. To remember who I am because He has told me so. Sometimes I forget or get distracted. But the reality is He has told me who I am...forgiven, able, full of the Spirit, redeemed, promised, blessed, adopted, chosen, I have a future, He is for me, have hope, He is active in me, righteous, holy, helpful, equipped, useful, good, understood, in a family, alive.....sometimes I forget. His Word reminds me that He is faithful to complete what He has started. I know who I am because He tells me so. This is why I go to school...to get schooled. Way to go public school!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Rylee Lesson

I am sure that I have written about my love for Hebrews many times. But I have to say it again..."I love Hebrews!" It keeps me going. It reminds me of so many important things that keep me on the right path towards Jesus. It keeps me strengthened when I am tired.

I keep a few things that are important to me in my bible. I keep a couple pictures of Regan that I love. They remind me that God did a good work in her life. He blessed me through her in so many ways. He continues to teach us through our memories of our past with her and the thoughts of her current reality which is very different from my own (Amen!) I also keep a picture of my grandmother and Brian that was taken the day of my brother Wade's wedding. It was a great day....I have many wonderful memories and one of them was taking that picture of them. I also keep two poems that Rylee wrote and gave to me. Rylee(like her mother) is a terrible speller but the heart of these poems teach me something each time I read them. They remind me....

"No disciple seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields a the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it." Heb 12:11

I'm Still Happy by Rylee Mills
to: The sweetest girl Regan

My sister died but out of misery and I'm still happy.
My sister was sick and happy so I'm still happy.
My sister had seizures and was happy so I'm still happy.
My sister hurt but still smiled so I'm still happy.
She was lonely but was happy so I'm still happy.
My sister could not speak her mind and smiled so I'm still happy.

I Miss You so Much by Rylee Mills
to: My sister Regan

Sister in heaven I miss you so much and I love you so much.
Now you can run and walk but you are missed so much. I miss talking to you and playing with you so I say it again, I miss you so much. You were my everything. You were my best friend and little sister. So, I say, I miss you to much!

When I read these (which I do almost daily) they remind me that God is at work through this pain. That He has brought peace to Rylee through a painful situation. So He can bring peace to me too. "
Therefore strengthen your tired hands and weakened knees and make straight path for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but healed instead.
" Heb. 12:12 I know that God wants to heal but mostly he wants us to know HIM! I know to many people our family probably seems "lamed" or maybe sometimes just plain lame! We have been broken. I constantly make it my prayer that we not resist the Lord's work and so we have to endure greater injury or keep us from injuring others because of our pain. I pray this because of this warning not to risk further injury but be healed instead. This seems like a choice to me. Rylee seems to walk in that victory most days. She accepts God's goodness readily. These poems are not just talk they are her testimony. They are her honesty. May they strengthen you today through the power of the Holy Spirit.