Tuesday, February 2, 2010

God Bless the Broken Road

So I mentioned the other day that I have to wear a bridesmaid dress this July.
The Man and I are taking a course called The Truth Project, and if you haven't taken it yet and you're a Christian, I highly recommend it. I won't try to describe it - you need to just watch the trailer for it and you'll see why: Truth Project.
This week the topic was history, and Dr. Del Tackett spoke about the big picture. This is something I actually think about a lot, because it brings me comfort to know that when things go wrong in my life, God has an amazing way of using them in a greater story. I may not see most of that story until He shows me the home movies in Heaven, but sometimes I get glimpses that give me goose bumps.
When we lost Lily eight years ago one of the ways that God brought me comfort was that I really never questioned why it had happened to us. I went through all of the grief and sorrow, but I never asked God why He let it happen. I know that only the Holy Spirit can give you that kind of peace, because I honestly cannot say how I could never question Him about this. I just didn't. I knew that our loss brought the Man and I closer to each other, and closer to God. I knew that He would work beauty from our ashes. I couldn't begin to imagine how He would, but one step at a time, He did.
Follow along with me.... The miscarriage led me to look for a support group. I couldn't find one locally, so I looked online and found one. I met wonderful women who had also experienced loss, and many of us moved on from that group into another one for women who were trying to get pregnant again. When I got pregnant with the Boy, I moved on to another group for moms who were due in March of 2002. Some of the women from the loss group also came with me, and we shared the joy of being pregnant again. At the same time I found a group for Christian stay at home moms, and began forging relationships there as well. Many of the moms in that group were involved with MOPS, an organization that I had never heard of before. I looked and found a local MOPS group, and began attending their meetings. It was there that I met Kate, who is one of my most favorite people.
Kate and I began hanging out and getting to know each other pretty well. This led to me talking to her about our church situation and our unhappiness there. I said I just would really like to find a good Bible study, because I wasn't learning anything at our church. She promptly invited me to come to hers at BFC. I have been in that Thursday morning group ever since. Two years later, when the Man and I finally made the decision to leave our church, BFC was the first and only place we looked. We knew immediately that it was a great fit for us, and everything we had been looking for in a church.
This led to several other families from our old church hearing about BFC, checking it out, and also attending there steadily ever since. (Disclaimer: these families were already searching, and their decisions to leave our old church were for their own reasons. The Man and I had no influence over their decisions, we just said that this was where we were going and why we liked it.) This also led me to invite a couple who were struggling with some things. They were from our same old church. They had made some incredibly bad decisions, and their sins were coming back to bite them. (I can certainly relate to that.) I suggested that a fresh start could be helpful. They've been coming to BFC ever since. A few weeks ago, during a meeting with one of the pastors, they gave their lives to Jesus. In spite of their previous time in church, they really had never taken that step. They got engaged a few weeks ago, and the bride asked me to be one of her bridesmaids.
When Del Tackett said that we should look at the big picture, I couldn't help but think that my daughter Lily must be rejoicing in Heaven today, knowing that her death sent us down a broken road that ultimately led us to so many good things. God could see all of this ahead of time, and He knew how this story would play out. Maybe it's presumptuous of me to think this way, or maybe the writer in me likes to see things in the form of a grand storyline. I had never needed a reason why for Lily's death, but if I had to lose her for two people to find their way to Jesus, I can rejoice in the small part that I played.
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I'm still loving our new pup. Mostly. She is still cute and docile and sweet, but I think I'm finally on to her game. She pretty much does what she wants, and I'm starting to think that she believes she is feline with the level of ignoring that's going on.
First thing in the morning when I call her to go out, she is all joy and ear-flapping, and trots right out there. By night time however, she's kind of like the Man after a long day of work: dragging around, creaky. I call her to go out, no response. I call her again, and I see maybe an eyeball flitter. I repeat my half of this dance endlessly, and she rotates between looking bored, and digging further into the couch. I then walk over to her, my voice growing ever higher pitched, as I attempt to convince her that going outside to pee in 14 degree weather is, in fact, a really super fun idea. She of course does not buy this, but does raise her head enough to indicate that petting would be acceptable now.
I then take her by the collar (gently, I swear) and attempt to lead her (read: drag) from the couch. This is where her Gandhi skills emerge, as she flops to her side in a passive aggressive stance. No amount of squeakyness on my part will prompt her to get up and walk to the door. I give up, pick the tiny thing up and go plop her out the door.
If that was painful to read, then take heart, because you got the easy part. This process being repeated every night is so stinking ex.as.per.ating. On another note, we've changed her name from Phoebe to Harper. I'm no longer worried about confusing her with this change, because she clearly could care less how we address her, so long as she doesn't have to move. And when it comes to cool pet names, I think Harper is the cat's pajamas of beagle names. (See what I did there?) My literary nerd euphoria was short-lived, however, when the Princess said, "Oh cool, Harper! Just like on Wizards of Waverly Place!" (Why yes, I did just die a little inside, thanks for asking.)
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Monday, February 1, 2010

The Mighty Quilt

Remember forever ago when I said I had been working on a denim quilt since the dawn of time? Well it's done! It really is quite lovely, and the Man has said that the sheer weight of it pins him to the bed, causing him to sleep more soundly than he has in years.
That's also new paint & curtains in our bedroom, feel free to admire.

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