Good Read: Bread Crumbs | Storyline Blog

Last week I had a dream about my mom. In my dream, a space ship crashed into the woods at the end of street where I grew up, and from the crash site emerged a robot that walked through the neighborhood.

Of course I took video of all this. But as I did, I noticed my neighbor was also taking video, and then was abruptly whisked away in a black Escalade. When I saw this, I ran through the neighborhood to my house, turned off all the lights, and hid under a side table.

(Clearly a subconscious mashup of E.T., The Iron Giant, and Super 8.)

But then my mother entered. In my dream, I was viewing all this as a third party observer, and there she was… feisty, flummoxed, and wondering what I was up to.

She was wearing pantyhose with slippers, a skirt, and only a bra on top. She carried a round brush, and I could see her hair was flat on one side, and fluffed to curly perfection on the other.

This was how my mother looked every Sunday morning as she got ready for church.

She demanded to know what was going on, but all I kept saying was “TELL THEM I’M NOT HOME.”

I could see the stress in my mother’s face – the pursed lips and the furrowed brow. She was unsure of what to do with me, which I’m sure was a common feeling she had when I was young.

The scene ended abruptly when I woke up, but the essence of my mom lingered, and I held on to her as reality pushed its way in like daylight breaking through the cracks of a treeline.

And that’s when it hit me how much I missed my mom.

Dementia and Alzheimers are cruel deseases. At times it feels like psychological torture because you’re not grieving someone who is dead, but someone who is right in front of you that you love dearly but is not always “in there.”

For a moment, I was Adam dreaming of Eden.  Adam, on the outside of the garden, suddenly getting a whiff of something in the old garden that he’d left long ago.  And that whiff brought it all back, remembering what once was.  And for a minute I enjoyed it, and then a sadness moved in.

via Bread Crumbs | Storyline Blog.

I read the above essay on Friday, my birthday, an occasion that felt sad for the first time in my life.

The essay goes on to suggest that perhaps our memories of Eden-times hint at the eternity that is “written on our hearts,” the eternity we’ve already experienced with Adam and will one day return to with Jesus.

And just like that, my wallowing transformed to worship, because I’m reminded that I’m not alone in my longing for Eden, and that a rescue plan for returning is already in place.

in hot pursuit

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13 ESV)

Today I worked straight through lunch, and when I finally unplugged my headphones at 1:30 to see what Bryan was up to, he asked if I was ready to eat.

I was surprised to hear that he’d also skipped lunch because he was waiting to spend time with me.

At first I was irritated because I hadn’t planned on taking a break at all. The Task Master in me had things to get done and no time for fraternizing!

Then as I stood there at my kitchen island slicing an apple and considering my inconvenient situation, I saw a mental picture of myself running away from the people I love the most – my kids, Bryan, and even Jesus. My heart doesn’t pursue them with a never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love, but retreats into selfishness and bitterness.

But just like my diligent and loving husband pursues me over and over, Jesus continues to pursue my heart.

So I repented today.

I repented for always running away and making myself the most important person in the room. I expressed my gratitude for a husband’s love that clearly images the unconditional love of Jesus. And I said, “Help me! Help me! Help me!” because I have no idea how to live differently, but I know enough to trust that Jesus will change my heart.

Joy in the Tight Spots

The year after I dropped out of college I worked as a receptionist at a tech company and shared an apartment with my best friend. I can’t remember the exact circumstances of our financial situation, but I remember we were in a Tight Spot.

We were in danger of not making rent and didn’t have enough money for groceries.

Is was so bad that we ate an onion fried in butter for dinner one night, cashed in our penny jars at the bank, and grown-up friends left a few bags of groceries at our apartment door on more than one occasion.

We also tried to sell my friend’s tiny green Le Car by posting signs in the window that said, “Please buy this car or we’ll be living in it.”

In the years since then I’ve been in both plenty and want, but this month feels a little like those Glory Days of eating Ramen, fried onions, and selling stuff to pay the bills.

I’m not sure we’ll get enough client payments to make the mortgage, we decided the destination of our date night based on the amount of gas we had in our car, and the Porter I’m drinking now is courtesy of some Christmas money I’d stashed away for a rainy day.

And still, I think I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time.

Money is just money, and things are just things. We work hard and I’m sure the mortgage will get paid eventually… but even if it doesn’t, we’ll be okay.

I remember talking to my mom those many years ago, and she fretted. She was good at fretting. “What do I do??” she fretted. “Do I send you money??”

No, I said. We’ll be fine.

And even now as I think back on that season, I remember it as being fun. I’m sure it wasn’t at the time, but that’s the beauty of retrospect: we only remember the important things through a filter of maturity.

I don’t remember feeling stressed or scared, but I do remember watching Robert Downey Jr. in Chaplin for $1 at the King Cat theater, then walking all the way home to lower Queen Anne in the middle of the night because I didn’t have bus money.

So in this current season I attempt to trust God with things I can’t control, rest in the sovereignty of his provision, and enjoy the moments that bring me joy in the midst of our Tight Spot.

Remarks by the President at Easter Prayer Breakfast | The White House

“Because in the middle of critical national debates, in the middle of our busy lives, we must always make sure that we are keeping things in perspective.” – President Obama

I’m a very task-oriented person, even if I’m not that organized about it. Disciplining myself to slow down and reflect on anything is always a challenge, because most of the time it’s much easier to just keep moving.

The clearest picture I have of this is when my day approaches the dinner hour. If I’m organized, the crockpot will be doing its thing, the kids will be (quietly!) getting an hour of screen time, and I’ll sit in my comfy chair for the first time in 12 hours, waiting for Bryan to get home.

As soon as I do this, I feel every cell in my body breathe a sigh of relief, and suddenly I’m limp like a wet towel on the bathroom floor. I push myself so hard during the day that even when I do stop to rest and reflect, I’m too exhausted.

Every year on the day after Easter, I promise myself that I’ll be more organized during Holy Week, more reflective, more of whatever box I feel I should check. And yet, every year around Thursday I’m still like OH MAH GAH TOMORROW IS GOOD FRIDAY QUICK EVERYONE LETS TALK ABOUT THE DEATH OF OUR LORD!

I’m over feeling guilty about it (did you hear? My 40’s is the guilt-free decade!), and have completely embraced that Christ continues to sanctify my tendency to Doing rather than Being.

He continues to love me and pursue me and tell me to STFU and listen for once (my paraphrase), and I accept his grace with the dignity of a short, squishy, frazzled, middle-aged child of the 80’s by repenting through prayer, really loud music, and dancing – sans the Legend of Billie Jean / Love Is A Battlefield drama.

And no, it’s not lost on me that it takes a poke from the leader of the free world to remind me that “we all live in the hustle and bustle of our work. And everybody in this room has weighty responsibilities….”

So yes, Mr. President, my trip to the DMV can be bumped to next week. Thanks for reminding me to stop and reflect on the humility of Christ as we approach Easter weekend.

via Remarks by the President at Easter Prayer Breakfast | The White House.