“Spring fever” is upon us! My boys are giddy with it. Micah has it the worst. He keeps bringing me his shoes, like a little puppy with a leash, and then dragging me towards the door begging for a walk outside. And I have been happy to oblige. Growing up in South Africa, summer is a year-long experience. Seasons as defined sets of time and weather are non-existent. So I never grow tired of the changes in earth and sky and sight and smell that seasons here bring. And Spring is my all time favorite. It’s simply intoxicating. The brightness of everything. The freshness. The sense of a new beginning.
The blog and I are enjoying a fresh start too. Since God and I just got done discussing my relationship with the blog. Sound weird? Let me back up. Waaay back. Twelve years ago when Pete and I were slimmer, trimmer versions of ourselves and not yet even dating, he used to bound up to my apartment after work and announce: “So, I was talking to God today and ….” Then he would go on to recount whatever “conversation” he had had with God that day. I was amazed. Seriously, a guy who talks to God, for real? A football playing, 225 lb-bench-pressing dude who takes time out of his day to consult with God about stuff? I was intrigued. Especially when he would say things like, “So I was telling God today how much I’ve been thinking about you. And God was like ‘Yea, I know!'”
Well, I took a page out of Pete’s book this past month and have been talking to God a lot about this blog. Because I have come to believe that God is interested in everything I am interested in. Even my blog. So I set about asking him: Why am I blogging, God? What should I be blogging about? Does anyone even care what I have to say about babies and motherhood and the best ways to clean diarrhea out of a carpet? I was especially concerned about the famous factor. By that I mean that all the most well-read, most popular, most inspirational, most famous blogs I follow (in the mommyhood category) are mostly written by women who have suffered immeasurable, unspeakable things (you can click on the links to read their stories):
Jennifer and her Baby Stellan – 4 months old and a week in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit with a heart rhythm that can’t seem to break out of Supraventricular Tachycardia. Patrice and her baby Jonah who was born with an extremely rare genetic skin disorder called Epidermolysis Bullosa, so sensitive that just trying to rub his tummy can cause blisters to break out. Angie and her baby Audrey who was born and lived only a few hours. The millions of special needs orphans and the families who adopt them and stay the course when coming home brings its own kinds of challenge.
You see, these blogs both inspired and made me afraid. Afraid that God might snatch my little corner of the blogosphere and try and turn it into a pulpit of his own. And to do so I was afraid he would inflict something awful on my family so that I might have something meaningful to share. Sound crazy? Apparently God thought so too. Because after weeks of thinking and talking to God about all this, finally, finally on my drive home on Friday he reminded me of something important. Well 2 things really:
1. A passage from the book of Ecclesiastes written by a King who had experienced pretty much all life had to offer. It goes like this:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. I know that there is nothing better for man, than to rejoice, and to do good so long as they live. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy good in all his labor, is the gift of God.
2. No matter what time or season it is, it is all God’s pulpit. Everything we go through, God wishes to be in it with us. Good, bad, ugly and inbetween. In all our labor. In all we do. In all our busy-ness. In all our business. God wants us to “enjoy good” in all of it. Wow.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Enjoying the good that comes from all we go through doesn’t necessarily mean that all we go through will be good. Just ask the remarkable women I linked to above. But, man alive, the amazing things that have come out of their experiences. The rock-your-world, jaw-dropping kind of good. The thousands of lives affected, changed, inspired, moved because of them and what they have gone through kind of good. The it’s a gift that just keeps on giving kind of good.
And that’s when I realized I don’t have to be afraid. Because that’s not what God wants for me. A spirit of fear. No, he wants me to have goodness and joy. He wants me to love and be loved. And that’s what he wants for my family too. Because when I read those “famous” blogs that’s what I hear – I hear how loved they feel – by God. I hear how they trust him. How they still know joy in the midst of their greatest battles. And how they come out the other side with a sense of the goodness of God that even they find hard to put into words. This is his gift to us.
But his especial gift to me this week was the reminder that he is just as much with me in the times of mourning as he is in the times of dancing. It was such a relief. Boy, did I need the reminder. And since then I have been itching to get back to my blog. I am so ready to share this season of dancing that we are in at the moment. Of new jobs and new kids and new opportunities (by “new kids” I only mean baby Micah, for my family reading this who may just have had several sets of heart-attacks). Sure, there may be all kinds of twists and turns down the road. Sorrow and heartache. And I’ll be sure to share that if and when it comes. But for now, it’s our season to celebrate. And we plan to make the most of it!