Boundary Lines

I wrote this some time ago when we were looking at the real possibility of moving out of state.  It looks like we will keep calling Arkansas our home, but waiting for that answer was lengthy and heart wrenching.  Here is one piece of what that boxing match-surrender with the Almighty looked like.  I just wanted you to know that God sees you…sees the waiting…and that He has plotted something beautiful for you, as well.

I almost had a crisis of spirit thousands of feet in the air.  Father, why do people always say, “I heard the Lord say…??”  It’s almost as if they commune with You in such an intimate way that they hear Your audible voice.  I have begged for this, Lord, that You would go deeper with me in communication and intimacy.  It would be so much simpler if I could just hear You, plain and clear.  It would be easier to obey and surely, I would love that sound more than anything in the whole world.

Silence.

My heart twists and falls, matching the rhythm of the airplane.  Don’t you love me like you do your other children, Father?

Weary.

After traveling to one of the biggest cities in the south, and knowing a move is a true possibility, I am overwhelmed at the options.  Suburb options, school options, church options…it is bigger than I ever dreamed.  Scarier.  I feel like there is no compass telling us how to get our bearings.  I am overcome with anxiety.

Would I find myself in this new place or leave myself behind in smaller town Arkansas?  I am Your child and that never changes, but so much of me that thrived might possibly wither up and die.  So many things that I love about home might be gone in a blink. I know I am supposed to lay down my life, but what exactly would I be dying for?  That’s what I kept asking myself while we drove around.  “Why again are we even here??”

You gave one small word of comfort yesterday morning while I was alone in the hotel room.  Psalm 16:5-6.

So, all of these thoughts are in a boxing match called my mind and I want to escape.  But, I am trapped on a stuffy plane where even locking myself in the bathroom is not an appealing option.

Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.  When overwhelmed, I can only process by surrendering the issue and getting into Your presence as fast as possible.

The pilot says we are almost home.  Perhaps he didn’t use those words, but that is what my soul hears.  I look out my tiny window where the clouds had playfully begged me to come out and jump from each cotton poof of candy to the next.

Now, I see parcels of land, each defined by either roads, rivers, or lines of trees.  It is unmistakable, each patch of brown has its boundary marks and is totally divided from the land that surrounds it.  Large brown puzzle pieces, all joined perfectly, each in varying size and shape.

It wasn’t audible, but I knew it was God.  The words from the previous morning in the hotel room came to mind:  “The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.”  It is God who holds my lot, decides which parcel I am to dwell on.  Wherever that is, it is good.

I peer out the window for a closer look.  I am always begging God to give me eyes to see.  On one patch of land, I see a flock of birds landing for lunch.  On another patch, I see rows of hay bales, winter food set aside for cattle.  Each patch has the exact provision necessary for whatever dwells there.

From thousands of feet in the air, I can look down on each line of boundary and see how the lines have fallen in pleasant places.

I know our good Father has that vantage point all the time.  I know a heart of surrender and faith gives me eyes to see, as well.

Establish us, Lord.

“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

You hold my lot.

The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.”

Psalm 16:5-6

God appoints the bounds of our habitation.  It is our wisdom and duty to accommodate ourselves to our lot, and to improve it.  Matthew Henry

 

 

A Stitch of Legacy

Years and years ago, my great aunts Leet and Matt sat together and sewed countless quilts together.  Perhaps it was to pass the time, or perhaps it was to meet the real need of staying warm in the winter.  I was given two such quilts.  One, in the pattern of wedding rings and edged in hot pink, hangs on my bedroom wall.  It’s sacred in that no one is allowed to touch it as I am doing my best to preserve it for future generations.  The other quilt, a colorful, more common quilt, edged in red, has traveled with our family to countless soccer and baseball games as well as countless photography sessions.  It has kept my family warm as we have cheered on our boys and it has kept my photography clients’ rears from getting wet from the soaked ground.  I need to retire it from use, but I can hardly stand the thought as it has colored my world with it’s vibrancy for so long.

I think when my great aunts were stitching all those years ago, they were not thinking about what would be passed down.  Legacy probably never entered their minds.  They did the practical task before them…one laborious stitch after another…perhaps singing hymns, saying prayers, and listening to one another’s hearts along the way.  It’s a pure form of worship:  taking a menial task, offering praise, and surrendering it to the purpose of One so much higher.  In those acts of worship, legacy takes root, and allows people to live on through their impact, oblivious to the grave.

Sometimes even the menial can be transformed into our legacy.  The dirty diapers, the countless prayers, the mountain of laundry, the taxi service to all the kids, the meal after meal after meal.  Let’s press on and be faithful in those small (and sometimes less than glorious) callings of each day.  Perhaps our “handful of stitches” will bless generations and generations after us.