My Father's Daughter


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Tenderness

photo source: Wikipedia

There is a small rabbit dying outside my office window today. It is breaking my heart – open wounds, broken bones surrounded by delicate fur. We debated trying to save it but can see the futility of that course of action. My father would shoot it, but as my husband is not a hunter or gun person (thank you, God) we are letting nature take its course.

It is agonizing to watch the life ebb out of the glassy eyes of this beautiful creature. It is a fragile, tender, precious thing, and it is dying.

I wish I could do more – offer comfort, provide healing, take it in my hands and stroke away fear.

I wish I could feel less. Somewhere inside me echos the words of my farming ancestors that this is only a rabbit. My husband pointed out that it is rabbits who cut into the bounty from our garden. I hear words from my childhood – that I am too sensitive.

Maybe I am.

Or maybe it is not a shameful thing to be open to the suffering of even a small rabbit. There is so much pain and suffering in this world – so many things that I can’t imagine, that people must endure. I fear knowing about it because I fear that once I tip into it I will drown.

But people do endure. And when we are tender toward the suffering, when we acknowledge it and sit with it and identify it’s profoundness and beauty, we are the better for having known it.

I am sensitive. I am tender-hearted. It is how I see the world, and it is how I know that the world my Father created and the people he made in his image are awe-inspiring, delicate, beautiful and precious.

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How Sarah helped me blog anew

I haven’t posted on this blog since September 2008. My eldest daughter was born in early October of 2008. Coincidence? I think not. After baby number two I started a new blog called Tales of the Reluctant Mother in order to navigate the murky waters of motherhood and my place in it.

But sometimes I want to blog about other things. I have other journeys, other battles to fight, and other issues to shed light on (and clearly far too many metaphors for just one blog). I’ve been toying with returning to this, my humble blogging beginning. And then, then I read Sarah Bessey’s blog post In which we are saved, right now and it set my heart a-hummin. I wander over to Sarah’s blog periodically without following her formally as I covet her writing talent. But I will take up her challenge to share a post on the same theme. So, here I go.

What is saving my life right now.

What is saving my life right now is the need my babies have of me. Not because I am a good parent, or a better parent than their Dad (I give them too much sugar, allow too much TV and don’t get on the floor to be their human jungle gym). They need me because I am Mom and I am THEIR Mom. I see into their little hearts and know the tenderness there; I hear their laughter and know the wisdom there; I feel their little arms around my neck and know their love – that precious, precious love of a child for her mother.

What is saving my life right now is my parents. The tearful pride in my Dad’s eyes when he thinks of his kids – of me. He’s proud of me. And the pride I have for my mother who at age 66 started a new job and found passion – and because she was passionate about it and because she was perfect for it she excelled at it. This gives me hope for my own career search and dissatisfaction.

What is saving my life right now is my husband. Through 8 years we have navigated (read: fought) our way through the difficult times of work frustrations, personal heartaches, loss, grief, painful growth, and our individual selfishness and are now coming through it to finally start to see each other, know each other, love each other (you know, what we should have done from day one).

What is saving my life right now is finally, finally, finally, understanding at a heart level things I should already know about my God – how he values me, THAT he values me, how wide and deep his compassion is and how amazing is his love. Why don’t I know these things yet? Where have I been? Oh, yeah, lost in fear and doubt.

What is saving my life right now is the big things in my life – the big loves, the big relationships, the big reasons to be alive. I would love it if I was noticing the little things in life to counter-balance the little irritations, but right now my problems feel big, and I need the big things to save me. And I will cling to the big things until I can see clearly enough to notice the little joys in life. I know they are many, and I know they are just out of my sight, I can feel them like a childhood memory that is close to being remembered but still hazy. I will find my balance and breath in crisp air and be happy, see flowers and be peaceful, hear the wind and be relaxed. Someday.

Until then, coffee is saving me too.


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The Rock[star]s will cry out

I think one of the surest testaments to God’s existence as well as His desire to have a relationship with His children, is the longing for Him that each human possesses. One of the surest testaments to this longing is our art, our literature, our music — expressions of the pursuit of fulfillment of the void. SO many “love” songs are actually sentiments more appropriately reserved for God. Human relationships can never replace a relationship with God. We will never get from another person the things we can get from God. And so these modern day psalmists are actually penning words that express in meaningful ways love of, need of, and praise of God.

Exhibit A:

PUSH

Every time I look at you the world just melts away
All my troubles all my fears dissolve in your affections
You’ve seen me at my weakest but you take me as I am
And when I fall you offer me a softer place to land

Chorus
You stay the course you hold the line you keep it all together
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe in
You’re all the things that I desire, you save me, complete me
You’re the one true thing I know I can believe

I get mad so easy but you give me room to breathe
No matter what I say or do ’cause you’re too good to fight about it
Even when I have to push just to see how far you’ll go
You won’t stoop down to battle but you never turn to go

(Chorus)

There are times I can’t decide when I can’t tell up from down
You make me feel less crazy when otherwise I’d drown
But you pick me up and brush me off and tell me I’m ok
Sometimes that’s just what we need to get us through the day

(Chorus)

Written by Sarah McLachlan


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How Shania Twain taught me about God’s love

I must make yet another confession. I like country music. Please don’t judge me. It gets worse. I like Shania Twain. Seriously, it doesn’t make me a bad person.

Currently one of my favourite Shania songs (they don’t stay favs for long — I don’t know if you’ve noticed, her songs are beginning to sound very much the same…) is “I’m Jealous”. It’s a song about being so in love that the protagonist is jealous of the moon, the sun, the wind, and the rain for their ability to caress her lover’s skin. The chorus is as follows: “I don’t want to share you with nothing else, gotta’ have you to myself, I can’t help it I’m so in love, I just can’t get you close enough”.

It occurred to me that that is how our jealous God feels about us. And the neat thing is, the wind, the sun, the moon, the rain, are all gifts of His love, they are a caress from Him. This was an emotional moment for me. I struggle with understanding God’s love for me, and maybe even accepting it. So anything that can help me to gain an understanding that I am the object of this incredible, undeserved love is great, even if it is a country song.