he dug down

When I was half-grown, my family got horses. I thought it would be cool. It turned out to be a lot of work. My dad roused our family one Saturday and told us it was time to fence in a pasture for our future horse. He had outlined the perimeter of it, he said. Now we had to fence it. We set out, loading our supplies onto the four-wheeler. One of us took the post-hole digger and started digging. Dad would measure, and tell us to dig deeper. Two of us came behind, one holding the post with thick work gloves while the other slammed a post-pounder down on the top of it, over and over. Behind them we came filling in the holes, snapping on the insulators, stringing the wire. It was a long day. When we finished we could scarcely even see the slim wire fence against the thick prairie grass. It was there, and effective, but practically invisible.

I read the parable of the builders today, in Luke 6. Jesus says of the first builder that “he dug down” and laid a foundation. It didn’t even take having a horse to know that I hate digging, and here’s God, saying you have to keep digging if you don’t want your life to fall over.

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“Do you really think these trees have been here for a thousand years?” Tiffany asked. Jon looked up. We all looked up. Standing there under the towering fragrant forest, we couldn’t doubt that they had seen a thousand years of sunrises, heard a thousand years of laughter. Their roots, I learned, grow up to 6 feet deep and nearly 100 feet out. The Redwoods are anchored for the centuries.

I spent about a year, maybe even more, digging through my crippling insecurity, trying to find the root of it, to dig that out too. You’ve got to dig down into yourself, but dig down into God too. It was only ever after I started with Him and His words as a foundation that I was able to dig up the crap I’d been standing on.

I’m trying to build this life-foundation strong, because I want to stand tall. Maybe it is hidden work, but even if nothing of the foundation shows, then at least the life-that-does-not-crumble will. Perhaps it will take hours at my kitchen table, reading and underlining and praying the scriptures. Maybe it will take years. Maybe it should take years. But perhaps if we stay where we are meant to be, if we dig down deep enough, then in a thousand years we will be as beautiful as this.

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quiet

Today is quiet and I want to keep it that way. I am leaving for Redwood Valley, CA in two days and it’s going to be a bit of a respite from the challenges of daily life as a mama. But I need respite now, not just whenever I can escape to California. So I have set aside my goals for today.

I am an expert at carrying goals. I create mental checklists a mile long and mutter over them internally all day long. Today is not for lists. Today is for quiet.

The sun rose quietly, touching the frozen rooftops first; then she slid down the walls and windows, delicately touching her toes to the icy earth like a timid-eager girl. The house itself seems to be resting; it is half clean/half cluttered, but that could just mean it holds life in a balance of work and rest. Even my heart is finding rest. I read Luke 1 this morning, and chose Luke 1:74-75 as my next memory passage. “…that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”

These words are grounding me. It is for worship and service to God that we are freed. Not to keep our homes clean, not to press forward into to-do lists. For worship, for recounting of his blessings whether we find them in strong muscles, sunshine sliding across the walls throughout the morning, babies cooing and chattering, anything.

Here is to the quiet we need, and cultivate.

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