Thursday, March 8, 2012

be careful that you do not forget...

I got my fresh start in the Flathead Valley over a year ago now.  I moved here in late December of 2010, exhausted, depleted, disheartened, sad, and lonely.  Since then, so many wonderful things have happened.  I returned to my writing roots (which I had had almost no time to devote to during my time in ministry).  I started my blog.  I started doing some copywriting and copyediting.  I got to stay home with my daughter and enjoy making countless wonderful memories with her.  I made friends--wonderful, honest, authentic, welcoming, caring, Jesus-centered friends.  I had great opportunities to use my spiritual gift of teaching through MOPS and Bible studies at church.  I got to connect with members of my church who are just as excited about Jesus' mission on earth as I am and brainstorm ways to live that mission out.  I got to enjoy the beauty of this area--snow-covered mountains and tamaracks and sparkling lakes.  I felt myself coming alive again.  I started to heal from some hurts of the past.

But it's amazing how a person starts to get used to God's blessings.  I think that I do this with my husband as well.  I so easily forget how lonely I was as a single person, how I prayed on my knees with tears, asking God to send me a husband.  I so easily forget worrying that I would die alone.  I so easily forget wondering if I was destined to be single forever.  And now I have a tremendously wonderful husband, who consistently shows me God's love, who is compassionate and kind, who helps me in so many ways around the house, who listens to me without judgment, who understands me better than perhaps anyone...and I easily forget how that is not a normal thing.  That this is a given thing.  That this is a gift.  I so easily pass him by and think he gives me my due.  But in truth, he gives me much more than I deserve.  I pass him by so often like a woman who's gotten used to living by the Grand Canyon.

I get used to God's other blessings too.  God wants me to stop, pay attention, and remember what tremendous gifts He has given me in my life.  Rather than get annoyed with the ways my daughter gets in the way of my plans, God wants me to stop and contemplate the mystery that is an entire human being that one day was not and then one day was.  God wants me to be reverent and joyful and watch as He continues to fashion her, His masterpiece.  I am on the cusp of the flower unfolding.

I have my husband, my daughter, Montana, my friends.  There was a time when I did not have any of these things.  I am thankful.  I am thankful for what I have been given. 

"When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."--Deuteronomy 6:10-12 (NIV)


  1. Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful, Rebecca! :-)

    I can't begin to tell you how much joy this post brings me, as your mother. You bring such light and joy to those around you! (That's why we nicknamed you Joyface!) I, too, am "at the cusp of the flower unfolding" as I stand back, watching you BE the wife, mother, friend, disciple, and daughter.

    AND...I am grateful God has often brought me back to reality with this very verse you quoted. What a delight to see it warm your heart as well!

  2. Excellent post! Someone once said life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans. We do often take things for granted especially those of us born in wealthy and affluent western societies.

    We can all count our blessings now and again, and perhaps not worry too much about what we don't have. Living in a city I often envy those who live in more rural and remote settings, and yet even in cities there are blessing and advantages we have and take for granted. Learning to be content is something godly and we all need to be grateful for the good things God has gifted us.

    1. Thanks, Timothy. I do think that especially those of us in more affluent nations take things for granted more. We have so much that we fail to appreciate it. We are chronically discontent.

  3. We all come from different beliefs, communions, teachings and traditions but it cannot be denied that it is the beauty of our common humanity that shines through. It is the source of all compassion, forgiveness and love (agape-fellowship or brotherly love). It always does my heart good whenever someone finds a companion to share their life in love (eros-not necessarily sexual, but intimate and passionate love). Alone life can be harsh and lonely; full of illusions and false hope. But like a flame that is shared, passed from candle to candle without being itself diminished, your blessings bring light to us all,I thank you for bearing witness to it and I rejoice because of it. I want that light for everyone. Here 1 Corinthians 12, (esp. 12:26) speaks to me.

    But I know that I see "as if through a glass darkly" (1cor13:12). I humble myself and I remind myself of my mortal limitations as the light spreads. I speak my piece, but then sit and listen because even a Samaritan Leper can spread the light and show great faith (Luke 17:11-19).

    BTW,I admire this ability in you. I truly find our discussions inspiring, but finding a civil discourse about spiritual matters between christians and non christians is sadly rare.

    P.S. here are a few non christian items that spoke to me after reading your post:

    "The storyteller makes no choice, but soon you will not hear his voice, he's come to share the light and not to master...."
    Terrapin Station by the Grateful Dead.

    "The truth never hurt a just cause."
    M. Gandhi

    Charlie Chaplain only began to make "talkies" in 1939 in his movie "the great dictator" where he played a jewish barber who was mistaken for Hitler because of their accidental resemblance. In the final scene he tried to remind us of our human connection (agape) and warn us the consequences of intolerance just before Europe slid off into WWII. Although not a christian, Chaplain quoted Luke in the scene.

    1. Thanks for your kind words and for another interesting link, Chuck. It's an inspiring speech by Chaplin. It left me asking, "well, why don't people just come together and be compassionate instead of hateful? why has this never been achieved in the history of the world?" My belief is that although we are made in the image of God--and therefore have something of His compassion and love--we are also born into sin. Original sin, someone once said, is the most empirically verifiable doctrine in the Bible. It shows our fundamental need to be remade new, from outside of ourselves. The verse that Chaplain quotes may also be translated, "The kingdom of God is at hand," I believe.

      Christians, however, are not perfectly loving either. I think this is because we are still in process. If we were to go into a car factory and see many parts missing off of one of the cars on the assembly line, we might say, "they call themselves a car factory! where is the car?" But we would not realize that the cars are not yet finished. One of the toughest struggles of my life has been coming to terms with sin in other Christians. But I am coming to see that to realize God is gracious to them means that He is also gracious to me.

  4. T-childs:

    "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans"
    ....Beautiful Boy by John Lennon.

  5. Hi Chuck; yeah I knew it was someone pretty famous! Cheers!

    Great comment by the way; you added to the discussion here which is really good.


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