Friday, July 29, 2011

On Dreams Turned Over and Hands Opened

I’ve been holding it here in my hands for quite a while now, this dream. I know the feel of it, and the heft. The longer I carry it, the heavier it gets as I try to convince God of the wisdom of my plan, and the burden in my heart gets deeper as I long for this dream to come to fruition.
I’ve had burdens before, so clearly placed by God and it has been miraculous to watch His plans unfold. This one, however -  maybe it is mine alone and not a plan, not a seed God has planted. I know from hopes confided by friends that many have dreams buried deep, or held in hands as closely clasped as mine.
Once I heard a speaker talk about our hopes and dreams. We clench them so tightly, she said, that our hands aren’t open to what God may have for us instead. Oh, I have cradled this dream, held it close, talked long with God about it. And yes, my hands have been closed tightly around this hope, my eyes focused on it even as I talk to God, on whom my eyes should rest.

The other night: a tough one. The heaviness is difficult and I want to lie down and cry for a little while. Instead I think I should perhaps tend to the little flock here, and so I turn the praise music up very, very loud on my small kitchen radio, and begin to wash dishes. Husband comes down shortly, and observes with a question in his voice, “You’re really crankin’ the tunes down here.”

“Trying to replace the spirit of heaviness with the garment of praise,” I tell him. Husband murmurs ascent, and goes to put in a load of wash. He knows me.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

                                      Isaiah 61:3

          Hands in soapy water, lips and heart raised in praise, I try to let go. I was not put on this earth to realize my own dreams, I know, but to glorify the one who made me. It’s up to Him where I do it and how; my task is to do it, wherever, however, giving thanks always. Oh, that I could do it more gracefully, that I could do it in all things. Scrubbing pots, I press on, whispering thanks.

            The next morning, sitting pondside as boys swim, I thumb through a magazine. Should I be surprised to see this verse, on this day?

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;

You have made my lot secure.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

Surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Psalm 16:5-6

            How very blessed I have been. There have been difficulties and there are private griefs and struggles but in Him, my lot is always secure. I look out at brown boys diving off the dock, at Littlest happily pushing a boat through the cool water; at the robin’s egg blue sky and the sand and the sun, and I know that the boundary lines of my life are pleasant.  I am so grateful for this inheritance, for His inheritance. Sitting there, toes in sand, I tearfully peel back my tightly clasped fingers and let the dream sit next to me. It’s not gone yet. But my hands are open, my eyes are looking up, and my heart is thankful.

Among the listed thanks:

Moonlit walks with Husband
Grilled zucchini
Painted toenails (blue!)
Story time with boys and Husband, dog and cat all listening in
Libraries full of treasures
Estate sale treasures
Cat who curls up close and purrs loud
Insights from boys
Visit from brother and sister-in-law from CO
Cookout with family, sharing and laughing
Cooking and cleaning together
Almond flour blueberry muffins (Yum!)

There is always, always so much to be thankful for.

Trusting in Him,

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