Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It Is Well With My Soul

Yesterday I was sitting in a room with other women. The leader played an instrumental version of It is Well With My Soul and asked us to spend a few minutes with God writing down where we were at that moment. The lyrics of the song ran through my head. "It is well with my soul." I started to jot down a few notes about that idea.

Can it stay well with my soul?
It is yet... I get so frustrated and angry with my kids.

I often thought that when I was right with God, when I was feeling connected to him, then it was well with my soul.

And then I heard these lyrics in my head -
"Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul."
Thou has taught me to say...

My life, my soul doesn't have to feel it but it is. It is well with my soul. Not because of what I have done but because of who I am in Christ, because of what he did. The hymn goes on to say, "My sin not in part but the whole is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more."

It is well with my soul.

The truth of this statement trumps feeling. But the truth of this statement also gives me a feeling of peace that cannot be created by my circumstances. I rest in the truth of this. I am at peace because it is well with my soul.

And then, here's the kicker, I went to find a youtube version of this song to share on my blog. I found the story of the man who wrote this hymn. You have to watch this video. It will change how you hear this song forevermore.

Horatio Spafford experienced painful loss over and over again and yet he writes, "It is well with my soul."

Friday, October 21, 2011

This is the Right Place - Glimpses of Grace

It rained here recently. Off and on for a few days in a row. My mood plummeted. I could not seem to get anything done. And then one afternoon the sun came out and I had energy and ideas, cookies were baking, writing was happening, and the laundry was done. It has been sunny ever since. Moving to California was the right decision. I would have never survived another winter in Oregon without the aid of antidepressants.

I have these flashes often. These moments of realizing, yet again, that we made the right decision to move here. It usually comes after some pouting time on my part because I miss my friends or I am tired of feeling like an outsider. Something will happen at school, at the rink, at church or just driving down the road and I will feel it, a flash of confirmation. It is like little moments of grace when God reminds me that this place, where He lead us, is the right now.

I love getting these glimpses of God's grace and witnessing what makes this life right for us. I love seeing God answer our prayers for our kids in unexpected ways. I love that they can play outside and wear shorts all the time. Middle Man loves shorts. I love having my husband able to spend the day at the 2nd grade campout with Middle Man and being able to be so involved with Hockey Boy's team. I love seeing Little One happily ensconced in kindergarten (and being in school five days a week).

I have a lot of people ask me how things are going after the move and apart from missing my friends and being known, I can honestly say life is good. We are good.

I don't think the Bay Area is better than Oregon. I love Oregon! LOVE

But I also love life here. I love Sprinkles and sunshine. I love reconnecting with friends and even though I can get insecure at times, I love getting to know new people and hear their story. I love bike rides with the boys and worshipping at our church. Life is good.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Really Live Here

There is a point in time after you move when you look around and suddenly realize, I really live here. It is after the excitement of the new adventure has worn off and after the homesickness has passed. You have met some new friends and figured out how to get to the grocery store, school, Target and the mall without having to look at the map on your phone any longer. Life has become routine. You sit in your kitchen with a cup of coffee and it feels normal. You really live here.

This though is when the real work of moving begins, at least for relational types like me. It is nice to meet new people and find connections but it takes time to develop deep, real relationships. And so I have to keep showing up to small group Bible study, even though I still feel new and know that if I don't come they won't miss me. I have to go up to the group of women I have met and chat casually at school pick up, even though I feel like I'm in middle school again and trying to get a seat at the cool kids table. I have to get to know the parents of the kids in Middle Man's class so I can find someone to have a play date with him because he wants one but he is quiet and quirky and has not made friends on his own. 

People think I make friends easily. It is not that it comes easily to me. I struggle with getting in my car to meet up with a group of women. I get insecure asking for play dates for my boys. I am horrible with names and make a terrible first impression. But eventually, I do make friends and I think it is because I keep showing up. I keep reaching out. 

I am in that place right now. The one where I realize this is now home. But I am still feeling disconnected and a little lost. I realized this week that while I have places to go and things to do, if I didn't show up no one would really miss me. If I dropped out of life, no one would really notice. 

I miss my friends dearly. They would have noticed my absence or a change in my mood. They know me. I would love to meet up at the coffee shop and just be together. Not having to worry about saying the wrong thing or having to explain the whole back story. But this is home. And I know, from experience, that I will be known again. It will just take time. 

And that is why this phase of a move is so hard. There is nothing you can do but wait.