We Wear the Mask

I haven’t been able to get this poem out of my head since I heard an excerpt yesterday. I had to share it.

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!
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Yes

It’s funny how sometimes when you’re in the midst of thinking you just can’t continue with the task you’ve been given, God sends people to you to remind you of his power and grace.  That has been most of this week for me and I am so thankful.

“Yes” by Skekinah Glory playing in my head all week has been another way God has kept my mind on his will.  It has been a blessing this week.  I hope it blesses someone else.

 

 

 

Psalm 40:8

I take joy in doing your will, my God,
    for your instructions are written on my heart.

Psalm 40:8

 

Lord, this is what I want.  Give me the joy that comes from doing your will.  Amen.

Just Out for a Walk

Yesterday was our neighborhood-wide garage sale.  We chose not to participate this year because I simply could not get it together, but the older kids asked if we could walk around and see what others were selling.  I told them we could get out before the weather turned unbearably hot.  Against my better judgment I let the younger two ride their bicycle and tricycle.  With their money in hand I set out with my little shoppers.

As we travelled down the sidewalk I quickly realized the error in my plan.  If 2 of my 3 kiddos were riding bikes, how would they carry their loot?  Not long after that, I realized that wasn’t my only issue.  We were walking a path we’ve walked many times before.  I was accustomed to helping my youngest over the bumps and cracks in the sidewalk.  Usually a little push is all she needs every now and then, but there was so much to look at with the garage sales she found it hard to keep her eyes on the sidewalk.  She kept veering off the sidewalk and getting stuck in the space between the path and the lawns we were passing. I had to repeatedly pull her trike back onto the sidewalk. Talking to her and repeatedly saying, “Keep you eyes on the sidewalk” did not help.  Eventually I found myself getting frustrated because it was happening so often.  As I was opening my mouth to say, “Please just follow the path!”, I felt the need to close my mouth.

All of a sudden I could hear the voice in my head say, “Like you?” I couldn’t say a word because all these words started flooding my mind. “How many times have you been so distracted by everything around you that you ended up off track? There is a path laid for you and yet everything else grabs your attention and you struggle to simply continue ahead on the ‘sidewalk’ I’ve given you.  I’ve helped you over bumps in the road only to see you distracted by something you thought was greener pasture.  I’ve tugged and tugged at you to help set your ‘handle bars’ straight again and again.”  Wow! I was NOT expecting that.  We were just out for a walk.

The truth is for me it’s been really hard to follow the path.  I’ve asked for God to simply give me the next step and there have been many days I parked myself on the side and refused to move.  Other times the life I think I want or should have looks as interesting to me as the box of stuffed animals that caused my little one to roll into the grass.  Apparently it’s hard for me to follow the path too.

Lord, thank you for all the ways you continue to speak and guide.  Thank you for reminding me what kind of child I am.  Thank you for all the times you wouldn’t allow me to stay stuck where I was.  Thank you for your loving patience and kindness.  If I for a minute thought I could be frustrated after a few minutes, I cannot  imagine how you have felt after years. I pray you will give me the strength and courage to follow your will and stay the course. Amen.

Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:6

 

Moving Forward

My oldest two have been attending VBS at a friend’s church this week.  Tonight when they came home I asked, “What was the lesson today?”  After some back and forth with my son, who originally couldn’t remember, he finally answered, “Oh yeah! We talked about how to listen to God’s will.” Yep, that sounds about right.  That’s what I’ve been hearing every day this week.  I love God and his confirmation.  It just keeps coming.  God, help me to keep moving.

What Does The Lord Require of You?

I feel like I don’t have much to say right now, but I can’t get this verse and song out of my head tonight, so here I am at the computer.  Over and over I keep hearing “What does the Lord require of you?”  There are so many things God has spoken to me; sometimes I find it hard to prioritize, but lately, I’ve simply been frozen by my fears.  I’ve been allowing the “what if’s” to crowd out His voice.

God is faithful at sending messages and nudges and beautiful people to continue to provide flickers of light.  I hear the words of one of my dearest now, “Your problem isn’t clarity; it’s obedience.”

Maybe you are like me.  Maybe you know what God is calling and requiring of you, but scared to move forward.  He’s shown you over and over again how faithful He is, but still you hesitate. Maybe you are scared of what it will cost you. We know how to make things more difficult than they have to be.  I don’t know what your call is or what’s holding you back, but I pray you too will start to move forward.  Please pray for me too.

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,

what God is looking for in men and women. 

It’s quite simple:  Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,

be compassionate and loyal in your love,

And don’t take yourself too seriously-take God seriously.

Micah 6:8 MSG

 

What Am I Doing?

I was raised by a single mother. She was young when I was born. For the first few years of my life she managed to work full time and attend college full time. My hat still goes off to her because I was completely overwhelmed by motherhood, but in the end she left college her senior year.  There were many times she used her life and our struggles as a cautionary tale.  She wanted more for me and believed with all her heart that I was a smart and capable.

I loved theatre, but I was told that would be a great hobby, it was too unstable for a profession.  I should find an interest that would support me and should continue my education until I had reached the highest degree in the field.  Her goal for me was to always be self sufficient. She believed education was the way to make that happen. Graduate School and Professional School were goals I had before I even really understood what they were.

My pursuit of the right path for me wasn’t exactly a straight line, but I am sure that is true for many.  I did end up with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and considered continuing on for a Doctorate. I still think about it sometimes.  For a while my mother would ask when was I going back to school, because a Master’s degree was not the highest level.

Something happened in me when I received my infertility diagnosis.  Something everyone else seemed to be able to do so easily, I could not. It really changed my perspective on a lot of things.  I wasn’t sure about me being a mom, but I believed my husband would make a great father. It was heartbreaking.  When we finally conceived my decisions about parenting and motherhood had changed to some extent and took on a whole new meaning I didn’t even understand. Fast forward many years and now I’m a stay-at-home HOMESCHOOLING mom.  How on earth did THAT happen?

My husband and I never planned on living on one income.  We had always been a two income pursuing your passions kind of couple.  I wonder how much stress am I causing him?  He’s finally in a job he loves after many stressful years in a job he hated, but it’s come with many sacrifices.

Our entire family of five is completely dependent on him and it seems like something is always going wrong.  This is so far from our original plan and what my mother taught me.  I know lots of my friends look at me differently.  I don’t hear, “So when are you going back to work?” anymore, but there are jokes at times that don’t really feel like jokes, or reactions or comments. They won’t come out and say they think I’m crazy, but sometimes I feel it. Or maybe that’s just my paranoia.

The sad part is there are so many days I’m also looking at myself wondering too; How much money and time did I waste?  What the world God? Am I making the right decisions?  How do I know I really heard you? Are you sure it was me you were talking to?  You know I could have misinterpreted what you said.  Maybe I am just crazy?  How do you know it’s time to give up the charade?  I often feel like a fish out of water everywhere I turn. Who else feels like this?  What AM I doing???