Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Remembering Haiti...

I just found this post in my "drafts." I'm not sure why I never posted it after coming home from Haiti. Maybe I wanted to expand on the inner workings of my heart. Either way, here it stayed, tucked away in a folder, maybe for a day such as today. I knew coming back to the real world would be hard. If I'm being honest, being in Haiti was the most free I have felt in a long time. I was free to be that girl I used to know....the Laura who could talk to anyone and spend hours doing so. The girl who was tied to no other responsibilities but loving on other people, laughing, playing games, working hard but finding joy in every part of it. The girl that could be silly, engaging, intentional. That was the Laura that was in Haiti.....and yet coming home, back to reality, to bills, to responsibilities, to being a mom, to tough relationships, to lists of things to do, and back to having as many failures as successes with all those things I just listed.......slowly made God become smaller again. What I've realized is that it is easy to find God when you have a week away from reality to totally and completely be in his presence. The challenge is seeking Him in the every day....not "finding" Him every day, "seeking" Him. I can't tell you how often I've prayed over the past 8 months to see Him, cried out for help, longing for that natural relationship to transpire....without actually putting the work into it. Finding this post today was a sweet and precious reminder.....of everything that I felt while I was in Haiti....of how on fire I was for the Lord....of how I truly felt my heart change just by going there.....before I let the world start weighing it down again.


You know that feeling you get when you just know you are supposed to do something and you can't put your finger on exactly why or how you know, you just do? Well that was what I experienced back in January. I had known for a while that my heart was pulling towards something, and when the opportunity to go to Haiti presented itself, that feeling appeared! If you know me, then you would know I tried to fight that feeling, telling God that it was too big, my kids are too young, I have too much going on in my life right now, I'm not ready. Yet doors continued to open and the way started paving itself!

Maybe it happened with age. Maybe it began when I started working, providing for myself. Maybe it was the day my first child was born and I became the adult. No matter how it happened, God slowly started becoming smaller and smaller in my life. The bigger I became...the more responsibilities I took on....the more control I tried to seize.....was leaving me empty and emptier!!!! And in January...I had hit a wall. I was tired of living in a comfort zone, tired of seeking MY way, tired of getting by on MY hopes, tired of being let down by MY dreams. So I decided to take a leap of faith, stop fighting, and surrender to that voice in my heart. I signed up to go to Haiti!!!!! Yeeeaaaa, right? Well, that's what I thought.

And then I got sick. For 4 months my three year old and I fought strep throat. My immune system was down and I was just plain tired. In the midst of that I broke my tailbone and have continually struggled with back problems. My heart and body just felt weak....too inadequate to go on a trip such as this. Fear began to creep in.....what if I was wrong? What if I only "thought" God was telling me to go? And worse....what if going doesn't change anything?

I went on to Haiti with one prayer on my heart....."Please Lord show up. Please meet me there." I was needing God to be big....bigger than He had ever been before. And, honestly, I was scared that maybe He wouldn't be....maybe He couldn't be. Boy was I wrong!!!! And not just in a small way.......BIG TIME WRONG! God left whatever funk and junk I was bringing in my heart on that plane!!!

It has been extremely difficult to put into words exactly what I experienced on that trip. What I can say is that in the midst of all my struggles, all my doubts, all my fears that God may not be the "enough" I needed....He surpassed them. He didn't just speak to me on this trip....he was present, all around, everywhere I looked, in everything we did. For one week I was able to serve as God's hands and feet to others. And that moment....that small piece of time....was greater than any junk that may have been clouding my view of Him before going. Haiti was a life changing trip, but more than anything....it has changed my heart. I feel like it is "beatin" in ways it never has before.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Case of the TERRIBLE TWO'S

I often wonder if it is just me who can find a lesson in almost everything....or if it is God who is actually trying to teach me a lesson in almost everything. If I were a bettin' (wo)man, I would go would the latter.

You know when you just wake up to one of those days: bad mood, mad at the world, lacking joy??!! Well this is how my two year old woke up the other day.

Fresh out of bed, changing his diaper, he sternly says, "I don't like anything!!!"
"Why," I ask?
"Because.....I don't like anything!!!"

And there you have it.....truth and honesty from the mouth of a two year old. For his sweet, little heart, it was just going to be one of those days. Isn't it a little sad how early in life we develop the "grumps?" I mean, how hard is life at 2?

Nap time rolls around....and that cute, curly headed mess still just wasn't happy.....but oh so sleepy! No matter what I did, he screamed hysterical. He wasn't sick, he wasn't hungry, he wasn't hurt....he was just plain mad! Normally this is where Mommy would be checking her sanity at the door, but instead I just held him in my arms, rocked him, rubbed his hair, and sang to him. Sure, you couldn't have heard me over those high-pitched wails, but all I could do in that moment was love him, let him know I was right there, and that we were going to tackle those "grumps" together.

As I sat their calmly rocking this hysterical child, wondering why I hadn't lost it yet as well, I found myself pondering the thought...."Is this what you do for me, Lord?" When I am having one of "those" days where I am crying, in a terrible mood, mad at everything, maybe even mad at God himself.....does He simply hold me in his arms, rock me, rub my hair, and calm me with His voice....letting me know He loves me, he is right there, and we're going to get through it together?

And.....futhermore.....how often do I miss it because I'm the one doing all the screaming?

Ohhhh.....the lessons. I love the ways God is always giving me, not only insight, but understanding to who He really is and the depth of love He has for me.....even when that wisdom comes packaged in a case of the TERRIBLE TWO'S!