Aslan’s high country

The past several years have been ones of accepting what is and moving on with my life.  I’m tired of fighting against what life has to offer.  Last fall when I was attempting to run for a meager two miles, I thought to myself, “You know what it is?  You know why I’m miserable running like this?  It’s because I’m tired of doing hard things alone.”

I get the feeling that the word “self-help” is kind of frowned upon in Christian language.  I understand.  It’s because when it comes to our salvation there was nothing we could do to help ourselves.  We were completely dependent on God to act on our behalf.

But living on earth, life has been an experience of realizing that nobody else is here to do my job for me or with me.  There are no other wives around here to be a wife with. There are no other mothers around here to be a mother with and teach my kids with.

I’m talking about “the daily grind”.  I’ve thought to myself, “Growing up, I was constantly surrounded by siblings and people.  We detassled together, walked to school together, rode the school bus together, survived and adapted through childhood together. ”

God is growing me up by myself.  Things like self-discipline, self-command, self-dependence are attributes I can no longer can fight or lack.  I am responsible for my own life and I am being forced to change for the better no matter how painful or lonely it is.

This, friends, is actually really good news.  We do not need to fear the changes God has for us.  We simply need to watch and be amazed at the ways His perfect will is working out in our lives.  His perfect will has always been the work of reconciling all of the world unto Himself, knowing only in Christ alone could we come to a knowledge of the Truth.

 

I am thine

New religions are popping up everywhere.  The religions I tend to pay the closest amount of attention to these days are the ones having to do with the ongoing cultural “battle of the sexes”.  I would also call it “human sexuality”, except the moderator of a Facebook group I used to be in had a strong dislike and even intellectual reasons against using the word “sexuality”.  I don’t remember what those reasons were, but ever since then I shy away from the word.  You’ve got to learn the language of the people you’re speaking with, and certain words notoriously lack concrete, easily definable meanings.  Masculinity.  Femininity.  The evolution of Feminism.  The rise of Red Pill Manosphere.

I do not know where this special interest comes from.  I’ve heard the men who talk about these things say how they came into adulthood “fatherless”, in the sense that they grew up without masculine examples, particularly from their own father.  I’ve heard my dad say similar things, but by then, he would also say, that over time, he grew to possess a deep compassion for his father, knowing that his dad, too, suffered the same lack.

Is fatherlessness a cultural thing or does it go deeper into a human thing?  Separation from God has made us all fatherless.  We all are children missing a home.  The truths we must so painfully come to accept, the truths seeming so much in conflict with each other, is that fatherlessness is not our fault, and yet, our fatherlessness is completely our fault.
Christianity is the religion I claim.

Christian is the identity that shapes my life purpose.

Christ is the person who tells me who I am.

Christ is who tells me I am loved and forgiven.  He is the person who shows me the Father.  In Christ none of us are fatherless or motherless or illegitimate children missing a home.  The Christian identity I find most comforting, most exhilarating, most mind-blowing and freeing is the identity of “child”.  I am God’s child and He cares for me!!!

I speak as a woman. I do not want to be bitter and angry towards men, nor do I want men bitter and angry towards me. I want to live in a world where all men are my brothers and all women my sisters.  I want to live in a world, yes, where we are free to live fully male and fully female, but even more than that, where we are free to live as we are made to be as Christian lovers. There is no fear in love.  No distrust.  No betrayal.

The truest of wisdom is the wisdom that ages well.  By all means, let the men lift weights and the women wear lip gloss.  I like painting my nails and wearing headbands in my hair.  I like being a wife and I like being a mother.  There are limits that come with these roles, but they’re less like limits and more like the those two side-bumpers in the kids’ part of the bowling alley.  They keep me on my toes and keep the ball ever rolling toward the end of the lane where I’m guaranteed to knock down pins and even send some flying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

east to west

“If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work.  The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable.  Favourable conditions never come.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory~

Most of my thoughts here are just that, thoughts.  There isn’t usually time to arrange or rearrange them, dress them up, or trim them down.  There are times when I have longer to spend on these words, but others, like this morning, when the time is as short as the five minutes or so it takes to see the eastern side of the pine trees catching fire in the sun.

Our piano teacher just texted and cancelled our piano lessons.  She wasn’t feeling well this morning, and just like that, I’m in possession of a little more time.  Not much more, however.  My sisters and nieces and nephews are here.  Three of them are sitting here eating their cereal, and are the most adorable creatures in whom I find much delight.

That C.S. Lewis quote is from the essay “Learning in War Time”.  When he speaks of “those who want knowledge so badly”, I think to myself, “Yes!” and then, “knowledge of what???”  What knowledge are we seeking and wanting so badly that we would do so even though conditions are ever unfavorable?  I guess that is left for each life to decide.

 

 

time well spent

“We cannot mingle with the splendor we see.  But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so.”
~C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory~

The ground continues to get muddier.  What was once snow has melted into soggy, matted soil.  Instead of a firm foundation beneath your feet, the earth shifts with every step.  Skipping is dangerous, running impossible. The foot slips and gets stuck.

Water will run again before man does.

Early spring is like the bodily fluids of life, the anatomy class dissection of a human cadaver that had, at one time, been frozen stiff.  I have a hard time understanding any of this, but this is the planet we have to live on and I’m going to accept the earth with all its puzzlements and joys. Every day we keep on moving, keep on getting outside to see the world that looks so different from what we used to see.  We happened upon a sky of smoke, and when we climbed the hill we found the neighbors and an army of trucks taking part in a controlled burn.  We stood on the hill and watched for a long time.

timeless

Back in Hoyleton a friend and I used to wonder at our incredible amount of unfinished conversations.  We’d be talking about something, which often led to another topic, so we’d talk about that.  A child might come to us needing a drink, so we’d pause the conversation, get the drink, which would usually spark another conversation.  We’d start on that and a baby would wake from a nap needing to nurse, so you’d go get the baby and sit down to nurse, which usually led to a conversation on sleep or breastfeeding.

By the time the conversation was over, it was almost like having seven thousand mason jars on the table in front of you with their lids off.  There was still so much left in each one of the jars, so much more we could go on and on and on to say, but now it was time for all the lids to go back on.  This has to be something like what the kids would feel when told it was time to pick up all their toys that had, during these conversations, filled either one of our living room’s with the obvious evidence children had been there.

As a person in those days, there was something over-the-moon incredible in the oft-absent joy of adult conversation, so much so, that it seems a betrayal of cosmic kindness to include a “but” in this sentence, but–for it would be untrue to not say it–there was also something tragically awful in the arousal of a sleeping soul and awakened desires that could never be satisfied. An emptiness settles in the realization those jars will never be empty.  No matter how many hours you have to talk, the time will never be enough.

I don’t want to end on a negative note.  Sometimes all you can do is sit with the feeling, give it a name, perhaps a word to express it, and then move on to the next step, another bench beside the lake, with the geese flying over the path of leaves leading home.