I watch the rain pound the front yard into puddles and I talk myself through the circles of things I need to do and have to do and want to do.
And I wonder how all the things I need to do and have to do and want to do, meld themselves into something like a meaningful, purposeful life.
They do, of course, but in the thick of it I find myself on the porch, after dark, watching the water in the yard rise to pond-like proportions and I ask myself the hard questions.
I don’t like the hard questions any more than I like the pond in my front yard, but the hard questions keep me looking to Jesus and that’s a good thing.
Last week, at some hour after late, the boys from across the street came and apologized for all the nasty things they’d done to our house and our yard over the last year. They unloaded the dump truck of offenses and made things right and then told the whole truth about why they’d come to make amends: They have a court date at the end of the month and they’re scared. They’re afraid of going to jupee and being away from their mama. They’re afraid of ruining their already messed up life and being away from each other.
The Man and I forgave them and I apologized for loving them mean and we both came back into the house wondering what the heck had just happened on the porch.
And tonight, after a week’s worth of days with jupee-bound boys in my yard, I’m asking myself What the heck am I doing letting these boys back into my life?
On Saturday, I made coffee and moved chairs around and then welcomed a house full of women into my home for a MOPS meeting. We unloaded the ugly parts of our souls, handled business, and then stayed late to encourage one another to run our races well.
This MOPS deal is stretching us and growing us and waking up all sorts of things in our hearts. We’re on the brink of laying down our preferences for the good of the whole, but this laying down of our wants is no easy task. It’s painful and gut wrenching.
No one wants to come and die, but this MOPS and the Jesus who has called us to it, beckons us to do just that:
Lay down and die.
I’ve not slept well since I told Jesus yes to MOPS. And for those of you wondering, that makes nearly 16 months.
I’m tired. And alive. All at the same time.
But the hard question putting down roots in my soul is this: Why must MOPS come at such a high cost?
On Sunday, I went food shopping at our local Wal-Mart and true to Wal-Mart and the culture in which I live, the place was abuzz with Spanish speaking migrant workers.
I intentionally shop on Sundays because I know they’ll be there and they remind me of home.
But this Sunday, as I made my way from the parking lot into the store, I stopped and took stock of the people lining the wall outside and I let myself have all the feelings and thoughts that I’ve shoved down into the deep crevices of my heart.
I let myself go there and by Sunday evening I was wishing I hadn’t. Nobody living in my county, where tobacco and corn and soybeans and peanuts still try and pay the bills, would really want to open the whole can of worms by asking the hard questions about the plight of our migrant workers.
Especially if the nobody asking comes from a long line of farmers and has no concrete facts on the matter.
But I have opened the can of worms and the only question that keeps crawling around is this: Is Jesus asking me to really go there and engage this community that keeps our economy rocking right along or am I to leave it well enough alone?
(Don’t answer that y’all, unless you can answer kindly and with grace.)
And on Monday, after a weekend of birthday partying and little to no sleep, we committed our oldest three children to public school.
We’d spent the weekend talking through all the things that go with the public school and we weighed them against the offer we’d been given of free private school tuition. We’d prayed through the free tuition and the feeling in our gut that Jesus was asking us to trust Him with our children by letting them attend the local public school. We discussed the diverse population of children and the private school and how we’d be the 1% at the public school and how our heart was set on diversity. We talked around the being all in and the commitment to our neighbors and the mightiness of Jesus.
But on Monday, even after doing the deed, I couldn’t help but ask myself What if we’re wrong?
This morning, I wake to clear skies and a muddy yard and more questions than I have answers.
But I make coffee and give Jesus space to direct my steps.
And I do the next thing.
Our next community v-log will go out on Monday of next week. If you’d like to join the avent*ure community you can do so here.