God in the Everyday

Today is a snow day. It’s not only a snow day but a regular day off school. This means all the plans that were planned and deeds to be done are on hold because of snow and wind and cold. It’s a day were crafts must be manufactured, Jenga is dumped numerous times after being carefully repacked in the box, and everyone is squirrelly. It’s a day where I shine and scowl at different times. Jello playdoh is triumphantly created and my kids take one look at my getting ready for nap time face and skuttlebot into their rooms without a word.
It’s these days where it’s extra important that I take that quiet time with God. Take that ten minutes of silence and just listen. I reflect on the good and the bad and the laughter and the gnashing of teeth and in that quiet moment the thought comes to me. God is in the everyday.
God is in the miraculous, he is Healer, Almighty One, Lion of Judah, Lamb of God, Redeemer, all of those things that cry out to the cosmos that he is ruler of all. And God is in the everyday.
He is in the centre of my patience, my choices, my discipline, my joy. He wanders through my frustrations and is present in my children’s eyes. He is ever present and broods over this house lovingly watching and experiencing my daily joys and trials. He is in the daily grind, offering daily bread, and daily restoring the brokenness and magnifying the joy of the small things that make up life. He is in the details, in my rising and getting up, in my good and bad mood, he is there. Because he is God and because he cares. My everyday and everything matters to him. He sees the bigger picture of my choices and the future of my kids and how my actions and attitudes here reach farther than I can see. He honours my discipline, feels my joy and pain, and laughs with wholehearted abandon with my kids. He is God of the everyday.

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Trust in Me

Trust is a difficult thing. A beautiful thing but a difficult thing. It’s something you don’t know you’re missing until you taste it. It’s something you choose. It’s something tenuous, tentative, and easily wounded.

I confuse trust with loyalty. I believed that if I was loyal, kept someone’s confidences and secrets, that meant I trusted them. But I didn’t. If I had trusted them I wouldn’t have been on tenterhooks in the relationship. I wouldn’t have waited for the other shoe to drop. I wouldn’t have expected that the old patterns would resurface even though new patterns had emerged. I thought that my actions spoke my trust rather than the feelings in my heart. I thought that trust was something that you acted out externally rather than felt internally.

It took a good friend and mentor seeing me cowering in relational mire to point out that no, in fact, I did not trust. I believed that no matter what I did, the results would be poor. That even though I strove to be perfect, the shoe would eventually drop as a result of that unknown and missed detail. Not trusting was holding me emotionally hostage. Not everyday, but in times of stress and tiredness, my anxiety would rise and I would distrust the relationships around me and begin to try to pick  up the tangled pieces of what I imagined were my imperfections. I did not trust.

But how do I even begin to start trusting? It begins with acknowledging that the repercussions of my imperfections are not abandonment and exile. Grace can be shown and grace should be given. I was so wrapped up in my own need to keep relationships intact that I didn’t realize that the relational stress I was under was a direct result of me. I believed in old habits and patterns. I believed that what someone had done to me once, many would do to me frequently in the present and future. My lack of trust had less to do with the person and more to do with me.

What my friend helped me realize is that I was holding myself hostage. I was depending on the worst outcome because of my lack of trust. I was choosing a whirlwind of emotion where there was none. It was freeing, or at least, the tentative unfurling of this idea has the feeling of freedom. What if I decided to trust? If I believed in the good instead of expecting the old and rancid bad? What if I chose to trust that I would be met with grace and understanding? My shoulders loosen at the thought.

I didn’t know that my decision not to trust played a large role in how I interacted with people. I gained experience in trusting a group of people close to me and realized that yes, in fact, I did trust them. Trusted them with my imperfections and insecurities and mess and past and present and future. I think this is what God intended for us when he gave us the Church. A place to trust, to be understood and to understand. A place where we can be our true selves, broken and whole, and where we can love others, broken and whole.

It was a gift to me, this encouragement to trust. It showed me that I COULD trust. That people wanted my trust and would guard that faith in them. Other’s desire for me to trust them pulled it out of me and in that, I take wobbly newborn steps to letting this extend throughout the rest of my reality. I choose to trust.

I choose to trust people and I’m examining what it means to trust God. Has my lack of trust for others because they have hurt me changed how I trust God? I’m making slow forays into that idea as well. I’m seeking areas where I can choose to trust God. Not in the sense that he is God and can do anything, but that when I wrong him, his response is grace. When I’m not perfect I’m met with forgiveness. What I place before him weakened and vulnerable, he tenderly encloses in the palm of his hand and begins to weave it back to me brand new.

It’s awakened in me a desire to trust. A desire to be real and honest and known by those around me whom I love. Trusting them means allowing myself to fully receive what they offer. All the things that fill and build me, the guiding and encouraging. By letting go of that control of choosing not to trust, I begin to see what I was missing. And it looks a lot like joy.