Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Morning

It's Monday again. How the days go by so fast, I don't know. This chilly morning brings with it extra kids snuggled double in a bed, cousins excited for doughnut day at Aunt Terri's house (click here for the recipe if you, too, find the desire to add an extra five pounds to your hips). The noise level is a bit higher in this old farmhouse, and the boy energy has been flowing since before eight o'clock. I make my face smile, squeeze extra tight with the hugs, and clench my coffee cup as I push the dog off the recliner while seeking a quiet corner to right my heart before my Savior.

The conviction of luke-warmness, with a dollop of bubbling anger, has boiled to the top lately. I now wake up without immediate thoughts of a son in Heaven. I wonder how the funeral predictions could actually be coming true that eventually you do go on and begin to survive without the ever-pressing force of grief. The normalcy of life without Trent is forcing its way in. Still not a day goes by without tears, or a fervent missing and crying out to God, but they are going by with less intensity.

As appealing as that sounds, I fear for the lack of impact it has on my soul. The expectation of eternity has waned, the realization of this mist of a life has dwindled and is being replaced by thoughts of paint colors and decorating schemes.

...anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me;
and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:37a-38

That verse may not challenge anybody else, as my dear {young teen age daughter with no children} daughter pointed out that she doesn't have any problems with it or loving Jesus the most. But this old mother was convicted to the core. I imagine standing before the throne of God on that day that my name is called to give an accounting for my life, especially for this time that I was granted the privilege of suffering in order for God to do "his will, and work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever" (Hebrews 13:21).

I've realized, recently, how unwillingly I have taken up this cross to follow in the path of Jesus. How quickly I would take back my easy life, pre-child death, and live contently until the ripe old age of ninety-two without a care or thought of eternity. The outcome would be not seeking Jesus this way. Not counting the cost. Not being forced to look the powerful truth of Scripture square in the eye. Not having to acknowledge who I love the most, Jesus or fill in my own blank. Not knowing if I would be found worthy.

Not being tested means never realizing the worth or validity of your faith. Not being tested means not seeing God's power revealed. Not being tested means remaining stagnant. Not being tested means risking your eternity.

And what do you do with that?

I plead with God to right my motives and make my days count. Somehow pursuing eternity, investing here only as much as is absolutely necessary, and making sure my salvation. I ponder how to store up those treasures there, where moth and rust will not destroy, while treading this earth and needing it's resources to physically live. I pray and trust that my children will not be warped as we refuse to indulge them with the goods this life has to offer, but would instead constantly find their joy in and turn their attention to an unseen Judge and Savior.

As Rob read Scripture to the kids the other night, pondering in the book of Acts about Jesus ascending to Heaven to take his seat at the right hand of God, I sensed a precipice of sorts. I recalled, not so long ago, five young children squirming on the couch listening to their father proclaim the promises of life ever after. Now one child is living the reality of the words while the rest of us try to imagine it; try to live our lives expecting it.

I wonder how to lay out the importance of it to the rest of them. Failing on my own, and instead relying on prayer and God's grace. Longing to impress upon their young souls the foundation of loving God the most, assuring them that it is easier to start serving Him young rather than when the stubbornness of age has established it's rugged path in their daily lives.


The reality of how to live out these Biblical truths reveals itself in the smiling faces before me. Investment into those whom God brings into our lives. Being where He calls us, faithfully serving where He leads us. Counting the minor things as major.

The houseful of children get nervous when I finally rise from that old, worn out chair, two cups of coffee later, with an opera song rolling sweetly {annoyingly?} from my lips as I dance with the smiling blonde girl. It's time for doughnuts, kiddos. I'm sure the extra sugar will make this Monday all the sweeter.