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Sunday, April 25, 2010

In Which I Have An Epiphany

We went to a baby shower today. It was a family shower, so there were families there, moms, dads, and kids running around everywhere. In this group of new friends in our new church, we are the only homeschoolers. No one else has ever been exposed to the homeschool subculture. We are novelties to them. I don't mind. I've never felt so at home and so not judged before in my life. I like it. I love the people. They've opened up their hearts and homes to us before they even knew us and the love of Christ is so very evident in their lives.

But as I was sitting in the joyful chaos of that shower, a thought that has been bouncing around in my head for a while suddenly landed with a thud. Did you know that the only people who expect perfect behavior from small children is the ultra-conservative Christian subculture?? And did you know that the rest of the developed world doesn't expect this nor judge you as parents if your children aren't perfect little obedient angels all the time? When my kid throws a fit, no one looks down their nose at me. They just smile and nod knowingly...kids will be kids, after all.

It's so relaxing to realize. The unrealistic expectations of the culture I grew up in are just that: unrealistic.

Probably most of you are thinking, um, yeah? like this is something you've always known and Darcy must be slow. But see, I've never really shared my life intimately with anyone who has not had a similar background as me. I've always hung out with the same crowd and only now am realizing what most of the world has known and taken for granted. That the expectations and standards of the ultra-conservative crowd are unique to them and not indicative of the rest of the world.

Do you know how freeing that is for me? For the first time in my life, I feel like I can let my defenses down. I can be flawed and it's OK. My kids can act like, well, KIDS and no one thinks I'm a slacker parent. These people love me for who I am, not for what I believe or how I perform. They love my kids and accept my family without strings attached. It's amazing.

I think God has me in the place I'm in, sharing my life with these people for a reason. I think He knows I need it. My husband feel it too. It's like a breath of fresh air.

So this is what Grace looks like.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Lot Like Me

baby I'm afraid you're a lot like me
you can't help feeling everything
I can see you trying to hold it in
I see your eyes and your trembling chin

And for you and myself I will pray
let our weakness become our strength

baby there are some holes you just can't fill
you try and try but you never will
baby I believe a God who can
he loves the boy and he'll love the man

And for you and myself I will pray
let our weakness become our strength

~A Lot Like Me, by Sara Groves

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


There is a flutter of something in my heart tonight. Something that scares me yet makes me feel...lighter somehow.

I think it is hope.

Like a breath of cool air on a hot summer night, it is elusive, and teasing. But perhaps that is because I am still holding it at arm's length. Still suspicious of it, afraid of it, wondering if this is too good to be true.

I've been doubting for so long. Hurting for so long. Angry at God and wondering if He even exists or cares about me. Wandering, trying to make sense of the last two years. When eveyone I trusted and loved failed me and broke my heart, it seemed like even God had forgotten about me. I know now and have known for a while that He's holding my heart, even when I'm doubting Him. This is what keeps me sane.

But as a new chapter in my life begins, a stirring deep inside is starting. Can it be that I can begin to breathe again? That I can hope for healing, joy, intimacy, and good things in life? I am afraid of hope because I hate disappointment. It has always been a struggle with me to hope for anything. I have had to purpose to hope, even if it means being disappointed because life without hope isn't life. It is death to the soul.

I so badly want to take in this elusive feeling of hope like a much-needed breath of air. I want to pray again and believe God is actually listening to me. I want to know that He loves me and has not forgotten. I want to read the Bible without feeling cynical and angry. I want to feel again, to be passionate about something instead of this dullness that has so long taken over my heart.

People around me think I'm amazing. They think my life is so perfect. That I'm so strong and spiritual. But they don't know what lurks in the dark recesses of my soul. I long to bring it to light, to be rid of it and all the pain it has caused. But it isn't my sin, my story to tell. It is the story of others who have broken promises and forced me to keep secrets too heavy to bear. I have fought for life and love for so long alone.

But now....something is different. If I can, for a moment, set aside my fear and anger, I can see light and joy. My soul feels lighter but I'm still afraid of embracing it. Afraid it'll vanish yet again and I'll be left to struggle along...again. Maybe staying dull is better than hoping and longing only to hurt again.

But no. I must acknowledge Him and His Presense in my life, even if I can't feel it. There are roots in my heart that the Enemy of my soul can't pull out; promises engraved in the pages of my life story that cannot be ignored. If He is the God of redemption, than my time is coming.

"Out of the depths I have cried to you, Oh Lord!
Lord, hear my voice!
I wait for the Lord,
My soul waits,
And in His word I do hope;
My soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning...
Oh, Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is mercy,
And with Him is abundant redemption
~From Psalm 130

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

I've decided I hate endings. They're depressing. Saying goodbye, last things, I don't like any of them. Beginnings are great though. New experiences, first things, changes and new chapters in life. I wish we could have beginnings without endings.

This week, I said goodbye to my home, my family, and my many friends. It was hard. While I'm very excited about our new home and life in Montana, I hated saying goodbye to everything familiar, everything I've loved for so long. That tiny town in the mountains of Washington has been my home for 11 years now and my husband was born there. Leaving wasn't easy. Our last Sunday at our beloved church, spending the day at my parents surrounded by our siblings was emotional. I'm even a little scared to be venturing so far from famliy when I depend on them so much.

But this is where God has put us and we really do like it here. It's beautiful (see the pic at the top of my blog). I love making new friends and getting reaquainted with the families we met last summer. There's so many new things. Like having neighbors. I'm not sure I'll ever get used to that. :^)

I am glad that God has made a time and a season for everything under the sun. And that He has made it all beautiful in its time. Even endings.