i turned 40 last november and really wanted to celebrate. 

i dreamed up many ways of going about it.  mostly revolving around going somewhere with my family. 

  • to Norway to see the northern lights. -2012-13 was a great year of sun-storms.
  • taking a Viking river cruise….or touring around the Mediterranean….or walking where Paul walked.
  •  or closer to home-North Carolina: visiting the Biltmore Estate and staying in The Cottage.

i also wanted to attend a conference of some sort.  maybe on writing? 

and so i watched and waited and in the mean time things happened and our savings account began to drain right down.

this summer a conference came up that i really wanted to go to.  i swore it off, our savings being at it’s minimum for us to use to live on each month for when someone needs to go to the doctor or whatnot. but then i saw the price-and i knew i could afford that, and i wondered deep inside; was this something the Lord had for me?  and even tho the purchase date came right in the middle of the flooding-the thought of it stayed with me and i only had a few hours to make a decision and click that darned purchase ticket button.

so i pushed the button.

and didn’t think about the details of getting there, etc.

it’s in North Carolina. right before Thanksgiving break with a whole week off of school.

the dream awoke  again of the cottage and Biltmore and the amazing timing and maybe? of all of us going to North Carolina for an entire week with an afternoon of this conference thrown in for me.

it was a wonderful dream. 

but the reality is that only i will go, and i will stay in the cheapest hotel and fly on the cheapest flight.  and ask for help to be content with the extravagance of all of that-for all of that is quite extravagant.

there is the tension between what is and what is longed for.

and i feel it, not just with the finances.  it’s there in the state of my relationships with my family, my father, my sisters.  it’s there in the things i long for for my children. it’s there in how my days look vs. how i wanted them to look.  the dream i see for our cabin, and the vision i see for our house in town-neither of which is attainable today.


a long time ago i began settling Who really owns/controls my path and my finances and where i live and move and have my being. (really He began it, and keeps settling it all the time) and ultimately it is all a tension between what He gives and what i’d rather have.  i know, i know ….. His plan is the best, truly the best.  but i won’t pretend it’s always a delight or that it isn’t hard.  there are losses a plenty.  a giving over the allusion that i have any control—hanging on to the goodness of the One who does. 

and so i need His help.  every. single. day. i need His help.  i need to talk with Him about it. i need Him to listen and comfort and give me truth to hold on to.  i need His provision of enjoyment
in what is. right. here. 

and i need His help to keep dreaming.  to keep from protecting my heart and becoming cynical.  to keep from misjudging my dear Lord’s character.   yesterday He romanced me.  today i am disappointed about something i wanted but cannot have.  

that is the tension.

and in it He provides help.