i’ve read Crazy Love by Francis Chan

isaiah 58 is our family ‘motto’

yesterday i read Ann’s words on the middle ground

 i think of living cross-cultural.  many write about it. 

 when i read of those who live other places and what they deal with having their hearts spread accross cultures, as aliens and foreigners, i relate. to some of them i really relate.

 but i still live here in N. America. in the town my husband grew up in.  where my children are growing up.

 and i feel like i am fighting the middle ground constantly. 

 feel like some days i just want to fit somewhere.  belong somewhere.  settle somewhere.   to pick a community and live out my days quietly.  somewhere with more than 1 bathroom for this family of 5. 

 yet other days i feel guilty for even that 1 bathroom.

 already too radical, too challenging, too out there,  too much….  yet really not enough.

 how to live out the gospel-without creating a ‘new’ gospel from what i’m living out?

 how to keep these things a by-product of my seeking His kingdom, not the means of seeking His kingdom?

 i’ve been learning of balance for quite some time now.  keeping things in balance-out of balance being unhealthy.  there is truth there.  to help too much is usually to hurt instead of actually help.  eating too much/eating too little.  exercising too much/exercising too little.  but this balance mantra-it has some paradoxes.  and some exceptions.  the discernment to know what those are-i lack and am learning.

 to be an inconsistent mentor/sponsor-can be more damaging than not at all.  sometimes it feels like we’ve taken on more than we can be faithful with.  it’s not the money-its the pouring out of our hearts.  the writing letters.  we are failing and failing and failing.  but yet-we continue with other activities-we make time for other things.  why is there always time for these other things?

 You, LORD, have said-if we follow You- The Light of the world-we will not walk in darkness.  are we following close?  have we drifted behind and the light has dimmed?  how do we return?  and how do i discern the difference between laziness and rest given?  wasting time and down time?  what really is needed?  how do i hear the answers from you and not from my culture?  when have i poured out without being filled up and for the wrong reasons?

 You, LORD, have said-You will show me the path of life. 

yes Uganda changed me- but not like Isaiah 58 has.  its still a struggle to understand how to live these changes out. and what it means for today.

 For today when i am sick with a cold and my children are struggling to love eachother, and friends are cleaning up charred remains of burnt houses, and others’ marriages are falling apart, and people in Haiti are suffering…..

 today-what do i do with today? 

 i am so far away from all of them.  all there is to do today is to pray for them. 

 and so i pray.  i pray for comfort and help from You for my friends with the burnt houses, failing marriages, and sufferings in Haiti among other places.   and i receive a call about a detail you worked out-help and comfort You provided!  Specific and real answer to my prayer.  it didn’t come from me…the help and comfort, it came from the One who is the BEST Help, the Perfect comforter.  and all i can do is praise You for Your encouragement to me that prayer is something.  Prayer was a gift given and You were the gift received-to both the prayer and the one prayed for.

 till the other type of work can be done-i rest in Your encouragement, i take delight in the successes You give, and i trust Your Spirit’s work to lead and guide me away from the middle ground to the higher ground of Your presence and the fullness of joy promised there.  the Higher ground of the path You trod for me.  following close so that Your Light shines clearly.  thank you that for today-Your Light shone brightly that You are here- even here- working.

 Hallelujah! Grace upon Grace upon Grace.

 “You reveal the path of life to me (of Isaiah 58, of crazy love); in Your presence is abundant Joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.”  Psalm 16