Beauty from Ashes

When the tears fall free and hard before 7 am and you talk controlled-soft to keep from yelling in frustration, it’s hard not to wonder where you went wrong.  When you fall asleep praying tomorrow will be better and you wake up still praying for a softened heart, for joy, for grace, you sometimes wonder what God is up to.

This year has been hard and I’ve said it too many times and I feel like I’m using it as an excuse.  But God has put us here for a reason, for a purpose, and I just don’t understand it yet.  But we wrestle, He and I.  And I ask and I pray and I cry out and I wait patiently for an answer for why He has called us to this, led us to this, yet every step lately has been so painful.  And some days are good and some days I see hope.  But most days, it seems, we are just getting by, trying to make it through to the next one.

I hate just surviving.  I want to enjoy this life, these days, this time.

I walked by a stray Barbie doll this morning and my heart stopped momentarily.  I was taken back to five years ago, eight years ago, when life was Barbies and Princesses and nap times and trips to the zoo and my biggest concern in life was what time does the baby need to eat again.

Now here we stand at the precipice of adolescence.  Two girls on the brink of teenage-hood, two more following hard after, and one waiting in Haiti with who-knows-what kind of baggage to unpack.  And I know that, comparatively, these are the easy days too; the days before boys and periods and driving.  And my heart hurts because I don’t believe we’re ready, don’t believe they’re ready, and I feel like I am the one that has failed them.  And I fear that we’ve somehow missed our window.

I know that’s not all entirely true and it’s a lie from the Enemy as he tries to knock me off my feet.  But you hear a lie day in and day out and it starts to become a part of you.

But my God, He makes beauty from ashes.  He restores what the locust has eaten.  And when I give thanks, even amidst the hard days, hard years, I open my life – our lives – up to more of what He wants for us.

Some days life gets so crazy and the way gets dark and I can’t see Him, but that doesn’t change the fact that He is here with me.  I have to trust Him that He will see us through this season, that better days await us.  I cling to His promises that He will not leave nor forsake.  I trust that He will take my offering as a broken mother, broken wife, and make something beautiful out of these children, out of our lives.

As I go to the Word throughout the day, He reminds me to give thanks in all things.  In my quiet time He reminds me to bring the sacrifice of thanksgiving.  Regardless of my feelings.  He tells me to thank Him for my irritations.  This constant giving of thanks, it doesn’t always make everything better.  Some things are still hard.  But my heart, it softens.  My mind, at least for a few moments, finds peace and rest in the middle of the rushing roar of life.

God’s grace is amazing and His faithfulness is never failing.  He is with me and He is at work, even if I can’t see or feel it.  He is not surprised by the struggles we have and really I shouldn’t be either.  He has a purpose for this season.  He is making beauty from ashes.

1673.  priceless words from our daughter’s mouth –

words of love, longing for her home, family, Papa

February 8, 2012Reaching for me.  Always reaching for me.

1674.  a weekend away

February 27, 2012(Bonus pictures) - Such a goofball!

1675.  time as a family

1676.  six bodies in one small room

January 31, 2012Grace, all tweened out.

1677.  protection

1678.  stitches that help heal

1679.  Shredding with my favorite

December 6, 2011Emma and Coco enjoying a good book.

1680.  tears that fall early in the morning

1681.  continued brokeness

January 16, 2012The youngest empties the trash.

1682.  husband that leads, regroups

1683.  a God that never fails

Thanks for hanging in with me this year.  I’m beginning to feel like a bit of a whiner as our troubles are so small compared to so many.  But our struggles are real and God has us here for a purpose.  And as eager as I am to be out of this valley, I never want to forget what He’s teaching me here.

All For His Glory ~

~ Sara

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