I don’t normally post, comment, or react much to news from Hollywood, but tonight the interwebs and social media are filled with stories of Robin Williams’ death and memories of his life. And my own heart feels heavy from the loss. He was wildly funny, unpredictable, talented, gifted even – and we knew he had to be broken on the inside. Those that make the world laugh hardest are often the most broken. But his humor was redeeming, his stories resonated, his characters were so human and so real. He inspired us. He challenged us. He made us laugh and cry and laugh until we cried.
And as someone who has been there, who has wanted to just give up and not have to hurt any more, my heart breaks for Robin and his family. The world lost a great comedian today. His family lost a husband, a father, a friend. And an awareness has been restored to depression and bipolar disorder – the need to reach out, to offer help, to give hope to the hopeless.
Oh, there is so much hurt in the world tonight. The death of an actor is but one of many losses in a world riddled with headlines of chaos and fear and death and we all need so much hope and courage just to face the day.
Lord, the world is aching tonight. Hold us close. We only get so many turns around this great sun. May we use the time You give us to share Your love and news of Your endless mercy and goodness.
(a clip from one of my very favorite movies “Dead Poets Society”; scroll to the bottom to mute the music before watching)
This one. Today she is fourteen and lovely and nearly as tall as me. This year she will begin high school and learn to drive. And it only just now seems reasonable to me that I should have a five year old, but I look over and I have a young woman. And it seems just yesterday that she was sitting on the couch watching Dora the Explorer and Blue’s Clues with her eyes watering because she would.not.blink. And how does this wonderful world spin so fast?
Sidenote and unrelated fact about the above picture: Grace is now babysitting for that swim instructor’s two year old son. How time flies….
This child is our guinea pig child – the first born that is one constant experiment in parenting do’s and don’t’s. And we’ve learned so much and we have so much left to learn and the next several years will bring a whole new level of education as we navigate goals and plans and new freedoms and responsibilities and the inevitable interest in and of the opposite sex.
But for today we give thanks for the gift of this girl – the first of our five. She remains steadfast, responsible, strong, more than a little stubborn sometimes, funny, incredibly artistic, smart, and with a heart captivated by Haiti. This mama heart is not ready for the letting go that the next few years will bring, but God has plans for her. Big, good, wonderful, beautiful plans for her life. And she is His to use.
On Saturday there were tears, and maybe some gnashing of teeth, as worries over children and their character overwhelmed. As some problems were brought to light and as the new school year looms ever-closer, this mama’s heart was heavy and discouraged. Every fault, every failure, every short-coming, it seemed, could be traced right back to me and I felt, once again, I could never be enough. And Sunday dawned with much needed heart-felt worship and a sermon kicked off with Pharrel Williams’ “Happy”. And the day ended with a LeCrae concert and an unexpectedly amazing time of worship and encouragement and just plain fun. Some things were remembered that Sunday that need to be remembered again and again. Things like God’s faithfulness and His promise and that these children are His and as parents we must do our best, but it’s not about us. Some thoughts from the past couple of weeks that my soul has been holding tightly to:
Why aren’t we more enthusiastic? (All of the following is from Pastor Jim’s current sermon series, until noted otherwise):
we forget how good we have it
we have unrealistic expectations
we have a grumpy gene (heh 🙂 )
Colossians 3:12-17 (ESV) – Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another,forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Choose to set your mind on the things of Christ.
Oh my mind has not been here. I have been distracted by so many things; many good things even, but not Christ. But my prayer of late has been that Jesus would make Himself first in my heart again.
How do we become more enthusiastic?
Let the peace of the Messiah control your heart.
Let the message dwell richly.
Know your child. Know yourself. Know Christ. (oh yes!)
Some people are just runners. They will run from law and they will run from grace. Law (legalism) does not draw anyone back. Grace draws its own back home. Hold fast to the gospel of grace.
Romans 12:11 (NLT) – Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.
And then there was that LeCrae concert, with speakers like Tyrone Flowers and Phil Davis and that oft needed reminder that this world is more than what we see and that there is a daily battle for our hearts and minds. And fresh off my own emotional wrestling over kids and choices and hearts, Tyrone Flowers pulls out Jeremiah 29:11, that verse that has given me hope for over twenty years, and God quietly reminded me that not only does He have a plan for me, He has a plan for them too. Each of those girls sitting to my right was created by Him – on purpose and for a purpose. And while I definitely have a job to do with them, their ultimate outcome is not up to me. He has a plan. I can trust that plan. It may not look like I want it to look, but He has a plan and it is good.