Saturday, August 18, 2007

Heart Improvement

Over the years Bob and I have been able to afford most of our home improvement projects only by doing the work ourselves. We’ve painted, wallpapered, and sheet-rocked. Laid sod, sub-flooring, and tile. Installed ceiling fans, toilets, and countertops. We’ve worked hard and come away with pride at our efforts. Which is all well and good when it comes to home improvement.

But heart improvement is another matter.

This week we settled our daughter into a freshman dorm room two states away. At one point during the ten-hour drive home, I had time to pray at the wheel while the guys slept. Instead of asking (again) why God didn’t space out the events stressing our lives in the span of three weeks—moving a daughter, selling our home, making our own move, going back to work fulltime, etc., etc.—I finally began to praise him for heaping all those things on us at once.

Don’t ask me why. I guess I just knew it was time to stop whining and start praising. You see, even though I’ve recognized these many events as blessings, I've had serious issues with the timing . . .

Not anymore.

As soon as I began thanking the Lord for the crazy, compacted nature of our schedule, my heart exploded with gratitude. Why?

Because his strength is made perfect in my weakness.

Circumstances have forced me to be utterly and desperately reliant on the Father. Or rather, they’ve forced me to admit my utter and desperate reliance on him. It is humbling and freeing and deliciously sweet.

Had things worked out differently this summer, I know for a fact I would have handled them on my own, thank you very much. And I would have been proud of myself for doing so.

But instead, there’s absolutely no way I can accomplish what must be done in a day. On top of that, there’s no reason I should be patient with my family, grow even closer to my husband, and have time to draw near to Jesus. Or confess all this in a blog. Somehow, though, it’s happening.

So there you have it. I’m stinkin’ excited that I can’t manage any of this on my own. That I’m as wobbly as a newborn colt. That I’ve had to abandon any pride I might have salvaged through this transition.

Because the only thing I need is God’s strength. I can definitely live with that.

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