Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You're turning violet, Violet!

It's been a busy summer.

Four years ago we left our Tennessee home of fifteen years and moved to our home state of Wisconsin.  At the time our grown children were all married, but there were no grandchildren and no indication of any in the near future (that all changed on the day we handed over our keys to our daughter and son in law who informed us that we were indeed going to be grandparents).

What was done, was done.  The place of living was changed, boxes unpacked, pictures hung, a garage was built, and our new life in our old state began.

It was working well.  The driving between Wisconsin and our southern children was doable.  FaceTime was working fairly well for daily interactions with the newest member of our family.  It still was working when #2 grandchild was born in 2015.

Last summer, right around this time, we were anticipating the birth of #3 grandchild to be followed about a month later by #4 grandchild.  All was well, we were making it work.  I had scheduled time off from work so that I could be with both of our daughters after their babies were born.  We were managing.  We were making a tough situation doable.


I had spent a good portion of August and September driving across the state of Tennessee helping out both of our daughters who lived on opposite sides of the state.  After #3 grandchild was born and my husband and I were on our way to assist the parents of #4 grandchild, I experienced at the time what I was sure just emotional grandmother blues.  My babies were having babies and I would have to leave them and be at least 700 miles away from them.  At least that's what I told myself it was and I told my husband too, because really, who in their right mind would move.....again.

I kept telling myself it was emotions and they would pass.  I'm always telling myself to not let my emotions rule my decisions.  As much as this "felt" emotional, it also "felt" different.  Like a pressing on my heart that something was up, much bigger and more detailed than planning 700 plus mile drives at Christmas and birthdays.

I told my husband this too.

He looked at me like I was crazy.

I felt crazy and emotional, and to be honest, a little out of control.

But in-between babies being born he made the call to our realtor and we decided that we would put our beautiful lake front Wisconsin home up for sale.  We would leave it in the Lord's hands that if we were meant to move, it would happen and if it was purely emotion, it wouldn't sell.  And, we would give it a year.

The contract was signed at the end of September.

Who buys lake front property in the winter, in Wisconsin no less?  This house wouldn't sell.  We'd be in Wisconsin through September and the house would go off the market and we would continue to make our long distance relationships work.

And then we got an offer on our house.

In February.

By March 31st we were moved out, our belongings in storage, and we had moved in with my parents.  In June we closed on our Tennessee home with a small acreage and here we are.

When we sat in the closing office the previous owner told us about a blueberry patch on the property.  She told us that there had been up to 100 gallons of blueberries in a season.  Being the non garden, non country girl, non any type of plant girl that I am, I had no concept of what that meant, nor did I care.  Blueberries were the least of my concern at that particular moment.

A few days after we closed my husband and I strolled out to see the blueberry "patch."  They looked like this.

About two weeks later, when the pages of the calendar flipped to July, those green balls suddenly became blue and this green in the garden city girl has been picking blueberries like her life depended on it.  We are quickly closing in on those 100 gallons.

What a difference a year makes.

It's been a bittersweet transition.  We said good-bye, again, to extended family and renewed friendships.  We said hello to little people who are just beginning to grow and learn and explore and hope and pray and believe.  We sit in a house, hubs and I, with a project list a mile long and just as wide, shaking our heads and marveling at how we got here.

Just like we were sling shotted up to Wisconsin four years ago is how this move seems too.  I quit using the word never four years ago, but I really hope this is our last move.  (Please, God).  And so I will pick my blueberries and relish the sunsets off my back deck.  I will watch the deer and the turkeys and enjoy today.  I will praise God for the wild ride He seems to think is good for me.

And I will pray that this is the last move.



Sunday, July 2, 2017

No exchanges or returns

One word.  One time in all of the New Testament.  Its context can be discussed by the theologians and those smarter and more learned than this gal but this word has been swimming around in my brain, not rattling, swimming.  Floating on its back, enjoying the sunshine on its face, every once in a while rolling over to tread water when it sees I've drifted a little too far from shore.


The English definition according to MW is

"not capable of being changed; impossible to revoke."

The Greek definition of the word ametameletos

".....about which no change of mind can take place, not affected by change of mind....without regret or remorse for an action because it was done from deep conviction (true concern)."

Would you like to know where that word sits among the flowers of God's word?

It's tucked in a verse that really has nothing to at all to do with my present day troubles or concerns and it speaks to me not as Paul intended its readers to understand in regards to his fellow Jews.  God's word is funny like that.  What is written for one, benefits many.

A verse or a word or a chapter or a book taken without full instruction on Hebrew or Greek, ancient practices and history, jumps across time and rests in the heart of a woman far removed from the original writer or intended Roman readers.

".......for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable."

The words and sentences surrounding these 8 words really are not very comforting for this Gentile as they are written for and about the Remnant of Israel.  The truth of these words, especially the longest word - irrevocable - make my heart sing praise to Him who has freed me from the bondage of sin and made my heart clean.

God doesn't take back his gifts.  Once he gives a gift, it's for keeps.  Once he gives a gift, even to a passive or ungrateful heart, he is bound to himself to never change his mind, never regret, never have remorse that he gave the gift.

Why?  Why God?  Aren't you ever sorry you made us?  Aren't you ever sorry you saved us?

I think his answer would be:

"No, because the gift was given out of true concern for my creation."

He saw us in our sin, and where you or I may leave us wallowing in it until we learned our lesson, God pulled us out, gave us a new heart and said, "It's yours to keep.  No returns or exchanges accepted."

He never regrets saving us or calling us out of our sin.


No matter how wicked and evil the times are, he never regrets saving us.  We would rather see some serious punishment for some of the evil we are living in and through, instead of the free gift of salvation still available to the most vile offenders. (Like I often, often forget I once was).

But God?  Nope.  He doesn't regret giving us the gift that will never be taken back.

So, tucked in Romans 11:29, out of complete context for this 21st century woman sitting at her computer with bed hair and great peace, is a singing hope -

for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable

I rest in knowing that his gifts that I so often misuse and abuse and not use, and the call on my life to be who I am, where I am, doing what I do - none of it's a mistake.  None of it was done on a whim.  The gift God bought for me was not an impulse buy.  He put great thought into just the right gift of salvation.  He put great thought into just the right place in history where he would put you and me.

And he made both of those irrevocable.

For from him and through him and to him are all things.  To him be the glory forever!