Life is messy.
It doesn't seem to line up neatly or nicely and it rarely uses its inside voice.
But God knows that.
Matthew 16:25--"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."
I used to guard my life. I had read so many marriage books and knew exactly what I wanted. I had my dream and my goals and my boundaries for our perfect life together. Date night was sacred. If people knocked on our dorm room door on Friday they were turned away, every time. It was date night. If our apartment was messy I locked the door. No one was going to join our lives when there was clutter and mayhem about. A friend told me that having the same bedtime was the sure sign of a solid marriage and that some horrendous % of couples who didn't go to bed at the same time would divorce. I argued and fought for an iron clad bedtime even though my Hubby does his best work at night and I have morphed myself into an early bird over the years. But life happens all around us in its spread out winding way and I realized that the man and the job and the friends and the ministry that I had been planted into did not mesh well with all of my carefully laid walls.
I am learning to let go. When unexpected friends arrive, date night can be moved. When the dog has left muddy paw prints up the stairs and the boys are melting tree sap to make their own glue at the dinning room table, people can be entertained in the living room with bowls of popcorn and a picnic blanket on the floor. I can still connect with my man for coffee and an episode of Psyche even if I hit the sack at 9:00 and he doesn't wander in until 1:00 or 2:00. And if hurting campers or discouraged camp counselors happen to knock on our door at 12:30 at night I am learning to wipe the sleep from my eyes, snag my Bible, and stumble out of bed to see what they need. God told us that if we guard our hearts and perfect lives we will lose everything. And He was right. As I have lost my perfect little lined up world, real life has crept in and taken over. Like the massive trunk and spreading branches of a bayou willow leaning over a quiet pool, it is in the curls and turns and baffling twists of life that one finds a most glorious beauty.
Thank you Lord for warning me. For teaching me to let go so that I did not wall myself away from all that is lovely in your world. Thank you for helping me to live.
Photo by Kristen Joy Wilks