Even in North Carolina...

Sitting in bed...earlier than usual due to darkness and chill of daylight savings.

That...and a few factors which conspired against me today (including, but not limited to, the lower lip I kept biting the inside of accidentally while eating, and the dog - ours - who seemed fairly certain that he would be paid well for a full day of really energetic barking, and the 3-yo who is suddenly protesting the oppressive cultural expectation that one should do certain things in a potty, and the 5yo who ripped the hanging shelf out of the wall...again...and...).  

I know...People have no homes, no jobs, no food, and you're seriously going to sit there and whine about this stuff??!

I know.  Really, I do.  

I'm somewhat ashamed to admit that I did actually ponder walking out of the house, and down the road and into the next county, and maybe on up to Canada where Ann Voskamp and I could sit in her orchard and eat apples in peace.  :)

But then I read Ann's blog (gorgeous, breathtaking, reviving!).  And I realized that even in rural Canada, life can get messy.  Even a poet-writer-woman-of-amazing-faith must work to cultivate a heart that sees beauty in every place (thank you, Ann!)...even here. In the middle of a pretty crappy day.

(insert from Alexander's Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day: "Even in Australia...")

Last night my neighbor and I spoke of the sad splitting of marriages in our world.  Of people giving up so easily, too easily!  Of the desperate pursuit of "my happiness" at all costs.  

We said something like, "You have to keep DOING the love, even when you aren't FEELING it." 

Then today.  With my own flesh and blood, and my work which demands love also...

    "You don't deserve my goodness.  You exasperate and exhaust me (children, life, dog, house,     world, work). You don't deserve my love today." 

Without words, I behaved this.

And somewhere along the way, 11-year-old boy brought us back to the shores of truth, to the place no one had wanted to be...why?

Because it requires humility!  Prayer...the admission of impotence over circumstances or (especially) self.

SO hard.

SO healing.


So necessary.

Teach us to pray.  Teach us to love. To walk humbly with our God.  

...quiet finally settles over a house full of sinners, who are saints, who are daily being saved...