Friday, January 04, 2008

Addendum to Previous Resolusions

Felt bad, on Wednesday and Thursday after posting Tuesday, and after reading a lot of other people's blogs, about not making any spiritual resolutions for the new year. Then wondered why 1. I hadn't thought of it and 2. why I felt bad. I mean the new year, while a nice clean slate in many respects, is only the interim time between Advent and Lent, a limbo-ous time where I spin my wheels between liturgical events (the Christmas Pageant and the Great Vigil of Easter). Resolutions are immediately broken when the liturgical season changes (for me anyway) and I try to take on new resolutions. And, sadly, my expectations for spiritual growth have taken a beating this year. I know I will grow spiritually, but I don't want to think about it in advance, because God is so organized and I am not, and I once prayed for humility, and received it. And a few years ago prayed for faithfulness, and received it (ie General Convention 2003). And at the beginning of last year, when I had all kinds of hopes and plans, I prayed for God's will, and received it. So this year, I'm Not resolving, and I'm not asking. I know God will give me what I need anyway, I don't want to make it worse than it needs to be.

I shouldn't be so numb and vague. I've been trying for several days to put into words what this past year has been, and I've been coming up short every time. The best I can say, I guess, is that the last six months have been like God deep cleaning a room. When I deep clean, it looks awful in the process (I am actually deep cleaning the whole house, and everyone is complaining because of all the junk everywhere-I have everything out of cupboards, in no particular order, so that I can get to the back of the cupboard to dust and find junk to throw away). I'd say parts of this last year were awful, or awfully difficult. And all the time as I was plodding through, not paying much attention tripping over piles of junk and muck, God was throwing and dusting and purging and shaping and reorganizing. Such that come January 1st (miraculously in fact) many things had been put in order, including my time, my attitude, my work, my priorities and my expectations. I'm starting this new year humbler, quieter, more focused (I think) and more dependent on God. I don't know what he's planning to do with me. I haven't made many plans, except to clean the house and be in church, and pay attention to my children. As the communion unravels, it gets closer and closer to home, this house, our own quiet lives. It looks bleaker to me. We are worn by this long unresolved division. But sustained. And epxectent. I am only, then, resolved to watch and wait and see what happens, and be ready when it does.

4 comments:

Geri said...

Very pensive. I know what you mean to watch what you pray for. I prayed for patience once and was gifted with becoming the caretaker for an Alzheimer victim. Cleaning the house, church, and taking care of your children is plenty on your plate. That's where God has put you, so that's where you are. I understand your angst about the communion. I will be glad when 2008 is over. Hopefully there will be a safe harbor for conservative Anglicans in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

Anne+,

I'm so sorry that you and Matt are going through all this together. I read your blog, but rarely comment. Although, Matt+ and I have had conversation over at "Stand Firm." Just know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

I think ultimately for all of us the only safe harbor is in Jesus Christ, to be found in Him. All institutions and especially those of us in them are fallible, and fall short. Even the best of friends can let us down. We come so far from expressing the perfect love of Christ to each other.

Thank God for His awesome love and grace in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Every blessing to you and your family for the upcoming year.

Grace.

laura said...

Anne-
I think why you have such appeal is because you are so honest about where you are. We all go through times (years) like that, yet we are not all as open and as honest as you are about them.

I agree with you on many levels...I am learning to just pray God's Will for my life rather than get too specific, mainly because I am so much more short-sighted than God, and I realize (too late, usually) that I really didn't want what I prayed He would give me!(or the way he chose to give it too me! :o) ) If I had seen my life now back when I was praying for patience- I think I might have jumped off the nearest cliff! Yet I would have missed all of the blessings that have come with the chaos.

You have been given 4 small blessings in the middle of much chaos- 4 people on which you can inpart all of the love, wisdom and grace that God bestows on us daily. They are the "why" of our lives...to grow new followers of Christ and grow His Kingdom. My "oops" child that came along amongst much chaos and turmoil turned 14 today...and I always praise God for not answering my prayers the way I thought I wanted so many years ago, for my life would not be the same. Our surprise was our first, rather than our fourth, but we wouldn't have been blessed with 4 if we hadn't walked through that first. And now God has us homeschooling!! I am truly grateful that He carries my roadmap, because I am really just along for the ride. I would have NEVER believed Him if he had told me where He planned on leading.

I have to believe that the same will hold true with the Church. Years from now we will all look back and say- We could have never believed that God would have led us here, and yet we are are so glad He did.

One of our family's favorite new movies is "Evan Almighty" and we were watching it the other day and I remembered one of the messages I got out of it (this is where God has to meet me much of the time... and He still imparts his wisodm!! Who knew!) was when "God" is talking to Evan's wife after she is freaking out (understandably). She had prayed for more "family time" and He said "When you ask for patience, God gives you opportunities to be patient. When you pray for strenght, GOd gives you opportunities to be strong. And when you pray for family togetherness, God gives you opportunities for your family to stand together." (not an exact quote, but close enough to get the point)
I offer you prayers for opportunities to find His true peace in your new year. The kind of peace you can feel but when others see they can only attribute it to God's divinity!
Blessings.

Jennifer F. said...

Thank you for the link, and I wish you well in the new year.