Sunday, December 11, 2011

empty and full (MM 899-913)

"When God closes a door, He opens a window."

We hear that one a lot.  Is it even in the Bible?  I guess I should look it up, but I am too lazy, and I don't think that it is.  And it doesn't feel true for us lately.  Doors, windows, laundry chutes, they all seem shut.

We pray for God's will. "Lord, open the right doors.  Close the door if you don't want us to go through it."  Yet deep down many times we really just want the door to budge a little bit so we can at least squeeze through. 

There has been no squeezing through here.

Door after door has shut.  So we pray now for new ones, old ones, any ones. We seek, we knock.  And we have become empty.  Empty of resources, finances, energy, enthusiasm, faith, hope, strength and ultimately of ourselves.

Perhaps it is the Christmas season, though I think I began realizing it sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving. My cup was completely empty, but I handed it over anyway, and then He began to pour something into it. New (and renewed) relationships. New opportunities and connections.  New places to serve.  New people coming alongside to encourage us and some old ones as well.  New attitudes, new hope, new mercies every morning.

Contentment is a struggle of mine. It always has been, so I find it a little bit funny that at the time in my adult life when I have had the least amount of things, the least amount to fall back on, I have been give the most in areas that don't fit on a spreadsheet or a resume. 

Yes, in my emptiness I am being blessed with the full life.

899. cleansing tears off and on all Sunday morning
900. one running car
901. small group game night
902. new friends who love my kids and don't mind our small house on the northside
903. a God who doesn't mind me drinking coffee during announcements
904. Sunday naps for all four of us
905. celebrating one year of Bugaboo
906. an acquaintance's miracle preemie gaining a pound this month- pray for Baby E. to get stronger
907. daily grasping that Jesus came to serve, not to be served, and what that should mean for me
908. the power of grace
909. the gift of obedience
910. progressive dinner
911. friends who hug - forgot how important touch is beyond the family unit
912. quality Christmas music
913. God with us, every day, every moment

7 comments:

  1. Wow, Amanda... This beautiful. So transparent... And it gives me a glimpse into your journey, your heart... I'm so glad you are finding new & renewed relationships...and all of the other little details. You just reminded me, a thankful heart is the key to the ever-elusive Contentment :-) I look forward to the journey ahead with you... God is with us :-)

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  2. Visiting from A Holy Experience. I understand about doors that won't seem to budge. I get so impatient at times in my waiting. I too am thankful for cleansing tears, and His ever abiding presence in my life.

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  3. I think we live the same life, you and me. Wow, I just stumbled on your blog for the very 1st time today linking up with A Holy Experience and I am so thankful for you transparency. It is so healing to a soul when honesty is spoken. I definately will be visiting again soon. By the way, your boys are CUTE!

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  4. Amanda, I haven't been keeping up with the blogs I usually would follow for some time now -- Masters courses kept a great part of my attention! Now I'm on Christmas break and wanted to "catch up" a bit, including on your blog! I love this post! You are so honest and poignant. Thanks so much for sharing, it helped me reflect, as this has been a season -- well, two years or more, really -- of difficulty, of less than I would want many times, of restlessness. But it's also been a season of counting the blessings in my life, of realizing that I always, always have enough for each day because God somehow makes it so....of loving the people He has given me to love and knowing what real love is, in return. So I "get" you. And I pray this Christmas season is the best you've experienced yet!

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  5. P.S. I "grabbed your button" so it's on my blog now, at the bottom of the blog where I keep the buttons/links to special places! :)

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  6. It honestly sounds like I coulda written this post, because my life has so been like this the past year! So many of the same struggles. I hold on SO tight to 'my' life. It's too scary to give it to Him. And then and I do, by His grace, and it's freedom. And then I reach out and grab my life again, and the struggle starts over, but maybe my grasp is loosening each time. I hope so. I want to be 100% His.

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  7. empty and full
    (thank you for sharing your heart here)
    i've been there. well, to my personal version of there. it's kind of a peculiar place to be, isn't it?

    empty and full
    i am thinking on the manger. empty and then full. i'm so thankful He came. i'm so thankful that He always knows exactly how to fill the empty spaces. in His grace, presently, my cup runneth over. i pray that you find yours the same. soon.

    blessings,
    -t-

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me.