Glory to Glory to Glory...And then again.

I can not even tell you how many times I have started this post and then deleted every. single. word.  I'm not exactly sure why.  This morning though during my time in the Word it became somewhat clear, or at least less murky.  You see, I have entered a new season.  One where I feel my identity being called into question, my authority as a mother and my faith being challenged.  It's weird, for lack of a better adjective.  For some reason that seems to most accurately describe what's transpiring on the inside.  I haven't been able to put words to it until this morning.  In recent months, even the past two years, I have justified and explained it away as change.  So much change.  Daughters graduating, moving, not feeling settled where we were or where we've landed, all teenagers in the house, a new place of employment for Husband and the list goes on.  All of this and yet I hadn't given myself permission to truly see the mourning and dancing of the season.  How it isn't about getting through or moving to the "next" big event or scheduled trip or house guests, etc.  It is in the beautiful complexity of it all.  How within that tension God shows up.  He reveals Himself.  There is faithfulness and provision and it is all only because of Him. Well that and my obedience and intimacy with Him through it all.  And isn't that where most of us live anyway?  A dance we often call life.  

Our recent series at church is "Priests and Praise".  We were absent for the first couple weeks but this last week was revelatory.  The term "secret place" is a familiar word to those of us in the church.  Some refer to it as quiet time, at least I had until this past Sunday.  Being in relationship with the Lord is no different than having a friend here on earth.  Stay with me.  Obviously there are Holy differences but what is the same is the fact that relationships require time, listening, attention, love.  In order to have a friend I have to be a friend.  So the secret place is where that happens with my Jesus.  The time I spend soaking in His presence.  Reading His story.  Knowing His character.  Hearing what He has for me.  Being able to discern His will over my own.  Understanding the Truth.  Pouring my heart out even though He KNOWS it already.  Choosing obedience.  Fighting the battles with Him and in Him.  Going to this secret place is a choice and when we make that choice our presence is affected from being in His presence.   Leading us to deeper places.  In these deeper places we are more in tune with the Spirit and capable of going from glory to glory to glory.  

On the heels of sitting under this teaching and finishing up my study with She Reads Truth on "Mourning and Dancing" I expectantly went to the secret place this morning.  I'm so much a morning person.  I feel refreshed and ready and bright as the sun rises.  It is then I'm at my best and feeling much more capable of intellectual and spiritual conversations.  Here I am, sitting in a local coffee shop, digging in and it dawns on me.  This life, this journey I am on is nothing short of navigating the tension in the mourning and dancing seasons.  Duh.  Yep, wife of 19 years, mother of 4 and I am just now understanding this.  I know, right?  And I answer, yes.  I've understood it and applied it differently in the past.  Currently, in this season it has never made more sense to me.   In a peace-filled, glory be way.  Maybe I need to better explain the condition of my heart.  I have felt stuck, unsure, a bit lost.  Almost as if I was waiting for certain stages to be done.  Moves to take place.  Hear my heart on this.  Life is good.  The six of us are healthy, together and moving forward.  One day at a time.  I do believe thought that there is something to be said for sitting in the now.  Present.  Whole.  Fully taking in where one is at.  On the daily.  I may sound like a broken record.  You know how there are some lessons, growth opportunities if you will, that you think you have worked through with the Lord and dare I say overcome?  And then you find yourself smack dab in the middle of that mess all over again?  Yep.  That's where I'm at.  Learning new stuff I thought I had learned long ago.  I am giving myself permission to answer the question of "how are you?" honestly.  To genuinely listen and engage in conversation surrounding the health of my spirit.  Allowing myself to make choices that are healthy and whole and life giving for myself and my family.  Giving into the joyous racous when it arises from my soul and then too leaning towards the mourning when it shows it's face.

I am not sure I am fully downloading here.  My role as a mother is shifting.  Transitioning from needy toddlers to having teenagers that are forging their independence and preparing to change the world.  Husband Jared and I consistently say to each other let's finish strong.  We are not finished, nor will we ever be at the finish line with our role as parents, but we are nearing the time where are Things will be heading out to begin their journeys away from the safety net of our home.  That is surreal and bittersweet and makes my heart do flips in such weird and painful ways.  Disclaimer here, I am not a Mama that desires for my babies to stay home with me forever.  Witnessing them grow and change and step into the people that God has created them to be is such a privilege, an exciting and awe inspiring one at that.  All that said, family vacations are becoming more difficult to schedule, all but one is able to drive a vehicle, these people that call me Mama have their own opinions, can form complete sentences and articulate their thoughts around the dinner table.  I am no longer needed to cut meat, blow on hot food, kiss owies or rock them to sleep.  Emotions are all over the map here.  I was not ready for the rollercoaster that this stage of life is.  When people say, oh, you're busy, I have a difficult time agreeing.  Busy doesn't quite encompass what THIS is.  This is life.  The dance, as we've been referring to it here.  Mourning and dancing.  Running our race.  Dealing with constant change.  New.  Old.  Sameness.  All of the above.  And thus the state of my heart has been in upheaval.  Unsettled.  Most likely because I am re-learning how to do THIS.  In a new way.

This revelation is strange.  So contradictory to the strategy of fake it till you make it, put a smile on, and all that nonsense.  Embrace the here and now.  Wherever you're at.  Whether that is welcoming the guests as they pour in through the revolving door that is your home, or as you sit with silence and loneliness and a disengaged heart that isn't sure what to do next.  There is a time for everything, as scripted in Ecclesiastes 3:1 & 4, "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance."  That is truth right there friends.  When I press in to that, when I become a priest of prayer and praise, spending time in the secret place and having that be my starting place, the well from which I draw on and the lens through which I see this dance of life becomes a little less cloudy.