Friday, May 25, 2012

50 Days of Holy! Happily Ever After


"Happily Ever After"
by
Debbie Paxton

 
"Are your ears awake?
Listen. Listen to the Wind Words,
the Spirit blowing through the churches.
I'm about to call each conqueror to dinner.
I'm spreading a banquet of Tree-of-Life fruit,
a supper plucked from God's orchard."
~Revelation 2:7MSG

I rose this morning to brilliant sunshine and a cloudless blue sky. I went for an early morning run. As I ran I reflected on my life and the change that Christ has made.  The THENS and the NOWS of my life...

THEN 
I ran on Chicago streets: noise, busy-ness, plenty of people. Sky scrapers to my right, high rises to my left, cars honking, the city waking – full of life and energy.  Exactly what I wanted at age 18, when I left my tiny hometown. As I ran, I took it all in – I had done it, made it, moved far from home to the big city. Knowing no one, I got a job and apartment, all on my own. And yet, somehow in my heart, something was missing... it wasn’t enough.

NOW 
I run on an old B&B railway that has been made into a trail, it winds through pastures and hills, farmland and woodlands, following a river through the trees. I run to the sound of birds singing, a cow bellowing, the wind rustling through the trees. A blue bird lands on the trail in front of me, a chipmunk scurries across. Up ahead I see a deer, but not another human soul. Yet, my heart is full of companionship and love – my Father is with me and I thank Him for His creation. It is somehow, enough.

THEN
I ran after a night on the town: symphonies and concerts, theater and restaurants. After dinner with friends, glasses of wine and espresso coffee, after deep conversations uninterrupted by the chatter of little ones. After a full night’s sleep, uninterrupted by crying, hungry infants. My life was full. I was young and free. And yet, somehow I felt empty. It just wasn’t...enough.

NOW 
I run after a late night talking with my troubled teen, nights interrupted by children with bad dreams or the flu. Conversations with my husband are snippets of words expressed over toddlers hanging on legs or children pulling on arms. There is little money for dinner out and not many options when we can afford it. There are few movies worthy of spending my money on, the language makes me cringe and sex & violence hurt my heart. Entertainment now is watching America’s Funniest Home Videos surrounded by little people, a snoring dog at my feet, a smiling husband across the room. And yet somehow, it satisfies – I look at them all, safely at home, and whisper “thank you” to my Papa in heaven…it is enough.

THEN
I ran before dressing up in a skirt and jacket, commuting by subway with brief case in hand, to a high rise in the city.  My career in full bloom, I thought I would find purpose and a sense of worth. I had money, lots of it, and lots of things to spend it on. I managed other people. I was successful. And yet, I came home at night feeling lost and adrift. The things I had gathered around me seemed pointless. It just wasn’t…. enough.

NOW 
I run before a day of dishes, laundry, teaching long division, cleaning up dog poo, mowing the lawn. I dress in cut-offs and a t-shirt. My conversations? Talking with my teen about boys, helping my preteen pick out something to wear, praising my 11 year old as she does a trick on the trampoline. My career is comprised of teaching, loving, holding, disciplining, instructing, correcting, laughing, and raising up my girls for the One who has raised me up. I help them to know Him, to recognize His voice, obey His laws, encounter His grace and receive His love. I do my "job" with second-hand furniture, a used minivan, a dining room table marred with nicks and flecks of fingernail polish that won’t come off. But I love it! My day begins and ends and my every moment is spent in communion with my Lord, abiding in Him, praying to Him. And somehow - it is more than enough...

Because NOW, I feel His joy in me. His peace and His love well up within me. His Spirit overflows my soul with goodness and grace and I delight in this ever-present oneness with Him, and it is, He is, always, always…enough.

Is He enough for you?
I pray that you will find this Oneness with Christ through the Holy Spirit.
Reflect on your THENS and NOWS as you listen to the words of this song.
Will you place your life in His hands today and totally surrender to His plans, His Spirit?
I am praying you will!



________________________________________________

It's a joy to introduce you to my close friend and personal prayer partner, Debbie Paxton. As you can tell, she has a deep love for the Lord. She is very gifted in the Spirit and a powerful intercessor. Love you Debbie!

Debbie is very happily married to Dave. She set aside her career to raise her three daughters. This past year, she re-entered her chosen field of counseling, this time with years of life experiences through which she is able to help others. She loves to work out, ride her bike on the trail, and hang out with the Lord.

Debbie is truly a Woven Woman: a Woman of Virtue!


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