Thursday, June 30, 2011


Another one arrived last week. One of those emails from an acquaintance telling me how she could never survive life if she had to live in my shoes, and she was so very thankful for her husband and her home and her family, and, what with all the trips to the orthodontist and the gym and needing to have her manicure touched up and her tires rotated, etc., she just didn't know how she'd manage without her housekeeper Jane to help with the kids, and....

Reading her news left me exhausted. And jealous.

I need an attitude adjustment.

Maybe my friend was trying to imagine how I did all the things she does in a week, without Jane or Daddy Warbucks on my team. Maybe it didn't occur to her that we simply don't go to the dentist, or maintain our cars, or visit the nail salon, or participate in the debate team or high school choir. Shoot, if she cut out all the things on her calendar, she might discover she had plenty of time to hoe the beans, fold the laundry, and make a pot of homemade potato soup.

Seems these "holiday postcards" arrive twice a year - Christmas and summer vacation. You know, the three-page newsletters sprinkled with color photos, telling all about someone else's wonderful life. How Jack Junior got a full scholarship to Harvard, but he's spending a month in India this summer ministering to less fortunates before heading off to college. Sally Jane was selected for the U.S. Olympic equestrian team, so she's decided to give up ballet and playing first violin for the symphony this year. Mom and Dad loved their month-long anniversary trip to France, except for the rude waiter who almost ruined their last night in Paris. Blah, blah, blah.

Whenever I read these letters, something perverse in me wants to write a response that reads like something penned by Darth Maul. I want to write and send pictures about how all three vehicles went down in the same week or how the washing machine broke and flooded the laundry room. The chickens and the cat are being mauled by Mr. Fox, and cut worms have wiped out our squash and melons. The man from the electric company keeps reminding us that we really do need to pay our bill, please. We worry that Bubba is being unduly influenced by his disreputable friends, and Sissy is pregnant, again, and doesn't even know the father's last name. My cousin and her sixteen children came for a weekend visit back in May and still haven't left, and we strongly suspect our new neighbors are cooking up meth in the shed behind their house. Blah, blah, blah.

Okay, maybe I'm getting a little carried away, a little too close to the dark side of the force.

But what I could write, in good conscience, is that I am being broken in new ways and to new depths that I could not have imagined a year ago. That I am learning what it means to live each day in conscious dependence on God. That "Christ is enough" is easy on the lips, but sometimes devastating on the heart. That I can say with absolute confidence that God is sovereign, God is good, and He loves me very much - despite my circumstances, despite people's opinions of me, despite life's trials, despite my often dishonest emotions. Jesus truly grows more beautiful with each passing day.

When you're lying prostrate at the foot of the cross, the view is glorious.

Wish you were here.


J. K. Jones said...

I think that social media often fall to the same temptation. We only FaceBook or tweet about what is going right and well. I tend to make FB inot a resume. All the great things I have done / will do seem to get listed.

It's time to repent, again.

Suzanne said...

This reminds me how easy it is to compare my insides to another's outsides, which is not fair to either of us. I have had a few close friends that were those Christmas letter writers that put the smiley face spin on a year's worth of their lives. Having known them intimately through those 12 months, I could see how their letters omitted their trials and sadnesses. They were not deliberately being superficial in their letters, just being positive. It is a real gift to be able to live joyfully and not complain when life gives you lemons. You are one of those gifted people that amazingly makes lemonade instead of complaining and having self-pity parties. May God continue to bless you with hope, joy, and love, in good times and bad. Love you forever.