As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Living the "In Between"


In the past twelve months, we have spent a lot of time living in the "in between." Days without resolution. Days and weeks of waiting for one thing or another to happen. Days of hoping (and sometimes dread). Days of the imperfect.

When I "gathered the moments" in March, I dubbed that month "The Month of In Between" for that seemed best to describe the lingering, waiting moments of those days. But there have been many such days this year, both in our immediate family and in the lives of our loved ones. Resolutions have been slow. Some have been happy, others were totally not what we wanted, and for some we wait still.




So I have been thinking (a lot) about this "in between" stuff and what my response to it should be and how I can best honor God in it. 

I don't want to miss the "in between"! 


So much of life IS the in between. If I spend the days of my life waiting for everything to be perfect (or my concept of perfect), I will have missed most of my opportunities. Life will pass me by and I will not have used the moments. 

Truly, all the days of our lives are "in between" days, as we pass our time here as sojourners, preparing for eternity.

If I just "get through it," then I don't find what is good, what is doable in the here and now. 


During the "in between" days, I must resolve to forsake my false sense of entitlement, the idea that I deserve better, the idea that I shouldn't have trouble and heartache and pain. 

During the "in between" days, I must make adaptations. I must accept the reality and go with it. I must accept a change in my plans and expectations and say that it is good. 

During the "in between" days, I must not wait for the home I want, for the kids to be older, for the job I want, for retirement, for {fill-in-the-blank} in order to live and do and be. 

I must live now. 

I will choose to put a flower on the sick tray and buy new sheets for the sick bed and offer comfort and cheer to the one who is ill. 

I will invite guests before the house is finished, when life isn't perfect. 

I will paint the walls and hang some pictures and fluff my non-dream house, the house where I'm living now. I will make beauty.

I will work around the messes, forgive, do my best, take time. I will offer help. I will encourage. 

I will make the most of opportunities.


(For when will it all be perfect? When will everything be resolved?) 


Just to be clear, I am not talking about looking on the bright side. I am not talking about being a Pollyana. I am talking about something much deeper than that. 

I am talking about gratitude. Accepting and being grateful for all of His gifts, even those that come differently than I would expect. 

I am talking about faith. Faith that says that God is good, that He will do what He says, that everything (everything!) is working for the good of those who are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So though we live with quiet longing for better days, we live now. 


Live now. (By His grace.)

These days will never come again.

Make the now beautiful. 

It is His gift. 

Elisabeth Elliot said it well: 
"The life of faith is lived one day at a time, and it has to be lived --not always looked forward to as though the 'real' living were around the next corner. It is today for which we are responsible. God still owns tomorrow."

18 comments:

  1. Cheryl...amen! What a beautiful post. I spend everyday in the in-between but God is still blessing everyday! It's when we feel His presence during these times when we realize how good He is to us! Thank you for sharing your heart, friend :)

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  2. Amen and amen. Thank you for putting these thoughts into words. Someone on some blog brought up the idea of having an ordinary week and I have to say that ordinary has gone out the window around this old house and beyond. Carpe Diem...

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  3. Thank you for your beautiful words today. This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

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  4. Just what I needed to read today to help me break out of a "I wish we could find a house to call our own" funk I've been in all morning.

    Now I'm thanking God for his provision and for the lessons I'm learning living as a larger family in this little house. I'm off to clean the kitchen and make the now beautiful!

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  5. These are such wonderful, encouraging words! They were exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you SO much!

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  6. I read this aloud to John (because he asked me why I was so lost in thought). We both thank you for such a thought-provoking post.

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  7. Amen, Cheryl. I believe that's where the "forging ahead with joy", as a wise woman once described it to me, comes in. ;))
    You really hit home with that! And this!

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  8. This was SUCH a good post! And I add my Amen to all the others. Life is just rarely easy, and there IS always the "in-between" as you said. I leaned a couple of years ago to realize you must live each day with the joys it brings, cherishing the moments as they might not come again, in spite of what else be happening, or not happening, KNOWING He holds our very breath in His hands. It seems I lived a lot of my younger years ALWAYS waiting and wanting more. A better house, nicer furniture, more obedient kids etc. etc. etc. And now looking back I wish I had just lived in the moment more instead of always looking ahead for the next whatever. This was a wonderful reminder for us all!

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  9. Yes!
    I have nothing else to add, this is just so much of where The Lord has brought me this year!

    Love you friend!

    Deanna

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  10. This is so very good. Such needed encouragement!! Thank you~tammy

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  11. Such truths in this post, I have to agree with you, I think there is always "in between" days, we are always waiting for something, to put life on hold is to miss what the Lord has to offer in the moment. I love your "I must live now" list...it was a wonderful reminder to me as well.

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  12. Wonderful post, Cheryl! There will always be those in-between days and it took me a long time to learn to live in the now. I wasted much time wanting all my ducks to be in a row so then I could be truly happy. One day I realized that each day was a gift and to enjoy that day and live that day the best I could giving thanks for all He has given me. Yes, I still hope for better days, better this and better that, but I'm doing much better at enjoying the gift of today.

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  13. Cheryl
    I do not lie, this is the best post I have read in my three years of blogging. It really hit home for me today. It was a word that I so needed to hear.
    I will pray that the Lord will help you to go through your waiting time with joy daily and pray that he will help me do the same.

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  14. This is an excellently gentle reminder of a very important truth. Most of life is made up of seasons of waiting for some sort of resolution. How we spend those seasons greatly influences the next season, and the next, and so on!

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  15. This was such a beautiful post...and to think I almost missed it.
    Thanks,
    Balisha

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  16. I'm late to reading this post, but I'm glad I didn't just pass it over. Such great truths and challenges here. Living every day in faith...yes.

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  17. I so appreciate this post today. Thank you. You present your encouragement with a gentle spirit. Living "in between" threatens to be in the forefront my thoughts these days . . . unless I follow your wisdom of looking for the day's present blessings.

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