I bought a wooden sign at Hobby Lobby the other day. I was actually there to purchase a single picture frame to showcase some of my daughter’s school art work when I noticed a fifty percent off sale sign for all of the wall hangings. Needless to say, I got lost in the aisle. Actually, I got lost in the beautiful words. Each of the signs beckoned to me with their varied sappy and sacred phrases.
I love reading and listening to stories. When the stories feel real and true, I love them even more because they make me feel that the longings and dreams I have are not thwarted but possible. They resonate with my heart and propel me to noble behaviors. When I consider David and his sins yet hear God proclaim him as a man after his own heart (because of his willingness to repent), I feel encouraged that I too can pursue the heart of God.
There’s a picture of Pitcairn Island stuck to the side of my refrigerator. It’s actually a postcard sent to my youngest son by one of his buddies who had the thrill of cruising with his family to that historic place. Pitcairn Island became the famous refuge of mutineer Fletcher Christian some time in the late 1700s, along with several other dissenting crew members of the HMS Bounty.
There’s a diligence to swimming in the mornings. There’s a willingness in rising early to suit up and shake off the solemnity of slumber in order to make your body do something it doesn’t want to do. There’s an accomplishment to the training, the exercising, the stroking, the breathing, the kicking. The reach of the stroke seems to express the metaphor of one reaching toward the new day. “I’m ready for you,” it says. “I’m coming for you and I’m intentional in my pace.”
There's Brideshead, Howards End, and Scarlett’s Tara. Even Mary Lennox wanted her own little piece of earth from Mr. Craven’s vast holdings. Literature is full of a love for the lands and places we live in and the effects they have upon us, calling us back to them again and again. In a sense, they become our identity and our salvation. It's a beautiful motif and it speaks to my heart, yet its words may prove deceptive, in a way, if I am not careful to interpret what they say with a Kingdom mindset and long for more.
My house was an absolute mess. Toys were scattered around the floors, doors to the outside stood open and flies came in to forage, grass and dirt littered the floor, and random cups, plates and shoes were all littered about. It was chaos. For several hours we had enjoyed the fellowship of company, of entertaining and eating, but now the day was drawing to a close and I felt restless. It was time to get things back into their place, to bring some order to the madness. It was time to see my kids bathed and in jammies, tucked away in cozy beds.