Sunday, June 10, 2012

I moved!!

Hello, my few faithful followers!
After much thought and consideration, I created a new blog.
Just a little note to redirect you to where you can find me from here on out.
Here's my web address, if you wish to continue reading up on us!

The Haddock House

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

I'm Just a Bus Driver...

Today I took my van to be cleaned out.
It hasn't been cleaned since before Christmas, so wow, it needed it. My mom had my big girls, so it was just Ruthie in the van, and she was NOT happy to be there. I opened the sliding door, and she automatically thinks it's time to get out. When I wasn't getting her out, she let me know very clearly that she was not happy with the circumstances. I went on to do the job as quickly as possible. Not fast enough for Ruthie. Eventually (meaning just having the floor of the passenger side vacuumed), I gave up and got her out of her car seat to set her on the floor of the van where I had just vacuumed, and tried to continue to clean. Not good enough. So I picked her up, attempting to do the job one-handed. Hey, sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, right?
It was then that I met Byron. This, probably mid-50s, African American man who had been cleaning up his early 2000s model Chevy sedan next to mine.
He came up and asked if he could help me. Immediately I did what every average American does... I politely declined. He then said, "Well, I could just vacuum out your van for you while you hold her."
"I'm sorry?" I replied. Not really believing this perfect stranger just offered to vacuum my van for me.
"I could vacuum your van for you while you hold her," he said again.
"Oh... no, no you don't have to do that," why is it so hard to just accept help?
"Really. I'm off work today, I don't have anywhere to be, it's really no problem. I remember those days," he insisted.
I paused and thought this over while the Lord told me, just let him help you.
"Wow. Sure. That's really kind," I said as my over-emotional mommy self swallowed back the urge to cry.

So there I stood in the parking lot of the $3 car wash on Clinton Hwy, baby on my hip, while Byron vacuumed my van. Dumbfounded. Thankful. Hopeful that there are still kind people in this world. People in our nation whose lives aren't run by their watches, not too busy to notice the young mom struggling just to get the crumbs vacuumed out of her van.
Still though, I felt the need to apologize for just how disgusting my vehicle was. He laughed it off, told me he used to drive a mini-van, he had four kids himself. One he lost 5 years ago in a car accident. I had to swallow back tears again. No one ever expects to bury their child. We talked for a few more minutes, then he finished up in the back seat. He told me to wave if I'm ever out and I hear a honk from the city bus, because he drives for Knox Area Transit. He went on about how much he loves his job because he gets to meet so many people he typically wouldn't meet. He's met everyone from the mayor to tourists. He likes talking to the travelers. He was such a joyful man.
I sat there, perplexed about what would possess someone to clean my van for me? Surely he wasn't having to report back to someone about the number of RAK he could accomplish in a week. No. Just love. Just a simple love for people. Clearly, Byron loves people. He loves his job. A bus driver.
I'm sure Byron won't ever see a million dollars driving the city bus. His job may never earn him an upgrade from his early 2000s model Chevy sedan. He may not ever be considered successful in our world of money-hungry corporate vipers. But he loves his job. He loves people.
Byron reminded me of why I'm here.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind & strength. And the second is like it, to love our neighbor as our self.
God created us in His image, and He is a relational God. Perfect relationship exists in the trinity, so it is natural for us as humans made in God's likeness, to desire relationship. To desire community. To love.
I want to love well. I want to serve others: My husband. My children. My community. Because this is the example that I was given. Christ loved. Christ served. Though I know I will never do it perfectly, I want to lay my life down. To be selfless. To be remembered, if for nothing else, as someone who loved well. Only because this is what it's like to be a disciple of Christ.
Byron left me with all these thoughts today... and prayers, for him & for myself. I told him how thankful I was and how much it blessed me how he served me. I pray he knows the Lord. I didn't ask him, but some peace he left me with makes me think he does.
It also made me think of the (old) Caedmon's Call song bus driver. I've always loved that song because the statement it makes. "He's 'just' a bus driver, so what does he know?" But he knowspeople... his job is relationships. Just like Byron.
I don't know... just really thinking on relationships tonight... am I a blessing to others in my relationships with them? Like Jesus was? This is what it is to be missional. Living, loving, and serving like Jesus. Am I living like Jesus?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

The old is gone, the new has come!

I am not even going to touch on my failure to blog the past couple months. Why? Because it's a new year & beating up on myself about my failures is one thing I'm committing to *quit* in 2012. A resolution, if you will.
My thought on New Year's Resolutions? I welcome them. I love the idea of a fresh start... I love the newness of opening a calender- or turning the page over- and seeing the blankness that lies before my eyes. A new year. A mystery that causes a smile to spread across my face. What will it hold?? Although many resolutions flop after a couple months (or more accurately for me, a couple weeks)... it's okay. Isn't that just another opportunity to look to Christ? Doesn't the same thing happen when we try to earn our righteousness? It's a flop. You can't do it. This new year, I'm striving to cling ever more so closely to my Savior, my righteousness.
My resolution? To grow. I just want to grow.
I would be lying if I were to tell you 2011 wasn't the hardest year of my life thus far. There were more changes in my life than I was ready for, which equal more challenges in my life than I was ready for. More deaths in my family than I could have imagined. More spiritual battles than I asked for. All resulting in some serious emotional battles. Jesus has definitely been walking me through a valley. And although He hasn't left my side, that hasn't made it easy.
I'm stepping into a new year with the promises that His mercies are new. If they are new every morning, that's got to mean they're new every year as well, right? I'm longing for & praying for an outpouring of His mercy and grace in my life in 2012. I want to grow... all the struggles I've been through in the past year are Him putting me through the refiner's fire. He's been pruning me. While pruning is such a painful experience, it's necessary for new growth!
I want to grow in my relationship with my Savior... which will pour over in my relationship with my husband and daughters. I want to grow as a wife, as a mom & homemaker. I want to grow in forgiveness. If it's one thing I've learned this past year, it's that I hold onto things for way too long. I don't forgive as my Christ has forgiven me. I want to lay that down at His feet & grow in that. I want to grow in my love for & service to others. To love like Christ loved & serve as He served. I want to grow in knowledge, to learn... we're never done learning. I want to read more- the Word, fiction, nonfiction. I'd love to become a part of book club. Any suggestions on that would be appreciated! I want to grow in fitness. I've posted before that I love to run, and "in another life" I was a runner. I want to take this up again, and begin working out again. I just want to be healthy- spiritually & physically. I want to grow in thankfulness... instead of sitting back & dwelling on the things that are hard & painful, I want to receive those things with a heart of thanksgiving- knowing that all things my God allows for my good.
This desire, this resolution, is nothing if I attempt to work it out in my own strength. In all things I want to be seeking God's glory & His power through to work through me. I wanted to post about it because it's been on my heart, because I want my readers- however few and far between- to know I haven't given up on this blog, and I want some accountability!
Anyone else want to share their resolutions? Anyone want to grow with me?