27 February 2010

Refinement

A dear friend sent me a couple of articles this week- Refining Moments and Refining PossibilitiesThey are articles that impressed her.  They are articles that write of things familiar to me, and leave me pondering for a while. 

The author writes of the experience of falling down the stairs while holding her baby and how that fall prompted her to stop and consider life around her.  That is familiar to me.  I once slipped on the stairs while holding my twin baby girls.  We were fine.  Well, mostly fine.  I had huge bruises on my back, but my girls landed on me without injury.  But in that moment after landing on the stairs, I lay there and cried.  I cried because it hurt, immediately.  I cried because my girls were not hurt, and I was grateful.  And I cried because sometimes crying out to the Lord means really crying. 

In the articles, the author writes about refining.  She writes:
Refinement means losing the extras. It’s about focusing your sights like an arrow. If anything, your aspirations become even greater when they are not diluted by all of the possible things you could be doing.
She writes that refining is "considering the balance" of what we want to achieve each day.  It is looking at our list and deciding what to focus on, and what we won't be doing right now.

The list.
Isn't there always a list?

I am certain that part of God's love and grace is seen in how He has allowed me to grow older and grow more comfortable in who He made me to be.  I am certain that  it is how He helps me to see that there are things that others do well and I do not, not in this season, anyway.  At different times I have tried to make bread, and do crafty things, and look a certain way and, and, and...

But at this point, right now, I know that I can't really knit or sew.  I can't scrapbook.  I know that I can write notes to almost anyone, but I am lousy at making phone calls to anyone but about two people in my life. 

I know that I feel goofy, as if I'm playing dress up, if I wear heels or mascara.  I know that I am most comfortable in my leather loafers and my convese sneakers and long sleeve life is good shirt.  I know that I'll probably always pick at my cuticles.  I know that I'll probably never wear nail polish.  Except on my toes.  And only in the summertime.

I know that to sweep and vacuum the floors is a good step towards order in our house.  But daily mopping is not a priority.  I know that I'll always be behind on laundry.  I know that a boxed cake mix tastes pretty good if it has homemade buttercream frosting on top. 

I know that His grace is sufficient for me.

The author writes,
I remembered how ocean waves wash over the beach, leveling rumples in the sand and filling in trenches and holes, smoothing it over. Ever since then, I’ve been praying that God’s grace would wash over all those details in my life, smoothing them over and filling in the gaps, making the details less distinct and noticeable.
I am entranced by that image, and agree, that it is only God's grace that can smooth out those rumples in our life.  But at the same time, I'm thankful for the gaps that remain.  I am thankful that as consistently as the tide, He is faithful to provide those waves of grace that smooth the human sized divots created when I am knocked over time and again.  I'm thankful for the waves of grace that comfort, even after I think I have my feet firmly planted in that sand and I’ve braced myself for the coming blow.

Refinement is, indeed, a continual process.

(photo credit to barbaragordon @etsy)



1 comment:

caron said...

oh i love this post!!!! love it love it love it love it. perfect for saturday morning coffee + blog readin' + cartoons in the background. thanks for writing.