Alarm-less Grace

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Contemplating where we are right now today…this new season. And sort of in awe. Seven of the last eight years were really, really hard. I mean times of rock bottom and scary emptiness and waves of one hard thing after another. But also so many times of God sustaining our family, and protecting my kids or just blessing their socks off. Still, beyond the heaviness it’s been busy – raising three teenagers, in a country where I still don’t speak the language fluently. Seeing God move, watching miracles begin to unfold over the past several years – time living back in the US, in LA of all places, it was amazing and good but still a different sort of stress. I felt like I’d passed by exhaustion years ago and was living in some sort of zombie state most of the time. I don’t share all this to bum you out, but to highlight why I keep getting amazed at where we are now.

As we began looking forward and planning on ‘coming home’ to Hungary last year, we were intentional about having some solid down time. We made no plans, promised nothing to anyone. I sort of envisioned that re-adjustment and break time as lasting a few months, and that by summer we’d start having our calendar fill up once again with responsibilities. I’m so glad God’s time table is not the same as ours. My day-to-day calendar is still mostly empty. And that’s something I’m no longer feeling guilty about, at all. Our lives are far from empty. We have three grown kids plus their two significant others plus one precious granddaughter we keep in touch with, around their busy schedules. Norbi’s mom is still mostly living with us, and while we often don’t get to do as much as I’d like for her, we are here, and she’s here, fighting her cancer and so far, fighting it well.

Then, physically, I’m in a place I never expected. From a scary health diagnosis three months ago through some big and serious changes that have me feeling better in so many areas, better than I’ve been in many, many years. With a bonus of serious weight loss and also looking better than I have in a long time, outside of wardrobe issues, it’s an amazing experience I didn’t expect from this season – at least, not so easily. I knew all of our stress has not been good on us physically, and we made a lot of changes over the past couple years to correct it. But my diagnosis was what I needed to up the game to a more serious level. And I’m not miserable! If you’d told me a year ago I’d have to cut out most carbs and sugar and I’d be happy about it, I’d have laughed and assumed you had me mixed up with someone else. Yet, I suspect that all would have been much harder to deal with and figure out in the midst of busy-ness, so one more bonus of this down time.

I’m in awe, and reveling in peace and calm right now. Minus missing my kids like crazy, I’ve not felt this okay physically, mentally in a long time. I’m also not in any rush to fill that calendar, still. And sometimes that still feels strange, odd…guilt is a persistent little bugger. I’m tempted to point to the past many years and claim some sort of ‘earning’ – but that’s not how Grace works, and I’m feeling grace, deep in my bones, at a tangible level I’m not sure I’ve experienced before. Rest doesn’t have to be earned to be enjoyed. I don’t expect an alarm-less life, and so I know this season is a gift, just as Grace is. Breathing deep and settling in, cherishing this moment, this time. In awe of the One who has kept us, and is keeping us still.

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