Monday, March 9, 2009

A Free Woman

Yesterday was the inauguration of a new personal anniversary. My divorce became final and now I am a free woman -- free from the last legal tie to a covenant that should never have been. But hindsight is 20/20. Oh well. Celebrations are in the works!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happiness is...

...Nesting into my own home.  

Things are finally starting to take shape the way I want them to.  I spent the bulk of today working on my bedroom.  This entailed unpacking suitcases and boxes of clothing and stuff and putting it all away.  I only have one box to deal with now, and most of it belongs in the bathroom.  

I have new curtains hung in my bedroom as well.  They are a rich, damask-looking burgundy color that picks up the corded trim and color in my bedspread.  The large round place mats that I am using in place of the more traditional doilies are the same color, so it all ties together nicely.  

I can't believe how happy I am in this new place and how terribly oppressive it was to live in the other.  I have a new lease on life and things are looking decidedly up now.  My kids are doing better, I'm able to be there for them because I don't have this horrendous drive to do any more, I'm cooking meals again, and now leisure time at home has become something actually feasible. I never knew a person could feel this happy or content.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Borrowed Thoughts

No descendant of Adam is ever original in thought.  Only God can do that.  We only rebound off of him or each other and only get it right to the extent to which our own thoughts conform to His, or else go wildly off in the wrong direction to the extent to which we don't conform to His thoughts.  All this to say that I find Douglas Wilson quite a stimulator of my thoughts.  

Lately Douglas has been doing a review of the latest book of N.T. Wright.  I wish I could tell you which book that is, but Douglas failed to mention the title even though he is providing chapters and pages as references for some of his comments.

I can't make super intelligent or even an informed analysis of the book in question, or even of other things that N.T. Wright has written having never read anything of his.  What I can do is share some of the thoughts that have been spawned from reading Douglas Wilson's commentary on it.

First of all, I have to say that whatever the "Federal Vision" is, if Douglas Wilson is a fair representative of it, then I guess I am one of those as well.  That's because his exposition of the Gospel and how it works coincides with my understanding of it, and I got all that from a more or less raw reading and pondering of Scripture and the implications of it.  My understanding of justification through the righteousness of Christ being imputed to me is also one that I hold in common with Mr. Wilson.  Again, this comes from just reading Scripture and believing it.  Call it childish, or even child-like, but when God tells me that He made Christ to be sin for me so that I might be the righteousness of God in Him, I just believe it without a lot of mental gymnastics.  

Sometimes I think about how rudimentary my understanding of the Gospel is and how it has developed over time and I wonder, when in the world did I come to understand it and do I even understand it now?  I see how far I have come and have a dim perception that I have a very long way to go, but the road ahead is foggy and only the first few steps in front of me are clear before all that comes ahead becomes obscure.  Maybe this is what the Bible refers to as growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and seeing through a glass dimly.  I see clearly where I came from, and I have a vague idea of what lies ahead.  

All this is to say that one of the things that I do clearly see is how great a salvation I have.  It never used to move me the way it does now.  I cannot contemplate or comprehend the enormous, incalculable amounts of grace and love that have been thrown my way for no good reason other than it pleased God to do so.  Grace has finally made its way from an objective head knowledge that I knew to be true, down to a subjective heart knowledge that I feel to be true.  Not to say that one is superior to the other, but that both present a more full orbed and rounded understanding of the love of God through Christ for a poor and wretched sinner.

One of the counter-intuitive things that this knowledge has done is freed me from a lot of the fear of man that used to rule my life.  The opinions of others on how I conduct my life, raise my children, drive my car, etc., doesn't govern me as much.  I wish I could say I was completely free of it, but I suppose that this is something that will always form a small part of my psyche in this life.  Fear of the opinions of others made me into a poor Christian, wife, mother, etc.  I can see now that it is a form of idolatry because in reality the thing we fear most is the thing we worship most.  But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty and those made free in Christ are free indeed.

Another thing I have discovered in all this is that those who use grace as an excuse for licentiousness or lawless behavior are really demonstrating that they don't understand grace.   When you get a really good idea of just how miserable you are outside of Christ and the realization of the "weight of glory" that is now yours in Christ, then you begin to understand what the Bible means about putting on a mask when you sin, and that you are a new creation and old things have passed away.  I may still be dealing with the residuals of the old nature while walking this planet, I may still do the things I shouldn't do while wanting to do the right thing, or neglecting the things I should pay attention to but don't, but the reality is that I was crucified with Christ and the life I now live, I live because of faith in the Son of God.  

My life is a journey and while I make detours and sometimes lose my way, it is God who is the author and finisher of my faith and He has promised to perfect and complete me.  To Him be all the glory.  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Well, Duh

I was commenting the other night to a girlfriend that I have been so exhausted lately and can't seem to get over it no matter how much sleep I get.  She likes to rub the age difference in and reminded me that I am no longer a spring chicken and that the combination of a recent divorce, recent move, and a major motor vehicle accident might have something to do with it. Well, duh.  

I am not depressed, but I am tired.  It's amazing how things of this nature can really take it out of you even when you think you are handling things reasonably well.

On the wahoo front, my divorce will be finalized on March 8, 2009.  I am starting to think about the sort of party I will be having, not to celebrate the demise of my marriage, but rather the beginning of a new life. 

The auto rebuilders who sold me the Ford Windstar that I was in love with are going to rebuild me another van of some sort.  And one of the guys even flirted with me into the bargain.  Maybe I'm not such an over-the-hill bag after all.

Friday, January 30, 2009

A New Beginning

Today I moved into my very own home.  It's an unsorted and disorganized pile of boxes and belongings, but it is mine.  Today I was given the money that was left over from selling the matrimonial home, and learned that my order for a divorce was filed in court two days ago.  I also learned that I am going to be a grandmother again.

I can do a lot in one day when I set my mind to it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

You Know You Aren't Over it When...

... it can still make you tear up and your heart starts to pound while you manifest other signs of nervousness and stress.

No, I'm not talking about my marriage's demise.  I am ready to dance on the remains of that with hobnailed boots.  I am speaking about my excommunication from my old church.  

I had a short visit today with a fellow excommunicant that I happen to like a great deal.  We spoke a bit about things ecclesiastical and she and her family are attending a different reformed church now and working through some issues.  The thought of even going to that church for a visit, despite assurances that this was a different experience than what I had sat under previously, was enough to almost trigger a panic attack.  I guess I still have some healing to do there.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Broken Open

"...And the time came when the risk to remain in a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Broken Open:  How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow by Elizabeth Lesser

Friday, January 9, 2009

More Changes Coming

So I took the plunge this week and renewed my driver's license and in the process also changed the address from my current home to the one I'll be moving into in several weeks.  I am now officially going by my maiden name and it still feels odd to revert back to signing myself off that way.  My new home will be registered in my old name as is my van, my hydro account and my telephone/internet/cable tv account.  About the last, I was delighted to get an account for all three services from Shaw that works out to be less money than just the phone and internet for Telus.  And no installation fees or charges if they come to my house to fix something!  The postal service has been notified about the change of address and name, my line of credit has been put in my old name, and now I just have to change over some other accounts and payments soon.

I was reading some more of Nora Roberts' books tonight and a recurring theme in many of them is that of an old home being bought and renovated and worked on to a beautiful and charming but homey place of business.  I'm not turning my new home into a commercial venture, but it will be a place of business for me as I intend to have clients into it.  But her book got me thinking about what I want to do there.  I don't have much to do in terms of remodeling.  The only thing that really needs extensive work is the basement.  I plan to put in a bathroom and finish off the one bedroom properly.  On the front of my house I started thinking about what I could do there to make it more attractive and I think some box planters on the front under the kitchen window and a small bed of flowers beneath it will be in order.  I plan to hang a wreath suitable to the season on the front door.  The miniature garden in the back is something I would also like to transform into something that will have flowers and even some veggies growing in the summer.  I want a sort of "zen" like view out the patio doors into a small oasis of charming and peaceful growing things.

I'm looking forward to transforming this place into a nest or garden suitable for growing my own soul and that of my children.  It will be the place where I finally come to terms with and enjoy being on my own.  The anticipation feels quite sweet.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Trinitarian Marriage

Psalm 115 tells us that we become like whatever it is we are worshipping.  One of the reasons Muslim women are so poorly treated is because of this factor.  The word "muslim" apparently means "submission".  The unitarian Muslim god, Allah, before the creation of the world, was an eternal hermit.  He is the supreme sovereign and therefore the only relationship one can have to him is to submit -- love is not his nature.  The Trinitarian God of the Scripture, on the other hand, existed eternally in three persons with perfect love and communion existing amongst all the members of the Godhead.  Thus, the Bible claims that "God is love."  

In Christian marriage, you tend to see a greater emphasis on mutual submission to God out of love for Him as well as love and respect between partners.  I say tend because in fact a lot of Christian marriages are functionally Muslim in nature.

If we become like whoever or whatever we worship, and if there is something less than pleasing and unChristlike in our conduct and thought life, it is time to do a check for idols in our life...