Saturday I told you about Diana Trautwein’s lovely Trip Down Memory Lane at her blog, DRGT / Just Wondering, at http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com.
I invited Diana to be our guest blogger today and I know you’ll find inspiration and blessing in her vignette, Dancing with God:
DANCING WITH GOD
As is my habit, I took a walk around my driveway one evening last week. And afterwards, I sat in our tree-swing to cool down, looking over this property and home that we love and I asked myself a hard question: "Why, Lord? Why do I have so much while so many others have so little?" Each day as I walk, I try to be thankful, specifically thankful, for the gifts of the day. And always, always, I am thankful for this house, this yard, this place that feels like gift every single day we’re here. And on this day, this particular day, after reading beautifully written and poignant posts about starving children in the Horn of Africa and children needing sponsors through World Vision or Compassion International, I was feeling overwhelmed by the discrepancy between my life and theirs.
And then, I remembered some of the bits and pieces of my story.
When God called us here, I was beyond nervous — my first paid job in 30 years and it was in pastoral ministry and I was 52 years old! And I could not find a place for us to live. I looked for three solid months, and came up with one possible choice. And when my family came north to attend my installation service at the end of those three months, I took them all to see it. Not one of them liked it. Not one. And I knew they were right — I had been responding to my own sense of desperation, not waiting on God to show me the next move in this dance I’ve been invited to join — this dance of life, of new creation, of choosing and following, of listening and yes … of waiting, waiting for the beat to change, waiting for the next twirl in the pattern.
I did have this one tiny sliver of hope, a slim piece of reminder. A special prayer, offered on my behalf by a friend who had come to our church as part of a missions conference — a friend who has lived the stripped-down life most of her days, a woman with a heart as big as Texas and a deep connection to God. And this is what she said, "Oh Lord, I know you have just the perfect house for Diana, the perfect spot for them to live, the perfect spot for them to retreat to at the end of their long days of working and driving (my husband commuted for 10 years), the perfect place for them to do hospitality ministries, just the perfect place! And I know you are dancing with joy right now for what is out ahead for her!"
‘Dancing with joy’ — for me!
I clung to that picture through every look-see, every discouraged shake of the head, every no, this one will not work, every sigh of disappointment, every weekly round-trip of 225 miles with overnights in a parishioner’s guesthouse.
And then, the very weekend my family shook their heads at the place I thought might work, we drove by the driveway of this house and took a peek. And those of us in the car looked at each other and said, “Does God have THIS as a surprise for you? Is this what all that dancing has been about?”
Yes, this is what all the dancing is about.
And as I sat on my swing that night last week, in awe at how materially blessed I am in comparison to so, so many others in this world, it was as though God said, "Continue to offer this place back to me, continue to use it to love your family, continue to use it to welcome directees, continue to use it to feed and house others — this is the life I have called you to, this is the life you are to live."
So I will continue to ask those hard questions, but I will also continue to live this called life. YOU, sweet reader, are called to a beautiful place, too. You may not be there yet, you may wonder if it will ever show up. But there will be beauty. There will be joy, laced in and amongst the sorrows and the sadnesses of this life we live. There will be joy. And when you get there, whether it’s an actual house and yard, or a condominium in a busy city, or a vast piece of farmland in the middle of the plains, or a novitiate’s room in a convent, or a dorm room in a college, or a studio apartment in a retirement community — wherever you land — enjoy every inch of it, be grateful for every inch of it, and keep giving it back to God. Listen for the beat to change, follow the next curve in the pattern and dance your way to joy.
Thanks, Diana! Your story is full of God’s grace and His purposes for you and your home. Thank you, too, for teaching us the importance of recognizing our homes are gifts from God and are to be used for Him.
Be sure to check out Diana’s blog, DRGT / Just Wondering, at http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com.
Your homes: their roles in your life’s story:
What is a memoir: http://spiritualmemoirs101.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-is-memoir.html