Is it REALLY August 29th?  And yet, how long it took for August 29th to roll around….

We’re rejoicing around here because the school year kicked off today.  In honor of the beginning of school, Alex suited up and ran a marathon, holding Curious George bandaids, today.

We had festive pancakes….

And then got right into the thick of “FUN!” at school….

Stopping long enough for a picture with Mom midst the exploration.

It has been a full summer.  A summer filled with trips, beaches, family, crawling (mostly Drew), fresh produce, and a break from the routine.  Hard to believe how quickly, though, it went from June to the end of August….

And so, we are rejoicing…the start to the fall routine!

My mind starts turning to crisp apples, pumpkins, butternut squash soup, sweaters, Halloween fun, cooler days.  This post by Maggie, at Gussy Sews, summed up all of my longings for autumn visually.

And yet, in the midst of rejoicing, there is always the flip side.  In the last 48 hours, 3 situations have brought me to my knees.  Friends going through pain, grief, and frankly, horrific situations.  Circumstances that for each, have forced them to truly lean heavily into God.  And to trust that God is there, in the darkness, the questions, the pain.  That God is there even when it feels completely void.

I look at myself, having hours ago LOST IT with oldest munchkin who LOST his NEW shoes for the first day of school, a mere two days after receiving them.  Running out the door, LATE.  AGAIN.  Bags flying behind me.  Coffee sitting on the kitchen counter, cold and untouched.  Angry and frustrated words flying.  And yes, even in these moments.  The everyday moments.  I so rarely choose to stop.  To breathe.  To love.  To calm my words.  To rejoice.  To rejoice?!??!?!

Despite the weight and heaviness of these moments {from the shoes to the funerals to the hard decisions to the impending life changing events} we are called to be community.  To ask others to “step inside our hearts” and be present, but “walk gently”.  This seems impossibly hard some days, yet also, one of the most immense gifts.  To be on the journey together, holding up one another’s arms when we just can’t do it ourselves.  Even Moses, MOSES!, realized this need when Amalek was fighting Israel.

Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, ‘Choose some men for us and go out; fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.’ So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed; and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady until the sun set. And Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the sword.

~Exodus 17:  8-13

Like Moses, we are called to lean on the community around us.  To let others in.  To walk together.  As heavy as my heart is today, I am rejoicing.  Rejoicing that friends chose to let me in, to hold up their hands, to walk alongside.  Rejoicing and joy, clearly, are so much deeper, longer, wider and more complex than happiness.  May our HAPPENINGS, then, not determine our response, but rather, a deep joy, birthed even in painful times, be at the root of our community and love and responses.

[Some of the quotes I used above were from Christopher Williams‘ song, These Days.  I first heard Christopher while I was back in college, working  with Young Life and have had the blessing of many concerts for the last 20 years.  Even managed to both be at the Storyline Conference in June together!  His music is phenomenal and I want to share one with you today.  Here’s the lyrics to These Days.  Enjoy his talent and God-given gift.  {Because I’m lame and can’t figure out how to get the song onto my blog, go to itunes store, type in “Christopher Williams, Side Streets Live, These Days” and take a little listen. }]

these days

Without confusion clarity brings nothing

Without questioning answers won’t bring truth

Without death life to its fullest will be lost like the innocence of youth

Without solitude community can do nothing

Without knowing ourselves we cannot truly give

Without finding that place so lonely our actions will be as empty as the lives we live


Step inside my heart but walk gently

I know you’ve come a long way

Step inside my heart cause we need to be together

If we’re going to make it through these days

Without silence words lose their meaning

Without listening speaking cannot heal

Without reaching out towards one another

We’ll lose ourselves in what only we think we feel


Without faith believing is foolish without doubt we cannot grow

Without time patience is useless and anger will only make itself more known

One thought on “Rejoice

  1. I think you know that I’m no stranger to grief…I have accumulated lots of resources for dealing with loss, ideas for how to be helpful to those dealing with a loss,etc. and am always happy to chat too. If you think I could be helpful, please don’t hesitate to ask. Prayers for your friends! There is no substitute for a supportive community!

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