October 5th: Home {31 days writing challenge}


The Pastor asked: “what is your vine”?

Teaching on John 15, I am the vine you are branches apart from Me you can do nothing”

We all know Jesus is the right answer. But then Jesus gives us a life to live.  A life filled with people and responsibilities and things He wants us to enjoy.  We abide spiritually, but live flesh. Will the first not cascade down into the other?

Look and your bank account.

Look at your calendar.

Look at  the caliber of  your texts and facebook updates.

Like a well practiced counselor his open ended questions were not to pile on guilt but make you think, take stock.

However, like a lot of women, this checking off a list, seeing if I am naughty or nice, starts pouring  achieving and perfection on the crown of my weary head.   Soon my cup overfloweth with not a full life, but a tortured life.

Three years ago I started quite a different type of list.

Not a black & white good/bad.

Not even the wise pros/cons.

It was a listing of gifts.  { Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts }

What is good right now, right in front of me? What  produces that slow grin and expression of thanks, like opening a personally inscribed package for me?

Over three years in, and I just broke #2000, because life is busy and I forget, and after a while it starts to feel really dumb. But I always, always go back.  I read back too. And one huge, yellow-highlighted, circled in red, fact appears when I do: HOME is my greatest gift. The people in it, and the things in it.

I get genuine, deeply satisfying pleasure from the people in this home.

But at times I need them to go away or I become unkind.

I derive such sensory enjoyment from the objects and the structure of physical home itself.

But at times it becomes a noose around my neck.

Why is this so?

Why is it what we love the most, vexes us the most?

I think the simple answer is that we expect too much from them.

A gift is not to be continually scrutinized, analyzed, manipulated, and controlled in a fist grip. Though I do it, not because I am awful, but because I am afraid. I do it thinking it will  ward off possible failure, embarrassment, judgement from others.

That is what I have done for fourteen years.  I still do, but  I am learning to relax my claw-like grip on it.  A big time learning curve,  not a 5-step plan, to rid ourselves of this horrible paradox.

My listing of gifts? I showed me God is good, because quite frankly I didn’t feel it, so I didn’t believe .

My learning to be led by the Spirit? It showed me He is close and I don’t have to know it all and preform perfectly.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA By abiding in Him, the vine, I the branch, can simply be.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter.

In and out of season.



31 DAYSLike A Tree

31 Days of Writing Series

Click here to read this series from the beginning.

2 thoughts on “October 5th: Home {31 days writing challenge}

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