Tag Archives: Job

Since I’ve Been Gone…

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Well, for starters, I’ve been dutifully sending off my little picture book manuscripts. I took the next step and began another blog called barbaralyonwrites.com and joined a little social media outlet called twitter, you may have heard of it. (@blyonwrites) The twittering rules are rather vague and I don’t quite know how to do it yet. These will be more exclusively used for writing and for the purposes of building that elusive support known as “the platform”.

Don’t feel neglected, dear little solongsuburbia blog, I haven’t been writing much over there either.

The elementary school play finished. It was glorious. I was officially tapped to take over directing next year and the kids applauded me heartily which was very sweet. I miss them and when I drop off my son at school I always run into a few of the cast members who sidle up to me with large smiles on their faces. And the question on everyone’s lips is, “What play are we going to do next year?”

The week after that was Easter and I was in charge of telling the story to the kids. I tell the story and draw it with pictures. It’s something I love to do and I managed to mostly maintain their attention, a feat which is not unextraordinary considering it was about noon on Easter and all of them were hopped up on chocolate bunny ears.

And the week after that I was supposed to drive down to Clovis and visit a dear friend and enjoy her baby shower. But scary complications on Wednesday led to an emergency cesarean and a baby in the NICU. So, instead of a shower there was a rather shell-shocked Momma, a glowing Papa, and a real beautiful little three-pound baby who is doing quite well. I painted the nursery. It’s Dumbo themed.

And the next day after that was…

My first day of work!

So, you remember that dream job I didn’t get? Well, I kinda still got it. I don’t have the experience, but they needed someone, so they delegated some of the responsibility away and made me a position. And it’s perfect!

I’m a children’s ministry associate of sorts for our church! It has been a very exciting week. For one thing, there’s an office and I go in to it. Secondly, the desk is a larger space than any I have in my little apartment and it’s all mine! (Actually, I found out today that I stole it from someone else, but they all assured me it was totally ok. He’s just an intern.)

I was rather overwhelmed on Monday, but Thursday was awesome. I discovered a festival of sorts in support of families of kids with disabilities and I booked us a table! It felt so good to do something. It feels so good to do something!

And today I was pricing kids Bibles all day. And they’re not that expensive! Bibles for all the children! Talk about the perfect job for Barbara.

Also, this job has been the proverbial static comb to my stream of running creativity and given me a little slant. I’ve been writing kids’ prayers and lessons. I have this new burning desire to write a kids’ Bible … one with dark people … and Asians. I feel like a jerk after looking at Swedish Adams and Eves all week.

And I might start yet another blog with coloring pages, activities, and other parent resources. I’ll let you know. TOO MANY IDEAS!!!

Benediction Part III: Resolution…

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The sermon this week was on wrestling for blessing. Go figure. I think the Big Guy Upstairs has been reading my blog and decided I needed a little help.

The pastor used the image of a father wrestling with his child. The purpose of which is never to decide a winner, he said, but to know each other and know yourself.

I would say the goals of my wrestling at the onset are a little more concrete. Such as:

I try to wrestle fellowship from Facebook.

I try to wrestle strength from my stash of brownies in the freezer.

I try to wrestle rest from one more television program in the evening.

I try to wrestle identity and purpose out from between the pages and paintings of my own hands.

Like squeezing lemon juice from a banana I go on wrestling for what’s not there, what I’m not really looking for. When, much like my son tackling his Daddy, what I want to know really is, “Are you stronger than me?” “Abba, are you stronger than me?”

Sometimes, the possibility that he isn’t is too terrifying to even try.

Still, sometimes, we try. We try to wrestle him down to the ground with our loneliness, pin him with our doubts, trip him up with our shame, or find him too weak against our hopes and dreams.

But every time I have been disappointed, satisfied not with exactly what I’m asking for but with the knowledge that he is stronger than I. Like Jacob at dawn, when I think I may be winning, I suddenly find my hip out of socket. Like Job, I find my mouth shut in response.

It’s frustrating. “But, this isn’t what I wanted to know!” I cry, “Where is my resolution?”

And yet, I’m satisfied.

By My Name…

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My baby has started saying, “Momma”.

I’m not sure if he’s actually communicating or just repeating a sound. He says it all the time in the direction of everything. He yells it at his water cup, his food dish. He says it when he wants to nurse, be picked up, or go to sleep. So I didn’t think it was talking, until today.

Today, I realized that I am Momma. I am everything, and that “Momma” could only more accurately be translated as “need” or “want”. I am the only way to water, food, nursing, my arms, or his crib. I am the way. I am Momma and the answer to everything is Momma. He asks for everything by saying my name.

It’s much like the study of Job we just finished. Job asks a lot of questions. Why me? Why this? Did I do something wrong? Where are you? Can you hear me? Why don’t you just kill me? Why was I born? Why do I have to live through this? How is this love? Why is this justice? How is this ok?

And God finally answers him. He answers with himself. God is his own answer, by his own name he swears, to everything. God’s answer to every one of Job’s questions is, “Let me tell you who I am.” And he goes on to give Job the only answer that Job ever needed, needs, and will need. God tells Job who he is. And it works. Job is satisfied with one name, one answer, for everything.

A Little Something on Teething Babies and Gnawing at Life…

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Sometimes, just sometimes, sleep depravation can take you to a plane of philosophical brooding normally reserved for mystics and travelers.  This morning after watching the sun rise slowly, catching the hundred different tints from black to pink, and after contemplating the plight of teething babies and their mothers since the wee sma’ hour of 3am, I entered that place. 

I was watching my son, finally in a quiet moment, gnawing on a plastic dog and I found that I sympathized.  For aren’t we all teething souls, with the chronic itch, cutting teeth on all of our doubts and fears, hopes and joys, chewing at life until we find satisfaction?  And that the only way- satisfaction lies on the other side of the itch, always on the other side, an itch so bad as to become a pain that wakes you up in the wee sma’s, and keeps you and your loved ones up at night. And is this my son’s introduction, gnawing away, to life? 

And what shall I gnaw at today?  The sharp edges of my doubt about what God’s goodness means for me? The roughness of an anxiety for a friend who has received some hope-changing news in regards to her unborn baby? The sadness of another friend whose marriage is melting into puddles of distrust and apathy? Gnaw away, gnaw away. 

And I think of Job, whose sores were so uncomfortable as to be relieved by the scrape of a broken piece of pottery(Job 2:7-8).  And of a college friend who fell into a depression so deep so quickly that cutting herself seemed reprieve.  Is our answer the same as God’s answer to Job(Job 40:9-14)? Does he answer our questions solely with who He is? I am. Can this be sufficient satisfaction for me?  I am. Cutting my gums, gnawing away.  Can I get the satisfaction without the painful itch? I am sufficient. How much satisfaction can I expect to get in this life? I am sufficient.  Gnawing away. Are you? I am.