Needed Contrast

posted in: Faith, Family | 0

A few days ago the kids and I stopped by Hobby Lobby on our trip out of town. I love looking around at all of the home decor, especially the artwork, clocks and unique metal pieces. I enjoy home design and decorating so much. I seriously could work on home design projects (if I could hire out the legwork 😀 ) nonstop. There’s a large farmhouse style clock I’ve been eyeballing there for a while. It is a large circle with black numbers and a rough wood frame. I can invision it looking great hanging above the wood stove in our kitchen. The kids and I discussed the clock and the other clocks as we walked along.

While we we perusing clocks Yami pointed out another amazing clock, this one very similar to my fave except with an antiqued white frame. She said she liked it and asked if I would like one like that in the kitchen. I inspected it and also loved it. It had a white frame though, and our kitchen walls are white. I told her that the rough wood one would provide a needed contrast on the wall and really make it stand out. We have so much white in our kitchen and the wood provides some visual relief, but keeping with the clean lines and openness of the room.

Last night a dear friend and I were discussing the beautiful grace God provided in giving life needed contrast. The hard parts of life would, at times, feel unbearable were it not for the other joys God gifts us with along the way.

In the middle of difficulty we have these tangible beings that are a balm to us. They hold us up and support us when we feel the weight of life causing our knees to get shaky.

God’s timing is perfect. He certainly knew exactly what he was doing when he sent Cedar to our family at exactly this season. He has been such a part of healing for us all. I can’t count the days and nights over the last few months that I’ve stared into his little face and wide, curious eyes and felt comforted by this honor that God entrusted us with once again. The brilliant light of innocence and new beginnings have a way of permeating all of the heaviness of hard realities and helps me to stop striving and be grateful all over again.

I know Cedar will grow up and experience pain, too. He will see things in this world that I wish I could shield him from and I wish I could help him navigate around completely. One day he will come to the realization that life won’t always be simple and difficulties he can’t control may etch lines between his middle-aged brows and cause him to weep in anguish.

But my prayer for him, is that he will see the needed contrast God always provides in the darkness; the visible relief that helps shake the soul out of mourning and remind it to dance again. I pray that he’ll have the ability to recognize how surrounded he is by those who love him, even when things are heavy.

 

Some of the most awing and magnificent things are brought forth out of the hardest of pain. The best kinds of lasting growth are usually born out of difficulty.

I pray that if you’re walking through a challenging season today, you will have the courage to look at the contrast around you. These are the details that were intricately placed by God in our storms to draw the gratitude out of sighing.

A rainbow. A sunset where the sky turns flamboyant shades of orange and hot pink. A friend stopping to remind you that you’ve made a difference in their life- that you matter. A flower that starts blooming that you were sure had all but died. A change in the weather…the scripture you needed at the exact moment you needed it. A longer hug than usual from your busy child. A free evening at home as a family. A really, really good laugh. A great cup of coffee with someone you love…

As a family, we have hope and the assurance that all things work for our good. We have the rooted confidence that somehow, Jesus will do what only he can. We can feel God stretching our hearts to new compassion because of our own firey process. But we also have simple, breathtaking reminders of GOD WITH US all throughout our days and nights right now. So many of you have been this to us. Thank you.

These are the mercies of the in-between. Between what we know in our spirit and will see with our eyes. These are the contrasts God knew we would need; visible reminders of His goodness. And I believe these will be what stands out over time, far above the details of any momentary affliction.

Today it feels like fall in the Deep South. Today Camila joyfully read me a book. Today I dream of Thanksgiving and scheme over Christmas presents for my kids. Today, I peered over the bassinet and surprised Cedar who gave me a huge grin. Today, I snuggled on the front porch with two of my reedlings in a hand crocheted blanket, gifted from a friend. This is the goodness I will remember. This is the needed contrast.