Thursday, April 10, 2014

What You Didn't Know You Knew

(Photo Credit: Juan Pablo Gonzales, Creative Commons, cc license)

Six white crocuses bend and sway in the strong April breeze. We shiver and pull on sweatshirts inside the house, but can't bear to shut the windows on this sixty-degrees-in-the-sun-day. Spring has invaded Minnesota and pasty Minnesotans everywhere throw windows wide, strap on sandals, and pull out last year's shorts. And the brisk breeze lies about the warmth but none of us care. Donning a blue sweater, I curl up at the computer desk.

I've just spent thirty minutes combing IRS websites, FASA college loan pages, and working my way through automated phone services. And apparently, in this several week session between taxes and transcript stage, we do not exist. Automated messages are at their limits, and phone calls end unsatisfactorily. So, I laugh, shrug, and update my son's school.

And in this lull, my five year old and I curl up on the couch with his favorite fleece blanket. Wrapping warm against the crisp spring wind, I set him on my lap, and turn library pages. After books, we mix ice cream malts, and lick Cookies and Cream off the back of a spoon.

"When I am afraid, I will trust in you," I sing, while putting away the malt powder. And there isn't really any fear there, but the words spring to mind anyway. Daniel looks up to catch my eye, a smile spreading across his face. He joins in singing, and I grin as we sing it again, adding jaunty shoulder bounces.

"Oh! Can we do my thing, Mom?"

And at first I don't know what he's talking about. "Oh, your Awana verse? Sure."

He runs to his room, returning with an orange puffy-painted fabric bag. Daniel reaches his tiny hand into the bottom of the bag and pulls out a creased book.

"I'm here," he points to the open page. We read his verse for the week. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1). Adding hand motions, we singsong our way through it several times, and speak of stars and planets. I pull out his splashy children's Bible with riotous colors across the pages.

A minute or so later, we saunter away to other pursuits, and I'm struck by a fact. There is nothing I can tell you, nothing I can teach my kids, that is of more importance than God's word. Nothing else is solid, unmovable. Nothing else is stalwart, unshakeable. And those truths that we commit to song, to memory, are what will return to hum in our hearts. 

Because, friends, what we know that we know that we know is only this: God's words are life, and truth, and they last forever. And those words spring to mind at the oddest times. Slivers of a phrase tickle my conscious (...abounding in love...) and I type it into a word search to satisfy my need to know. (You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5). Ahh, that's where it is. Abounding in love, and I grin at the pencil lines I've drawn in bouncing jumps beside the verse to help me remember.

Another verse slips in my brain, and I hum it quietly under breath. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. And I'm still learning what a heart on pilgrimage looks like in today's world, but recognizing that we're on a journey with God is step one, I'm sure. It leaves me hungry to know him more.

And fresh air blows strong throughout my house today.



(Linking with Emily.)


18 comments:

Floyd said...

A clean breeze. One sent by the hand of our Father. How I so find rest in your comfortable words describing the simple in life... and therein lies the genius; the hand of our Father... Bless you and yours sister...

stuckinindiana said...

Hmmmm... I apparently commented on another post earlier :) OOPS!! I loved this post so much! One scripture JUMPED OFF THE PAGE at me & I had to pair it with one of my pics. I tried to find you on Instagram and Facebook to share it with you. Couldn't find you. Thanks for reminding me of the awesome power of God's Word!! "You, LORD, are forgiving and good, ABOUNDING IN LOVE to all who call to you." Psalm 86:5 NIV
http://stuck-in-indiana.blogspot.com/2014/04/pairings-psalm-865-abounding-love.html

Jennifer Dougan said...

Floyd,

I'm so thankful you find rest here, and in my words. Thanks for that!

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Stuck,

Found it. :) Thank you! Isn't that an encouraging verse?

Glad to have you here, Indiana girl.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

TC Avey said...

God is so good. It's amazing how thinking on His Word or singing Him praises can settle our hearts and bring us joy.

Judith Evans said...

The spring flowers are emerging here in Idaho, too. After a hectic month of moving to a new state, we're reminded of our need to trust and rest in Him. Have a blessed week!

Bill (cycleguy) said...

I rode my bike yesterday (Friday) with no extra clothes. Today is in the 70s but I don't want to cause you any envy. :) You are right about one thing: nothing more important that teaching your children God's Word.

Lisa notes... said...

Now you've got me singing "When I am afraid I will trust in you", Steve Green version. Love, love those tapes/CDs I used with my girls when they were younger. Yes, they stick and they matter. You're doing a great job to prioritize that with your kids! It is fresh air blowing through indeed.

Jody Lee Collins said...

Ohhhh, Laura, you ended with my favorite verse from my favorite Psalm *4, verse 5. Hearts on pilgrimage is a theme of mine. (That Psalm is powerful in The Message, btw.)
You are a gift to your kids!

Cheryl Barker said...

Jennifer, I love what you say about the Word. I'd be lost in so many ways without it. God bless as you instill it in your kids. I still do it as I have opportunity with my adult daughters! :)

passagethroughgrace said...

Loved reading your encouraging words this evening! God makes all things fresh and I enjoyed hearing about the time you spent with your son. I felt like I was watching you interacting and sharing God's word with each other. Beautiful!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Oh TC, I agree. Thinking on God's word brings me hope, comfort, joy, and direction.

Nice to have you here,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Ahh, Judith,

May your move continue to finish quickly, helping you feel at home and settled. That can take a little while sometimes, I know. May you have fun scouting out new treasured bookshops, libraries, coffee shops, etc. :)

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Bill,

That bike ride sounds wonderful! Enjoy it, and I'm savoring the spring that is coming here now too. I took my youngest on a training wheels bike trip around the neighborhoods this weekend too.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Lisa Notes,

I didn't know Steve Green had a rendition of it too. I'll have to find that. Daniel and I just made up our own jingle. :)

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Jody,

Welcome! It's nice to meet you and to have you here. I'm so glad you enjoy that pilgrimage verse too, and I'm curious to read that you blog about it often. It's such a unique verse, huh? I'll have to pop over and learn from you! :)

Thanks,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Cheryl,

I'm sure your daughters love that time with you still, even in their adult years. What a treasure for them!

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Passage through grace,

Welcome! I'm glad to have you here. Thank you.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com