Lower

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photo credit

‘Tis the gift to be simple

‘Tis the gift to be free…

…sounds great right?

‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be

*Come down*

I don’t know how many times in my life I’ve thought, “I don’t know if I can get any lower.”

And then, a few months later, or a year later, something else happens; and I think it again.

The human life starts out so high. I mean not really; we’re totally helpless, dependent, and unproductive. But we’re the absolute center of the world we know. The apex of the family for a few brief months.

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Then reality begins to set in. And slowly, slowly, we come down.

*You mean brother and sister get to play with these toys, too?*

*Another kid got to give the right answer, but I raised my hand first!*

*Everyone in middle school laughed at my shoes today.*

*Wow, so this is college. Why don’t my roommates understand how important I am?*

*I’m heaving over a toilet for hours because there’s a little person inside my belly who’s making me sick!*

*That little person does not care that I’m used to sleeping at night… all night for that matter!*

*My husband’s coming home in thirty minutes; I’m dead tired, but so is he. And it’s my job and privilege to get up off this couch and joyfully make him something yummy to eat.*

*It’s hard to take four children to the Social Security Office! Or to carry all our groceries up the stairs plus making sure the children get up safely!*

*How many more times will I have to do mental gymnastics about how to make the groceries work out for the month? How much more can I cut out of what we consume?*

*How many more times do I have to close my eyes in shame at the things I’ve thought, at the hatred in my heart, at the sin that is so grotesque and ugly, brought to light by the brilliant Word of God and faithful prodding of the Spirit.*

*How many more times do I have to be wrong?*

*Why do I have so much trouble just loving Jesus?*

And lower and lower it goes.

And when we find ourselves in the place just right…

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Just right is when I know I’m a nobody. I don’t deserve anything. In fact, I deserve much, much worse than I could ever endure in this life.

Realizing you’re a very small, insignificant member of the human race? Only now can you be of use to anyone.

Responsibilities of marriage and mothering setting in? Now you’re ready to truly enjoy the blessings.

Carting a bunch of little kids around? I have friends who long to bear just one child.

Having to make one more night a week meatless? Honestly, most of the world lives on rice, right?

Feeling the weight and guilt of my sin? Praise God for a conscience, for the Holy Spirit, for a forgiving Heavenly Father, for mercies that are new every morning, for the reminder to long for the day when all will be made new.

But I’m still blind. I’m still surprised when my reality is once again lowered.

But when I accept this place…

This place just right…

I’m in the valley of love and delight.

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photo credit

Warmed by every kiss from my husband,

Delighted at every antic of my children,

Thankful for every morsel I eat,

Blessed by every strain of worship I hear.

I can bow, and bend, and not be ashamed.

Because higher, and stronger, and prouder, and more independent are bad for me.

But lower is good.

Lower is good.

****

Simple Gifts

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