Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Joy in the Unstaining

Today I've been staring at the first chapter of James, praying the words will sear into my heart and make themselves part of it, permanently tattooed deep in the muscle.

Because this is not how I want to feel.

I want to lay my body that aches, that visibly carries the bruises from this month's events, down on the ground and let the toddler inside take lead. I want to ask WHY things had to change, WHY things had to flip, whirl, jolt just like the tornado that caused this. But James says it is joyous to be in my shoes. Joyous to stand on the bare slab that was our home. Joyous to remember while making carrot cake that I no longer have a food processor to help shredding the carrots go quicker. Joyous as I wait in the emergency room for stitches to be sewn. Joyous as I nurse my body from its second big fall in less than two weeks.

The rain keeps falling. So thank goodness our umbrella is big.

It's been a fairly difficult month. It has been exactly one month since I sat under the giant Maple in front of our house, writing in my prayer journal for what I had no way of knowing would be the last time. It feels like an eternity ago that I watched as the cone danced its death march toward our home, barreled down our street and took precious people and sentiments with it. But in the same breath, it seems impossible that the weeks passed so quickly. I am still living in May. My world stopped half way through, and I don't know why all these people around me are living in June! My homeschool friends are buzzing about the upcoming year, and my exhausted brain says, "Shouldn't we finish this year first?"

And I'm so glad I have James (and all the precious family and friends God has surrounded me with) to remind me that it is joyous to be where we are. To think that God considers us worthy of such trials is overwhelming.

I am not sure if the enemy is in a back-lash out of fear that God will truly receive glory from these hard places, but we feel attacked--like the rain just won't let up. James ends chapter one with instructions to keep ourselves "unstained from the world." I don't know about you, but I had a recent run-in with blood stains on my husband's clothes. I didn't win. No matter how much peroxide I poured on each drop, the stain kept staring back at me.

Some stains just don't come out.

Not by our own scrubbing anyway. So how hard to cleanse what we can so easily let this world mark us with.

I pray that our family will be stained with things of the Father, not things of the Earth. And that is what I had just prayed the day before He allowed the rain to fall on us. But all the while, He has held the umbrella for us, sheltering us gently from ultimate ruin. He knew as I wrote those words one month ago under the Maple tree in the front yard, that the next day would begin our journey of becoming unstained.

I'm posting this picture again so you can see how cozy our Maple tree was. And I try to count it joy as I miss its branches.

Peace of Christ to you,


  1. Cara, I am Katherine Conrad's sister, Susan. I have been following your blog. You are a beautiful person. As I have read your blog, I feel I know you better. I have known about you most of your life. I just wanted to reach out to and tell you, I am sending prayers for you and your family. Take care, Susan

    1. Thank you so much, Susan. Your prayers and your support you sent have blessed us so much. Thank you from all of us!