dark clouds

We experienced a middle-of-the-night wake up call Sunday morning. Our house was rocked by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Having grown up in Alaska, I’ve experience tremors quite regularly. But this one felt different. “Is this going to be The Big One”? I scrambled out of bed and stumble through the darkness  – just incase I needed to round up the children. By the time the earth quieted and the house stopped shaking, our hearts were pounding.

That was a truly humbling experience.  We could only brace ourselves and wait while our world was unhinged. We breathed a huge sign of relief when the calm returned. And there was such sweet relief when all was quiet. I calmed myself with the thought that our house is built on bedrock. And it seems the house can sway nicely.

But how I truly appreciate the quakes I don’t feel, like when we have been out fishing or driving and heard later that there was quite an earthquake that we missed. However, when a quake hits while we are in man-made structures, the results can be dramatic. Our stick-built home filled with possessions can magnify the intensity of any tremor.

Some days our relationships are rocked with instability. There is a shifting and sliding that leaves us dizzy.  It takes your breath away. The noise is threatening. We are shrouded in fear.

Has my heart and hands built unforgiving walls and shallow foundations that do not sway? Am I depending upon shifting sand? Are my hands and heart walking in softness and tenderness? Or have I created an environment of rigidness that actually MAKES the way unstable? The results can be devastating.

My prayer is that we absorb the Truth of Who We Are In Christ. We can stand in peace when the quake comes. The feelings of doomsday come when our rigidness revolts against adjustments. I trust He is continually drawing close to us, pursuing us, freeing us.

For it is God who works in you both to will and to do His good pleasure. For the One bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of His good pleasure – is God. So do everything without complaining. Philippians 2:13 – 14

I need this verse because homeschooling is an area where I can complain. My brilliant ideas are not so readily accepted by my children. They are not so thrilled with this or that. My self-made scaffolding buckles under the sway of humanness and childhood. Instead of complaining, I can see that God is drawing our hearts along. His work will be done. So where can I look for open and adventurous places to wander? Where is freedom leading us? What voices of condemnation do I need to shut down? What doors do we need to step through?

Where do I feel weak and need reassurance:

My grace is enough – all that you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. So I will boast in my weakness so the power of Christ may reside in me. Quit focusing on the handicap and appreciate the gift. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I don’t have to worry about my mistakes or shortcomings:

Nothing is wasted with God – even those thing we would like to forget. He takes our torment that we create ourselves and makes a miraculous monument that lives and grows – ever expanding rings of hope and glory. Romans 8:28

When the way seems dark and I don’t know where I’m going:

even the darkness is not dark to You;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with You.
Psalm 139:12


You are Always Safe because you are Held in

Our Father’s Mighty Arms


tree house