Thursday, February 25, 2010

Losing the Bells and Whistles

Staring at the computer screen this afternoon, I could almost feel the wrinkles deepening on my forehead as I struggled to follow a fast-paced presentation. The once feathery lines easily covered by makeup are now ravines not even the best cover stick can touch.

I have always joked with my husband that I never found a gray hair until I put him through school. But when I look back at the photos, the youthful, round face suddenly morphed into an older, more angular look about a year after our first son was born.

And yet, it wasn't my son (or the twins that followed) who made me look all of my 33 years.

It was the losses.

My husband's career. Stability. Security. Faith in earthly justice.

And suddenly, I wasn't a carefree young adult anymore.

I was a mom who had to decide to obey God's calling and stay at home to raise my children, despite the fact that my husband's present job (and future outlook) was "unstable" at best.

Almost overnight, I became a grown up woman who had been sucked into an all-about-me circus of a world where everything open and shut only to find myself spit out on the dark side of the moon. Nothing would ever be the same.

Learning to put total faith in God (literally) for my family's daily bread, learning to weave God into everything I did and to shift my focus on Him--such brain remapping is difficult.

Living by faith ages a person fast because the focus is no longer on the temporal but on the eternal and everything that's at stake for all eternity.

One of the fastest things I learned is how to survive without all the materialistic trappings of our former life, something many people in this current economy have had to do.

No I-phone. No Books-A-Million. No globe-trotting vacations.

The irony of this wasn't lost of me today when I sat down for more training on the new computer platform that's replacing the one I've used in my online teaching for the past seven years. Tomorrow, thankfully, marks the end of my training but only the faintest dawning of actually applying that knowledge.

This new platform is cumbersome. It's slow. It's not as visually appealing. And it doesn't have all the perks of the more costly interface that my state is leaving behind because it is now considered "cost prohibitive."

But it works.

In my heart, I admit that I still fight to not be sucked back into a world that tells me I "have to have" the newest, the best, the most apps.

In that same heart, I also know that losing the bells and whistles of my former life is the best thing that ever happened to me.

It has taught me to be more creative. To live more simply. To have a God-centered view of the universe. To understand what isn't important.

But I still cry occasionally over what is lost.

Today is one of those days.


  1. Dear Jennifer,

    I know how it feels.

    There comes a time when we must allow ourselves to grieve over the things we have lost, the things that have been stolen from us.

    And honestly say to God "I am tired of having to be strong. I just need a Dad... to protect me, and to fight for me."

    And I also know that at this point you all you want is a listening ear, or a hand to hold. A heart that cares.

    Not words of advice. Certainly not words. At least not at this time.

    Snuggle up to Father God. Hold on to His promise that He will restore, repay us for, the years that the locust has eaten.

    Just want you to know I understand all about these things. And so does your heavenly Father. We're on your side.


  2. Life experiences - particularly losses - do give us perspective and do prepare us for meaningful life.

    But that doesn't mean it's not going to hurt.

    Praying for you today, my friend.

  3. Awe. May you be blessed to the abundance of His grace for your sacrifice and obedience. You will do well in applying your knowledge, no doubt.