Monday, June 20, 2011

This is How Emptiness Sings



How much easier it would be to write about Brighton’s Iowa Basic Skills Test results and how I could have saved them a lot of trouble if they had just told me they were actually going to take the time to test his LISTENING skills.  Or I could gush over Camp Calico where Julia spent the last part of her week or even tell you how figuring out carpool last week has challenged me in a way that college physics never did.  I am just thanking God for really smart, flexible, just tell-me-what-to-do friends.  I also feel compelled to write about how my so-called reservedness is undermined by my uncanny ability to spout out, unreservedly, very stupid things.  Mostly to my husband.  Sigh.  All that for other days because I won’t be settled in my spirit until I can get my thoughts out ~ and down~ about my twenty four hours in Sophia, North Carolina.

How some people put their thoughts together so quickly baffles me.  It must be so handy to just know where the message hits you and what the message actually was.  {There were posts flying all over the cyber-planet before I could even get back to Texas!}  After being there about 18 hours, I began to realize that if I didn’t know or understand what definition Ann Voskamp and Christa Wells were artfully tacking on to “emptiness”, I would leave missing the point of the weekend. The word was stitched through the 24 hours like the thread that was holding the eclectic time slot together.  I knew significance from the retreat would completely unravel if I didn’t find a knot in the meaning to hold it fast.

Here are a few sentences/phrases I heard or read about emptiness in the last several days:

~An open emptiness to receive a greater fullness.  A space of willingness.  Emptiness can sing.  Beauty comes from our emptiness.   Channels, conduits, carved out places.  
Christ hears my emptiness. He longs to make music of it.  That emptiness can help me hear Him better.  And if we are empty, that means somewhere at some time we have been broken.  Self-fulfillment, filling with self, it’s what leaves us full of emptiness.~



The first thing I jotted down Friday night was “made in the Image to MAKE in His Image”.  Ann referred to us as “makers”.  The way that is most familiar for me to identify is that I am a homemaker.  I “make” a home in a myriad of ways and it’s certainly my most important “making”.  It provides footing for simple things and transforming, life-changing things.  Full-time, this is what I do.  Meals, memories, order, learning, comfort, schedules, cookies, beauty, traditions, trips, payments, activities and once in a blue moon, fun- this is what I make.  And this is my favorite.  This making is a gift from Him and I need to celebrate it, giving it all I’ve got.






So, am I home-making “in His Image”?  Can I say that I “do it with joy, with humility, and all for His glory”?  Absolutely not, not always ~ and thinking I don’t want to go into the ugliness of picking that apart.  For me, JOY is often lacking.  I can crank out some great stuff as I “make” at home but it can all be MARRED by my lack of JOY in the process of making.  UG--LY.  And once marred, it’s difficult to infuse it with life again. Joy is the secret ingredient I want to douse all of my making in-- especially that of my home.  My family needs it, desperately.  And I do, too.


Emptiness? I think creating a home requires emptiness- emptiness interpreted in these ways:  I could fill my time, my children’s time with all sorts of good things, fun things, beneficial things, but Jeff and I discovered early on that if no one was ever home to experience home, why have one?  So we carve out emptiness ~ places in the calendar to experience our home ~ to be filled with peace, intimacy, beauty, and hopefully, lots of fun:  time at night for reading, watching, playing or talking, sharing meals together, time for resting, time for working as a family, welcoming in the Sabbath, time for creating {making messes, drawing, piddling on the piano, playing} and time for life to just happen.  I also want my kids to be able to rest in their beds at night~in that empty space of time~ and have time to think about their day and possibly allow God to speak to their hearts in the quietness of their rooms.  Pockets of time, early risings and early bedtimes, hardly ever just APPEAR on the white squares of a calendar.  They must be made. In some ways, emptiness must be made.  And then it can sing.

 “That emptiness can help me hear Him better.”

Fifteen years ago, I knew emptiness of a different sort.  My womb was a cavern.  That emptiness became very familiar as I carried it for years.   But because He led me to choose to keep it empty, He filled it in His own perfect way and His way is still singing today all over my house, in all my prayers, in my car, in my writing and in almost every thought I have.  The emptiness proved to be one of my greatest gifts.  He carved out sorrow to make room for the JOY He wanted to give abundantly.  {Thank you, Streams in the Desert for giving me the words for that 9 years ago.}  I gave into the emptiness because He assured me through His Word, He had it all under control and the emptiness would sing a melody I had never heard.  Praise be to God!

“He writes my story into His song, my life for the glory of God.”




~An open emptiness to receive a greater fullness.  A space of willingness.  Emptiness can sing.  Beauty comes from our emptiness.   Channels, conduits, carved out places.~ 

Always, I want to have a “space of willingness”.  It may be to create sense from thoughts, tackle a project that will benefit my family, to “make” for our home,  but the pinnacle of emptiness is to always be seeking for God to fill it~ with His work, His ideas, with His song, His beauty, His creativity.  Then and only then comes the “greater fullness”.  Overflowing... to be given to others.





(Thanks, Ann and Christa for giving us such a beautiful picture with words to sort out in our hearts and minds.  We are blessed by the carved out places within you-- conduits for the glory of God.)

Here is what TJ had to say about the 24 hours.

5 comments:

Alyssa said...

I'm so glad you "made" time to write down your thoughts from the retreat! What a special message; it definitely speaks to me as one who waits. And the pictures make it extra special. I love how you wove this all together!

Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience said...

Oh friend... this:

"So, am I home-making “in His Image”? Can I say that I “do it with joy, with humility, and all for His glory”? Absolutely not, not always ~ and thinking I don’t want to go into the ugliness of picking that apart. For me, JOY is often lacking. I can crank out some great stuff as I “make” at home but it can all be MARRED by my lack of JOY in the process of making."

This broke me wide open tonight.

God uses you to minister to me.

I will be reading this one again and again.

Our Creator God has gifted you -- and you steward the gift exquisitely.

No words for this.

Just a heart spilling with thanks...

You are a gift to me...

All's grace,
Ann

thejoyproject40 said...

Krista,
Your post is beautiful. So transparent and so FULL. I remember making the crosses on Saturday and you saying, " I just have to figure out this emptiness thing. I don't want to leave not understanding". Thank you for sharing your insights. I just loved meeting you and I so enjoy following your journey. You are so gifted.
lisa

TJ Wilson said...

Love the nerf football.
And - I suppose the words.
Touching!

Shibby Shab Lu said...

Speechless....

I wish we could all be in the NC mountains again, NOW! What an experience I will never forget.

Hope to see you and TJ again!

-Carrie