Friday, October 15, 2010

Valley living

Are you there?
Because, obviously, I haven't been around here in awhile and if you have stopped by, looking for a post or photo once in awhile,
you're a better person than I am.

I'm not sure why I have completely abandoned this space as of late. It's not that I haven't thought of a million things to share or work through, as this place has so wonderfully invited me to do in the past. And it's not that I haven't had the time.
I seem to have just chosen to avoid this place for a bit.
Perhaps some of what I have been working through has been just a little too raw to put
out there, exposed, as I worked through it myself. It is true that I have found this blog to be a wonderful vehicle for self discovery and I have shared things that were personal and vulnerable before, but something about the last couple of months has kept me from being
There has been a lot of thinking and wringing of hands and worrying and frustration and hopelessness and self incrimination,
among other things.
Most all of these emotions have been related to, or in conjunction with, our learning at home adventure.
Don't worry, I don't believe that on any given day I felt all of those emotions at the same time but I definitely became all too familiar with many of them.
I know that sounds like I've been an absolute wreck for the last two months and, some days, I was. But really, I believe I was just in a deep valley.

I have learned a lot about myself in the last few months.
I thought that I had learned a lot of this already but, evidently, my psyche is a slow and stubborn learner.
Perhaps I only really learn something after repeated exposure and testing.
I hate that I am like that

And just when I thought that maybe I had found the deepest part of the valley,
the place that is almost impossible to dig oneself out of because the walls keep falling in on themselves despite one's greatest efforts,
it was in this place that I read this:

"After every time of exaltation we are brought down with a sudden rush into things as they are where it is neither beautiful nor poetic nor thrilling. The height of the mountain top is measured by the drab drudgery of the valley; but it is in the valley that we have to live for the glory of God [emphasis mine]. We see His glory on the mount, but we never live for His glory there. It is in the sphere of humiliation that we find our true worth to God, that is where our faithfulness is revealed...The last time you were on the mount with God, you saw that all power in heaven and in earth belonged to Jesus--will you be sceptical now in the valley of humiliation?"
Oswald Chambers
My Utmost For His Highest

It was that underlined portion, that imperative, that pulled me up from the depths.
Not that mountain tops aren't incredible and wonderful and life giving. Indeed, they are.
But real life is really lived in the valley.
And it is in that place that God's glory really lives.
So in my deepest place I found inspiration.

I know you might be thinking that I am overspiritualizing a struggle that is really just about finding one's groove in learning at home but I humbly submit that it is not.
For our family, this decision to learn at home affects and informs everything about who we say we are and what we say that we believe.
This is a lifestyle.

A lifestyle that values:
the individual as part of an important whole,
grace in the midst of struggle,
a love of learning,
the pursuit of all things lovely,
the relentless love of God as he speaks into our lives.

And so, in a very dark place, the light came piercing through.
My valley road has been illuminated slowly, although steadily.

It has been said that thanksgiving is the soil in which joy thrives.

I think that I will begin there. 


  1. Again, Holly you have managed to describe my life in your writing.
    For me the valley seemed deeper than most, and darker with each day. It was not until the Spirit whispered, "I am here, just watch and listen," that I was able to see God's glory right where I was.
    This lead me to slowly emerge and I decided to see what was new on
    Welcome back, Holly. Welcome back, self.

  2. Adrainne,
    I'm so glad that, despite the hundreds of miles, we can still connect over shared experiences. I'm sorry to hear of the darkness you've experienced but I trust, as you shared, that the light still found you, regardless. It always does, doesn't it?
    Live where the glory resides, Adrainne.
    Much love,