|Chemical Weathering of Limestone|
On the other end of the windowsill is a different mason jar filled with dirt, sand, gravel, and water. After jostling the mess around for a day or so, the contents of the jar were left to settle and over time they settled into distinct layers. Most of the sand is on the bottom, then a layer of gravel and dirt, then a layer of light sediment, with fairly clear water on top.
|The Laying Down of Sediments|
|Chemical Weathering of Steel Wool|
This fall has been a time of pressure in my home. Five teenagers/young adults in the house is a lot of food and laundry to keep up with, but just as importantly, it is a lot of conversations. Conflict resolution conversations, talking-someone-off-the-cliff conversations, listening-to-venting conversations, reassuring conversations, attempts-to-motivate conversations, crisis-avoiding conversations, temper-cooling conversations, faith-building conversations, asking-(and hearing)-questions conversations, late-late-night conversations, late-late-night-waiting-for-the-last-person-to-make-it-home praying conversations.
This has also been a time of increased academic pressure as everyone has more homework, more papers to get done, more decisions about the future to make, etc. And some students are more motivated than others.....
Financial pressure has also increased this year, a combination of poor planning with some unforeseen and unavoidable expenses.
Plus, I am at the age where I am starting to have health pressures, both my husband and I have parental (our parents) worries, and there is not any one standing in line to buffer any of it anymore.....it's just us. I have felt very squeeeeeezed.......why? Well, I need a lot more wisdom, discernment, patience, hope, discipline, authority, energy, frugality, creativity, encouragement, perspective, endurance and love than I've got.
I think I have unconsciously been living my life under the delusion that things will get easier when (substitute whatever) happens, when a new decade arrives. That is not how it works (at least so far as I can tell). Every season has its good parts and every season has its hard parts. Also, everybody's story is different; we don't all have the same burdens, nor the same joys. It does me no good to compare my story to yours -- I am called to live MY story, and it may require different things from me than yours does from you.
Which brings me back to the limestone rock. There is another way that limestone rock can change. If, deep in the earth, it is subjected to intense heat and pressure over a long period of time, it can be transformed, or metamorphosed, into marble, through a process called 'recrystallization.' I am hoping that all this pressure will have this good result in me (and everyone else in my family), that the character of Christ is being formed in us. It is certainly not something that can be seen on a day-to-day basis, but I hope to one day look back and think wow...the Lord has done something beautiful with all of these messy lives.
On my windowsill is one more science experiment: a bowl of crystals that were formed by dissolving alum powder in water (you can get directions here). Not quite diamonds and not quite marble, they still are incredibly beautiful. The same God who has power to change things on a molecular level has the power to change people on a spiritual level, bringing forth beauty and order and love and peace and perseverance -- all the fruits of the Spirit -- from people who once walked in darkness.
"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" -- Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)