My online friend, Heather, hosts a monthly link up for bloggers called FOUR SOMETHINGS. It is designed to connect and encourage around four things: Something Loved, Something Said, Something Learned and Something Read. Many, many times I have vowed to do this regularly and almost every time I have failed.
This fall has been a whirlwind of incredible high and lows. I suspect the winter will bring more of the same, but it is moving me to beg God for consistency in my emotions, regardless of the cyclone of events in my life . As I grow in my ability to do that, I know that my life reaps rewards.
Part of growing in that consistency involves actually doing more things I intend to do. Pushing past intentions is valuable, so I am starting right here!
I love turkey. I love the smell of my home as it bakes in the oven. I love how the juice from the Italian sausage in the stuffing bastes the meat, making it tender and flavorful. I love the table full of food and people. It is the way I want my life to feel more often.
No question my favorite words said were, “I did the dishes.”
It made me love my hubby even more.
A helping hand is a gift from God.
And my heart needs and craves order over chaos these days.
This is new for me. I am an exceedingly flexible person who has been able to engage and function in total disarray for most of my life. Lately, however, I have noticed that mess and disorder (in the environment or the calendar) reduce my productivity significantly. I am not terribly fond of this new reality, but it made my hubby’s words on Thanksgiving Day all the sweeter.
I learned I am not in control of the universe.
This may not be the first time I have learned this detail. I am also reminded that the God who actually does run the universe is not necessarily motivated by my spectacular ideas.
If I was in charge, things would be much, much different than they are.
But they are not, and so I am wrestling hard with the way things actually are–except for those things I am in denial about. Those I will wrestle with later, because denial can only work for so long. This season for so many people I love has been FULL of really hard things: depression, violence, betrayal and loneliness. There have been many, many powerless moments where the only thing I could think to do was to repeat the following prayer over and over and over again:
Fill ________________________ with YOUR peace, YOUR comfort, YOUR joy and YOUR love. Give them wisdom.
I have prayed that for myself and others hundred of times these last several weeks, and it has been a balm to my spirit. I repeat it until I physically feel the stress in my body start to dissipate. I have said it in the half-asleep moments in the dark of night when I am rolling over and remembering hurts. I have counted it grace to lean into God, and found myself grateful He, not me, is in charge.
I (re)learned that sometimes I have to remind myself of God’s goodness, because the world run amok will do everything in its power to steal my joy…
There is only one thing that has filled my head and that is Lysa Terkeurst’s book It’s Not Supposed To Be This Way. Sometimes it feels like she follows me around and speaks directly into my life…this book was written in the darkness coming into the light of a cancer diagnosis and reeling from infidelity of her marriage. I just love her words and her work.
I have friends living devastating stories right now, and she reminds us all that the story is not over.
I often say God sees the whole thing, while I am living in this minute. It’s hard to walk that out some days…
So there we are. Four things and looking forward to four more next month…THANKS Heather!