i am thankful for the gracious way God has been working on me. oh, how well He knows His children. and i am delighting in the truth that there's no one whose comforting settles like Him. when nothing can calm the wild in my heart, His Word can. and when no one quite understands what it's like to be me, He's created the very content of that me.
God has been asking a rather simple thing of me: run straight to Him as each fear or frustration take the throne in my heart. and as i am trying to obey what i know is for my best, i see two things happening...
the first is that trials and difficulties are normalizing. in the little moments of my days when the frustration and fears can arise, i am practicing what it means for me to bring it straight to the Lord, and not flee as far as i can from the challenge. i am better embracing a life that will contain trials and learning how to prepare for them as opposed to run from them.
i think in an effort to try and keep a life with minimal conflicts for myself, when those difficulties arose -- the kind that didn't have a simple and fast solution -- i would allow it to put a damper on my otherwise going-perfectly-well life. this would quickly turn into consumption. from the outside in, i would often allow a challenging roadblock in life to color everything.
lately, i've been placed in the posture of surrender where i have very little control over anything in my life anymore. i saw struggle as an interruption that needed to be squashed in order to tend to the real business of life. but this is the real business of life. the real business for a follower of Jesus Christ embraces the very thing that her fleshly little heart wants to stiff-arm.
this goes against all intuition and my knee-jerk responses because God delights in the process, not in a providing a great solution. and the process makes me wait. waiting gives God time to work on my heart and is the very thing i was attempting to avoid, but this is where i've found freedom. it is in this waiting period, that God quiets my heart.
as i let go of the wild thoughts woven throughout my week, i have more time to grab onto what i know about God's character. greater space in my heart to dwell on the Truth, the only Truths in this life. and the focus slowly grows off whatever it was that had me so consumed, and turns to where i have been.
and where i have been has endless reason to praise God. and dwelling on those blessings causes thankfulness to overflow in my soul. so that's the second thing. praise and gratitude replace the fears and frustrations in my life.
and then, such an example to follow from second chronicles 20...king Jehoshaphat, in circumstances where he was "terrified" and "begged the Lord for guidance", places the singers on the front lines in battle, leading the way with praise. "This is what they sang: 'give thanks to the Lord, his faithful love endures forever!'" after he declared victory, "God gave him rest on every side." (v 30). And it all began with singing praise.
this all needs to be a very intentional process. i might get weary at even the very thought of that word: intentional, but then doesn't anything that's worthwhile and of value require intention? isn't intentionality the richness in relationship? i've gotten a taste of both the intentionality and blessing of a thankful heart, and i'm simply loving it.
so really it's been about remembering who God is...His desire for my best and His faithfulness to the bitter end. and gratitude then consumes my heart where concerns had taken up residence. and even if i have to work at this several times a day, it's been worth the joy that follows.
glimpses of our days lately....
arm wrestle every four or five days. ken uses this as one of his tools
to determine how his strength is increasing.
--we're realizing we are so not ready for the
general public. we cry over dinner at the pizza restaurant. trying to
get the moment over as quickly as possible before oldest sees us.
girls squeal and scream with delight when ken breaks out in a jog chasing them in the backyard. "oh,
mommy...he is just SO strong, that man!" more than you'll ever know,
--inside our walls feels so
safe...there's lots of tears. many rich conversations. good
closeness. and laughter is in abundance.