Monthly Archives: September 2013


October is next week; the beginning of fall. It’s a season I do not relish. I don’t rejoice in what it is: brilliant colors, snuggling in sweaters, hot apple cider taking off the chill. I merely view it as the start of winter. And in doing so, I miss the best part of fall. Instead of enjoying its treasures, I make it into something it was never meant to be. White Birch in Front of Maple Trees

Last night, Richard and I talked over dinner. Dinners are tough for me; they zap me of my energy. Every day, day in and day out, all that preparing and work for something that is over in 30 minutes. When I’m by myself, I don’t mind having a sandwich for dinner. For a larger, more elaborate meal, I fail to see the creativity combined with the nourishment. The drudgery slows my heart and weighs me down.

I’ve tried this past month to make healthy meals, different meals, even some fun meals. I thought I was doing well. Then Richard complains. All the energy leaves me. His mother, for example, only went to the store once a week. She planned all her meals for the week ahead of time, got all her supplies in one trip and never had to go to the store in between. Why can’t I be more like his mother? The words chafe. I can’t be more like his mother because I’m not.

Why do we do that? Compare people to others; want them to be something they are not? I’m not sure, but I wish we’d stop it.

My sister is a Martha Stewart type. All the preparation, all the planning energizes her. Her meals aren’t like mine; they are lavish, orchestrated events. She tackles recipes that would leave me flattened. Why can’t you be more like her? I’ve heard it all my life.

Do we compare others because of something we are missing in ourselves? Not sure. But I have felt forced into a mold when all I wanted to be was free. I’ve felt beat up by images of what others want me to be. Not a better me, but a different me. A me I was never created to be. Rather I want to be winging my way, liberated and light, towards who I really am. I don’t want to be assessed. I want my words, ideas and dreams to bring pleasure to my Lord; not be tamed by some arbitrary human evaluation. I want to be appreciated for the best parts of myself.

We fracture community when we compare. We find the weak points in another and tear at them. Does that make us feel better about ourselves? Shouldn’t we just rejoice because we are together, that we are close? Can’t we use our communication, our words, to deepen intimacy?

I was never meant to be a weak imitation of someone else just as autumn was never meant to be the poor stepchild of winter. God is all over the details of my life. He smiles at the times when I am truly me. When I laugh at something no one feels is funny; when I cry because the sorrow cuts quick to the pain in my heart; when I give thanks for something deeply moving to me; those are the times God rejoices and says, “It is very good.” If you do one thing today, celebrate someone for the truly marvelous person God made them to be. Give the world that. Be the audacious, untamed someone who breaks out of the mold by giving others the courage to just be themselves.

Birthday Gift

It shocked me when my husband proclaimed, “I’m going out to purchase your birthday gift.” My birthday was the next day and this shopping should have been done days ago. But that’s not what rocked me. Richard is one of those people who is directionally impaired and shopping that evening meant he’d have to navigate the proclivities of a city he didn’t know. Before he left, I looked up the addresses of several nearby stores on my laptop, but I feared even with the GPS in the car, he’d get lost.

The next evening when I opened up my present, I realized it wasn’t what was underneath the wrappings that spoke love to me as much as Richard going out on his own, on streets unfamiliar to him; traveling in confusing directions, all foreign to him. The real gift wasn’t my present, but the sacrifice Richard had made to give it. The greatest birthday gift my husband gave me this year was becoming the gift himself.

And I wonder how often do I miss the gifts God showers in my path? God can reveal Himself anywhere and that evening, He taught me about love through a shopping trip. What other things was I missing? Blessings are out there every day; more miracles that I miss than the ones I see. For God, every day, every minute is reaching out to me to let me know, “Child, you are loved. I give you My grace, My love every day in a thousand ways.”festive ribbon details with blurred background

The Word is writing Himself into my story through these little miracles. Love is all around us, in simple little acts. Richard dared to travel out despite his fear because he loved greatly. God loves me deeply, so I am grateful for every good thing He brings into my life.

When you are a believer, it is impossible to stop counting your blessings. For God is always sprinkling them on you, gift after gift encircling the moments of your days. Living joyfully means seeing His gifts and always giving thanks for them.

Drooping Sails

The doldrums have recently hit me; prevailing winds have calmed my sails. My Aunt Marion passed away at the very end of July and her death, for many reasons, has hit me hard. She was gracious, elegant, a bundle of energetic love with an enthusiasm for life that was contagious. I feel listless, now mourning the loss of her positive, loving influence.Trail in Temperate Rainforest

One day, I wrote an email to a cousin from the opposite side of the family trying to explain my grief. She wrote back: At this stage in your life you realize all the magnificent plans you had to accomplish things in life have not happened and probably will not. On top of that you are sick of your daily “routines” – tired of the same foods, tired of your belongings, upset about getting older, aggravated with family and friends, and wondering what nasty ailment will befall you and lead to your demise. That’s enough to keep anyone from sleeping well and to give each of us a true feeling of the blahs (if not a serious case of depression). Alas the good news is you have a boat load of company.” (Just a quick side note here: If you are trying to cheer someone up, this is not the way to do it.)

But in a way I get what she was trying to say. On some days, life feels like an uphill battle and the climb becomes steeper and steeper as we go along.

Yet, if there is anything I’ve learned throughout my life, it’s that the best is yet to come. There are miracles ahead. And if that means the climb seems impossible for a while, I take heart in knowing I’m on the right path. Doesn’t it feel the same way with you? Do you look for miracles when life smacks you in the face?

Despite the days I want to stay in bed all day, giving up and giving in is not an option. It isn’t for me and it can’t be for you. I’ve learned we all have gifts that if unused dull our world. We all have a community of friends and supporters who are cheering us on, watching us climb that steep hill, defeating our giants and reaching that glorious new vista.

Even if you don’t realize it right now, you are loved. God values your life so much, He sent His Son to give you life. Your heart and your life are exquisitely beautiful. Your soul was designed for His delight. No matter what you are in the midst of, whichever doldrums have taken the wind out of your sails, you can rest assured that every component of your life is tucked inside His care.

Whatever gift God has given you is priceless and His love is so much stronger than whatever you are facing. He continually wraps you in His protection, so you can use your gifts to give Him the glory.

Even on the days when I struggle to see any good in the future; when giving up would be so easy, He gently whispers to me, “Keep going. The best is yet to come.” His words empower my passions. And today, I want to convey the same to you maybe because right now they are the words I most need to hear.

Keep going! Keep fighting to ascend the thorny pathway you are facing. God is a God of love. He loves you enough to have blessed you with more gifts and abilities than you could ever think possible. Hold on tight to Him and keep going. Climb for His glory. Climb to see what miracle the next steps hold. Climb for all those cheering you on who are waiting to see what God will do through you.

You can make it! You will make it! The best is yet to come! Just keep going!