Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2
I need to confess, it was a long week. As summer comes to a close and every day is still a battle, and I’m still in the beginnings of being able to say that by the grace of God some days I’ve won, but other days I lose miserably, and each day I struggle within and without… With summer ending and my second and final college year beginning and having that day come nearer every sleep, I’m finding the daily battle to be a little tougher, my armor a little worse for wear.
And I realize that’s partially my own fault. My reaction to the circumstance is the wrong one. The fire is left unattended some days. I forget to stoke the embers. And instead of setting my mind on Christ, His love, His goodness, His grace, I set it on the future – even the very next day – and I worry.
My future suddenly isn’t looking so easy. I’m learning that I’m having to trust God moment by moment, and to be fully present for that moment that has been placed in His pierced, strong hands.
When I am trusting and being fully present, I find the graces abound.
163. Tears of joy
This past week, I was sitting in my dining room, waiting for a friend to arrive at my house. I was battling myself inside again, and thankfully realized it. I grabbed my pen and journal and began to look for graces – to be present. I looked out the window into our big backyard.
Since I was a baby, creation has always been such a personal love of mine. My mom would set my baby carrier in the bay window and I would smile at the squirrels and fall asleep watching the clouds. As a child, I caught bugs and critters and got dirty making new discoveries. When I got older, I realized all of this joy I got from nature was God’s display of His glory unto Himself and His personal, beautiful love for me. That moment I looked out the window, a baby rabbit, no older than a few months, stood up in the middle of the grass. His nose quivered and his still short but perky ears pointed perfectly vertical. His wide eyes were alert. He looked around, then dropped and nibbled the grass.
I grinned. I couldn’t help myself.
I continued to look and saw some rogue cornstalks growing beneath the pines, planted by birds and their messy eating habits. It was a surprise, and although it may seem simple and silly, I found it amazing.
I turned my head to the other window, and just in that moment, a small butterfly flew past. I sat there for a good 15 minutes, just watching in wonder and adoring the tiny bunny. And I started to cry.
I’m no stranger to crying. But only once, maybe twice, have I cried from joy.
And of all things, this simple moment became one of them. Simple, yet with so much beauty behind it. Anybody could have seen those same things, but for me, it was what I had needed – peace, beauty, sweetness, packaged in the creation I loved, personally from the Creator. These tears were so welcomed, and they themselves brought joy.
180. Full days
That day my friend came over was planned rather last-minute. We had sort of planned on it happening, but it wasn’t set in stone yet. So at work, I was looking forward to her coming over afterwards, but still wasn’t sure she would. After I came home, I got on my computer and sent her a text asking if she was going to make it. After some waiting, she said she was! Oh, I was grateful. My anticipation wasn’t for naught!
And I realized how happy it made me to have a full day, to have one thing happen with something else, something more, to look forward to. Work, which I enjoy, then time with a good friend. That time ended up being so fruitful and so, so much fun. Added to my list was Night walks, Really hard laughing, Listening, and most of all, Happiness. The day was full.
The day was full of good.
Another opposite found its way on to my list… 120. A freed-up schedule.
180. Full days.
191. Random reminders of His love
As I said earlier, it was a long week. The daily battle was hard. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own, but I felt sometimes I could hardly even do my part.
I was driving home on the highway, cruising behind a car with a bumper sticker saying something about Jesus. I can’t remember exactly. It was something along the lines of “Jesus is the answer.”
Another day I was driving to a babysitting job. A sign said in large letters, “Jesus is Lord.”
After I put the kids to bed, I stood at the sink washing the dishes. I looked up and saw the wife had taped to the window above the sink, right at eye level,
But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hands. Psalm 31: 14-15
In those moments, when I read those truths, I wasn’t able to do my part. Christ met me where I was. He interrupted my quickly wandering thoughts with truths about Him, bringing me back, feeding my hunger for strength and hope. And each time, it was exactly what I needed to be reminded of.
I realize now, these reminders are anything but random.
My times are in Your hands.