Living in the Shadows

I have been looking forward to today! This year, 2014, has been a challenge. I remember on New Year’s Eve 2013, I was full of anticipation for the coming year – and now a full year later I look back with amazement simply because I made it through! My final Bible reading for the year brought me to the end of Proverbs 31:

Proverbs 31:25 NIV “She [a wife of noble character] is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

For some months I have silently lived in dread of what “might happen” or what will happen “when the other shoe will drop.” That kind of unspoken fear wound me up in knots. The past few days, however, God has been untying the knots and giving me the assurance that even if the other shoe drops He can fill my mouth with laughter. Not only if/when something happens but in the face of the unknown – what will happen in 2015 – He can make me laugh.

It’s not logical, it doesn’t fit into the “norm” to laugh at uncertainty – but I had to ask myself, “What’s the alternative? Living in dread and fear?”

Fear isn’t a pleasant feeling and when you combine that with dread, a gloomy shadow is cast over everything you do. I’m tired of living in the shadows – I think it’s time to laugh.

Happy New Year!

End of year musing

My Bible reading brought me to Proverbs 31 today which extensively covers “the Proverbs 31 woman.”. I’m always very challenged when I read these verses. Most of the time when reading them, I’ll think “Wow, whoever that lady was…she was amazing.”

At our wedding, just before I walked up the aisle, my husband read Proverbs 31:10-31. I thought at the time, “What a declaration of faith!” At that time of my life I felt far from the reality of those verses and thought they were more of a poem, an aspiration, a far-off hope that was virtually unattainable.

Some of the challenging phrases of that passage that I read once again this morning were:

– She selects wool and flax…

– She is like merchant ships…

– She gets up while it is still night…

– She considers a field and buys it…

The majority of this list (and it is long, these are just a few points) centers around this woman’s capacity to take care of her family and plan for the future. As a young bride I was hoping to be the one taken care of but God had higher hopes for me than I had for myself!

This passage challenged me fresh and new today. It dawned on me that I actually could be like this woman who “considers a field and buys it” and from the proceeds she plants a vineyard.

Society says what is mine is mine and not ours. God says, what’s mine is used for us – and I love that. God’s idea of success excels by far my ideas and with Him I’m able to do much more than I could do by myself.

This coming year, for the first time ever, I think I might just “consider a field and buy it” and from the proceeds of that field I might just plant a vineyard. Who knows?

Tomorrow is my last reading for the year and the end of the Proverbs 31 list waits for me – I’m excited for what He may say through it to me!

 

Great Joy and Great Sorrow

It’s been a year. A year full of activity. It was the first full year we pastored here at TCI in Lake Worth, a year of transition and change for this great church. A year of personal tragedy as my younger brother passed away suddenly. A year of challenge when my husband was hospitalized for five days. A year of love when our daughter got married. A year ending with great joy at the birth of our first grandson.

The emotional energy I spent this year has left me somewhat drained. The good, the bad, and the ugly have taken their toll and I find myself in need of a freshening up spiritually.

My brother’s death is never far from my mind as it was also a year of firsts without him. Our daughter got married just six weeks after he passed; such happiness on the heels of such sorrow.

I think of my mother who passed away in 2009, wishing she would’ve seen the wedding, been with us at the hospital when our grandson was born.

The brevity of life, it’s sorrows and joys, seems to have been the theme for this year. The lesson I’ve learned is to soak in all the joy. Retain it. Savor it. In a moment all we may have are memories.

So come 2015! I’m ready for a year of refreshing. I’m ready for a year of renewal. I’m ready to embrace the joy and bear any sorrow.