When I started this blog I wanted to offer hope with a dash of humor thrown in for good measure. I can, at times, be a little funny. My amusing side has been slipping a bit lately, and I’d like to find that voice again.
As I begin this new year, I’m thinking I want to make a slight change in my perspective…in my way of doing things and thinking about things. Maybe I shouldn’t say a slight change…a complete 180 might be more like it.
Joy has been a bit illusive this past year. Hard to grasp for me.
Peace that passes understanding? Haven’t had it. I’ve chosen anxious thoughts and ungratefulness.
It has been a bit of a miserable time for me (and my kids, unfortunately).
I don’t think that my life has been harder than most, or that I’ve been called to do something overly extreme in difficulty. My life is just more challenging and exhausting than I want.
My vision for my life was different. And sometimes the farther I get from the vision, the more I struggle to accept where I am.
It has been easy to focus on the stress of my circumstances, rather than anything positive.
So what are my circumstances, really? That seems like a good place to start when I’m trying to figure out how I should approach life. I’m hoping for some perspective on why I’m doing what I’m doing, living how I’m living, and thinking the way I’m thinking. And maybe if I put it all in front of me in black and white I’ll see something differently.
Would you like to think through this with me?
What are the things that you are dealing with right now? Not your emotions, but your circumstances. What does your life look like each day?
I have to remind myself as I go through analyzing my life that God is not at all surprised by my circumstances (or emotions). They are the tools that God is going to use in my life to bring me good and Him glory. And I’m confident that I will be stronger for the challenges.
The storms of life.
I once heard a pastor say that we are either heading into a storm, right in the middle of it, or drying off from it. When I first heard this I thought it was a rather dismal look at life, there have to be other times….don’t there?
Where are we now?
- Hanging on for dear life in the hurricane.
- Rocking on the waves but getting our sea legs
- Working on storm clean-up – everything’s a little damp and musty, but thankful to be back on dry land
- Floating in calm waters – an occasional wave swamps your boat but you are doing just fine
- Sunning on the beach
In some ways I’m in clean up mode, but in others I think I’m still rocking a little bit on the waves.
Wherever I find myself (any given day), how do I respond to where I am…where God has me?
In all honesty, my responses have been mostly negative – BUT I’m determined to change that this year.
Part of the problem is that I tend to look at all my circumstances as only challenges rather than just the place God has me…a place God can still bless me. That inclines me to respond mostly negatively to them.
Being a single working mom is challenging at times, but it is the place God has me. It can be a beautiful place no matter how challenging.
Do I EVER have good responses to my circumstances?
Ok! Think of three, Sue. Three positive responses…(and the ability to say something sarcastic is not one of them).
Laughter – sometimes I can really get a good laugh at the ridiculousness of my circumstances
Joy – when I focus on the blessings and provision from God
Worship – when I take a moment to recognize how often God loves me when I’m decidedly unlovable
Getting tangled up in negative thinking and feelings has been all too easy for me. Even when I’m studying the Word and praying, I can still struggle with negative emotions. Unfortunately, it seems to be a natural response for me lately.
I know that I can trust God with my life and the lives of my children, and yet I struggle with feeling all those negative emotions.
I am thrashing about in the waves, gulping in tons of water while I grumble, complain, and wail – but there is this blessed undercurrent of peace – my feet are in it.
I’m in it up to my toes. My goal is to get my whole body in that peaceful place – all the way over my head.
That is my quest this year. To be not just up to my toes, but up to my head.
To build on those three possible positive responses to my circumstances.
To redefine my response to my life.
To evaluate from a different perspective.
To acknowledge where I am, accept it, trust God with it, and move forward.
To see my life as a blessing.
Want to join me on this journey?
I’d sure like the company.