28 January 2012

drawing near...

I am discouraged.  Frustrated with myself.  Frustrated with my thorns.  I am very thankful that I do not have cancer but I am still left to deal with my list of inconvenient health issues, a list that seems to grow with each passing year. 

I think about those dreams buried deep in the recesses of my soul.  I will be 38 in three months and I genuinely believed I would have made some progress on them in all those years of life I've lived.  I feel frustrated, broken, weak.

I blame my health.  If my hormones weren't a complete mess.  If I had not inherited my mother's bad back.  If I did not have to deal with bipolar.  If only...

I blame my husband.  If he weren't so stubborn.  If he would communicate more.  If he would...

I spend an evening with a dear woman who has never been anything but a true and kind friend to me and I leave feeling discouraged.  I am horrified by the feelings of envy and discontent that claw at my soul. 

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:8

While were still sinners.  These are comforting words to me as I examine the ugliness found within.  Deep down I know that I am the one to let myself down.  I am to blame for what I am missing out on.  I am the one who has not been willing to do the hard work my dreams demand. 

I struggle to change myself when I should be letting God change me.  As I sit on my seat next to auctioneer tonight, lost in the rhythm of his cadence and my fingers typing on the keys of the computer in front of me, some words are breathed into my soul. 

"Draw near to God
and he will draw near to you."
James 4:8

Draw near to God.  I can't get those words out of my mind.  And he will draw near to you.  I meditate on this as the auction rhythm flows on.  I think about my futile efforts to turn the momentum of my life and I see that I've been trying to do it myself. 

I realize I need to build a stronger foundation.  I need to take some time to focus on drawing closer to God and soaking myself in his Word.  I long to peel back the unnecessary distractions and give myself the mental space to write.  I must lean on His strength as I practice the art of self-discipline.  "Draw near to Me, and I will draw near to you," he whispers to my soul. 

So many failures and so much grace.  As I prepare my body for a much-needed night of rest, I prepare my soul to rest in Him.  To draw near.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30

27 January 2012

-originally written on 9/16/11 and not published because?  I have no idea...

The temperature outside this morning was 46 degrees.  Yesterday as the cold front was moving in we had rain followed by cloudy skies for the rest of the day.  Those beautiful deep gray textured skies that, when contrasted with the lush, nourished fields make my heart sing.  Many of my closest friends and family are mourning the end of summer and the heat that goes with it, but not I. 

I am happily pulling my sweaters out of hibernation.  I am relishing the silence of a house without fans and air contitioners running.  I am soaking up the cool, fresh air outside.  And I am snuggling under my blankets to sleep more peacefully.  I am happy.

Fall has long been my favorite time of year.  I don't enjoy the heat of summer, for one thing.  Baking in the hot sun is a sure-fire recipe for a headache and I can't sleep when I'm hot.  Spring is nice but fall does not bring with it the overwhelming itching and sneezing that interferes with my life from April through July.  As for winter, I enjoy snow days when I can stay home, play some nice music, and bake something.  Other than that, not so much.
Fall is perfect.  The deep blue skies are beautiful, often featuring big, puffy clouds floating lazily.  It's the time of year when nature puts my favorite colors on display.  Along with the blue of the skies, the gold of the corn, the green of the fields, and the brilliance of the fall leaves give my eyes much to feast on.  Is it a coincidence that I happen to look best in fall colors?  I don't think so. 

(photo taken fall 2008)
My two favorite people in their matching camo sweatshirts,
my little one so proud to be like his Daddy.