Dry Seasons

safe_imageindigo buntingGoing through a season of dryness right now.  The Psalmist says “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sores and my kinsmen stand afar off.”  Though nothing has really changed in my living circumstance I feel so alone. I have lots of acquaintances but only one good friend I dare be myself with. You know, the warts and all kind of friend. We know each others warts and each others’ strengths but sometimes having one friend is not enough, especially when that friend is not within easy driving distance. It takes a long time to grow an old friend.  Wishing my friend were closer so we could talk while looking into each other’s eyes like we do, and listen with both ears open and mouth shut. “Be still and know that I am God” says the Psalmist. Sometimes being still is fitting for dry spells too. Maybe God has something special He wants me to hear?

I will sit patiently and expectantly, with eyes and ears open and mouth shut.

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Trusting While Learning

moon-over-swamp-pond-reflectionGod’s brought me through a very dark valley this past couple of weeks.  The valley is very lonely, discomfiting, dark, and barren. I’m left to my own devices when this happens, and none of them are very pretty. I spend too much money on too many edible treats and even while stuffing the 3rd or 4th brownie into my mouth I’m asking God, help me!, can’t you see how miserable I am? He’s very quiet as usual. Doesn’t say anything. And somehow the words of scripture seem to be enveloped in a deep fog. Even the Light of Christ is dimmed. The body and mind aches for a bit of comfort, relief, or something, ANYTHING, do you HEAR ME GOD! HELP, I NEED HELP!!

After my bingeing and enjoying a few moments of feeling good-although I do know it’s only temporary-I resolve to settle in for the ride for however long it will last. Sometimes days, weeks even, but not forever and knowing it won’t last forever gives me enough hope to put down the brownies and just let myself sink in to my chair of despond. Much like Winnie-the Pooh’s friend Eyore, who I used to identify with as I sat and read those beloved books to my children when they were little. (I loved reading books to my children, but those days are long over). So now it’s brownies, my foggy Bible and waiting in tears and silence; all the while trusting that God has something for me to learn through all these desperate days and that the coming days will be brighter and the fog will clear from my Bible and my head and I can once again rejoice with a smile.

I am rejoicing with a smile and a spring in my step today and brownies are far from my mind as I gaze toward the heavens, thankful for all He’s brought me through, once again.

Keeping Peace

moon-over-swamp-pond-reflection     Not an easy task!  Try as I might the storm clouds roll. I am learning, once again, that no matter what I say or how I say it I will be misunderstood. Just as surely as a clear blue sky can suddenly turn to gray or even black, misunderstanding darkens my day.

Weather changes, people change, I change. Relax. Relax I tell myself. Let it go and let it change. Maybe that’s what keeping peace is all about? Letting go and letting things change? Am I developing or un-developing? Good question I think. Change, peace, they both fit together some how. Perhaps it’s me that has to change? Maybe the peace I seek can only come from Someone greater than myself?

I’ve looked within for many years now, and the small peace that comes from self-exploration only lasts a little while. That’s the problem with self-exploration, you come to the point when you realize that there will never be an end and equally problematic is the recognition that no matter how much you change, you can never really find the peace that fulfills for the rest of your life.

Some I know have turned to meditation to find peace. I’ve tried it and it does work for a little while. Not saying there’s anything wrong with it. It’s just good to be reminded that real Peace can only be found in a Person, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. When I find myself at peace it is because He is with me and watching over me with great care. When I lose my peace, it is not because He’s stopped watching over me, it’s because I have stopped looking at Him.

The only and best way I’ve found to keep peace is to keep Jesus in the forefront of my thoughts through daily reading the Word of God, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in my heart  and with others and by offering everything up to Him;  my anxieties, my joys, my needs, my disappointments, my sorrows, my pain, my friends, neighbors, family and the world. God gives me plenty to do these days and I am happy to be involved in the monumental task of keeping peace through prayer and intercession. Even and especially when misunderstandings or even misgivings come, which they will and do.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJV)

Flowers, God, and Peace

Flower_22    I read a lot, on the internet, that is.  I used to be a heavy user of the public library where I could regularly if needed order books from other libraries, which I thought was a really neat service. But now we have the internet and with tons of information at my fingertips I am hooked! No more waiting till the library opens or lamenting when it’s closed and desperately want/need to get a book about whatever is on my mind at the moment. Now I just turn on my screen and off I go!  Doesn’t matter what time of day, whether it’s a holiday or the weather is too nasty to go out I am thrilled to have so much information ready for me. I always smile when I turn on my computer.

     The only time I don’t smile, however, is when I am conversing with others on a blog about matters important to me- psychology and theology-and inevitably someone becomes negative, nitpicky, or downright rude and annoying.  Know-it-alls with closed ears are some of the worst. (See, now it’s my turn to be negative). But this is not directed to anyone in particular, it’s directed to the universe in general which is filled with diverse and thinking people of all colors, ethnicities, religions, and educational experiences. And I have the right to address you all because as a former flower child (60’s) turned Christian (80’s) it has always been my job and pleasure in life to try to keep the peace and maintain order. So now, along with my reading about psychology and theology I hear thoughts and opinions from all over the world on these matters. And I would just like to say, please consider your remarks and the repercussions of what you are writing. Do they cause confusion or anger? Or, are they merely being misunderstood? Do you or your reader need to be better informed, and can you accept responsibility to learn and grow from your interactions?

     Oh what a wonderful world this would be, a singer from years back is echoing in my brain. But what a wonderful thing that where once we had only books, schools, and study groups to learn and grow in knowledge, now we have the internet and can even see each other face-to-face without going outside in bad weather or waiting until the holidays are over to plug-in. I’ll keep on reading blogs and of course social media but I will be watching, trying to keep the peace so I can read a little more and watch my flowers grow in the peace-filled universe I have come to know and love.