New Mercies ~ Every Morning

 

“His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22b-23a

On days like today, I am so thankful for new mercies every morning.

Yesterday, I wrote a post and, as I tend to do, I hit Publish when I should have allowed the post to sit a few days while I pondered my words. When I allow myself to be patient, I can usually write out my frustrations, let them sit unread by anyone but me, and move on without having aired my poor-me attitude to the world. Or my largely unread blog. Whatever.

I am back into a better frame of mind this evening and just needed to get a new happier post up so that my vast readership can have something positive to read when they visit my world-famous blog.

I’m a little tongue-in-cheeky tonight. I hope that’s not too weird.

Fortunately, for me…

“His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22b-23a

Tomorrow is a brand new day filled with brand new unlimited mercies.

God…Thank You.

 

God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.

The New Kid on the Playground

My childhood is coming back to haunt me.

Recently I have begun trying to branch out and do new things and go new places in my writing adventures. I’m cutting back on the familiar because it is not where I believe I am supposed to be right now. I don’t yet know what is on the new horizon and am not really sure which direction I’m supposed to be heading so I’m just picking a direction, lacing up my shoes, and doing some online walking.

Leaving the comfort of the familiar and walking up to a new group to say hello has never been easy for me. The feeling that I’m the odd one in the room never really leaves me even when I’m comfortable, but when I’m the new face, it feels like it’s written on my forehead in neon pink ~ Hello! I’m different and odd! So happy to be here! See my real, not fakey smile? It’s real! Not fakey! I’m serious!

I am also coming to realize not just the death of a dream but also the death of an illusion. I have been under the illusion for years that I might have the potential to be up there with, not the great, but possibly at least the good writers. Oh, I have my moments when my heart pours onto the page and people like what they read. But, let’s face it, those people are my friends who know me and love me already. They know my life and who I am and what I’ve lived through. It’s not terribly difficult to endear them to my writings, probably partly because they are surprised that I can put in writing what, as a quiet introvert, I don’t have the vocal words to say.

But people who have never met me and don’t know who I am or what paths I have walked throughout my life, honestly, are not impressed by my written words. This fact is becoming apparent.

And, truth be known, the hard fact is even my friends aren’t very interested in following me to new places. My regular Facebook news feed, sure. Everyone’s there anyway. But a new Facebook page or blog, where you have to click a time or two to get to? Nah. Not worth it.

So…

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 ESV

The New Living Translation says it this way: “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!…”

I love to go to the Word when I’m feeling less-than. I would assume that I’m supposed to be secure in who I am by this point, since I have graying hair and creaky knees and a good chunk of life experiences behind me, but no, no I’m not.

But I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God’s works are wonderful, I am wonderfully complex, and my soul knows it full well.

I will face this new adventure with these words firmly implanted in my heart. I will work hard at improving as much as I can. I will be content with encouraging whoever God sends my way. And I will look forward to going wherever it is that He leads me to next.

 

God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.

Lord, Teach Us

How interesting (to me)! During staff meeting at work today, I talked about this almost verbatim. I had totally forgotten I had typed this up back in July until I was going through some things this evening that I had previously written in FocusWriter (the place where I like to type out my thoughts and potential blog posts) and here was this. What makes it even more interesting is that this was the last thing I had written there, so I had not even been in that app for almost 3 months. Which tells you how long it’s been since I’ve written anything besides a Facebook post. I really need to do something about that.

But it’s still crazy interesting!

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July 28, 2017

Prayer

I am feeling the draw to begin praying more earnestly for others. I spent so many years barely getting prayers out for myself and living in such a deep depression that I couldn’t see my way out. My prayers were sent up for self-preservation purposes only. I didn’t want it to be that way, but it was. For years before those dark days, I had considered myself having deep roots. I found out they were much more shallow than I had ever realized. I cried out to God over and over to deliver us from our difficulties. I did not use flowery words and there was no lilt to my voice. I didn’t stand prideful on a street corner, but curled up in my recliner wishing the anxiety would just give me a break.

Those were the days, my friend. I thought they’d never end.

God has brought me out a ways now from those days. I still struggle with anxiety at times, but it is no longer 24-7. I can feel the unsettling in my soul at times, but it is not paralyzing as it once was.

I am laughing again. For real.

So when I say I am feeling drawn to begin praying for others, it is with a grateful, humble heart because for a few years, I honestly believed I would never be out from under the heavy weight of fear and selfish prayers.

So as I am beginning this new endeavor (and it is not lost on me that I am 57 years old and how sad is it that even though I have been thinking about this for a while I am just getting started in earnest, hopefully, to do it), the heavily-logical side of my brain, per usual, wants a plan. None of this going with the flow business. That never works for me. It leaves me lost in an ocean filled with many words and nothing connecting them to make sense. I get overwhelmed and therefore do nothing.

So I am making a plan. Because I can’t function well without one.

As I’ve thought about prayers, and how to pray, I have gotten so confused over the years. As much as I love words, prayer words are always hard for me. “God, help” had been my go-to prayer for so long. I love that prayer. It says so much in just two simple words. As a woman of few words, it speaks volumes to me.

I’ve also contemplated The Lord’s Prayer more than ever over the past few years. I have been blessed for the past year to work in a Methodist church office where The Lord’s Prayer is recited quite often. I have not ever been a part of a denomination that recited that prayer that often and I am enjoying it. The words “Give us this day our daily bread” have wonderful meaning for me.

I’ve also started reading a book of prayers by Charles H. Spurgeon. I love reading his prayers and his words, unlike mine, are many and beautiful. I am blessed by his thought-filled prayers and pray them along with him while I am reading them.

And just this week, I have started typing out prayers. Writing comes much more naturally to me than speaking. A few years ago I went to a monthly mom’s meeting where we began each night listening to worship music and writing in a journal. It was God’s perfect timing for me as I was going through the darkness of my depression during those days and my journaling was simply writing prayers, as quickly as they flowed through my fingers and pen, into my journal. It was a beautiful God-blessed time for me and I still have that journal and have read through it a few times over the years. I have been able to see from a distance now the depths that God brought me out of and it is such a glorious grace to have those prayers in my journal.

My most frequent prayers these days are to simply give thanks. In the good times and difficult times, there are always some things to be thankful for. Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, was also a God-send to me in more recent years as I was in a place to humbly thank God for the years of drought. They taught me so much. To be able now to thank God, not only for bringing me out from those days, but also for walking with me through them, is a blessing I cannot describe.

Our pastor is teaching us the beauty of liturgical prayers.

And the lightbulb that has gone off in my head this week as I’ve prayed for so many needs in the lives of so many friends is simply, “Conform them into the likeness of Your Son and may Your name be glorified.” I can think of no others words that need to be said.

From “God, help” to “Conform them into the likeness of Your Son and may Your name be glorified” makes me realize how far I have come. Neither prayer is wrong. Both are needful in different times.

God, use me in Your service as I pray for others. And thank You for bringing me to a place where I can see beyond myself.

 

God has given us all hands ~ hands to serve. Let’s use them to serve Him well.