Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beauty for Ashes in August

This summer has probably been the busiest season of my married life so far, August being the climax. I wrote earlier this month about how a crazy schedule and an orphan spirit led me to burnout, and also to a greater realization of my need for quiet, rest, and beauty in the midst of even the most demanding seasons. Reflecting so far on the first half of a month that I wondered if I'd survive, I marvel at God's grace in providing just that-- in the most unexpected ways. 

In the height of my exhaustion, He provided a weekend in the country to do nothing but play Dominoes (in which I dominated, see below), read, and rest. 

(*Note- Michael had to look up the rules to one of our card games, just to be sure about something. We're only a little competitive.) 
 
During the most labor intensive trip of the month (where I slept in a house with 23 other people!), He provided moments of beauty, solitude, and worship with precious friends. 

Immediately on the heels of that trip, during the visit of our third house guest of the summer, He provided a weekend of recreation (which is code for amazing food), sleep, and fellowship.

(*Note: the black cloud type line in the lake picture is actually millions of bats flying out from under the bridge at dusk to go hunting! Oh, and the bottom picture- that is Tex-Mex.) 
 
It seems that once again, I'm learning that the Lord knows what I need better than I do, and that He provides it for me even before I know how to ask for it. I am so thankful for His tender shepherding in my life-- He doesn't point the finger and chide me for not resting and depending on Him as I ought-- instead, He revives my tired and parched spirit by extending to me the very things I neglected to seek. Once again, His kindness has led me to repentance and restoration. 

Are you running from Him in any way? Can you take the risk and confess? Experience His kindness. 

From a blog I read today: "I do find comfort in this: Jesus doesn’t shame you. He calls you by name, twice (“Martha, Martha”, the first time cutting through your heart, the second time healing it). He gets to the root of all your existential angst, and he shows that there is no need for the amount of space you carve out for anxiety, worry, righteous indignation."

(Read the whole post here.)

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