Loose Ends * What's Saving My Life Edition

It's that time again, gang!

The monthly e-zine, this electronic newsletter sent from my heart to yours.

This edition focuses on what's been saving my life so far this year.

Sitting quietly and considering what gifts or truths God has brought into our lives is certainly a most beneficial practice.  His lavish loving kindness has saved us, grown us, healed us, propelled us.  As we sift through what we've experienced, we figure out how to embrace the discoveries and in the process, we become better equipped to move forward with a bit more clarity, a renewed sense of purpose or mission.

And hopefully a whole lot wiser, more empathetic, more attuned to the Spirit's movement than we were before.

2020 has not served me well.  At all.

Grieving the death of three dear loved ones, none of whom I got to say good-bye to.  A simple dental procedure gone awry, unending physical pain, growing anxiety, the blood clots in my lungs that led to a brief hospitalization, the closure of my counseling practice, family health issues, the pandemic's unwelcome, scary arrival. 

It'd be fair to say that my world has pretty much turned upside down and inside out.

I'd be a fool if I didn't acknowledge the raw truth of my reality and its impact on my life and my work.  And even more of a fool if I hadn't learned anything of value during this rough patch, which, praise God, I am emerging from.

For we're all students in process of learning something ... or re-learning what we thought we had down pat.  God is always at work, stretching our faith and growing us to be more like His dear Son.

He is always, always, saving our lives.

1.  The older I get, the more I realize how little I know.
What freedom to admit you don't have to have all the answers and your responsibility isn't to save the world and give your opinion every five minutes.  I'm long past being a know-it-all ... and more likely to be still and listen quietly these days.  Just because you've got a few letters sprinkled after your name doesn't mean you're some kind of genius.

Saying 'I just don't know' works fine for me.

Click here to read that post and the stimulating follow-up dialogue.

2.  Family matters.
I can't begin to tell you how I miss my girls, their men, and especially the grandkids.  It's been six months since we've been able to spend time together.  Our annual summertime plans have gone up in smoke.  This is not working for us, young or old.  And we're not quite sure what to do about it.

August maybe?

* sigh *

3.  Zoom, texting, What'sApp, emails, and phone calls are all well and good.  
But they don't hold a candle to actually being fully present with the ones you love, to look in their eyes, to see their body language, to sense their unspoken words.  The dynamics are all so different than what we are used to.

This goes for connecting with far flung family and friends, Bible Studies, and church services.

4.  Uncolored gray roots are the least of my concerns.
Who really cares anyway?

5.  Excellent doctors are worth their weight in gold ... and praise be for virtual phone visits.
A lifeline, a gift, a huge benefit.  Sure beats wasting time Googling weird symptoms or futilely trying to self-diagnose any day of the week.

6.  Any kind of perfectionistic 'all or nothing at all' philosophy proves to be an albatross.
No, I don't have to walk for hours on end.  20 minutes might suit me just fine today, thank you very much.

No, my devotional time doesn't have to be an endless marathon with a burdensome checklist of chapters or prayers that must be completed.  There are days when a few minutes here and a few more over there are my soul's delight.

No, the outdoor work doesn't have to be finished in one day.  I'm much happier puttering for as long as my body holds up.  The weeds will be there tomorrow.  Our home is a work in progress and that's fine with us.

That goes for cleaning the house, too.

And sometimes a frozen pizza or chicken pot pie absolutely hits the suppertime spot.  I am not in the practice of whipping up gourmet delights.  I'm not Joanna or Martha or anyone else.  It's all good.

7.  I don't need to be obsessed with the news.
One of my smartest choices this spring?  Pretty much giving up the evening TV news marathons, the opinionated talking heads, the endless news conferences, the pundits and prophets and politicians with their hidden agendas and axes to grind.  A morning update comes in my inbox and I'm good to go.

Click here to read the hows and whys of the most brilliant pandemic decision I've made.

8.  But I do love this blogging community more than ever.
You guys are the absolute best!  I can't even begin to tell you what you mean to me individually and as the wise and loving community you are as we gather around this virtual table, warts and all. The consistency and rhythm we've created together is a warm solace ... and I'll forever maintain that the iron-sharpening-iron conversations that spring from my sometimes meager offerings are often far better than the posts themselves.

I sense God's leading, His approval, His warm smile on what's happening around here.

9.  My tender soul craves about 15 minutes of meditation every morning, and this aging body craves a good 10 minute stretching routine morning and evening.
Two beautiful gifts I've embraced, two of the best decisions I've made this year.  Besides not being obsessed with the news.

Click here to find out more about the Christ-centered meditation that has become a calming, healing practice for me.

10.  My husband is a very capable food shopper.
It's been months since I've ventured into our local ginormous supermarket with its complex, ever-changing guidelines, fluorescent arrows and stop signs taped to the floors, irate fellow shoppers, and the uncertain check-out routine that shifts from day to day.

I'm happy to stay home and let him navigate the hoards of hoarders.  When he returns, I'll unpack and we'll both wash our hands and move on.

11.  The highlight of our day?  Our final moments together as I read a little devotional with said husband and we pray before he quickly conks off to sleep.
Prompted by the difficult challenges of this season, this quieting evening rhythm has become a sweet passage to usher in nighttime. We don't have it down pat, we're a work in progress.  I think he likes it, too.

Click here to check out the book we're paging through.

I can't wait to hear what's saving your life this year!  Do tell ...



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