When I lasted posted on this blog, Christmas carols were still playing, lights were still hung on trees, and hope filled my heart for a fantastic start to the coming New Year.
They each beckoned to me with the promise of a fresh start, a new year.
New Year’s Day came and went. So far, so good!
January 2nd, my best friend, Beth, arrived for her yearly visit from China.
January 4th, my new niece was born.
We were off to a smashing start.
And then January 5th happened. Blessing started to cough. Promise came down with a fever, Hope with a runny nose.
It’s okay, I thought. Nothing a little Elderberry and a day or two on the couch can’t cure.
What started as a cold for my girls, turned into colds for Mr. Wonderful and me too, and a long cycle of sickness ensued. As soon as one of us got well, someone else came down with something new.
A sinus cold from you know where…
Nearly six weeks later we’re still recovering.
They feel long ago and far away, forgotten. It’s hard to even remember what they were.
Wherever they are, whatever they were as I get myself, my family, my home back together, back to health and life as usual there are three things I’m trying to hold onto. Hoping that if I cling to these above all else, somehow, eventually, the pieces will come together and I will have the new year I hope for.
First of all…It’s a slip not a slide: My very wise friend and fellow writer, Cindy Bultema, once spoke about the importance between a slip and a slide. Slips are quick and easy to get over. Slides are long and drawn out. The difference between the two is almost always my attitude and the way I choose to see and react to what life brings. So January and February did not go the way I planned, hoped, or expected. So what! They don’t have to be a slide or, in other words, these past few weeks DO NOT determine the rest of my year. They can be overcome. I can move on. Quick. Easy. A slip not a slide.
Next there’s this…God’s grace can cover this too: The weeks of sickness my family has experienced is something I can’t control and sometimes recognizing what’s within my control and what isn’t, is half the battle. Rather than fighting against something I can’t control, my limited energy is much better spent doing the things I can do and trusting God with the rest. Because the truth is, His grace really is enough. For all the things that go undone, for all the ways I fall short, He provides what’s needed. Always, just what’s needed. So, yeah, we’ve missed a ton of school days. And, yeah, my writing is on life support, and yeah, these thighs, they ain’t gettin’ smaller… but we’re doing what we can, as we can, and somehow, I trust. I TRUST. It’s all gonna shake out in the wash.
And finally…None of this determines my worth: This is the big one isn’t it? The one we don’t even realize we’re doing to ourselves. The one that sneaks in like a snake and steals every spark of truth we have, every shred of joy, every fiber of peace. When set backs like this happen, when things don’t go the way I planned, it’s so easy for me to go there, to that place where I’m discouraged, where I’m convinced that I’m a failure, where all evidence shows I’m blowing it big time. And once I’m there it’s hard to get back. But the truth? This has nothing to do with me. It. Is. A Cold. A long-lasting, miserable, terrible cold. It is not a reflection of who I am and it’s not a measure of what I’m worth. When I find my identity getting mixed up with what’s going on around me, I know it’s time to start taking captive each and every thought. Inspect every one. Keep the truth: God’s got this. I am loved. It’s going to be okay. We’re going to be okay. His grace is sufficient. I am His and He is mine. Nothing can steal my peace or my joy. Pitch the lie: Ha! You haven’t blogged in a month and you call yourself a writer? How could you? What were you thinking? You are a terrible mother. What a mess you’ve made. What a failure. What a screw up.
Whether it’s at the start of a brand new year or anywhere in between, when the stuff of life sets you back, hang on tight to these three things. They may not take the sting away, but they will get you through.
Like Elderberry mixed with a day or two on the couch, may they be nourishment, comfort, and the cure for what ails you.