Gentleness Lately; From Esther to Job

In my own unfolding story, we plan on moving homes next month, in November.

I will be 8 months pregnant.

We plan to let go of this beautiful home Jeff and I envisioned might be a forever home for a smaller more affordable home. Letting go and trusting God in the process.

Sometimes we let go;

of what we might want to cling to and we step into a life of surrender and trust that bears witness to God’s faithfulness above our own efforts and plans.

The past few weeks I have been reading through Esther and Job and Ecclesiastes.

Esther’s patience seems impressive to me. She didn’t jump ahead with anxiety when troubles came, she fasted, prayed, and waited for the right timing on things.

Wisdom from Ecclesiastes reminds me that seasons of hardship will come AND go (yay) and so I breathe in and exhale and try to notice the flow of God’s movement and find the wisdom He offers for my own life’s present circumstance.

Job, his story humbles me. It reminds me we cannot control everything/most things; but we can come to God with honest emotion.

In the quiet mornings, with hot tea and lamp light, the word of God guides me gently, not with shame or condemnation but with hope and gentleness and kindness and understanding beyond my own.

And I continue to note the gentleness that abounds even in the harshness, uncomfortableness, or the struggles of ordinary life;

Spiderman rain boots on my cute kindergartener

butterfly puzzles to put together

a rainy day

a quiet home with a candle lit

Maggie, my dog, always by my side

soft leggings

listening;

listening to the

the next right thing podcast

At church on Sunday I stood in line for communion, approached the plate and received the Body of Christ broken for me from a woman in our congregation her eyes gentle, her voice kind as she said my name and offered me the bread.

Every single solitary time my friend Wendy stands up and reads the prayer of renewal at church, I resist the urge to bury my face in my hands and cry like a worn-out baby. I’m struck, every time, by the power of the Spirit in her voice and in her words. I tear up even now as it comes to mind.

None of these, a parking lot drive, an offer of bread, a prayer of renewal not one of them requires you to be a mother. But in each of these actions was something a mother would do.

In these actions, I felt cared for. And the words of my friend Shannan Martin come to mind. She says, “Humanity is crying out to be nurtured.”
— The Next Right Thing Podcast, Emily P Freeman

the sound of rain today

the air condition running

the washing machine hum

music and melodies;

Not in a Hurry by Will Reagan, United Pursuit

Lord I don’t want to rush on ahead
in my own strength
when you’re right here
I’m not in a hurry
when it comes to your spirit
when it comes to your presence
when it comes to your voice
I’m learning to listen
just to rest in your nearness
i’m starting to notice
you are speaking

Take Courage by Kristene Di Marco

Slow down, take time
Breath in He said
He’d reveal what’s to come
The thoughts in His mind
Always higher than mine
He’ll reveal all to come
Take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He’s in the waiting
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
As your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
He’s never failing
Sing praise my soul
Find strength in joy
Let His Words lead you on
Do not forget His great faithfulness
He’ll finish all He’s begun

Reading;

Meredith McDaniel’s Manna Monday Email:

The past few weeks have honestly brought a great deal of sadness to my heart. I have found myself listening to the song “Is He Worthy” often because it genuinely articulates the struggle we find ourselves in when the weight of the world grows heavy. Andrew says: Do you feel the world is broken? Do you feel the shadows deepen? and I can’t avoid the ache I have felt for friends and family lately. We have friends battling cancer, losing their mom/wife too soon, & high schoolers looking for love in all the wrong places. We have our internal battles and struggle to know how to love one another when we just simply want all the hurt to evaporate. But, there is always a but with God... He is with us all. The next line of the song says: But do you know that all the dark won’t stop the light from getting through? Even in the darkness I have seen and felt the light. Many of you have your own darkness you are battling and I pray you will also be able to see the light cracking through as you feel His nearness as you all grieve. Grief doesn’t look the same for everyone and yet we all do it. May you feel seen.
— Meredith McDaniel, Manna for Monday
Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.
— Wendell Barry, The Mad Farmer Manifesto, shared in Manna for Monday

Psalms + the Daily Lectio Bible reading passages; from Esther to Job

Esther’s patience, trust, and courage to follow through with a plan. Job’s honesty and integrity in hardship. Both walked through challenges; walk through it, sometimes there is no way around it. But God is with us.

Finish by Jon Acuff

a good word to remember, especially for fellow artists and creators; let go of perfection, embrace fun and weird;

Weird works, and perfectionism absolutely hates it. Of course it would. If it’s opposed to fun, can you imagine how much disregard it has for weirdness? Perfectionism is about conformity, it’s about twisting and molding your performance to some imaginary standard that’s impossible to hit. There’s no room for weird when it comes to perfectionism.
— Finish, John Acuff
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