I'm fashionably late to the Random-Journal-Day party, but that just makes for a grand entrance, right? So, as my youngest daughter spent her childhood saying, "TA DA, here I am!" And there are some new features over at our intrepid hostess's place: Dawn's featuring one creative journal-keeper per month. You have to check out my lovely friend Pam. Seriously, she's sweet and true and straight to the core of the gospel. You'll like that about her. Check it out here.
Now for my own contribution to the party:
Wouldn't this be a sweet treat to bring?
Not exactly my own words, not my own journals, but they live in my house, and most belonged to my great-great grandfather. And they're much more colorful-looking than these:
But then, my blue notebooks make a strong case for scriptural concept of "Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at what's in the heart."
It seems like every time I open one of these notebooks, there's something rather enormous of consequence that we're wrestling with around here. I wish I could find a passage of light and freshness and simple sweetness, but we've been in a hard season...for about 8 years now. So you get what you get. And, amazingly, God speaks and acts and moves around in these words in ways that overwhelm me. Move me to tears.
I won't tell you the particular, but here's a period of time when we had had much struggle, pain upon pain, sickness and death and loss:
Speaking of Beve, he passed a kidney stone Friday night/Saturday. Exquisite pain for him--like he hasn't had enough. It makes me wonder how many more ways we can be attacked. But rather than feeling like we have a bulls-eye on our backs, we laugh. Years ago, I remember _____ telling me that the enemy loathes our laughing at him. His goal is to make us fearful, doubtful, angry and lashing out at our circumstances. So to laugh at what he does, to find his ploys ridiculous, is to render him impotent. There are seasons in life that are so beyond our imaginings, in terms of what we have to endure, that we cannot possibly summon the strength. If we are to survive, God must shore us up. And to have satan pile MORE trials on top of such trials at THOSE times only shows how wrong-headed he is. I already know I'm in over my head. ALL of this is beyond Beve and me. If God is working, if HE is my source, guide, strength, ONLY ability--which He must be these days--the enemy is outmatched. satan might have a chance with me. he has NONE with God. So Beve and I laugh. Easily.
There is no other possible reaction to our lives. Sure, more could be lost. I also know this. We are essentially whole, healthy, safely kept. And believe me (Lord, really, right now I ask!), when I say, I earnestly ask for protection from any more. I cry "uncle" to all of this. But...in the end, I mostly pray that God is that guide will turn our valley of Baca into a place of springs. Yes, I pray that this very day.
And now, if you'd so desire (please), head on over, and check out the other artists, writers, creative minds and let them know you've tasted and seen that the Lord has been good through their work. Here's the link