Underneath lately 

A little of this and that. SmellingCoffee.com

Hi friends. If you have emailed, Facebooked, or messaged me lately and I haven’t responded, I promise it’s not because I’ve been ignoring you. It’s just that I’ve been a bit “underneath” lately.  Warning: long – but encouraging, I pray.  After all, a week’s worth of words are spilling out below! 😉

Under the weather – I didn’t say anything while this was going on, but since late July until early October , I have been battling Mono.  Mono.  Seriously!  A teenage kissing disease that wreaked havoc on my body when I was 17 hit me again thirty years later, and literally knocked me off of my feet!  I didn’t know it until late August.  I just thought I was unusually tired and drained because we were getting our firstborn ready to leave the nest.  (I’m actually glad to know that the emotional pull of college prep isn’t what sent me over the edge and made me fall physically apart!!! haha – though I’m sure it contributed greatly!)

As in all things, I know this was allowed and ordained by the Lord for such a time as this.  He had ALREADY gone ahead of me to prepare and call some precious, obedient servants of His to fill every place of responsibility and service I had within the church body, and with His blessing and theirs, I pulled out to rest for a season.  {What’s kind of funny is that this summer, I was half-heartedly praying for a sabbatical… a time of rest where I could study and soak in without the pressure of immediately pouring it right back out… a time to write and ponder and meditate on what God is teaching just me… without a single time deadline of turning it into a message or lesson… and then a few weeks later – BOOM: mono + rest + time = some what of a Sabbatical. Right? God works in mysterious ways! 😉 In everything, give thanks!}

I am over the hump of this now, Praise the Lord!  He has healed me through prayer, rest, nutrition, and His grace.  I humbly thank Jesus every day for renewed strength to do what’s on the day’s agenda. I still need a “fatigue nap” or a “rest day” every once in a while and am on a semi-sabbatical through the end of the year, expectantly wondering what He has planned for the remainder of our un-deadlined time together.

The strange thing is, I’ve had to go back and re-read my own stories of God’s faithfulness in times of sickness and weakness to be reminded to keep trusting Him in the midst of pain and discouragement.  Even though I could see the bigger picture of my blessed “sabbatical,”  that didn’t always comfort me in the loneliness of days upon days of sleep, rest, and pain.  God was giving me a chance to be reminded of what it feels like to be sick and out of commission for a while, to wrestle with the “why” “what” and “how?” of God’s reasoning for allowing certain things to touch certain lives… Because none of us will escape this world without seasons of being “under the weather” and “out of commission.”

I didn’t know it, but God knew that I needed a reminder and a fresh experience of God’s grace and strength in the midst of my own weakness.  And being the loving Parent that He is, that’s exactly what He allowed.  And every day, I saw His glory as He was my Strength when I had nothing left of my own- I Praise You Jesus!

Are any of you under the weather and asking the “Why?” “What?” and “How?” questions of the Lord?

A verse God has used constantly during this season to encourage me is an oldie but goodie – and one I’ve had to go back to OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  Soak this truth in with fresh eyes and an open heart today and see what God has to say about the situation He has allowed to touch the life of His beloved child (that’s YOU, in case you thought I was talking about someone else!) “for such a time as this.”

“Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.

In all your ways know andacknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth
[removing obstacles that block your way]”
Proverbs 3:5-6  (AMP)

The Message puts it this way:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.

Don’t assume that you know it all.
    Run to God!

Run from evil!

Your body will glow with health,

    your very bones will vibrate with life!
Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

 

Under the Piles – Piles of emails, FB messages, phone calls and texts to return, notes that are piled up in my heart that need to be written, paperwork that is piled up in front of me right now that needs to be filled out and completed… plies of things on our guest room bed that I said I would deal with later – and later hasn’t come yet… but every day the guilt of “later” piles higher in my mind… piles of papers that need to be filed… Ugg!!!

If you are a “Piler” you know what an energy zapper this can be!  And if you’re NOT a “Piler”.. you’re wondering something like, “Why don’t you just quit complaining about it and do one pile a day until it’s done?”

My fellow “Pilers” – you know why, don’t you?  It’s overwhelming.  We let ourselves get so far behind that we don’t know where to start.  So instead of just starting (like we KNOW we should) we just stare at the piles while they keep getting bigger and bigger and we keep feeling more and more drowned by them with a huge dose of guilt piled perfectly on top.  Right?  Oh help us, Jesus!!!  Seriously! WE. Need. Help!

—– Insert long writer’s pause here—– and funny picture… because this is what I often do:

Nope.  I’ve got nothing to offer here.  No words of wisdom that we “Pilers” don’t already know:
*Just 15 minutes at a time
*Set a timer, work during the time, and reward yourself when the timer goes off
*Just do one thing
*Don’t let yourself do _______ until you’ve done ______.
*Don’t let things pile up in the first place.  Handle everything only once, blah blah blah…

See… piles are groups of important or special things that were laid down to be put away later because the “Piler” was in a hurry, usually because said “Piler” was running late OR didn’t know exactly what to do with the item at that particular moment.  It’s a whole personal issue.  Whatever.

This is all I know for those of us with the major personal problem of “Piling” – and of any other energy-stealing-hang-ups that we’d rather not address:

“With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26 (AMP)

A men?

I love it that so often we read in Scripture where things that are (or seem) humanly impossible are accomplished through the Power and Strength of the Holy Spirit.  A pile of work, paper, or items seems insignificant on the larger scale of life, but the principle is the same.  If you are facing an impossible pile of something, remember this:

With {some – wink} people, as far as it depends on them, it is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.
Praise the Lord!!!!!

Under the Covers – By this, I don’t mean my own personal bed covers, although I’ve been there a lot, too, lately.  😉 But in “keeping it real” here on SmellingCoffee.com, these past few months have brought with them some changes that have made me want to live in “the good ole’ days” and hide from facing the reality of today.

And honestly, sometimes I’ve found myself wishing I could just pull the covers up over my head and ignore the stresses of life in 2015.  Some days I get tired of fighting in this world.  I get discouraged and battle weary, and I wonder just how much longer Jesus will wait to come get His Bride.  Staying focused and centered on Jesus in a world pulling the opposite way is emotionally draining and exhausting.  It’s not natural and is an uphill battle with every step.

As parents of older teens we are finding ourselves at constant WAR both day and night on their behalf through prayer and pleading. Sometimes I long for the days when our children were four and five again, when I could hold my them in my arms, physically protect them, make decisions for them, and be the gateway between them and the world.  To me, those were the good old days.

But that’s not where God has called us to live.  He’s called us to live fully and ABUNDANTLY (John 10:10) in 2015, under His Kingdom authority.  So we must keep on keeping on… even when we would rather go under the covers and back in time.

In “swimming upstream,” in “battling in prayer,” in “living right-side-up-in-this-upside-down-society”… In all of these things this is what we must cling to when we feel the urge to withdraw from the battle give up:

Let us not grow weary
or become discouraged in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap,
if we do not give in.
Galatians 6:9 (AMP)

I love how God’s Word translation puts it:

We can’t allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way.
Certainly, each of us will receive everlasting life at the proper time,
if we don’t give up.
Galatians 6:9 (GW)

Lord Jesus, please strengthen and help your children today!!!

Which leads me to the last “underneath” I’ve been lately:

 

Under the Wings – In all of this –  the weakness, the questions, the discouragement, the guilt piling, the Presence of the Lord has never left me.  In fact, this has been a Psalm 91 few months for me.  Oh how I love this Psalm!!!  Below is the NLT version:

1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2  This I declare about the Lord:
    He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
3  For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
4  He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5  Do not be afraid…

This is exactly what He has done for me… and will do for any who will take Him up on His offer to live life sheltered, not under their own covers hiding from the world, but under God’s wings soaring with Him through it.

I’m still learning this.  Obviously.  But in light of the verses and promises above, soak in this treasure from another familiar favorite:

28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
    The Eternal, the Everlasting God,
The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary.
    His wisdom is beyond understanding.
29 God strengthens the weary
    and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care.
30 Young people will get tired;
    strapping young men will stumble and fall.
31 But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength.
    They will soar on wings as eagles.
They will run—never winded, never weary.
    They will walk—never tired, never faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31 (VOICE)

Isn’t that so beautiful?  WHEN we FULLY TRUST in the Eternal One, (and I must add according to the Truth of the Scripture, obey as He leads us) we will soar under His wings… we won’t be running or walking… He will be carrying us as we navigate our concerns, our questions, our fears, our tears, our needs, our piles, our children, our parents, our families, our health, our finances, our homes, our work situations, our family circumstances, our relationship dramas…

So the next time you feel yourself “underneath,” just know, it’s not always a bad place to be.  God offers us a space underneath His wings to move our “weather, piles, and cover” and promises to carry us and help us not just “make it” but to SOAR!

I’m counting on that today.  Thanks for listening.  Sorry for being so long-winded.  That’s what happens when a talker finds herself “underneath” and quiet every once in a while. 😉

haha!


With love and prayers for each of you who read this far… 😉

SmellingCoffee.com

PS: If I owe you a response in any way (in the “Piling” category) I promise, I’m working on that today. 😉

 
About SmellingCoffee

I'm a Jesus-loving, husband-loving, family-loving minister's wife and mom to two teenagers, making our home and serving our Lord in the Mississippi Delta. I study, teach, speak, and write for the greatest Boss in the universe. "Faith, Family, Food, Fun, and Living Life brewed in the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus Christ in every place": That's what you'll find at SmellingCoffee.com

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