For lack of a better word, I've been feeling gloomy for the last week or more. Perhaps it's the death or memories of loved ones. For instance, I missed my mom and dads at Christmas. This month, my mom would have been 90. Or perhaps it was the deaths of two members in my husband's family last week. Maybe it's the lack of sunshine or all the cold/snow. Perhaps it's because of my failure to accomplish my goal of reading through the Bible in a year. Or maybe, it's from having to re-edit my WIP for the umpteenth time - and now it looks like it will be closer to the first version. Or perhaps it's because I haven't been writing because I know I will get interrupted before I get very far.
Probably a combination of all of the above. There's a quote I love from the movie Facing the Giants. It's part of a prayer that Grant Taylor's character is praying: " Lord Jesus, would you help me? I need you. Lord, I feel that there are giants of fear and failure staring down at me, waiting to crush me. And I don't know how to beat 'em, Lord. I'm tired of being afraid. Lord, if you want me to do something else, show me. ... But You're my God. You're on the throne. You can have my hopes and my dreams. Lord, give me something. Show me something."
Then, I remember my blessings. I have a 5 y.o. with a vivid imagination - who makes me laugh and gives me joy. This morning I watched her play in the snow. She picked up two long branches that had broken off the lilac bush. She put them on her head as antlers and pranced around. Then she made a slide down one of the mountains of snow. Another blessing is my 19 y.o. It can be aggravating having to tell him the steps for a task a million times before he can do something. But he has such a loving spirit. He loves showing affection. He loves telling life stories to people or telling them about movies he's watched. While he annoys his little sister, he also loves to make her laugh. I have been blessed with two "bonus children." I am also blessed with a husband who loves me and provides well for our family. He loves spending time with his family.
It all comes down to choices. I can choose to say, "poor me, why can't I 'catch a break'." Or, I can realize how blessed I am and keep working toward my goals. It's up to me. My joy is not dependent on anyone or anything else but my relationship with the Lord - but that in turn will cycle around and make my relationships and life better. Selling a book won't make me happy, having the best marriage in the world won't make me happy, having the best kids in the won't make me happy. All those things are fleeting. Yes, I want those things and I hope I'm working hard at those things - but my hope is in things that are unseen. My joy is in my Savior.
"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God." Psalm 42:1
Our church was blessed yesterday with the presence of four people from Central Christian College of the Bible (Moberly, MO). The students there can get degrees in many areas, but many of them will become missionaries. Am I doing enough for the mission field? Am I bold enough in my faith? Does my writing lift up the Lord? Perhaps my discontent for the last week is the Lord's way of having me reevaluate my priorities - or to focus more sharply on my goals.
As a writer, I hope I'm communicating effectively. I'm not at all saying the people and "things" in my life aren't important. I'm not saying I want to be so heavenly minded that I'll be no earthly good. I want there to be balance. I will take the joy with the pain. I will take the laughter with the sorrow. I will take the triumphs and the tragedies.
I am reading the book of Job this week. Here is a passage from Job 5:17 where Eliphaz is talking to Job: "Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty."
Psalm 51:10 says: "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."