Last week I found myself sitting in my own little ash pile. Blue-deviled is an apt way to describe it. Let me tell you, it’s not only ten-year-olds who get the blues. But there I was! In the middle of a month of celebrating answered prayers, and people I love, I was in a battle of the blues.
I can’t bake my way out of the battle. I can’t drink enough cups of coffee to energize my way out of the battle. I can’t make my house sparkle enough to win the battle. I can’t write a good enough post to overcome the battle. I can’t even hug those sweet little grands enough to feel like I’m winning the battle. I get that way some times. . . and the only way out of that ash pile is to press in to God – to the Father who loves me more than I know how to love. He’s the only one who can win this battle for me.
So I went to my Dad – the one who created the world, created me and knows why I am the way I am. I prayed, spent time with Him. I listened, waited, and trusted. Still, I’d pull myself out of the ashes only to fall back in with a glimmer of a blue-devil thought. I was in a tug of war – only, really, I was the one in charge of the rope pulling. Choices. Choices on what I’d ponder on.
He’s been working with me a long time on this listening and waiting. I’m a slow, stubborn learning, but I am learning.
My mind turned to C.S.Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy where Aslan is impressing upon the boy and later the girl to not so worry about another’s story that they forget their own: “‘Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.”’
This quote has taught me the grace to be hands off and hands up as my boys have walked into their independence. Last week, God used this quote to tell me to stop staring after the prayers sent out, to move on with writing my story – and He gave me something else. Something that changed the filter of how my heart saw. . .and how my eyes saw . . . . He gave me these words: “What are you and I going to do today?”
The ash pile evaporated. The blue devils disappeared. I felt a joy surge in my heart. The colors surrounding me turned vibrant.
When the blue devils threaten to return, I turn my thoughts away, and ask, “What are you and I going to do next, Dad?”
When I wake up, I ask, “What are you and I going to do today, God?”
Yes! What are you and I doing today God? Because even in the waste places, you bring the comfort. You can even turn inhospitability, neglect and abandonment into belonging, remembrace and attentiveness, into thoughtful, open-handed, kind living from the inside into an outside world – even if the outside holds places of neglect and abandonment. Instead of bitterness, stunted growth, fruit, vegetables and flowers that don’t grow into good things, you grow a soul garden that fills, satisfies, reseeds with joy, gladness, Thanksgiving and the sound of a melody that could be with a singing, talking or maybe just a way of living. (taken from Isaiah 51:3). God comforts His children – and He knows they whys of bluedevils torments and how to work out a heart bunched up in a spasm that needs releasing. Our souls know only He can bring relief, healing, a glad melody and lift us out of the ashes.
Oh! Yes! What are you and I doing today Father?
To some, the simplicity of that response is childish. That’s not how someone with an education should respond, should think. Yet, isn’t that how a child who trusts their father responds? With trust that their Father makes everything o.k.? That by just being with them shields them from the dark clouds? The Big Bad Wolf can’t touch them if their Father’s right there! A Father might let them play in a mud pile or an ash pile but they never become the mud pile or the ash pile. He will point out the turtle doves on the electric wires, the bull frogs calling in the pond , the knock of the woodpecker, so they can discover all the hidden blessings right under their noses. When they go to work with their Father, they learn to do good things, important things – so if they go around with my Father, they will love people like He does, treat them like He does, be about His work. The faith of a child in their father is powerful and beautiful. When that Father is God – it is life-changing.
Even if I have to say it 5 or 500 times in a day, “What are you and I doing today, God?”
What are you and God doing today?
Remember Me Monday: #42& Linky
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
***All photos marked with Muddy Photography or © Blue Cotton Memory or used within Blue Cotton Memory blog(s) belong Blue Cotton Memory. Going forward, photos will be marked with Muddy Photography.