Pandemic Discontent

We already are a people that expect change to happen fast, problems to be solved and pain to dissolve.

But in light of the pandemic, we’ve had to slow w-a-y down! We’ve been forced to stay at home for our own well-being and that of others. And perhaps we started eating out of boredom. Binge-watched reality TV, or on the other side of the spectrum, began cleaning and sorting and packing to give away belongings.

But through it all, where was our faith? I found mine slipping away silently from lack of church services and activities. Coffee visits with friends I had relied on for my mental health were now gone “just like that.” Sitting became the new cigarette and (over)eating became the new weight gain.

Discontent is the tool of the devil. He uses it to distract our perspective and attitude. It took a few weeks for me to discover just how deep into discontent I had become. What does the Bible say about this kind of thinking/living?

Philippians 4:11-13
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Quotes about Faith and perseverance (71 quotes)

May you:

Change your attitude and perspective.

Appreciate where you are, what you have.

Find good in all.

Live in the moment.

Pray for others.

Believe that you can.

Take some kind of positive action.

Pieces of Serenity

Yesterday it was cold, cloudy and rainy.  Today, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the clouds are few, the birds are chirping.  It’s a perfect Spring day.

We find pieces of serenity in many places.  A beautiful garden, a beach with gentle waves, hiking in the mountains, sitting outside with a cup of tea and a good book, walking the dog, the list is endless.  Where are you when a cool breeze finds you?

In my mind (guided imagery) I have a beautiful small cabin, surrounded with large pine trees, a lake nearby with picnic table.  My dad visits me here, and we talk for hours about everything.  I used to always have a cat (before I had a dog in real life), and now I have a dog that follows me around, and lays at my feet.  I built this place years ago, as a place to go in my mind when the world was too much to deal with.  Last year, while battling cancer, I was there a lot.  It’s peaceful, calm and I have no visitors except the elements (rain on the tin roof, a cool breeze on a hot summer day, snow in the winter with snowshoes propped up against the back door).

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When I want serenity in real life; I often find myself at a country cemetery.  I must be a glutton for open air and genuine quiet.  I find myself under a pine tree, when the wind blows just right, I can hear the whisper of God.  I find it incredibly cathartic.

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Experience serenity with Mother Earth.

Pieces of Substance

What you need to survive is basic.  Food, water and air.  Some might say that you need some form of solace.  Whatever that means to you, and however you find it – it is necessary to live.  A place; whether real or imagined, a book or story-telling, a god or The God, words, songs, scripture – something that aligns with your world-belief.  What would that be?  What sustains you?  Brings you peace of heart?

For me, it is simply; God’s grace.  He forgives me and never brings it up again.  He loves me no matter how far I turn away from Him.  He is the light in my darkness, the laughter in my grandchildren, the joy in my heart and the peace in my heartache.

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Forgiveness

Much is written and talked about regarding “forgiveness.”  It’s a difficult concept for the human being to comprehend, all situations that need forgiveness are difficult.  It’s AS hard to forgive, as it is to be forgiven.

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My Christian walk had been littered with plenty of unforgiveness, until through bible study and my own personal devotion, did I realize what I was saying to God.  “I’m expecting/asking/hoping you will forgive me for everything I do wrong on a daily basis, because Your Son gave His life for mine, but I’m unwilling to forgive “A, B and C” because they don’t deserve my forgiveness.  What they’ve done is WAY worse than you can imagine.”  OH THE GALL (of me)!

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Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Spiritual Direction

My husband has been joking with me about a country song titled:  “I could write a book about what I don’t know.”  He thinks his book would be blank!

I am continuing/beginning/carrying on down my spiritual path.  I’ve decided that I will seek “spiritual direction.”  This is not a formal or expensive endeavor, generally a clergy person of any and all religions, including pagan or atheisim will advise, poke, prod, explore, ask questions about where/when/how/why you are considering this particular path.

Who advises you deeper than your relationship with God, when you receive a calling?  Curious of any comments.

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Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

Lazy Pieces

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This is a touchy subject for people of all faiths.  Getting complacent, lazy and expectant can lead to disappointment and further laziness.

I’m very guilty of this. 

I realized today, I hadn’t written in this blog since Christmas!!  Why had I decided it was no longer important?  Laziness.

I forget to pray.  In the morning with my coffee, or when I hit the pillow at night.  FORGET?  How about lazy?

I talk to God in a hurry, no longer like He is the best friend I have in this world.

How can we become/or get back to — healthy Christian living?

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I learned an important lesson last year, a Godly woman shared with me her thoughts – and wow, they were right on!  I explained the trouble I had “managing” God in my life.  That in my “life pie” there were too many pieces, and God was one of them.

She simply said:  “GOD IS THE ENTIRE PIE, NOT A PIECE.”  What?  Of course, that makes perfect sense!  I had been treating God as if He were a sliver in my life, with all the other “important” pieces (family, work, health, money, etc.).  What a realization!  God is the pie, God is the pie!  I kept turning this over in my mind.  How foolish I had been for so many years.

I was so good after learning this fact.  I prayed daily, twice even!  I regularly attended church and other community activities, I soaked up God’s Word like I had never read before, I bought & read inspirational books, I talked about my faith….etc.  And then, reality set in.  This is the part I want you to really embrace.  WE ARE NOT FAILURES, we are just lazy at times. 

Life gets in the way, oh yes it does.  But the moment we realize how far we have strayed from that “good feeling”..the faster we need to correct and get back to what we can manage.  Maybe not twice daily prayers, but for sure time in the Word.  Coffee with a like-minded believer to share how the busyness of life does get in the way.  Give yourself a break.  God is always there, it is us – who have not made the time.