"Learn to live above your circumstances . . . trouble and distress are woven into the very fabric of this perishing world . . . MY perspective on your life, enabling you to distinguish between what is important and what is not . . . rest in My Presence, receiving Joy that no one can take away from you." ~ Jesus Calling
THAT is what I READ this morning . . . it is NOT what I was LIVING during the day at work. I was NOT having a good day . . . my attitude was just what is shown above . . . seriously . . . UGH! I was feeling overworked, overwhelmed and underpaid (and all 3 might be true, but STILL!). I was working with the secretary from our Elementary school on State Reporting (a very NOT fun part of my job). The LAST time we had State Reporting due was NOVEMBER . . . so she did MOST of the work (BLESS her heart ♥)! Today, as we worked, she got a phone call. It was her husband. Her father-in-law passed away unexpectedly. Seriously, ugh! I'm not saying that because I take it lightly, it just SERIOUSLY describes my feelings. Please pray for Brian, Debbie, their kids, Brian's mom and the rest of their family during the difficult days ahead. After she left to be with her family, my attitude did NOT improve, I'm sorry to say. I was not even TRYING to "Live above my circumstances . . . I was NOT trying to see HIS perspective . . . I was NOT resting in His presence and I was NOT feeling joyful"! And there you have it - I was having a totally "UGH" kind of day!
I'm not athletic. I've NEVER been athletic. I'm a KLUTZ! I spent Easter one year with a black eye, because my mom told me to go play catch with my brother to help him practice for Little League. I can't catch! I have a swollen foot today, because I dropped my iPad on it last night and I have a bruise on my shoulder because I lost my balance trying to attach the springs on the trampoline tonight . . . get the picture?! HOWEVER, after Christmas a group of us decided to hold one another accountable to doing "some type" of exercise on a regular basis. Not a good "challenge" for a competitive person (I said not athletic, I didn't say anything about competing!)! I took on the challenge and did a "Couch to 5K" running program which I finished up the last week in February. I've been running/walking regularly since December 31. I also like to go tanning (I know, I know, it's not good for me - no lectures, please!!). The place I go tanning is 1.6 miles from home . . . so, if I run there, I can "reward" myself with some time relaxing and tanning, and then I HAVE to get home, so I get 3.2 miles total in.
Today, I did that . . . but . . . on the way home, I felt like I had extra energy - probably that frustration that I bottled up at work?! Anyway, when I got to my road (1.4 miles in), I kept going another 1/2 mile, so by the time I got back to the house, I had put in 2.6 miles (one way) . . . did I mention I can be a little OCD . . . why stop NOW, one more mile and you'll be over 3 miles . . . so, I did! By the time I was done, I had put in 5.2 total miles (1.6 on the way and 3.6 on the way home with a total time of 51 minutes running!).
. . . Anyway, as I ran, I listened to the songs the girls put on my phone for me - mostly CHRISTIAN music with a little bit of "fun" mixed in (Taylor Swift, Owl City ...). "Rest in MY Presence, receiving JOY that no one can take away from you." Well, I wasn't EXACTLY "resting", yet, in a sense I was, it was just me & God out there - with a good bit of time for Him to talk to me. As I turned up our road (about 2.5 miles into that second "leg"), wearing shorts and a t-shirt - on March 13 (we had a snowstorm 15 years ago tonight - we were supposed to be induced with Taya on 3/14, but were sent home - we made it to the hospital in our 4x4 truck, but the Dr. was stuck in his driveway!), the sun still brightly shining after 5:00 in the afternoon, God talking to me . . . I had a thought . . .
Yep, THAT ^ was my thought!
"LIFE IS GOOD"
I wasn't SURE where that thought came from. I was actually a little taken aback that I had even thought it. It made me remember one of Rick's favorite shirts - orange with the little "Life is Good" guy by a tent! But, really? What? No? Life is NOT good. Rick is gone. I'm a single mom. My kids lost their Daddy. Life will NEVER be the same. Life is NOT good.
Or, is it? I had a bad day, but in the midst of it, my friend who is leading the Bible Study I joined sent me a really sweet text. Another friend called asking if we'd be home tonight, she was bringing us supper. My "sister" Donna sent me an e-mail, telling me she's glad we are doing the new Bible Study together. Another friend (who I'd texted "ugh . . . bad day" to) asked if I wanted to talk. When I got home, still another friend called to see how my day was . . . . hhhmmmmm . . .
Seriously . . . Ugh!
was turning into:
Seriously . . . Ugh?
"REST IN MY PRESENCE, RECEIVE JOY THAT NO ONE (or nothing) CAN TAKE FROM YOU!"
Yes, Rick is gone from our earthly lives, but he will always be in our hearts - God blessed us with SO MANY wonderful memories. Yes, I'm a single mom, but I have so many people who have come alongside me to "help" me parent these beautiful girls. I have some AMAZING friends, new ones, old ones, lifetime ones plus an AMAZING family!
Yes, life IS good. Life is DIFFERENT. Far different than I would have ever guessed. Far different than I've ever wanted it to be. Far different than the life I dreamed of. Yet, GOD is writing my story, not me. He has chosen this DIFFERENT life for me. He knows what I wanted and what I dreamed, yet He has not granted those wants and dreams. So I must again CHOOSE to trust that His plan for my life is GOOD. I must again CHOOSE to rest in Him. I must CHOOSE to receive the JOY that only He can offer and that NO ONE can take from me!
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33