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“This day is not ordinary. This day may be one of quiet or chaos, challenge or rest. But no moment is ordinary.”

The Loop~Jennifer Camp

Brush strokes of fluffy white stretch wide across the early morning sky. Thawing snow drips over the eaves with a rhythm all its own.

The Wolf Moon slipped quietly in behind the snow. Fading now, it reflects through the window just beyond my shoulder.

These past days of snow, tucked inside warm and toasty, blanketed in the quiet of it all. A gift. A retreat of sorts.

I surrendered the remote control to my man. We negotiated volume and menus. Shared copious amounts of coffee, cookies, and skinny pop. Dined on cheesy bread. Slept in, basked in our quiet time.

It was lovely.

The thawing came slow, bringing with it all the heavy reality of life.

Alarms and long days. Counting the days. The reality of this season. Hard. A place I feel stuck. The window of good, narrow and fleeting. The guilt of laying quiet, heavy. Confining.

But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God, may be glorified through it.” John 11:4 ESV

Does leaning in to the quiet, the rest, bring him glory? It doesn’t fit right. Makes me seem inadequate, not enough, some how. Weak.

“A shadow disguised as a woman…

In the midst of grief, there is no such thing as strong women of God. There is only brokenness, desperate need, and little girls in Daddy’s lap. We are not called to be strong women. Oh how that sentence makes me bristle. I want to be strong, independent, and capable. This broken, desperate need for Christ offends my mask.” Grace for the Good Girl~Emily P. Freeman

“For when I am weak, then I am strong,” 2 Corinthians 12:10 says.

This moment, this season, anything but ordinary. Days it lays me out flat as a steamroller. The face in the mirror, drawn and weary. There is not enough spackle to cover the brunt of it.

Here in the drawn and weary, the broken, this desperate season, is where I find the extraordinary God. The opening of hands to let go, making room to be filled.

Ordinary words, they come to life, leap off the page, speak to my soul…

~…your strength will be renewed each day like the morning dew. Psalms 110:3b

~He who keeps you will not slumber. Psalms 110:4a

~The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand…The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forever more. Psalms 121:5&8

~…as your days so shall your strength be. Deuteronomy 33:25

“We are watched, protected, restored, renewed under the Creator, spinning the stars.” Tsh Oxenreider

My weakness is the thing that draws me closer to The Creator. An empty place in which he can sow. Rest, to nurture the seed. Space to grow. To learn. To yield. Surrender in the hard.

When we moved here two years ago, I began to call it our wilderness place. Not realizing there would be more to my story. More thorns.

We came here in a season filled with thorns and the newness of chronic illness. Unchartered terrain to be learned and navigated.

Sometimes. Sometimes it is best not to know the whole story. To not peek ahead at the next chapter. Though I would like turn the pages forward, just a bit.

But walk, day by day, where streams of Living Water run through your wilderness.

To realize in the breaking there is life. Not just any ole life, but life abundant.

The Lord has made everything for his own purposes…

Proverbs 16:4a~NLT

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, his kindness endures forever…” Psalm 107:1

Give thanks. In the storm. The earthquakes. The fires. The hard. The wilderness. Giving thanks, the glorifying.

A good and wise friend, one who has walked through his own wilderness, gave me sound advice a few days ago. “To not count the days, to walk in the present. Rather than to look at the long of it, focus on today.”  

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Mathew 6:35~The MSG

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn

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