IMG_1600 “Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”

Psalms 16:5~6 NIV

I sat in my chair, coffee in hand. Books and Bible, pen and journal splayed across my lap. Rain softly patters out a gentle tune. Fog, thick as pea soup, surrounds me. Windows open. A light current of damp and dewy earth floats gently in.

I love it in this place where bare feet and soul cling to holy ground. A place where I am not near worthy to be. The place where abundant grace and mercy beckon to me. Where forgiveness, undeserving, washes over me.

From bed to floor to coffee pot; unholy, hateful thoughts have already creeped into the cracks of my fragile faith. My stubborn and selfish heart.

“…and we take captive every thought to make it  obedient  to Christ.” 

2 Corinthians 10:5b 

So I try. Try to take captive every thought.

I wouldn’t know how to be, if I ever I failed to make it to this place.

A mess. In fact, my history has proven that.

 I can’t stay here all day. I want to. I want to stay here; wrapped in a cocoon of Light and warmth and security.

But Jesus beckons me to leave this place. Calls me to put feet to my faith.

Not much time passes; life and chaos press in and I find that I have misplaced every good thing I found in that holy place.

In Emily P. Freeman’s book Simply Tuesday: Small~Moment Living in a Fast~Moving World, Freeman tells a story of how first one bench and then a second found its way into her cul-de-sac.

You can hear Emily read the first chapter of Simply Tuesday here~

As she goes on to share more of her story; she poses the question, “where is the bench in this moment?”

Where is the bench when the hard presses in and the chaos of life overtake my mind? The ugly in me spews out, spilling over to those I love? The ones that make loving so hard?

Here in this vast space we call home; lines have been drawn, stakes set in the ground, boundaries set, and change will soon take place. A fence will go up.

At first I was smothered by the thought of boundaries and fence. As I read more of Simply Tuesday, I could easily envision a fence. Where there was once open space, I pictured a bench. A bench surrounded by my favorite flowers. A place to sit. A place to reset.

When I begin to unravel throughout my day; in the dark part of my soul, I ask the question Emily posed, “Where is the bench in this moment?”

In that moment I ponder the answer. I can smell the flowers, that I hope will be. I close my eyes. Exhale all the ugly of me. Inhale the essence of Him.

“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.” John 3:30 NLT

A reset.

These past days;  when the crumbs pile atop the countertops and fingerprints decorate the stainless steel refrigerator. What was I thinking when my OCD self chose stainless steel appliances anyway?

The dryer buzzes just as I have set down to my plate and the dog barks for a treat.

Fatigue and chronic pain chisel away at my strength.

I ask myself, “where is the bench in this moment?”  

I am wowed how such a small and ordinary thing can change me through the course of my day. Soften my edges. Transform the harsh and ugly into a gentler me.

Where the boundaries once robbed me of breath, I am anticipating a beautiful bench tucked into the corner of our fence, surrounded by flowers. A place to reset. A reminder to ask myself, “Where is the bench in this moment?”

Graced by God

Tammy Mashburn