Out my Window: Northern mid-Spring… dreary, starting to warm up today, buds swelling
Enjoying: reading, finding creative ways to connect with friends and family, found a new online “magazine” that I am thoroughly enjoying https://thecultivatingproject.com/
Listening to/Watching: Still watching Sarah Clarkson’s nightly video. Unfortunately for me she is taking a break. I may go back to her earlier ones. It has been such a soothing, encouraging experience. Holy Post Podcast and John Branyan’s Podcast are on while folding laundry or doing dishes. I finished Listening to my Audible book On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts by James K. A. Smith. There is so much in it that I think I will need to read a hard copy. The audio was challenging to listen to, but I would recommend the actual book, so much to think about and much encouragement. Not sure what my next audible book will be. We watched the Thor:Ragnarok, it was good for a snowy stay at home forever feeling kind of day. Definitely off the rail of the usual Avenger style movie, but entertaining. Monk and Seinfeld have provided much needed distraction for us in the evenings.
Reading: Re-read The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis. It was just what I needed. I enjoyed it much more this time. One of my favorite lines from it: “Child,’ said the Lion, ‘I am telling you your story, not hers. No one is told any story but their own.” One of those life lessons to remember as I walk with other people through their stories. I reserved a few fiction books from the online library system. Ironically the first one to come was Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan. It is a simple read which is good for now. I do not know a whole lot of C.S. Lewis’ relationship with Joy Gresham, so I do wish I had read a biography before I jumped into a historical fiction novel on their relationship, but the easy read works for now. I needed a hard copy of a book to read too since this is on my Kindle so I picked up Uncommon Ground: Living Faithfully in a World of Difference compiled by Timothy Keller and John Inazu. I am so glad I did. It is the compassion and thoughtfulness I needed to help me engage with people better, or not engage at times. I am looking forward to reading the many interesting voices included in this read.
By my bed: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund. Ortlund is doing a beautiful, solid job of painting a deeper picture of Jesus in all his humanity and deity.
Rambling Thoughts: I was doing so good until I wasn’t. This ebb and flow of feelings, energy, focus, and more is so new. My life in all reality is not terribly different than it was pre-covid. I am home a lot, I try to serve when I can, I love to read, and there are things to be done but it feels so different right now. This week I was struck by a quote that continues to come back to me over and over
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
That last part “the Shadow was only a small passing thing: there was light nd high beauty for ever beyond its reach…” All that is good and lovely and true is not at the mercy of this whole situation. It is actually accented and brightened by this whole season. Beauty calls to me, but even more so in this season. I am intentionally seeking it out and looking for it, but this week I lost perspective. I forgot to look up. I took my eyes off the Author and Creator of all beauty and started focusing on the flowers not blooming because it was cold and snowy. The weather has had too much power over my moods and motivations. On Friday I linked up with Five Minute Fridays and the word was perspective https://inkblotlife.com/2020/04/24/perspective-fmf-link-up/) Having to spend five minutes pondering and writing about perspective reminded me that I lost mine. Perspective needs to be based on a fixed object, or the perspective is inaccurate. My perspective on all this needs to be in reference to God and His story and His character not on all that is going on. It is so easy to allow the weather, the lack of activity, the restrictions, and current sadness to be my reference point. Because these things change often it is unsettling, but when my focus is on God and allowing Him to order my heart, mind, and schedule, it encourages me to dream of ways to serve, to bless, to live. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 Abundant, full life even in this season of life is available. I have been challenged and encouraged by the Apostle Paul during this whole season who writes from his own lock down on his way to, most likely, his death to “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice.” The same man writes how he has learned to be content in all circumstances. It is easy to forget that all those circumstances were not all roses. His life involved far worse circumstances than I will most likely be asked to endure. Either way my perspective needs to start with God as my focal point so I can rightly see and walk through this season that God has ordered my days to be part of. I want to be a faithful steward to what God has given me to do in this season. I am choosing defiant joy and asking God to grow my vision.
Home Life: basics/baking… did nothing on the project list. Snow definitely put a damper on my energy, but I did put twinkle lights back up.
Fitness and Mental Health: PT exercises for my knee/IT band and Pilates. Walking a bit outside. Mental Health taking pictures of sign of life and sharing thoughts on Instagram. Feel free to join me there inkblotlife.com_peggy or just add your own #signsoflife. Putting on the twinkle lights and popping popcorn, lighting candles, and cutting flowers all keep me grounded in what is good beautiful, good, and true. Spending time in Narnia was also refreshing to my mind and soul.
Giving Thanks: my home, provisions, twinkle lights, playing games with friends online, Bible Study online, finding new inspirational readings, enjoying story, books, laughter, opportunities to serve again