Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the Refiner's Fire - God is Good - Always

The lovely chancel at one of the churches my husband has been privileged to lead worship at this summer.

This summer has left me weary.

Very weary.

Why?

I thought this summer would be a summer of rest.
A summer of time to cross t's and dot i's and put "done" on a few things - the things that needed to get done around the house, this darn dissertation, my growing pile of mending, and craft and sewing projects I've started but haven't finished.
A summer to play with the children in the back yard, and go to the library and make things together and have picnics and make faces in the clouds on a lazy afternoon.
A summer to leisurely put together my new class for this fall - to spend time exploring new ideas, and new practices, and carefully and thoughtfully put some things together.

Instead this summer has been one of running.
A summer when to-do lists seem to have gotten longer rather than shorter.
A to do list with lots of things part way done but nothing completely finished.
A pile of edgers sitting in the garage waiting to be installed.
A hide-a-bed sitting in the garage without a place to donate it.
A summer where my children have been at camp almost every day rather than at home with me.
A summer where only half of our summer "bucket list" of things to do with the children got crossed off.
A summer with four trips to the library total rather than one a week as I'd hoped.
A summer where my class is just starting to come together now - a little over two weeks from the start of classes - with very little "extra" added.
A summer where I feel like I'm scrambling to be ready for fall.

A summer where our annual camping trip required a trip back to town every single day - and included immediate car issues, phone calls that absolutely had to be made, and an appointment that absolutely could not be rescheduled.

A summer where our anniversary weekend was interrupted by a mother-in-law who freaks out (long story about a smoke detector that needed a new battery and phone calls to the fire and gas departments and us at 3am!) and a husband who had to attend a special worship service for a class (I could not attend with him).  A weekend that we did not even know if we would be able to take until the day before we left (which is a whole additional story).

I am weary.

And so very ready for rest.

In the midst of my weariness, God remains so very good.

One of my husband's classmates got unexpectedly dumped from the dorm into an apartment and needed furniture and household items - we donated what we had sitting in our garage - the hide-a-bed and some other items.  We have to install the edgers and then I can put my car in the garage again!

My department chair came into my office to tell me that the Dean wants me to attend the next faculty meeting - something that non-tenure faculty members rarely get to do (this was followed by an email from the dean personally!).  I have no idea why but I'm very excited about this.

Every last one of my 15 gladiolas are blooming - and beautiful!  So are my cosmos - which usually don't bloom until frost in my garden for some reason.

Our watermelon plant has 4 watermelon, our butternut squash plant has 7 squash, our acorn squash plant has 3 and our tomatoes are going gangbusters!   Watching my son's excitement over the tomatoes is catchy!

I finalized teaching another 2 Jazzercise classes each week - more income for me and more options for our students. Love that I get paid to exercise and that I can help other people toward better health too.

At worship on Sunday we got to see some folks that we hadn't seen for a very long time - they moved from town a few years ago and were back to visit - and they were absolutely delighted to be able to hear my husband preach.

A person my husband and I did not know came up to my husband after church on Sunday and thanked him for a terrific sermon.

A friend of ours who suffered 2nd degree burns on a large portion of her body was able to attend worship this weekend and is healing very, very well.

And something that actually made me cry - an older, retired friend of ours paid $400 toward my husband's seminary tuition without telling us.  We found out when we went to pay my husband's bill from summer so he could register for fall.  This friend of ours has been very ill lately and just being up and about has been difficulty for him.  We were absolutely blessed and so very shocked by all this.

Sometimes we all just need reminders that God is good.
That He wants the very best for us.
That all things will work out for the good of those who love Him.
Even if we can't see it right now.
Even when we're so very weary we have a hard time putting one foot in front of the other.

Even though I am weary, I am resting in His goodness and letting that goodness get me through the days, rather than my own strength.

There is no way I could do it on my own!

Soli Deo Gloria.
Always.

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Lea