Withering Cherry Trees!

 

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Sometimes I look around and become, well, unhappy.  Dissatisfied.  Discontented.  Ungrateful.

Do you ever do this?

I see the laundry still hanging out long after its dry.  I see the messy rooms just begging for me to put some order back to them.  I look at my vehicle.  It’s not the newest or shiniest—it has driven my family a lot of miles.  It has some scuffs and little scratches and even a dent someone put in it and didn’t bother to leave a note.  I have some drawers that are sticking and not closing right.  And, gosh, the to do list.  It could use some whittling down.  Due to all of those many miles I taxi, and my own responsibilities, I can’t seem to figure out how to cook healthful meals as much as I want.  And let’s not mention, a few pounds may have been added.  I have a pile, or maybe a couple, that house several “to handle later” items.  I hate those.

You get the picture.  Life.  It is going mighty fast. Some days stuff just falls through the cracks.  Maybe it’s just us.  But, I’m not thinking so.  My husband has a favorite saying.  I have to admit, it can drive me crazy.  God love the man.  He’s right.  We don’t always want to hear it.  But, he’s right.

Here it is.  “You are going to have to reframe.” 

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God bless this man of mine.  Yes, sometimes, I think if I have to hear that again, I may fall over dead. Right there, right then.  One time I told him I already knew that.  I knew all of his tips and tricks, but I just needed a good cry. Dr. Husband let me have that good cry.  All of that minutia and wounded-ness from self-criticism had taken its toll.  I had hit the tipping point and had NO interest in reframing ANYTHING!! (It may not have been said in an inside voice.)

Well, he’s right.  In life, we are faced with stuff.  The detritus of this crazy life.  In the natural life, too much stuff, too many cracks for things to fall through, it all piles up.  In the emotional life, we are faced with the constant refrain of “not good enough.”  And it all seems to add up to “NEVER good enough.”

I have a passage of Scripture that I love.  I think you will, too.  Habakkuk 3:17-19:

Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted.  Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty.  I’m singing joyful praise to God.  I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.  Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength.  I run like a deer.  I feel like I’m king of the mountain!

I know this passage is talking about seasons of life when provision is low and they are depending on God to save the day.  But, it sure seems to fit life when things are not as we would like them and we just desperately need His help to reframe.

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So, look at the line where the focus changes.

It says, “I’m singing joyful praise to God.  I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God.“  And from there to the end of the passage, the writer has done some major reframing.  Dr. Husband is right.  Imagine that!  It’s true, you know.

Reframing is the key to taking the ugly and untidy, worn and used and shining them up to beauty. 

I can look at any given situation—whether it’s the ginormous mess or the task overlooked, again and again or the critics who are unkind and careless—and look at it in ugly, harsh tones.  Or, I can do some editing and enhancing, shifting the shading, perhaps zoom in or zoom out.  It’s my choice.  I can put the frame around it in a new and pardigm-shifting perspective.

We can look at the mess OR we can look at the blessing that caused the mess.

Our choice.

I’m choosing to look at the blessing that caused the inconvenience or mess or extra work or busy-ness.  It’s amazing how my heart takes strength and God gives me just what I need to keep going.  Many people don’t have the blessings I do and would appreciate a little inconvenience.  I’m afraid the things I complain about, someone else may be praying for.  Reframe.

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We are going into the beautiful holiday season.  My very favorites of the year!  Many are clued into the “30 days of Thanksgiving”.  I’m all for it.  It’s important.  But, honestly, gratitude and joy are the gifts of reframing any time of the year.  God has these beautiful gifts waiting for us and we bypass them every time we choose the lifeless, flat perspective of not reframing.

I’ll repeat Dr. Husband, “You are going to have to reframe.”

Ugly shifts.  Hard softens.  And gratitude and joy slip in and sidle up next to you.

It really is all in the reframing.

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Time Out!

A couple of weeks ago I went out of town on a Momma’s Getaway.  Much needed, may I add.  As my friend and I were driving around Richmond…and after many wrong turns…we were finally headed in the right direction!  And we were praising Jesus!

We were in the historic Museum District working our way to the art museum.  I was marveling at how beautiful it must be in the fall.  Historic brownstones lined the wide street with incredible, mature trees lined up, gracing the front yards and the median down the middle of the road.  In a different life, I think I like the idea of living in some place such as this.  I bet full-on spring is amazing.

As we were driving and talking, my friend pointed out the median.  There it was.  It stretched the length of this major street.  Busy traffic was coming and going.  She remarked at how nice it was to have that beautiful greenspace on this busy road.  It sure made all the difference.  I imagine this area of town is premium….it showed.  Hmmmm….how our lives really need a median!

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Make this jump with me.  Our lives need, no, must have, a median.  That calming, relaxing beautiful space and time we carve out for ourselves.  The time we take to renew our minds and bodies.

As we were finding our way down this gorgeous stretch of Richmond, we realized the small lesson we were learning.

Everyone needs a median.

We all need some space and time that separates all the coming and going to recharge and regain sanity.  We need the time to slow down the hurry and frenzy.  We noticed that even in our getaway, we were hurrying to do everything we wanted in the short window.  Go figure!

I can hear those who are closest to me laughing.  They just might be thinking I have officially lost it.  Resting is not my favorite past time.  My husband teases me, asking if I am going to “read”.  That’s the code word for sneaking into a nap.  It’s no secret, my aversion to naps.  He tells me to read when I am frazzled and exhausted.  Sometimes I  comply.  Just sometimes….but not without a fight.

You know the struggle. 

Sure, I could take a nap or sit down and chill.  But, that just means that much and more will be left to get done.  I can’t relax due to the self-nagging guilt for not continuing to get things done.  I always figure I haven’t done enough to justify resting.  I have a tally running in this goofy brain of mine.  If I don’t feel like I have done enough then I don’t get to rest.  I am always running from one thing to the next…..and feel guilty if I don’t.

You understand.  This life.  This one short, beautiful life. 

This life often has us running—fast.  If one event is good then 2 is probably  better.  The pressure!  We want our kids to be prepared for life and follow their passions.  There are the all-too-familiar tasks that just have to be done.  No way around that.  We are called to serve.  Well, that means coming and going.  Maybe WE have passions we want to follow….what if?  If I don’t jump on this opportunity, right now, it will never come my way again.  My new-ish neighbor greeted me yesterday in the grass in-between.  “You’re never home.”  Well….I am….sometimes.  Such a friendly lady with very friendly dogs.  I need to make time to get to know her.  Time.

So. Much. Pressure.

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We are all called. 

To what?  That is the question you must ask.  Periodically take a systems check and make sure the commitments you have made are the best ones for your season of life.  Here are some wise words,

“We can do everything, but we can’t.”

Take a moment and think on that. We have to be wise.

That median.  It really is a must.

You can make it as beautiful as you want.  Take care of it.  Make it what you need it to be.  Medians break up the chaos and crazy-busy.  It gives you a place to take a time out and catch your breath.  Each person’s median is going to feel and look different.  But, whatever you do, fill it with your beauty.  Go ahead. Give yourself permission.

To be truly spectacular in all you are called to do….you have to find the center.

The center of who you are. 

The center of your purpose.

The center of it all….your Giver of life.

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Life won’t unravel.  I promise.  And, you won’t find yourself unraveled either.  Go ahead, try it!  I dare you!

I would love to hear about your median.  What does it look like and how often do you visit it?  Or, maybe, you need to create one for yourself.  Please share in the comments below and be an inspiration to others!