The Sunday before Father's Day, our minister Truman, preached on the mountains and valleys of our life. He used Psalms 23 as the scripture.
I put Truman's sermons in powerpoint. I read the sermon and thought it was a good sermon. I ran video that day so I skimmed it again as we were practicing. When Truman preached it, he did a wonderful job and really made me think. Our family was about halfway up the mountain, We were comfortable. Life could improve, we could be doing better. It wasn't until later that afternoon the sermon really hit home and because of circumstances we were sent on the fast track down into that deep, dark valley!
Remember rolling down hills as kids? It was a lot of fun! This time rolling down that mountain was not fun at all. The valley is a scaring place! The valley causes doubts, arguments, darkness, all of the negative adjectives you can think.
I've been in the valley, several times! I really did not want to be there again! This valley could have been avoided, but still we were there.
I had plenty to whine about and for good reason. But I had been through worse. I'd like to think I was learning trust and faith. I kind of think I failed most days in that department.
Maybe God felt one or more of us needed some refining. Maybe we needed to see sitting on the side of the mountain was not good enough or that it was a short, quick fall to the valley. Maybe we needed to be reminded that there are blessings while in the valley or that probably while we are in the valley is the time we should be praising God the most!
We are coming out of the valley and at the foot of the mountain again. Of course that climb up is one step forward and two steps back!
Some blessings I found while deep in the valley:
1. The bond between Lacey and myself. We went for a ride to try to breathe and find fresh air. We ended up in Bentonville Arkansas doing stuff we wouldn't normally do and actually having fun doing it.
2. My parents are the best. I already knew this but it was nice to be reminded.
3. I found things in my life that needs work.
4. My leg is healing. The infection is gone. The pain is getting better.
5. Lacey has a good head on her shoulders. She has watched and learned. She's had several curve balls and she has hit them out of the park. She has survived and continued to grow and get stronger! She has good friends. She is doing her best in school because she wants to make a difference. She's chosen this cute guy named Austin to be her boyfriend and we adore him. They are really good for each other!
6. Something as simple as getting away and going to a farmer's market can help put a relationship back on track!
Have you ever had a casual conversation, someone venting to you, or a simple memory come up that started as a spark of anger and spread like wildfire? To the point you are wanting to explode?
Earlier this evening this happened to me! I was cleaning out the bottom of our pantry. This is a source of tension anyway because Zane does not like putting the plastic bowls that you put leftovers in back together so they easily stack. I was getting testy.
I then received a phone call from someone wanting to vent. What was done to this person made me mad, but it also sparked within past hurt and anger. That spark slowly burned throughout my body. Well it only felt that way, in reality the anger spread like wildfire and on into an inferno!
I've been sitting here thinking and stewing on this for almost 3 hours! I've tried talking myself out of the fire. It's not really helping. Memories that I thought I had squashed are very much alive! It makes me really sad and my heart hurts! I want to yell and rant and scream and cry and yes hitting something sounds pleasant!
Two significant thoughts have crossed my mind in the last half hour:
1. Why am I wrestling with this? Why haven't I turned this over to God? Why am I continuing my misery?
2. Wouldn't it be nice if JOY spread as quickly? It seems as if joy does spread quickly but it is short lived. Do we sit around and "stew" in joys in our life? I would much rather be filled with joy than anger.
Now that Lacey is off at college, I find myself with way too much time to think. For me, thinking leads to worrying and worrying leads to worst case scenario. So I thought maybe blogging and putting some of my thoughts down might help myself. You never know, at some point I might come up with a clever thought or idea in the process!