When we need to clear our mind, and break the unhealthy circle of thoughts we are entertaining, we often find that going outdoors is almost like magic. Have you ever noticed that? The fresh air, the warmth of the sun, the sight of a bird soaring overhead, or the sounds of children laughing and playing nearby; all of the life around us, tend to give us a new sense of life inside of ourselves. We may feel rejuvenated, more positive, hopeful, and stronger. For awhile, anyway.
There are many tools in life, that are like power tools, for me. Although they do not have electrical cords, or build physical objects, they build a sense of joy for me. For awhile. Power tools, such as listening and singing along to awesome music, reading well written books, having a loaded paintbrush in hand, sinking into great fits of laughter with my children, accepting a long hug from my husband, and being truly present at church on a Sunday morning. These power tools, they have the ability to change my mood from blue to happy. My tone from sharp, to loving. My expectations from discouraged, to hopeful. Power tools. We all need a tool box to keep them in, and remember to open it and retrieve them for use often, to find more moments of enjoyment in our day to day life. I try to just leave mine lying around out in the open, because when I need them, I need them fast! And because seeing them remind me, I have moments of indulgence, to look forward to.
I know where. GOD. He is the source of all we really need. Jesus’ Word, is our map, a light for our path, and our complete answer book. His Word, His love and ever-presence…the Truth,….it’s the Daddy-Mack tool box, of all tool boxes, filled with more than just quick daily mood fixes. But a whole wardrobe to redress our souls, and arm us with all we ever need, as we face the challenges of our earthly daily lives. To heal, repair and renew those things nothing in our tool box, can really fix. What’s more, if we can listen to His Word, and study it enough, ponder it long enough, we have the hope and promise of eternal life with Him. Where comfort, hope, joy, understanding, and love, are no longer needs or desires, but all we have. All pure goodness. Can you imagine?
Anyone who knows my family in real life, know that we have a strong faith in God. We pray alone, we pray together, we give thanks to Him, for our obvious blessings. Always. We do our best to live a life, that reflects our love for Him, to Him. Not for anyone else. I am aware, of the peace He brings, deep within. I know of His mighty works, for we have seen it many times, first hand. We hold fast to His promises, because we believe in them. We have felt the indescribable, pure peace and joy of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I personally revel in that. It’s a high like no other.
But it is also true, that those who know me in real life, know that I am a lot more rough around the edges, than you would ever gather reading our blog. It’s not at all that I have ever been fake, by any means. As if trying to make others believe I am someone I am not, through this blog. But I have….held back. Too careful, not to offend anyone. Too selfish, not wanting to minimize our reading audience. Too protected, with the walls I build, to not let anyone too close. Too sure, no one needs to read about others small battles or challenges in life. Especially when we are clearly so blessed, with the things that are most valuable in life. We know we are blessed, and we are thankful to God for it all. And blessings…..joys……those are the things I have always wanted to focus on most.
But I don’t always. We have our problems and struggles, too. I have my days, where my attitude sucks, despite all I have that is good and joyful. When I resent someone enough, that I don’t want to think about them, much less pray for them. When I don’t feel well, and I lack patience and energy, and have a sharp and sarcastic tongue with my children, and then wallow because I feel bad for messing up. I can be a bad example, and I can put walls up between myself and anyone I want to. And oh how I want to all too often! (I am SO good with wall-building. Like, a professional.) Because people can really bug the hell out of me, quite frankly. Because sometimes, it’s just easier. I can be too busy. Too distracted. Too selfish. Too lost in the shadows, and too far from the Light. On those days, I feel small, and weak, and tired. Eventually, when I finally find my humble-state and strength, just as I teach my children, I must apologize to those I may have hurt or offended, and promise to try harder, and do better.
All the while, I know better in the first place. All the while, even on our best and most joyful days, that really are the majority, I expect more of me. I fall short of my own high standards on many levels, and more importantly, I know God expects more of me as well. While I know our tools are on one hand meant as the simple joys God has given us, that they seem to be, I also know there is a greater meaning to it all. Our day to day activities. The things we love to do. The reason we do anything at all. What does it all mean? What is the greater purpose? What are we to learn from it all? I know I don’t know, nearly all there is to know. But I do know I hear Him calling me closer, and I want to go. I know His love for me, for us all, is immeasurable. I want to grow, more, in Him. I want to love, like that. I want His Light to fill every shadow that is to come our way, and know how to find Him, and His abundant gifts of peace, love, joy, grace, and knowing. I want to have a deeper and clearer understanding of His Word, Jesus’ teachings, the Scripture, and what they mean for me, for my family, for you, for us all. That would be the greatest power tool of all!
That is one of the main purposes, for this fresh new space for our blog, for us, and for you. It is the fresh new space, as a reminder, that we want to daily broaden our direction, to a holier and more complete life. A space that honors God more, as we do in our family life. To focus more on Him, and learn, every day, in every way, all of the time. While we indulge in our power tool box, or while we face the challenges and fears of the dark shadows of our life, it is our journey to turn to Him in all that we do, and allow Him to cast His Light over it all. And to reflect that here, as it comes. To face life, with all of it’s day to day struggles, and all of our stumbling and flaws, and look to Jesus’ messages for perspective and strength. We’d like this blog to be a place to encourage each other, to be more….all that He has created us to be….to try again….to better fulfill our vocations. I know we have places that could use some healing. We will fall down, or lose our way. But we can dust off, and begin again. God is always there, never leaving us. He will always forgive us, again and again, and never stop loving us, with a kind of love we can’t even fathom. We want to listen harder to His message, to strive harder to follow His Word, to accept His grace and forgiveness, and rely on the strength we can only truly gain from Him, and His love.
I think I’ll be shining all the more authentically around here, because I need to. God willing, you will see me grow, too. Because at 40-something, I am going through a growth spurt! It’s painful at times, but it’s all-so-good. Life is good. God is infinitely good. It’s a new and brighter journey, for us all, if we let Him shine in the shadows that life casts upon us all, too. We hope you feel encouraged to do the same. And we encourage you to keep your own tool boxes open and accessible at all times! Because there is always something that comes along in life, that could use a little just fixing.
– Laura (and family)
* * * * * *
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)
You’re absolutely right, and I have the whole Pinehills to enjoy on a non-rainy day
Thanks Josh. : )
Me too, me too!!! It is as if you were writing my thoughts. Thank you for listening to God and reflecting him to me this morning…
Oh Lisa, your comment is so encouraging to me. Thank you! Writing like this, is new ground for me. But I’m liking this ground, and connecting like this, with people like YOU – and everyone.
I see you are from Vermont!! I love Vermont! I am always looking to simplify our life, and most in Vermont seem to be really good at that! Thanks for stopping by, and saying “Hi”, in your own special way. : )
Wonderful post! Beautiful and well written. I’m excited to see you come out of your shell more, for HIS glory! Thanks for shining so brightly 🙂
(((Thank you, Michelle!))). I’m working on being a better writer, AND coming out of my shell more for His glory. So your words mean a lot, my friend!
Beautiful words Laura. I’m so happy to see you stepping out and into writing about Him more. He is the reason we are. Keep at it my friend!!
((Thank you, Lori!!)) “He is the reason we are.” Love that!
You have no idea how much I needed to read this today, to know that others feel the same way I do, that I am not alone. Sometimes I wish that I had a switch inside me that could be turned on so that I would be a better person, a better mom, a better Catholic. There are days, weeks, even MONTHS, where it is too. hard. to do anything other than say the Rosary in the morning. I’ve been dealing with this for quite some time now. I’m so happy the focus of your blog is growing up!!
I’m glad this spoke to you, Paula. I think we all wish we had that switch! I’d just leave in ON, 24/7!! But I find I am actually building one! Maybe improving the electrical connections, by spending more time with my faith, I remember sooner, to turn to it, and so sooner find my strength and peace again, to better handle any disappointments in life that come my way. Praying for you, my friend, and so happy to have you along. : )