This is the last Spiritual First Thursday of 2018. Please check out more of our One Little Word posts at Irene Latham's blog, Live Your Poem, www.irenelatham.blogspot.com.
This year's OLW for me is "Flourish". I'd found it on a Starbuck's ornament and bought it to remind myself to go through the year and each day adding a bit of a flourish to it...or perhaps just to flourish in the new year.
Well, it seemed to be a good word. But then the year began to have some major upheavals. Family started to fall apart. One at a time. Then the times overlapped. On-going events just continued to build and piggy-back one upon the other - events life-threatening, near death, unsettling, unnerving, disappointing, ulcer-inducing, nervous breakdown fodder...
One in a year would have been enough to be wrenching. Two in a year really wretched...5 or so (only because I'm counting fast and might be actually - yay!- forgetting one or two) just unacceptable for a human being to be coping with.
In spite of the turmoil, I've tried to add a touch of "flourish" to my days - to show that I'm still okay, and to show that I am trying despite all, to "flourish" in the muck and mire. I've tried to think "Let's change that mire to manure and see what grows"... like that...
Let's shovel some muck and find that pony!
My husband would tell you that there honestly were days when I grumbled and crumbled, and I wasn't holding up my end of my faith bargain. I was trying to hand my worries off to God, but then taking them back again in the middle of the night, like that was helpful...
I was weak from crying out. I was tired from lack of sleep. I was sick from lack of peace.
But regardless of my constant falling and failing at faith, I kept grabbing at it again, and asking for forgiveness for my lack of faith. And I asked for more faith.
Yipes! That's like asking for patience. In order to build patience, you are going to have to have something to be patient about! I just realized that I was asking God to give me trials, so I could build my faith. Oh, He did that. And with a Flourish! When I started counting blessings and giving thanks and doing for others, my faith was so much easier to come by. I still faltered. I still had some meltdowns. But they seemed shorter, and easier to come out of.
I am looking for a less stressful word for this coming year.
is the end of the year. We will be in a new house (to be told
tomorrow) - finally. And I think I am going to be looking for new
opportunities to be the best person I can be. I want to reach out and
be kinder, be more aware, more loving, more...
Oh, shoot...yeah, it
IS at least 5 events...I'm forgetting the cabinet maker for the house in Friendship...he owes us over 10K in cabinets he didn't produce and
money he didn't return... yeah, it's more like 10 events that were
over-stressing...Don't worry, I found some cabinets someone was getting
rid of, so we will have a kitchen despite the theft.
Okay, where was I?
..more loving, more forgiving, less of a flourish necessary, no worries necessary... more thankful, and better at remembering to express it.
One more thought. I've never counted my miseries before. I've always counted my blessings. But I guess it's like swimming in the ocean. Most of the time one wave hits and dissipates before the next. So I have time to regroup and take a breath, look at the good around me and then proceed with the next overpowering wave. This year they just kept coming before my head could get above water. I began to drown and could not see the life preservers I was probably always being thrown. In retrospect, I can see the good in many of the events. Some I'm still working at the details to figure the good part out... but I'm sure it's there.
I'm on it. Can I do a poem?
you gave me more than I could chew
and waited - would I look at you?
Nope, not yet!
You served me more.
No "Uncle" yet?
There's more in store!
Ok, ok! I know you're there!
I'll trust you now with every hair,
and every breath
I take today,
that you will guide
me in your way.
I will not in proud vanity
decide to do what's right for me;
I'll give you all
my guilty weight
to be the Master
of my fate.
I'll trust the strength of sheltering wings
to keep me safe from harmful things.
You give me more
than I can chew
but now I know -
"Lord, help me through."
by Donna JT Smith, 12/5/2018
Yes. I guess I had one. It wasn't Flourish though, but maybe we can consider it a "flourish" to the post, and a description of "how to flourish" with faith. I think it works okay.
Just as a note, I felt compelled to write this today, but I want you to know I am not comfortable writing it. I don't usually list the bad stuff that happens. It seems so trivial and whiny to do that. I much prefer to focus on what has gone on right. And it works better for me.
I'm afraid that the string of "unfortunate events" overtook me after a while, and for a while. Fester seemed to be the OLW instead of flourish! And you can really get bogged down in a hurry when you live in the negative. I tried not to let that happen, but sometimes it means internalizing everything and letting it build up. Not a good plan. I had to remind myself daily to take my worries to God...and then scream at myself NOT TO TAKE THEM BACK AGAIN!!
There are still a few things left on my plate. But I have been successful in using my trust and faith again and getting back on an even keel, despite the lingering issues. God's got them.
5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
You know, a good Bible verse or two can really help you flourish...
and when one sticks with you, as you are reading, it is like glorious flourish sent straight from God to give you peace.