***I have decided to take Sunday’s to write a different kind of post. I’m calling them Sunday Reflections. I know this is a business, but my blog is meant to give a behind the scenes glimpse of my work and because my faith plays a big role in who I am, I thought it fitting to be transparent in this area as well. These posts will take a look at my week from a spiritual perspective and what I’m learning in my Christian walk. I know we don’t all share the same beliefs – I am a Christian and the views expressed here are not meant to offend any who come from other backgrounds – but I hope they will be an encouragement to you.***
For the first several weeks of the pandemic, when we were all trying to adjust to life in quarantine, like everyone else I was in fight or flight mode. I was checking my pantry to make sure we had enough on hand to get through a few weeks hunkered down at home. I had originally thought it would just be my husband, our youngest daughter, and myself at home, but when our older two children were sent back from college, we had to dash out to the store for more supplies. And I’m not going to lie, there were some panic inducing moments – like walking into the grocery store and seeing completely empty shelves. I turned to the shopper next to me and said, “This is unreal!” – only it was all too real.
I don’t know how you feel, but it has taken some time for me to get my footing through all this. One thing that’s helped is starting each day with a quiet time. I read a few chapters of the Bible, reflect, and pray before starting my day. These times are precious to me and have brought clarity and the right perspective in the midst of life’s day to day challenges.
Early in the quarantine, I made a huge pot of homemade chicken noodle soup from scratch. It took a lot of time and I was excited that I’d stretched that one chicken so that it could feed my family and have enough to share with Grammy and Pappy as well. That night I left it to cool on the stove and intended to transfer it to the fridge before bed. Well, blame it on exhaustion, but I turned in for the night and totally forgot about that pot on the stove – I hadn’t even removed the chicken or strained the broth. I woke the next morning and my first thought was the soup! My second thought was “oh Lord, why didn’t you remind me of that soup, before I went to bed?”
I felt disappointment settle heavy on my soul as I dumped the soup out – it might have been ok to eat, but I didn’t really want to take a chance on getting everyone sick. I seemed to know the answer to my questions almost immediately after asking “why?” – because God was in control and going to provide, not me. I needed to rest in his sovereignty and goodness and we were going to make it through. If I wanted to trust in my own ability, it would fall short.
As days have turned into weeks, I have moved from a desire to tidy and prepare my nest, to sit for awhile and process everything, to a yearning once again to be creative and active. I love to be creative, whether through a home cooked meal, a sewing project, or staging my shop, all these tasks and others like them make me feel enthusiastic about life. I also feel I’m contributing something of worth and beauty. But what happens when those efforts don’t turn out beautiful?
As I started making a slipcover last week, a project I had put aside when the craziness started, it felt good to do something normal, something familiar again. The fabric on one of the arms is so worn you can see the batting poking through. Again, I felt this project was a labor of love, saving money and salvaging a special hand-me-down. I had worked on it for a few days only to discover that I did not have enough fabric to complete the project. I struggled again with feelings of inadequacy and failure. I ordered more fabric, but wrestled with defeating thoughts. Why couldn’t I get things right? And for a moment all I could see was my weaknesses. Have you ever felt like that?
It was during my morning quiet time that week that I read Psalm 139:13-14: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made: your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Reading this turned my thoughts from a focus on my weakness to a focus on His strength. God is The Creator – perfect in all He does – nothing and nobody can compare to Him! My work falls short, I’m human, it always will. And yet, I long to produce something of value and ultimately live my life well. But, even if I were celebrated for my work – a Mozart or a Rembrandt – that would garner praise from people, but would it make my work more pleasing in God’s sight? Is it the size of the gift that gives it value? Does God use small things? Does He take those things and multiply them for his glory?
There is grace in these thoughts. Grace to know we are human and prone to make mistakes. Grace to understand that we have a loving and gloriously creative God who does use the weak, multiplies the small and accepts the humble. I sometimes put expectations on myself that He never put on me.
And so, if like me, you feel your inadequacy – take heart. He created you, and you too are fearfully and wonderfully made! During this pandemic and in the day to day living, I’m going to trust in God, continue to worship Him and trust that he is “working everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
These are the thoughts I wanted to share with you this Sunday. Thanks for taking time to stop by and I would love to hear your thoughts, so leave me a comment if you’d like.