2017: Page 256

Page 256 continued the theme of the previous day as I was awakened at 3:30 AM by the sounds of Susan having a seizure.  After we sat up with her as she fought back from it, the adrenaline rush made it difficult to get back to sleep.  It seemed as if I had just fallen asleep again when the alarm went off and it was time to get up and head to work.  As is often the case after her seizures, Susan seemed to sleep soundly and was awake, happy, and full of smiles as I left for work.  As I went about the morning prayer, cleaning, and building prep routine, my mind was never far from my daughter and the resilience she continually shows.  

The remnants of hurricane Irma had arrived in the area and in addition to being a likely influence in the seizure activity, it also brought rain and cool temperatures with it.  After securing the location last night for the first Growing Strong retreat, today was spent putting together a variety of details to be able to promote it.  It is a little scary because I have no idea how God will use this facet of the prayer ministry and even less of an idea if anyone will sign up for and attend this first retreat.  I am convinced through my prayer and listening time that I needed to step out in faith and get it on the calendar, so I am also confident God will use this for His glory and for my good even if no one comes.  Even so, I continue to pray that He will draw the people to it that He knows will benefit and be encouraged by the time focused on growing strong.

As I worked, I would keep seeing hints of movement in the brush at the edge of the woods outside my office window.  Every once in a while I would see a bird come out for a berry or two and then dart right back into dense foliage for cover.  Eventually I saw a bird take cover in a spot where I had just a small opening where I could view, and photograph, it.  Between the haze from the rain and the darkness from the leaf cover, today’s photo makes me think of all that takes place behind the scenes.  While my photo expeditions have allowed me to catch some great wildlife shots, I am confident there are many more scenes that I never notice because they take place somewhere in the background.  Life is a lot like that.  For everyone and everything that gets noticed, there is much that takes place in the background that often goes unseen.  Every once in a while if we open our eyes and our heart, we can catch a glimpse of the unsung heroes of life.  When we do so, I believe the best way to honor their work is to imitate their service done in humility.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • I’m not sure I ever quit listening in my sleep.  Maybe that’s part of why I rarely feel rested.
  • Adrenaline is quite the substance when you need it, but it is not so good after the need is gone.
  • Living with a heart and mind that are innocent is a valuable commodity.
  • Sometimes I wish I had an erase button for my mind . . . but I’m not sure I would know how to use it wisely.
  • It is difficult for me to start something, even something I’m convinced God wants me to do, when I don’t know how it will turn out.
  • It is hard to trust God for His results when I start with my own definition of success.
  • Sometime our life takes us down paths that make us visible and sometimes God calls us into the background.  Both are important.
  • The best way to honor those who serve quietly in the background is to imitate their humble service to others.

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2 thoughts on “2017: Page 256

  1. I just stumbled on this blog and thought the places in the posts sounded familiar. When you mentioned Potato Creek and then the St. Joe river I realized you are from my area (Mishawaka/SB). I look forward to reading these inspirational posts. I do hope your retreat is successful (measured by God’s standards it may not look the same as society’s version).

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Yes, I call South Bend/Mishawaka home and two of my favorite local areas for walking and photographing are Potato Creek State Park and the Riverwalk through Beutter Park. As I think about the retreat, I remind myself that no matter how close I become with God, His plans and ways will always be higher than mine. Probably one of the best retreats I’ve ever led was a number of years ago when no one signed up and I went anyway. 🙂 God knew I needed it and while there He gave me opportunity to teach and encourage others as well.

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