Page 345 was the start of the work week, but with needing to take care of snow over the weekend it really felt like today was just a continuation of last week. Winter presents some last-minute demands on my time on a fairly regular basis and I am thankful for the flexibility to take rest time when the weather forces too many workdays in a row.
Today began with a haze covering the moon as the sky was still full of moisture even after yesterday’s snow. As I went about the morning prayer, cleaning and building prep I had lines from several old hymns playing in my mind as I worked. In fact, while they ministered to me as I went about my morning tasks, the lines were so assorted from different hymns that I don’t really remember any specific titles or lines now that the day is nearly over.
After the building was ready for the day I took care of a few general maintenance issues before settling in for a morning of writing. First up, since I was too tired last night, was the writing of yesterday’s page. Once it was written, I turned my attention to my Monday morning routine of time with God working on the prayer guide for next week. With the words in my mind that were spoken to the shepherds by an angel, “I bring you good news of great joy which shall be for all people.”, the topic of living with joy seemed fitting as a prayer focus. Much like this week’s topic of peace, joy from God’s perspective is obtained as a product of God’s Spirit in our life rather than through specific circumstances that go our way. As I worked, the brush outside my office window was filled with birds. Most of the morning visitors were cardinals, but there were a few small songbirds that were present even though they remained mostly hidden from sight. Today’s photo is of one of those as she sat in the brush enjoying a few berries.
The writing took longer than usual, but by early afternoon I had the prayer guide written and ready to be formatted and scheduled for publication. It was late enough though, that I set that aside and took care of some tasks in the building before heading out for a late lunch. After lunch I made a quick trip to Potato Creek to shoot a few photos and take a short walk. I didn’t find any of the eagles, but it was a refreshing walk as I looked for them. When I got home, I spent some time relaxing and going through the photos from the day before writing today’s page. The forecast calls for more snow overnight and throughout tomorrow, so I’ll wrap up this page and try to get some sleep in preparation for what tomorrow will bring.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Rest is important, but so is taking care of responsibilities.
- Some things need to be very structured and schedule-oriented to be successful, other things require the flexibility to address needs as they arise.
- One size fits all rarely works in clothing and it doesn’t often work in the way we approach life — God made us as unique people to do the things that He created in advance for us to do.
- Sometimes my mind is filled with things that stay with me as an encouragement all day long and other times they do their work in my mind and spirit and then they leave.
- Joy done God’s way is vastly different, and better, than any happiness we may pursue on our own.
- When God says to “consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds”, we must conclude that the joy He offers isn’t based on us getting what we want all the time.
- The joy that we should seek after, as it is an unquenchable joy, is a result of God’s Spirit dwelling within us.
- It is easy to feel unnoticed when we compare ourselves to those who seem to get all the attention — the good news, however, is that none of us go unnoticed by God.
- While I enjoy finding majestic wildlife and beautiful nature scenes to photograph, there is also great joy to be had in just enjoying the everyday beauty of creation.