2017: Page 346

The living part of page 346 has been long but I will try to get the written part of the page done before I call it a day.  Fresh snow had fallen overnight, so I was up early to get the walks cleared in addition to the usual morning tasks.  The sky was clear and the moon shining brightly so I began by clearing the walks while I was still dressed for the outside cold.  When they were done, I turned my attention to the work inside until I got a phone call that I was needed at home.  It seems Susan had a major seizure after I left for work and the fight to come out of it and reconnect the brain wiring was indeed a fight.  By the time I got home she was fairly calm but it was another 45 minutes or so before things connected well enough in the brain again for her to be appropriately responsive.  Once she was cleaned up and resting peacefully, I headed back to work where a lake effect band of snow had set up and I needed to clear walks again before the school day began.  

When the walks were clear and the building ready for the day, much of my morning was spent catching up on some correspondence and messages.  The band of lake effect snow had moved along and the sun was out most of the morning.  As I worked, the brush once again filled with songbirds feasting on the berries that still hang from the branches.  The cardinals were especially beautiful against the background of snow covered twigs.  Today’s photo is of one of those cardinals as he held a berry he had just plucked from the brush around him.

Part of the correspondence I was working with today included a follow-up email from the chaplain at a correctional institution in Florida.  It seems my most recent email had made it sound like I had leftover 2017 Bible reading calendars that I was willing to send, when in fact it was 2018 calendars that I was offering.  I called the number in the email and was able to talk with the chaplain.  It was a great conversation to have as we were able to discuss both what I had available and what she thought would be most useful.  The short of it is that she will use whatever I can send, but she would like to see these calendars be an annual thing that could be given to each inmate wanting one — which she estimates based on requests for other materials to be around 750 of them.  I told her I would send the 150 calendars that I currently have this year and would work at raising the funds to provide the full number she would need for next year.  I will also be sending her an assortment of the devotional books I’ve written to see if she would find them useful in the ministry there.  If so, that could represent another test of faith to see how God will provide the resources to get them what they would use.

By mid-afternoon the events of the day combined with the early start had caught up with me so I headed out for a late lunch on my way home.  Susan was resting when I got home but has had light seizure activity throughout the evening.  My hope and prayer is that a good night’s sleep will help all of us recover and that the seizures would not steal the joy that Susan brings.

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

  • Sometimes the length of a day has more to do with what is in it than with the hours it contains.
  • Some days the living part of the day is easier than writing about it and other days it is easier to write than to live it — and then some days both the living and writing are difficult.
  • Some days I question why I post these pages publicly but I suspect doing so helps keep me accountable to actually writing them — and the writing of them serves as a great reminder to me of the work God is doing each day.
  • Watching someone in a fight that you can’t really help with is not a pleasant thing.
  • God says our battle is not against flesh and blood and I think that it can be very easy for us to forget that and find ourselves fighting with people who themselves are fighting an enemy we can’t see.
  • Even with the extra work that winter often brings, I enjoy the beauty that comes with it.
  • I prefer written communication but sometimes a phone call that allows for immediate clarification can speed up the communication process.  I suppose the one without the other would be like spending time in God’s Word without praying or praying without spending any time in Scripture — either way, we would miss the fullness of what God wants to say.
  • Some requests that are made of me are easy to answer because I think I can handle them.  The fun requests are the God-sized ones that I know I can’t handle and must trust Him to take care of.
  • While I have no idea of how God would choose to make it happen, it excites me to think of 750 female inmates at a state correctional institution wanting prayer-based devotional material — and to have those in authority there thinking this is a good thing.
  • Rest is often undervalued in our society.