“Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. The God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11-14
Today, like yesterday, I’m struggling with my attitude. Sometimes, I feel like Eeyore trying to help out, but slowly walking around dragging my grey cloud with me everywhere I go. It’s been a few weeks since I sat to tap the keys on my laptop. It isn’t that I haven’t had anything to say, it’s that I just didn’t want to say it. So here is where I am. There are blessings from each random paragraph written below. God is doing good things, so why so sad? Sometimes, I guess even good things bring on unexpected emotion.
About a month ago we received news that my dad had cancer. The blessing is that it is a treatable form of cancer and we live in a country where healthcare is available. Although I immediately prayed for him, with him and family, I still worried. This past Monday the radiation treatment schedule was set and slowly my worry released. A plan of action was created, my need to do something subsided.
Today is my son’s birthday. That’s a celebration. He made it to nineteen. An amazing young man who stands up for what he believes in. However, this birthday is a first. The first one he hasn’t woken to my singing loudly the birthday song with my lovely morning voice. I woke up at three this morning instead to send him a text recounting the time he came into our lives. Then shed a tear despite the happy moment because I missed the tradition of waking him up with singing. New tradition formed. Not quite as thrilling as singing, but still an effective birthday greeting. I’m sure he will read it when he wakes in his dorm.
Two weeks ago my daughter passed her driver’s test. Milestone moment. Sixteen, excited and lovely as can be, she now drives herself to school in the mornings, home in the afternoons, as well as, carpools friends to coffee. I was so excited and caught up in the thrill for her new found freedom, until the first morning I didn’t get to drive her to school. I felt out of a job. (Yes, I’m being dramatic –I’m still her mom, but let me have my moment, please!) I missed our conversations. It is a joy to have her driving, but an unexpected loss, too. It is the first time in nineteen years I’m driving solo. I have cherished every moment with her and my son in the car. (Ok, maybe not the times they threw up.)
Advent. Yeah, yeah, it’s Christmas season. Bah humbug.
Truth is – I love Advent, but I despise the race of the holidays. I enjoy worship services, decorating, Christmas lights, and eating other people’s baked goods, but man, I am the most insecure gift giver on the planet. Shopping is what my version of hell looks like. Easter far trumps Christmas in my eyes. There. I said it. Feeling better already. I’m attempting a Christmas prayer journal by Darlene Schacht (Time-Warp Wife Ministries) called Quieting Your Heart for the Holidays, along with Ann Voskamp’s The Greatest Gift devotional to try to change my perspective. I’ll let you know how it goes.
That’s where I am at the moment. So… I was a bit surprised when I sat down to write this morning and prayed for a scripture that God answered me with, “Dear brothers and sisters, I close my letter with these last words: Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. The God of love and peace will be with you.” 2 Corinthians 13:11-14
“Why 2 Corinthians 13:11-14?” I asked.
Honestly, I think I know the answer. God is saying yes there are lots of emotional, good and bad swings during this season, but stay the course.
The holidays are often a fight for me to expel and rebel against unrealistic expectations. I tend to get lost in the battle. This year life is exploding around me with new experiences like a kid in his first year of college and another learning to stretch her wings in a car, all while dealing with the difficulty of praying my dad through cancer. I don’t want to worry about shopping. It is the last thing I want to deal with.
God, however, isn’t asking me to take on shopping. He is asking me to do what he asks the rest of the year. Be joyful through the easy and the difficult. Keep walking with Him, so He can grow me into maturity. He’s giving me instructions to continue my work by blessing others, regardless of the hypothetical grey cloud dampening my attitude. He’s saying, “Persevere, Kysia. Celebrate the moments and submit the struggles. Allow My love to penetrate your spirit so peace can permeate your heart and mind.”
God is trying to get me to peace. Peace. The very spirit of Christmas.
Why 2 Corinthians 13:11-14?
Because that’s what I needed to hear. That is just where I am.