Wednesday, June 22, 2011

On learning optimism. (And photos of my kids being kids.)

The night was stuffy, and my blankets had wrapped themselves around my legs, twisting me up and pinning me into place.  I was having a dream, and the edges of it lingered as I woke in the middle of the night.  Thoughts of our daily life had been pressing upon my heart all week, so it was no surprise that my dreams tangled in amongst those worries.  As I squinted to see the time in the dark and pushed the quilt away, my mind continued the conversation I was apparently having in my dream.

Awake, but not fully.  Asleep, but not quite, I was vaguely aware, that I had been praying over our present situation.  I rose to get a drink of water, realizing sometime in the night, my heart had become lighter.  I struggled to fully wake, not wanting whatever dream I was having to end.  Softly, I felt a gentle question impress upon me, though not audibly, and it trailed off into the warm night air, swirling around me as I walked back to bed.  The question was, "Why can you not accept the good I offer you?  Why do you wait for the bad, worry over the possibility of loss, and anticipate hopelessness when that's not what I have ever given you?" 

As I reached the edge of my bed, I was startled by the clarity of this thought, believing it didn't come from me.  I lay awake in the dark, listening to the even breathing of my husband, and mulled over the verse that promises, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,  "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'" (Jeremiah 29:11)  Inhaling the sweet night air, I murmured a prayer of thanks.  Thanks for the moment.  Thanks for the past.  Thanks for the promises kept up to that point, and thanks for His patience with my reoccurring pessimism.

When I woke up the next morning, the sun was peeking through the crack in my curtains, dappling my pillow with warmth and light.  The night's prayer time, fading quickly, as dreams and half-dreams often do, left subtle traces of hope in my heart, and I rose to greet the day, feeling surprisingly optimistic.

Perhaps you've seen or experienced loss and heartbreak. Perhaps it has touched you, or you fear it's tentacles reaching out to you some day soon.  Perhaps, like me, you allowed the anticipation of awful possibilities to tie you up in knots, and strangle the hope in your heart.  It's no way to to live.  It's no way to dream.

We've been promised a future with hope! It may not be the kind of future we thought it would be, but reach for that promise with all you've got.

Lately, I've been practicing the art of pushing away that pessimistic kind of fear, and to do that, I've been stopping to Give thanks for this very moment, whatever it happens to look like at the time.  I've been amazed at the turn around in my heart.

Ah... the adventure continues...


OneHappyfamily said...

Oh man you spoke to my heart today. I found out a few hours ago that a MRI my husband had last week shows a white mass in the brain. Why do we always think the worst instead of first believing God's got this... I pray that whatever your situation, that you will rest assured God's got this. {hugs}

Brandi said...

I haven't questioned that for some reason the Gram chronicles are my lot in this part of my life. I think why me on occassion because it's weird that she'd pick me of all the family, but there MUST be a reason and I'm just riding it out.

Patty said...

This is a great post, and it spoke right to my heart today! :) Thank you for sharing what God's teaching you - apparently he wants to teach more of us through you!

Alicia said...

so so good sasha. he says "give thanks continually." yes, that's what he says :)

Wendy Sue said...

Thank you for this post - it is especially appropriate for me right now as we go through some health struggles with our little guy...reminders like this are always good - thank you. :o)

Carmen said...

Just what I needed to hear today. Thank you! Blessings!

Alisa said...

I like to call it His "Track Record" with me. Has HE ever given hopelessness? Thank you for sharing your words TODAY. That's what makes blogging so neat. God uses His work in your life to touch lives you don't even know. Thanks!

Julianne Hendrickson said...

This is exactly what I needed to hear...I'm such a worry wart and I can lean.toward accepting my personality, something I can not change...but I knower that isn't true. That isn't the way the Lord wants me to behave. Thank you for the reminder!

Lissa said...

so this is very, very good indeed. well written too! very good!

Diana @ Our Vintage Home Love said...

Oh my goodness....this was a beautiful post and something I so needed to hear. Never thought there could possibly be anyone that worries as much as I do. It's nice to not feel so alone with it. Thank you for saying this. :)

KC and the Sunshine Kids said...

Love it. I was *that lady* in church last Sunday when our Pastor posed the question, "WHY do waste so many days worrying when, those of us with Faith, KNOW that we have NO control over it?" Umm. Yeah. I started bawling like a baby. SO true! After a cancer-scare last year, I was the worst at white-knuckling and living a life gripped with fear. What freedom there is in living knowing that He has greater plans for us...

daisy said...

I hear ya, sister. It's easy to get caught up in the what ifs, but ya know what? God's already there.
So well written, Sasha.

Jeannie said...

Your kids are so cute, what a blessing! Your message hit my heart. I tend to think the same way you do, I think it's the enemy messing with our minds. Believing in His goodness for all of us.

Heather said...

Our pastor has frequently reminded us that thanksgiving is often the cure for most of our deepest struggles. Remembering that the Word specifically directs us to give thanks IN everything and not FOR everything makes me glad that God so specifically wrote and preserved His holy Word for us. No quibbling needed - it's clearly there. Not always easy in the midst of a trial, but certainly a burden lifter.

Your dream state prayer reminds me that the Holy Spirit does a mighty work in taking our moaning and mumblings and making them sweet prayers for the Father, and that Jesus Christ sits on the right hand of God making intercession for us! For us! Mumbling, moaning, groaning, stumbling, worrying US! A wonderful, joyful thought. Thanks for sharing your heart once again!

Surrounded-By-Boys said...

Love the fun pictures you took!!!

Kelli said...

Thank you for the reminder that my plans are not His plans...His plans are full of grace. I need that right now.

The Every Day Extraordinary said...

As E is transferred two hours away from home at the start of our summer, I pause not to worry about his travels--what long days there will be for all of us and give thanks--he is working. This is the second to the last step in the apprenticeship program. Deep breath. God knows...

Tam said...

Thanks so much for sharing...that verse has been whispering itself into my head for about a month now (the amount of time my teenage son has been at his dad's house and I've been contemplating all the awful ways that could turn out). Your post is such an affirmation!

Mrs. C... said...

Thanks Sasha!!! I really needed the reminder today! Oh, and the kids are adorable. ;)

Moore Family said...

What is the color of the paint on the picture fame? I am trying to find a new color for my kitchen and that seems to be pretty much what I am looking for, maybe a bit lighter! Thanks.

Moore Family said...

I was wondering what the color of the picture frame was? I am looking to repaint my kitchen and that seems to be the color I am looking for, or maybe a bit lighter. Thanks!

Rachel said...

What a great post! I've had two moments like the one you described. I was stressed out beyond belief about what was going to happen in my life, until I woke up in the middle of the night with absolute clarity and realized that it was out of my hands and I shouldn't be worrying about it. I just needed to trust that He would guide me. Thanks for sharing!

Jean O' said...

I Love this post!

Farmgirl Paints said...

girl you can write! i love how your express yourself. shove away that fear. there are good things coming. good things!

Denise said...

Thank you.
Thank you for posting the words..."anticipating the awful possibilities..."
that's what I've been doing and yes, it has been robbing me of joy.
And peace. Your post was a gentle reminder to me to remember and trust the promises of God.
Thank you.

Moore Family said...

I was wondering if you painted that picture frame. I love the color! I am looking for a color very close to that, I'm thinking of painting my kitchen that color but in a lighter shade. If you could let me know the brand and color I would be grateful.

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