Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Joy of Journaling - the Opposites

Recently I shared with y'all the joy of journaling with two word lists.  Each morning, before the world begins and by world, I mean, dogs, hens, children, husband and the to do lists, I sit quietly at the kitchen table.  To my left is  my special bag of pens, my gratitude journal, another study journal and my Bible.  To my right, is coffee...always coffee.  The rest of the house is dark and quiet. the light in the kitchen is all I need to see what is in front of me - the Light of the World and the whisper of the Spirit.  I start with my gratitude journal, even on mornings when I am not feeling particularly grateful...I start the same way, each and everyday.  I am grateful for this day, a good cup of coffee, and then the list begins...Yesterday, I wrote some general things and then my mind began to wonder in two different directions, as it often does...and then so did my list.  Isn't that how life is at times?   Full of faith and full of doubt.  Full of laugher and full of tears. Depending on the season of life or even in  the split second like when children are laughing together and then their laughter turns to tears... I thought about the familiar and the new... One adventourous and unknown; the other, known and safe.

Here's a portion of my list..a good way to view life as not one thing or the other.  It's a blending of both, balancing mind and soul and leaning forward...all the while, being grateful for both.

I am grateful for...

*dreams and to do lists
*the planned and the carefree
*the pursuit and the pause
*the do-ing and the be-ing
*Highs and lows
*the new and the old
*the routine and the spontaneity
*the tried&true and  the risk
*my past and my present

Then my list shifted to this...

*The Lord being in all of my opposites
*Life's stages - May I play my part well
*Life's seasons- May I savor and learn from each of them
*Life's Opposites - May I handle them with Grace and Faith.

They say opposites attract and for relationships perhaps that's true.  But I have found the in all opposites there must be a common thread that connects the two.  For me it is my faith in the Lord who has made everything perfect in his time.  In Ecclesiastes, Solomon wrote about opposites and that there is truly a time for everything. Life is filled with opposites. Life is also, filled with connections.  Connections, threads, faith - like cable wires in the ground, they are ever present but protected by the soil.  Buried but most definetly not forgotten.  We need these deep rooted connections to weather the changes, the opposites in life.  We don't want our root system to be only a few inches beneath the surface.  We want it to be well- planted, well-watered and well-protected.

Each morning, as I listen for the whisper, this is where my blending of life and it's challenges happen..through time, prayer and leaning in to what the Lord has to share in the opposites in my life, he'll show me in perfect time how these opposites attract and become part of my root system, my growth, my story. It doesn't happen overnight, it takes a life- time of tending, planting and pruning.

So what opposites can you be grateful for? Start a list in your journal and see how your thoughts become ways to see life not just as black or white but a blending, a time of connecting.  Some opposites are fun like our sons and daughters, new and old but some are a little more challenging such as staying and leaving, risk and routine, and some will take all of our faith to find the connection such as gain and loss, joy and sadness...and what I have found to be true, is that in all of this, the grounding of our Faith will be the right balance for the nurturing of our lives.

Until next time, may you find joy in journaling...

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