And so the week ends…

The evening air outside is sweet. We rode home from town with the windows open, letting the cool breeze wash over us. Earlier, we had gone to the park, driving with heads stuck out the window to smell the poignant freshness of the evening. We came home and sat on the porch swing, entranced by the song of the cicadas and the still grandeur of the trees and mountains before us.

Peace.

It was a long week. Job piled on top of job, task upon task, with little relief. I came home from work each day and practically collapsed, exhausted with the responsibilities of solo-ing in my day job and also keeping up with my side jobs. Dinner became an afterthought, laundry non-existent. We managed to keep the dishes washed, and we didn’t grouch around (very much), but it was hard work. Long days, short evenings, and a whole lot of facing the world.

Yet what was in the middle of it? Joy. The fulfillment of keeping things running at the bookstore. A delightful walk to the library, finding a new recipe while I sat and read near the children’s section. Sweet encouragement from the dear lady for whom I work, who is so much the aroma of Christ. Treasured conversation with our families, sharing the joy so near our hearts. A walk in the evening hours, a beautiful Renaissance choral piece, and precious thoughts of friends near and far. Joy, abundant and full.

It was a hard week. I felt poorly. Struggled to get out of bed. Waded through page after page of computer inventory. Cried because it felt so hard. And yet, like the tender arms of my husband, the everlasting arms of my eternal God remained beneath me. He was so faithful–and He never changed.

Tonight we celebrated. After working late, we went into town and got Chinese food at the little local restaurant–ate part of it and brought a lot home for future meals! We dropped by our pastor’s home and shared sweet time with their family. And then we came home and sat on the porch swing, relishing the beauty of the evening and the glory of His peace.

Another week in the life of yours truly? Yes, indeed. A hard one, but a good one, a beautiful one–yet another example of the glorious goodness of my Savior.

Morning by morning…

We seem to be living in the Land of Adventures these days. What with traveling, house guests, two weddings, and a major storm thrown in there, the past month has been one of excitement, challenge, and great fulfillment. I have been reaching for Christ in my great need—straining toward the light, as it were, like the day-lilies around me.

So many blessings have been heaped upon each other… having family in our home, seeing dear friends wed, and taking the opportunity to travel back home to North Carolina. It has been a rich time of encouragement, yet also a season of trusting the Lord moment by moment for strength to continue on amidst the busyness.

My dear husband and I have been reading through the book of Exodus recently, and it has been striking how many parallels exist between Israel of old and our own life today. In moments of exhaustion, I have felt like the Israelites at the Red Sea: hardship behind, enemies at my heels, and an impassable barrier ahead. Yet what glory awaits! The Lord unfailingly works through my impasses to demonstrate His abiding faithfulness. Even after the crossing, Exodus paints a beautiful picture of how the Lord provided for all their daily needs, including the bread from heaven:

Morning by morning they gathered it; each as much as he could eat…
(Exodus 16:21)

How often I have begun the day, recently, doubting that the Lord could sustain me amidst my weariness and fear. Yet He has promised as much as I need, without stint. My conscience smarts over my own doubt and fear— what a traitor each proves to the unfailing love of God!

With this in mind, then, I begin another week. Again, it is a full one, and again, I feel weary simply looking at it, but I know the faithfulness of my God: His mercies never come to an end (Lamentations 3:22). What a joy to go forth with Him, ready to see His promises fulfilled before my very eyes!

To all of you, grace and peace, and may our Lord pour out His mercies upon you as well in this new week.