Yesterday I had the laziest, cozy, most relaxing day. I didn't plan to have a lazy day, it just organically happened and it was SO nice. I finished another Ann Lamott book Monday night so when I woke up on Tuesday (after taking B to school) I came home and started a new book called "When God Doesn't Fix It" by Laura Story. I thought I would read a few chapters and then get started on my day (ie yoga, grocery store, bank, laundry, some editing, etc.) but I found myself saying "just one more chapter" and before I knew it, I had spent the.whole.day. in my pjs, in bed, reading the whole book! I'm not sure I've ever done that in my life but it was really great! I showered in the early evening, made B dinner and then Adam and I took her to volleyball practice before the two of us went on a little dinner date. All in all, a pretty great day. :)
I would recommend this new book by Laura Story, especially if there is an area of your life in need of some reconciliation, such good stuff here. Here are some of my favorite nuggets from the book:
* "Our desire is for God to fix broken things. But God's desire for us is to fix our relationship with him."
* "But when Adam and Eve disobeyed him we entered the second part of the narrative, the fall. The sin that entered the world that fateful day has consequences that continue to our day. War, poverty, greed, gossip, jealousy, gluttony, cancer, and brain tumors are just a few of the ways sin manifests itself. Everything is distorted and broken. The biggest break is our relationship with God. It's called the "fall" because we've fallen away from God, and we can't get up by ourselves."
* "We ask God why, believing the answer will provide us with some kind of deep soul satisfaction. But too often, we don't get the answer we want. I don't think that means we should give up asking questions; we just need to understand their role in our brokenness."
* "I promise you will find more purpose and joy in your life if you set aside the why and begin to ask how. How does my story fit into God's greater story of redemption?"
* "It's only when we bring our pain to him that we can find our dwelling in him."
* "There's nothing in scripture that tells us we're entitled to an answer. It's not that God is secretive and doesn't want us to know; it's that we're incapable of seeing the big picture."
* "Is there something you've let go of because you couldn't make it happen? Do you believe that if you offered it to God he could raise it or make it happen? Jesus takes dead things and revives them. He is the life. He is the resurrection. And it is through your belief in him that you will see the glory of God, just as Martha and Mary did. Jesus has the power to resurrect the things we've let die - our hope, our healing, our family, our mind, and our body. And though he doesn't promise to restore everything until we enter Restoration, occasionally we get a glimpse of things we let die being revived. And in that moment we see the glory of God."
* "When Jesus raises our dead things, he does it in his timing, not ours. And he does it for one reason -that we might catch a glimpse of his magnificent power and his marvelous glory."
* "No matter what it is that we are praying for, a time will come when we bump up against what we think God should do and what he allows."
* "To be better in our brokenness isn't to remove the brokenness; it's to remove the selfishness, pride, impatience, or other sinful behaviors we blame on the brokenness, When we stop blaming our situation on the brokenness, we begin to see that the brokenness is a trial designed specifically for us."
In my book I wrote "ugh..." in the margin next to this paragraph:
* "I rarely choose patience and grace over anger and annoyance. Yet I've learned that even though they aren't my automatic responses to situations, the more I practice patience and grace, the better I get. So why wouldn't God use the trials in my life to teach me patience? Why wouldn't God, who gave us perfect grace and who wants me to give and receive it, give me an astounding number of opportunities to learn how to give and receive grace? If God, who wants what is best for me, knows that means learning to depend on him more than I am capable of, why wouldn't he design circumstances in my life to teach me how to be totally dependent on him for everything?"
* "It's a deep joy that comes from making intentional choices about how we're going to live our lives despite our circumstances."
* "It's just that we acknowledge that God is God and we are not. Even in the midst of our unchanging circumstances, we can still give him praise and glory. We can still tell others how frail and weak we are, while saying how strong our God remains. We can be content and even find joy in our tragedy, not because we will ourselves to be or have some kind of extraordinary mastery over our feelings."
* "It's a hard truth to hear that our circumstances might not change and God might not fix the broken things in our lives. But I know personally that even when our situation doesn't change for the better, we can change for the better."
That last quote has really, really resonated with me because I've found it to be so true in my own life. There are a couple areas of my life in desperate need of healing and reconciliation but I can't make it happen, and its taken me a while to come to this conclusion. Its been such an interesting journey getting to where I am today; the older I get I realize there really is no replacement for time. I mean time in the most basic sense of the word, but also in the time that it takes for God to do some really good, hard, honest work. As I've mentioned here before, I'm better than I was a couple years ago; I love Jesus more, I'm more gracious, I'm more patient, I'm more forgiving, I'm more introspective which produces more thoughtfulness. It has been a journey to get to this place, and I'm nowhere near "done" yet, but I'm so aware of the progress I have made and I'm so thankful for that. As another year is coming to a close and I reflect on 2016, I see a lot of growth and healing in me and for me, that's a win. xo