|Sharon fitting in some writing time|
“So here’s what I want you to do, (Sharon), God helping you. Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, (caring-for-your-family) work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering.” (Romans 12:1 The Message--other parentheses mine.)
Duties and Distractions
Paul’s letter to the Romans always packs a punch, but Eugene Peterson’s wording makes this advice personal, so I add my name. Like Jesus’ friend Martha, I have an agenda and I get worried and upset when too many things are happening and I can’t keep up. Today, for instance, I have ideas for my blog and I need to get to my computer. The distractions I mention are good and important things to do, but I want/“need” to keep my writing commitment.
Recognizing Answers to Prayer
My husband Hank after a long time of feeling poorly, wants to visit the fruit truck this afternoon, so he can top up the freezer for future jam sessions. We went to mass at the senior’s residence this a.m. and had an appointment with our pharmacist. How can I complain about any of that?
Although making jam requires time and effort from both of us, I am delighted that Hank feels upbeat enough to consider his hobby of making jam. And I, thankfully, am well enough to help him. We won’t be making the jam right now, I remind myself, and Jesus counsels us not to worry about tomorrow, "for tomorrow will take care of itself." Phew!
|Hank enjoys making jam and sharing it |
with family and friends.
I have prayed for some time that Hank would feel well enough to enjoy life and feel up to doing some activities he used to do. In this light, his wanting to make jam is an answer to prayer, even though I don't immediately see that. I grumble briefly to myself about the insufficiency of time. Then, asking forgiveness, I admit that God knows way more about what's good for us than I do. I release my grip on the steering wheel.
|Hank always loved planting--trees, a garden, potting flowers|
Day to Day Life
Hank and I understand that this world isn’t our "forever home," but while we're here we will love and help one another. When Hank is ill, I'm his caregiver and advocate. I attend appointments with him, ask questions and take notes. I do research and reach out to others more knowledgeable than we are in medical issues.
When my hubby's in hospital, I bring his home-brewed morning coffee the way he likes it. I run errands and go for walks with him in the hospital hallways. When he's home, I cook foods that might tempt him to gain a few pounds.
|Our present, but not our "forever home"|
Looking for Guidance
To keep me steady, I read God’s Word. I pray, and try to leave the rest to God. I read the Psalms and other scriptures that assure us that God is our strength and help in times of trouble.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5: 6-7 NIV)
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46: 10 NIV)
Seeking and Finding God’s Purpose
"God’s Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105) Walking by lamplight requires faith in the One who lights and holds the lamp. At this point, I find it difficult to make long-range plans for life or for writing, but I trust the One who promises that he has plans for each of us-- plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future. (Paraphrased from Jeremiah 29:11.)
Martha and I Grow Spiritually
I smiled when Fr. Johnny recently spoke about the fact that the world needs Marthas, because they are the ones who get things done. We first meet Martha when she is preparing a big meal for Jesus and his friends. We Marthas may complain when we feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. Over the years, some of us learn that we can’t do it all and that we don’t need to do everything to perfection. We learn that we need some quiet time, even if it means getting up early in the morning to have it.
I reread the conversation between Martha and Jesus after Lazarus had died. Martha, speaking her mind, reminds Jesus that if he had come sooner, Lazarus wouldn’t have died. But read further in John 11:17-27 and you will see how Martha’s faith has grown
Because I, like Martha, believe that Christ is the Son of God, I will “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)