I spent a few days planning a party. It was simple really – no guests, no extravagant decorations, no elaborate meal, just a simple cup of tea, a pencil and journal, and my favorite music. A time set aside to celebrate all the ups and downs of life. Some would call it a pity party. I called it a sober-reflection.
The solo gathering was scheduled for Saturday. The weather forecast predicted showers, lending itself nicely to a cozy sweatshirt – fuzzy slipper socks – hair pinned in a bun day.
Over the week, I inventoried and categorized my thoughts. All the positive events captured on the right side of the paper, written in fancy cursive – those that lead to brokenness, written on the left in large block print. The left side of the list ran the full length of the page and onto the back. Pity began to creep in.
As Saturday approached, the tension in my shoulders increased. I noticed tears came a little more easily and I started prioritizing that list of broken above the victories.
Somehow, by reading and rereading the list, I became convinced that the broken defined me. I believed that my limitations and disappointments would bury me, and the chatter in my mind confirmed all that I feared. I am inadequate at best and insignificant at worse.
Saturday morning broke with cloudy skies and soft rain, party as planned. A brisk walk, a leisure breakfast, a few emails, an unexpected phone call, and then a trip to the mailbox.
As I opened the mailbox door, a large cardboard box was wedged in the empty space. I pulled until the edges were free, an unexpected package, a surprise from my sister.
I rushed home, grabbed the scissors, and tore through the tape that sealed the sides. The label indicated the contents were “FRAGILE,” so I was careful as I opened each flap.
Sitting prominently on the top of the bubble wrap was an envelope. I quickly peeled the flap open and pulled out a beautiful card. A simple message graced the cover, “THANK YOU.” Inside a simple sentence that reminded me, I am loved, valued, extremely blessed.
I unpacked the box – cookies, scones, my favorite tea, amazing pumpkin crackers, and a jar of homemade peach jam. Each item thoughtfully selected and lovingly packed. I placed all the treasures in the pantry, made an extra-hot cup of tea, and made my way to my office.
The perfect time for reflection.
Sitting in my oversized chair, I picked up the list. Reading the right-sided blessings, I thought about the smile that must have graced my sister’s face as she packed the box. Then I turned to the left side of captured pity, reading down the front side of the page and turning to the back. As I flipped the paper, my mind caught a glimpse of my sister picking peaches from her small trees, peeling them at the kitchen sink, and standing at the stove, stirring love into the bubbling peach goodness.
And it became clear, all those negative broken reflections I held in my hands, were not who I am. In fact, my positive affirmations are my biased self-perception. I am a woman blessed by the love that surrounds me, strengthened by the God who lives in me, and made confident by the knowledge that my future is secure.
No more pity.
No more pride.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling you not to make a list. On the contrary, make the list – life’s celebrations on the right and the disappointments detailed on the left. Put the list aside for a day or two then recheck it. Make certain you’ve captured everything that weighs you down or lifts you high and once complete post it in a prominent location. A place you can easily see throughout your day and the next time you meander into that space where pity knocks on your door and tries to forcible take-up residence in your heart, pray.
Pray that God can show you how he orchestrated every tear, your pain, and those joyous events into the majestic tapestry that is your today and tomorrow.
Open His gift of mercy and grace and remember that He died to heal this world, our minds, your heart
Be Blessed His BeLOVED,
This post is dedicated to my sister. A woman that teaches me how to be courageous, generous, and available.
Please read Colossians 3:1-17 and reflect on the questions that follow.
1 Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. 2 Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. 3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. 6 Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. 7 You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. 8 But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. 11 In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile,circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.
12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.
16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Take a few minutes to consider the following.
- According to verses 1-4, who are we as believers in Christ?
- Verses 12-17 provide direction on how we are to live our lives. Summarize that direction in your own words.