Monday, March 21, 2011

Worn Out

"Misseelone [i.e., Miss Leone], you wear me out!!!"  My freckle-faced student would punctuate these words with a tilt of her blond ponytail and a fist planted on her hip.  Usually the outrageous demand prompting such protest was something like following a spelling lesson with a math lesson, only a water-fountain break between.

Last week I felt the same way towards God when the week began Monday morning with unpleasant dental news involving a consultation with an oral surgeon later this month.  The ground lost to gratitude there, at the gates of the week, left me ill-equipped to deal with the other minor aches and pains popping up afterwards, the further frustration of smacking headlong into the reality that "improved pain control" does not mean "normal" or "no boundaries," and impatience to see answers to prayers for loved ones suffering more than I am.  Knowing how tiny my troubles are compared to those of the Japanese and Libyan people and others closer to home only adds guilt to the mix.

This week I have stumbled in practicing celebration.  I may have successfully practiced lament, depending on where the line falls between worshipping through lament as the Psalmists did and just plain whining.  I'm guessing I was on the whining side of the line..

Thankfully, the week ended better than it began, and today fresh mercies give me a fresh start to realize the words of George Mueller (quoted in John Piper's When I Don't Desire God):
When he was seventy-six, he wrote the same thing he had learned for fifty years:  "I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord" (119, emphasis mine).
This week, I give thanks to God (sometimes by faith) for
~dentists and my misbehaving tooth
~the rest of the medical professionals with whom I have frequent fellowship
~aches and pains, weaknesses and difficulties
~delayed answers to prayer
~unexpected encouragement from a bloggy friend
~time with my mom two days in a row
~guidance to quick resolution of a tech support problem way beyond my pay grade
~wisteria in bloom at the end of the lane
~tea in my favorite cup
~sister bringing back treats from her spring break trip
~a new Carolina chickadee guest at our feeder
~the perfect cliche-blue sky and cotton ball clouds today
~a neighbor boy offering to help the husband clean up all the branches thinned out of the live oak out front
~phrases from Ann's book calling me back to gratitude:
  "Life is not an emergency."
  "Eucharisteo always precedes the miracle."
  "God is always good, and I am always loved."
~fresh starts
(from the gratitude journal, #4079-93)


  1. Wonderful list. Wonderful thoughts, as always. I grow from reading what you write. Just watched the Michael Card Lament video. Good stuff. His statement near the end about "No true worship without wilderness" is so strong. I'm needing more focused solitude right now, which could probably be a form of wilderness, I suppose. Need to watch the part 2. Michael Card is a favorite.

    Enjoy that wisteria! Blessings to you this new week.

  2. @Amy Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments. I'm thankful for your fellowship here!

    Ann V. linked to the lament videos some time back, and I think I'm ready to view them again. He also has an excellent book on the subject: "A Sacred Sorrow."

    May the Lord grant and guide you towards "more focused solitude." God be with you and yours!

  3. Ann’s linky isn’t up yet – but I knew I could find some good thank you’s by coming here. ƪ(◠‿◠)╯ First, I heart this!!! “the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord”

    And my favorite one you your list today was: "God is always good, and I am always loved." – I had to – I just can’t resist her words. {smile}

    May God Bless and Keep you and make his to face shine upon you and yours.

  4. @Craig How kind of you to think of me and come by even though Ann's post isn't up yet. :)

    That George Mueller quote is one of my favorites; I'm glad you liked it, too. And Ann's quotes are new favorites, obviously. Such a poet she is!

    The Lord be with you, Craig, and fill your Monday with a multitude of thank-You's.

  5. Thank you for the encouraging perspective as we begin a new week!

  6. @Holley Gerth You're welcome, Holley. You gave me the same gift on your blog today! The Lord be with you.

  7. I will have to check into the Sacred Sorrow Michael Card book. Well, at least put it on my list:) I've read a couple by him--long, long ago--besides loving the music. However, I'd never heard of this book. Thank you!

  8. @Amy Our library had the book, but I shouldn't tempt you. After Easter. :)

    So you know what to expect, it's not so much a read-through book; it feels more like a Bible study, which I liked but not everyone would.

    You're welcome! Always happy to talk books with reading friends!

  9. Oh,dear. Have I been there: feeling worn out with God--well with life anyway! I'd like to shake my ponytail a time or two (I'm sure I have). Bless you for giving thanks in the midst of the storms. That is the hard eucharisteo sometimes. Thank you for stopping in to see me this day. Your words bless.

  10. @Laura I think we've all been there! If the experience weren't so common, we wouldn't need the Scriptures' exhortations to "count it all joy" and strengthen weak hands and feeble knees during discipline.

    Thank YOU for your beautiful post and for coming by here to see who commented. I'm grateful to Ann for linking to The Wellspring on her site.

  11. I think sometimes I am the winner of the prize for being a whiney person!!! I hear myself pray, and I think God must hear me like the old Charlie Brown cartoons: "Whah, wha wha Whah WHAH!!!!" A new habit begins with practice and remembering to do it, and making it my primary thing to have a happy soul is taking a LOT of practice for me! I loved your reminder that His mercies are new every morning. If it weren't for that, where would we be???

  12. @Cora from Hidden Riches Thank you for coming back. Yes, I know exactly what you mean about the Charlie Brown cartoons. :)

    Aren't you glad we "practice" and don't "perform" spiritual disciplines? We never really become proficient in this life; it's all learning, growing, practicing.

    I'm thanking God with you for fresh mercies this day. The Lord be with you, sister!

  13. Popped over from Ann's and so enjoyed your honesty and insight...thanks for sharing your gifts!

  14. @Leslie Young You're welcome, Leslie. Thank you so much for stopping by! The Lord be with you.

  15. Beautiful, beautiful list.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  16. Thanks for sharing glad we can come together and share the many blessings that GOD gives us

  17. @Kay K Thank you for visiting and taking time to comment, Kay. It's lovely to meet you. May the Lord bless you this week with a multitude of graces.


Thank you for sharing your day with me! Your presence here is a gift. *You* are a gift. Right now I am unable to reply to every comment, but please know I read and pray for each and every commenter. Grace and peace to you in Christ.