I'm ok

After the flood of e-mail (ok, four or so), including one this morning from my mom "you ok?", and comments to Friday's post I feel I need to come back to reassure you all. Everything's ok. It always has been but there is some upheaval in our family life right now. No emergencies or traumas, just change in the air that is putting my cozy life and comfortable routines in a state of flux. 

Even as a child I did not handle change well. My parents and I laugh now at the funny things I did in response to that most-dreaded nemesis of mine - change, aka transition.

But here I am a grown woman with children of my own and I must deal with this. And so that is what is going on.

Thank you all for your kind concerns. We went away this weekend to a small cabin on a lake. An outing planned months in advance that almost didn't happen because of my state of mind last week. But I'm so glad we followed through anyway. Photos and memories from this wonderfully relaxing weekend will probably be showing up on our blogs in the future. 

I have one last thought I want to share, though somewhat hesitantly. Many of you might have picked up that I am a follower of Christ. I guess you could say Christian though I often don't use that term since it carries so much negative baggage. I hate labels and prefer to just live and let my life show what I believe.

This morning I was drawn to read a scripture that gives me a lot of strength during challenging times. I'll be honest, the Bible or God's word, as I believe it to be, is where more and more these days I am drawing my strength and wisdom. I am reluctant to talk about this since there is too much religious talk in the world and not enough right living and I don't want to be another one of those voices that people just tune out as "being religious". I'm not, religious that is. But I have a faith in Christ and that is what I hold on to when I feel life floundering. 

After journaling this morning I found this passage and the first part about "at last you have renewed your concern for me" totally cracked me up after the outpouring of everyone's love in response to last Friday's post. Although Paul wrote this to the young church in Philippi a couple thousand years ago and my small concerns were nothing like his bodily suffering, the words he wrote are a teensy echo of my own experience. 

I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances.

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

It's hard to wrap this up neatly after such powerful (at least for me) words. Contentment in all circumstances, even change and uncertainty. That is something I'm meditating on as I start this new week.

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  • Wendy

    Wendy on Aug. 23, 2010, 8:11 p.m.

    As a fellow hate-dealing-with-change adult I needed to read this post today. I'm learning more and more that Paul's words are so true--no matter what is swirling around us in this life, the secret of being content is, indeed, His strength. Thank you!


  • Stacy in Texas

    Stacy in Texas on Aug. 23, 2010, 8:46 p.m.

    Ahhhh...Philippians 4...I have it posted on the wall in front of me and carry it around as well. Hang in there and make sure you're taking care of yourself ~ this too shall pass.


  • Francesca

    Francesca on Aug. 23, 2010, 9:12 p.m.

    This post clarifies many things, Renee. I didn't realize that change was something you didn't handle well. Spirituality is a very powerful source of strength and wisdom, you're lucky to have really found it and to live it. Hugs.


  • Alisha

    Alisha on Aug. 23, 2010, 9:29 p.m.

    Sorry you're having a "time", Renee. I am, too. Contentment hasn't showed up at my house in a while. I keep whispering to myself in my darkest times "In whatever state I am in, I will be content." Massively bad paraphrase. Thanks for bringing this up. I'm sorry you're having a "time", but I'm glad you're open enough to say you are. Makes me feel closer to you. :)


  • Marianna

    Marianna on Aug. 23, 2010, 10:05 p.m.

    I'm sorry to hear things are in upheaval for you right now. I pray for calmness for you. The verse you mention is one that I'm continually convicted by. I have a difficult time with being content. Contentment is not exactly something our culture cultivates, I'm afraid, and too often I listen more to culture than the words of wisdom.


  • Jen

    Jen on Aug. 23, 2010, 10:08 p.m.

    I love that scripture. Learning to be content in whatever circumstances come our way is not an easy thing to do. I love how the scripture says it's about learning the secret. It's not a natural thing for us.

    I totally understand what you mean about not wanting the religious or bad label that, unfortunately, can come with Christianity. I love Jesus with all my heart and cling to my relationship with Him. It's not about religion or a set of rules for me. Thanks for sharing...


  • Misha@ beauty and joy

    Misha@ beauty and joy on Aug. 23, 2010, 10:46 p.m.

    The single greatest book that helped me connect with that phrase Paul wrote in a dirty prison cell was Brother Lawrence's book - it gave me so much insight. I am sure you've read it but seeing your words again today made me think of it. Sending you compassion - the change thing, I get it. xo


    • renee

      renee on Aug. 23, 2010, 11:02 p.m.

      No doubt. I love that book. I assume you're talking about the one he wrote (I don't know if he wrote more) about basically being the dishwasher monk and being content in that. (kind of along those lines, it's been ages).


  • Jennifer

    Jennifer on Aug. 24, 2010, 12:23 a.m.

    I can relate to your hesitation in writing about religious topics. I don't like to be labeled either and I really love this, "just live and let my life show what I believe". Thank you for sharing. It was a very inspirational post and scripture. The scripture that always helps me through tough times or decisions is "Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10


  • Brooke

    Brooke on Aug. 24, 2010, 1 p.m.

    I appreciate your words regarding your faith in Christ and not being religious. I have long struggled with being a light without the label. That is a great reminder from Paul. Be content in all circumstances. I needed those words too. Thanks for sharing!


  • Aaron

    Aaron on Aug. 24, 2010, 3:26 p.m.

    Your resistance to change resonates for me...and also makes me think you might be Anglican! (How many Anglicans/Episcopalians does it take to change a lightbulb? Change? Why are we changing? My grandmother donated that light bulb! The other answer is two - one to change the lightbulb and one to mix the drinks.) Anyhow, I hope you and your family manage the transition. We sometimes forget that stress is not always caused by "bad" things, but also by growth and evolution and a whole host of things we would label "good".

    In addition to "The Practice of the Presence of God", I recommend Dame Julian of Norwich's "Revelations of Divine Love". Powerful stuff.


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