Forward by Grace

on the days when you feel unBrave, you are not undone, but undoubtedly are carried forward by the determination of grace.

~  Ann Voskamp, 12th January 2017

PTSD seems to jump up at the most unexpected times. Sometimes I don’t know even what sets it off. I struggle. I feel overwhelmed. I get all in a muddle. I get tired. I conclude I am useless and worthless and a waste of space.

God says, “I will not break a bruised reed.” (Matthew 12:20). God says, “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.” (John 5:8). He knows my brokenness. He knows my uselessness. And He ignores all that, lifts me up and sets me on my feet again. So I go back to the laundry and the dishes and the stuff of mothering and I begin, again, to put one foot in front of the other. Only by grace.

Great is His Mercy

Each day is full of His mercies, let’s not waste any of them by beating ourselves up.

~ from Having a Martha Home the Mary Way by Sarah Mae

Now there’s a proverbial kick up the backside for those of us who are recovering from co-dependency (you’re welcome)!

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,

His mercies never end;

they are new every morning;

great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 (NRSVA)

Indispensable

I hate getting so stupidly tired when in reality I’ve hardly done anything. It is exceedingly frustrating. I am trying to get my house organised and decluttered because I think that that will help make everything run smoother even when I’m not well. And when I am, with a bit o’ luck, better (I keep hoping and praying) then I’ll have more time for other things because my household will run smoothly and efficiently, so it’s win-win all round, except that it is a very s l o w process.

In the meantime, I do often sometimes end up asking God why I can contribute what seems like so little, even to my own family, let alone the wider community. I don’t feel useful and I do feel bored. A lot. And lonely, I suppose, though I keep myself occupied. I don’t see anyone, day to day, except my family. I don’t really have any friends in our little town. I am very glad Frank works from home, but it would be nice to interact with people on a more regular basis. This morning, I found something of an answer (sitting right there in Corinthians, where I’ve read it hundreds of times):

…God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many members, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable

1 Cor. 12:18-22 (NRSVA)

Weak but indispensable. Innit! I don’t get it, though, I’d rather be in full health and contributing and being part of the church community, especially after all the years of suffering (I hardly consider this illness ‘suffering’, just knuckle-chewingly dull), but who am I to know the mind or direction of God? I pray it and I have to mean it: Thy will be done, not my will be done. I wonder how many of us pray ‘Thy’ when we really mean ‘my’?

The human mind may devise many plans,
    but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.

Proverbs 19:21

Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”  

Luke 1:38

We could all of us learn from that attitude.

FlyLady and Cuthbert

My helpful FlyLady godmother

On Mondays, FlyLady has us do our weekly ‘home blessing hour’. When we clean our home, however imperfectly, she says, we are blessing our family. The daily emails and tasks become a blessing in and of themselves. St. Cuthbert said the same kind of thing about physical labour. He saw it as a form of prayer. Strange how God uses ordinary people and makes them extraordinary. That is grace, I suppose. Always where you least expect it 😉

It is said that sea otters once dried Cuthbert’s feet when he had been a long time at prayer in the sea