Tuesday, May 8, 2012


No, I'm not discussing disciplining this sweet, innocent, never in trouble little boy...ha.
(ps Thank you, Sarah, for teaching him how to make a "kind" face!)
 However, I'm the one receiving the disciplining. One of the last bible study videos brought up the idea of trying to enjoy the process of refining. Well, this past month or so has tested my limits of enjoying refinement.
I know I'm usually an optimist. (I prefer optimistic realist.)
 I remember my mother in law telling me a few years ago that I was "sure squeezing the last bit of lemonade out of a lemon" when trying to look on the positive side of a bad situation. I also know my positive outlook on life can get annoying to the more central realists, or glass half empty people. Oh well. If the worst people can say about me is that I'm annoyingly positive, well then so be it. (I also know that's probably not the worst people could say about me...but I digress.)
But what happens when my full glass gets smashed to the floor and what if all of the lemons are gone? What then?
It's a paradigm shift. And that's what's happening to me.
I'm seeing the world in a new way.
I admit, I like to be challenged. It helps me see different perspectives, it stretches me (however painful it may be.) But this last month has thrown me for a loop. It reminds me of the first real earthquake I felt last year. As much as I like to talk about God being the only constant, the only unchanging, reliable factor in our lives--I kind of thought the ground I walked on was pretty constant, until the earth moved under my feet (and not in the Carole King kind of way.)
Hmm, so after the earth moved literally under my feet, do I still know that God is good? Do I still know all of my hope is in the promises He professes? Yes.
Here I am a year later from that real earthquake, sitting in a metaphorical one. Do I still know God is good? Do I still believe with all my heart that "He knows the plans to prosper us, not to harm us?" Yes.
The difference between now and then is me. I've become more grounded in prayer and scripture reading than ever before which has taken my walk with Jesus to a new level. It's simply amazing how I can feel every week or so, "I sure didn't know anything last week, I'm just beginning to understand!" and I keep feeling that way week after week, month after month. I love it. God knows we need to feel purposeful. He provides that by an unquenchable desire to know Him more. The more we seek Him, the more abundantly we live while on earth.
 I've had my eyes opened to how God prioritizes family and peace in the bible, not living a frantic, say 'yes' to every opportunity to serve no matter how "good" the intentions. He has disciplined me to see the season of life I am in now, to find a peaceful balance by discerning where I'm needed and where I THINK I'm needed. This is taking a lot of prayer and restructuring of my thinking. He's in the middle of teaching me, so I hope to have more posts on this journey. I started reading "Boundaries" by Cloud and Townsend. It was recommended to me by two separate dear friends within a week of each other. (Not a coincidence.) Just read chapter one while getting my hair cut today (multi-tasking at its best) and somehow was able to hold back the tears. It's the book for me, right now.
 I love that I have given up thinking things are coincidences and TRULY believe that every single thing happens for a reason. When I started living that way, it became a LOT easier to roll with the punches. Instead of being annoyed to the point of seeing red when I pick the slowest possible checkout line at the grocery store, I decide to say a prayer and look around to see where God might use me among the packages of gum and magazines. I say a kind word to the lady juggling three kids in the cart behind me or help unload someone else's groceries. I remember how it felt to be helped in that way, such a small gesture is just enough change from the "usual" that it may set a person's whole day in a different, positive direction. I know because I've been the one helped.  And it felt like there is some hope left. And there is.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (gotta love the message version):
 16-18So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

This song has brought me a lot of comfort over the last couple of years. I hadn't heard it in a while and God brought it back to me when I needed it this week. I hope you are blessed by it as well. Praying so hard.

I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That You would take my pain away
When my world is shaking
Heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave Your hands
"Your Hands" by JJ Heller


  1. Bonnie, this is the first time I have heard this song and I cried for my daughter (the suffering because of her undiagnosed health problems) and my cousin who lost her husband in Afghanistan.

    1. This song makes me cry, too. In a hopeful kind of cry. Do you have the "Beauty Will Rise" CD by Steven Curtis Chapman? My friend Kimberly introduced me to it, and it is all about beauty from ashes and grieving with hope. I recommend it to anyone grieving loss of any kind. Saying a prayer for you!

  2. I always love reading your words Bonnie! You are such an inspiration and awesome friend to me!!

    1. Love you, Rosemary. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I'm just trying my best, and I fail at times. Thank goodness for grace and mercy! I'm so glad God brought us together in the library so many years ago! :-)

  3. I think it's great that you are "annoyingly" optimisitic. The world needs people like you. I wish I could tell you how much I feed off your spirituality. Thank you for being a great friend and always showing concern for others above yourself. Your light shines bright! :)