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Archive for August, 2018

I love the adrenaline rush of a busy day but as I get older I find the downslope of that mountain can turn treacherous. I spend my day being extra helpful and gracious to people I don’t know (good thing) but then I’m grumpy with those who love me best (bad thing). I’ve expended tons of energy to do my job well but have nothing in the tank for after hours.

So, at the end of my crazy busy work week (with a crazy busy and emotionally draining weekend ahead), I’ve decided: (1) my best self needs to be given to my husband and children; (2) I will not beat myself up over silly mistakes; and (3) even keel is my best speed and serves others best also.

In the midst of the late 90s revival services, I received advice from a well known speaker: You cannot live on the mountain top experiences. And there is no medal for wallowing in the valley. You must attempt to live as steady as possible, enjoying the changes in terrain but always striving for level.

So when my schedule is wonky and my temper is short, I will remember those other wise words: “This too shall pass.” Leveling out and moving on. Giving and receiving grace. Enjoying the journey, not trying to win the race. Oh yes, a visit from puppies never hurts.

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It’s not even a word – but it so accurately describes my life. I have a lot of unexpectedlies – every day. And so do you. At first, I was blindsided by happenings in my life that I never planned for. Death. Accidents. Job loss. Broken relationships. All these and more kept me off balance, sometimes teetering on the edge of grief and despair. I felt more fear than faith – dreading the next bend in the road.

One weekend TrailI had an epiphany. I came to realize, with the wooing of the Holy Spirit, that these unexpectedlies are opportunities. Opportunities to find blessing in the midst of sadness. Joy in the midst of sorrow. Healing in the midst of pain. Instead of finding the gray on the backside of every cloud, I really do attempt to find the silver lining.

This past month, three close friends have passed away. One was my beautiful daughter-in-law’s father. He was a huge influence in my life, in the lives of my friends and family. Another was a man who helped me navigate the stress of my first radio job, moving from co-worker to great friend. He and his lovely wife gave me support in the hardest time of my life and for that, I will be forever grateful. Just this past Tuesday, another friend entered in the presence of Jesus. We’d only known each other three years but we became the best of buddies, joined together through our love of the Chicago Cubs and our little church family.

Each man was an unexpectedly in my life – unexpected voices of encouragement and affirmation, sometimes challenging, always loving and supportive. I am a blessed woman to have known these three and I am so grateful I was able to run part of my life’s race alongside them.

Takeaway – celebrate the unexpectedlies. Look for the blessing in each one. Grow through the experience. Choose to respond to each one with grace and forgiveness. Love fiercely because unexpectedlies happen…every day.

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