Thing by Thing, Day by Day

 

inktober 2016, UGH watermark
a drawing I did for Inktober 2016

Life is beginning to feel both monotonous and frustratingly chaotic. The chaos itself is monotonous (but I probably didn’t need to tell you that).

My Mom’s constant advice rings in my head: “Take one a day at a time.” It’s true and helpful–I’m not meant to worry over tomorrow’s or yesterday’s sorrows. I’m meant to process what I’m allotted each day. What I want to talk about head-on, however, is monotony. The hardest days amid chaotic moments of my life are not just the sorrowful points where I’m having a good cry, but the ordinary “drudgery days” where everything feels exactly the same or I need to put aside emotion to get basic, practical work done. The days where the healing process feels too slow, the answers to questions still feel murky, or the best path for making a decision is still unclear. The days when I haven’t had a breakdown or a glad “aha” moment. A lot of books, articles, and songs tell us about and teach us to process the big, climactic moments of our lives but few tell us about what to do with every day in between the next rising or deescalating action. What do we do with the anticlimactic days?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it is okay if not every day in your faith walk is obviously “extraordinary,” because those days are still important, whether you feel it or not.

Recently I’ve been rereading a lot of my past journals (I’ve been writing diaries for almost 10 years now). Going back to the points where I felt most discouraged or I struggled the most to trust God has been helpful; I look back on me from even just 3 years ago and want to let her know that God will answer those feeble prayers I tried every day. I want to tell her that though she could not see the grace of God in the drudgery days, He gave her grace then and I feel it even now. The answered prayers haven’t always been the way I expected or hoped, but He did answer them, and better than I could’ve. Those days of simple, tired, mustard-seed-faith prayer mattered to God just as much as the crying-on-my-knees and joyful battlecry prayers. He listened to them all. Recognizing my need and accepting what He gives is what mattered (and still matters) most.

quaratine tea time wtrmrk

Pushing through monotony is full of God’s presence too. Working through monotony doesn’t mean a “casual Christianity,” but it does mean intentionality in and holy utilization of the quieter spaces I’m given. We’re called to faith and works, so sometimes we need to hold faith on the unextraordinary days and keep doing the seeking work. The Spirit will hunt me down to infuse me with the knowledge of His friendship and Godliness. He will make me aware of the space He will take up in my life if I only say, “Okay, here’s where I am and here’s what I’ve got. Come in and show me what You will.” Even when I have little faith, that simple desire to be closer to God, when I feel like I’m not close enough, is from the Holy Spirit in and of itself. God will bring much out of the little and mundane too.

And when the monotony makes me indifferent to suffering or doubtful of the significance of this earthly life, may my eyes be opened before the lie it all means nothing. May they be opened up to accept whatever small joys and tasks I’m given for today. May I have the humility to just ask Jesus to help me understand where I know I cannot.

Jesus, shake me out of sleepy spirituality and give me awake, truly rested eyes.


Extra Encouragement

ד

“My life is down in the dust;
give me life through Your word.
I told You about my life,
and You listened to me;
teach me Your statutes.
Help me understand
the meaning of Your precepts
so that I can meditate on Your wonders.
I am weary[a] from grief;
strengthen me through Your word.
Keep me from the way of deceit
and graciously give me Your instruction.
I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set Your ordinances before me.
I cling to Your decrees;
Lord, do not put me to shame.
I pursue the way of Your commands,
for You broaden my understanding.”[b]

“God answers prayer in the best way— not just sometimes, but every time. However, the evidence of the answer in the area we want it may not always immediately follow.”


[Special thanks to my gals from the Creative Collective group for conversation the other night that helped me process a lot of these thoughts more fully in order to edit the post’s earlier draft. Love you guys.]

 

Take things one day at a time, friends, even if each day allotted feels more stale/crazy than the last. This is still the day the LORD has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
~Heidi

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