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This year has full of surprises. Some welcome, some not. I'm a gal that loves a good surprise. I'm a girl that is throttled by the bad ones. Shaken not stirred. I've had to work on that big time this year because the shockwaves just keep coming, and I just kept getting shaken. It has taken a lifetime for me to make peace with the reality that I'm only in control of so much. I can't control the surprises in life. I can only prepare myself for one thing, and that is Christ's return.
I don't want to become overly desensitized to the surprises and not react at all. That's complacency, is it not? What I think is crucial during times like this, is to use surprises to stir us up. Stir up new thought, new feeling, new action.
Stirred not shaken.
Take a breath, then use the shock as a catalyst and choose to be a responder, not a reactor. The Mighty Oak is a world class responder and I have learned so much from his example. Reactors make problems worse. Responders find solutions. I would much rather be on the winning team, wouldn't you? Let us be responders. Let us be stirred.
One way that I am being a responder this year is by focusing on the blessings around me and sharing it with others. Our garden has provided an enormous amount of joy to us in these crazy times. The bright colors and textures brighten and lighten the spirit, which is certainly something I need right now. How about you? I am sure to pick bouquets a few times a week, and share them when I can. This is one way I can respond... with graciousness.
Grace not grief is a term that was placed on my heart this week. It's so easy to get caught up in the stressors and in the past I have been so quick to offer up grief. So this offering of grace is a new thing that is stirring in me, changing me. Is this something that could change in you too? Could we give grace to the young girl who has the harrowing job of reminding strangers to wear a mask before we enter the store she works for, can we give grace to the bosses who are trying to keep their small businesses running, can we give grace to the delivery boy who messes up your order, but is just thankful to have a job, can we extend grace to the pastors who are desperately trying to do the right thing by keeping the church doors open and can we give grace to the ones we live with who are navigating these dark times alongside us? I say yes. I believe we can be stirred into doing so.
The surprises come whether we are ready or not. We will face them when they do.
And we will not be shaken.
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