Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

What I’m Learning

Bonnie asked us to be bold,
to write about what we’re learning about ourselves
these days.

It’s a bit like whistling in the dark, to write
about right
now.

Because what if I write about it and then fail?

When I really yearn to nail it?

But we are writing in community

So let me start with yesterday (really recent!)

It rained.

I sat in the rain in my car with my friend
talking
about what we’ve been learning
about ourselves.

My friend is my neighbor across the street.
She has brought me food, dinner just hours ago.
She has sent me emails, “I’m praying for you.”
She has been there for me through thick and thin.

It rained, perhaps ending our drought conditions.

We had a drought in our usual rainy season,
while friends out east had much snow.
Visits postponed because of airports shutting down.

We had a drought.

Sometimes it’s like that in my heart.
A drought when everyone else is receiving.

I pray each morning for God’s love.
“Lord, give me your love for my people;
I can’t love them on my own, my love falls short.”

This is what I’ve been learning about myself.

I was always told how loving I am, how warm.
(Is it just having had a Greek mom?)
How people learned the value of a hug from me.
(Is it because I’d received so many hugs?)
So I thought I was good at loving.
But I’ve learned about myself.

I only can give love I’ve received.
John the baptist said it, when they asked him about his ministry:
“A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven.” (John 3:27)
and I’d memorized it, in James (1:16-17):
Do not be deceived my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

So the truth about me?
I fail. I fall short so often. But sometimes…

Sometimes, when people see God’s work in me and they tell me about it, I can praise God, thank him for showing himself to them, for passing on what he’s given to me.
I can be genuinely glad for the times I don’t fail because I’ve received.

That love I beg for each morning?
It doesn’t feel like he’s answered.
I don’t feel an onrush of heart stirring goodness.
Nothing changes when I pray it.
Only, the day is changed as I go about it.
And, when I forget to pray,
The day is awful and I go about resentful.
Yes, me the loving warm hugger!

OneWord2014

So, the grace of God is poured out.
I pray for God’s love in the morning,
and I depend on it through the day
to flow when needed:
his heart love and his wisdom
like a vine giving sap to the branch.

I’m learning not to think of myself as good or bad.
I’m learning how much I need prayer…

Martin Sanders once asked, “Who is praying for you?”

It’s a comfort, to know someone is praying for you.
I know of three ladies who regularly pray for me,
as do my daughter, my husband and my 3 parents.
I am so thankful, and I praise God for them.

Who is praying for you?

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Comments on: "What I’m Learning" (5)

  1. Dear Beth,
    Thank you for your heartfelt words this morning. I am thankful the Lord has put us on this journey together and we are learning to love together.
    Love you, friend,
    Susan

  2. Thank you for “whistling in the dark,” Beth. As you say, without receiving from that fountain of grace, we have no love to give. Joining with you on the journey.

  3. Rosemary Bluman said:

    So glad to be praying for you tonight, informed by your post.  Thank you.

  4. hisfirefly said:

    His love flows through you indeed, perhaps more than ever when you don’t feel it!

  5. This is beautiful and so honest. I appreciate you opening up. It reminds me of 1 John where we’re told that we only love because He loved us first. First we have to receive it, then we can give it. I want to be both a better receiver and giver! Thanks for this, Beth.

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