Hello, everyone! Thanks so much for your patience and understanding while I have been away. It’ll still take me some time to catch up on everything (likes, comments, and your posts), but I’ll do what I can, when I can. I’m hoping to eventually get back to my regular – daily – posting schedule, but let’s see how I do with this post first.
However, before I go any further, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! As I approach the one-year anniversary of Daily Hopeful, I must say that I am grateful for the wonderful community of bloggers here on WordPress. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and also for the inspiring writing that you share with the world.
A few personal updates since I last posted here:
- As some of you may know, Northern California (where I live) has been ablaze. Thankfully, I am a considerable distance from the location of the Camp Fire, but the smoke has affected a good portion of the state (and other states as well). As for me, I have been significantly impacted with my asthma – the air quality got to be so poor here that I stayed in my apartment for several days (only stepping out one morning to quickly dispose of the trash). Thank the Lord for a flexible job and poweful air purifiers! However, this past Wednesday was the first day when I actually left my apartment, got in my car, and went somewhere (we enjoyed some much-needed rain that day, so I was able to breathe in the fresh air). I’m still struggling with my asthma, however, which seems to have kicked into high gear over the course of the past day or two; consequently, I’m really focused on resting – read: no stress! – and taking things easy until my breathing gets back to normal.
- Additionally, I originally took a bit of a sabbatical from this blog because I was dealing with an injury that precluded me from doing much work on the computer or on my mobile phone. I’m still recovering from that, and so must limit the amount of time that I spend online. Things are gradually getting better, though – many thanks to those of you who were praying for me. I appreciate you!
- The combination of these two circumstances (being indoors and not being able to spend much time on the computer) has resulted in my spending quite a bit of time in introspection. I’ve used the time productively – beyond my regular work (reduced hours, though), I also created a detailed budget for myself for the upcoming year, and gave my apartment a good scrub-down using natural cleansers that I made from things I had around my kitchen: baking soda, apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and essential oils. I also started doing more cardiovascular exercise at home – I’ve had to stop in recent days, though, but will start up again as soon as my asthma is back on track. Further, I’ve been cooking quite a bit and freezing the leftovers. I’m reminded that I’m a pretty decent cook, and – more importantly – I like what I make! Finally, I’ve rented some DVDs from the library and have let myself watch a movie from time to time.
However, I think the most important thing I’ve learned during this time of rest and reflection is how God honors our obedience to Him. As I may have mentioned in another blog post, I’ve been working on establishing and maintaining good/healthy boundaries in my life, rather than being overly flexible with them as I have done in the past. I have come to realize that the only way things will change in my life is if I start making changes, and so that is what I have been doing!
It’s taken awhile, but I am starting to see some fruit. In particular, what I’ve come to observe is how God acts when I simply relax and let things come my way (rather than reaching and grasping for them). I have been fascinated to observe the kinds of intriguing opportunities that the Lord is sending my way, but I also see that He is allowing my boundaries to be tested/reinforced, too.
Despite the testing, I have come to a place of peace and rest with the Lord. Do I have all of the answers? No. But do I trust Him to take care of me? Yes, I do. However, it means that I need to do things His way – which means sticking with the boundaries – even (especially?) when it feels uncomfortable.
I will not trade the peace that I have for anything – it has been too hard-fought and too hard-won. However, I’ve come to recognize that I’m still growing and learning, too; and that the boundaries I’ve set up in my life are for right now – as I change, the boundaries may be readjusted, too. Truly, it’s a dynamic thing, and I enjoy the greatest peace in my life when I simply take each day as it comes, trusting the Lord to provide my “daily bread,” as He promises to do for all of His children.
So, as we prepare to celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s remember to thank the Lord for new beginnings! When we do things His way, it’s never too late to start “new” and re-orient our lives in the right direction. And that’s why I like this verse from Proverbs 16 – one I’ve likely shared here before, but I still think it bears repeating – when we commit our ways to the Lord, then He ensures that we will continue to grow. We may not be able to anticipate exactly how God will make things happen, but we can rest in the knowledge that He will take care of us, and is deeply committed to our ongoing growth and development in all areas of our lives.
Okay, that was a lot for one post. 😮 It may take me a few days to get back into my regular flow (quotes on Wednesdays, prayer on Thursdays, humor on Fridays, etc.), so thanks again for bearing with me during this time of transition. God bless you all!