August is a hard month: whether it's kids going back to school or leaving for college, dealing with loss, or just coping with the exhausting heat, August point to many hard memories for me. I know from emailing and talking with a lot of you that you're in a difficult season, too. I wish I could just hug you and cry with you. I want to encourage you with something I wrote last week and posted on my Facebook page. I thought it might resonate with some of you:
"Sometimes I’m down. Just sad. Overwhelmed by sorrow. Tired of being strong. Those feelings taken residency in my heart and I long for something different, better. I know it’s not long term— gosh, I pray it’s not. But there are times I just want to curl up and cry for a bit. But it tends to be that ugly cry where you sniff and snot and then just can’t breathe and you scare everyone around you. I felt this way when my first child left for college. (Maybe that's you) And I’m feeling this way right now. Then I remember…God is good, faithful, loving, kind, and near to the broken hearted. There are times I play a song on repeat. I play it louder at the end so I can't hear myself weeping. But God…I’m thankful for Him. Make yourself a list of all the things He’s done for you in the past and then remember, He can still do it in the future: they can be your stones of remembrance. His Hands are much more capable than ours; sometimes it’s just hard to remember!"
(This is the song I've been listening to--it's by Lauren Daigle; might I suggest you add it to your playlist on repeat?)
Many friends were encouraged by that post, saying it was just the comfort they needed. I love how God, people, songs, and verses speak to me. I read these verses just today: "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT (emphasis mine)
Below are two pictures that popped up on my phone under the title of "last year's memories." I thought, "man, I take some weird pictures!" But there is significance to them, also.
When we were in Colorado last year, we drove up through the mountains; these trees were everywhere and intrigued me. Their branches and trunks look so haphazard and twisted. They've been hit with lots of crazy winds, storms, snow, and rain, and yet most of them are still standing.
Why is that? As you look closer, their roots run very deep. As the winds beat and twist them, they hold tight, making their roots even stronger. And so it is with our us. Life throws hard winds and storms, and yet if our foundation is in the Lord, the roots just keep running deeper and stronger. Sure, it's not enjoyable and rarely do I say, "Yay!! This is the best pain ever," but it's only through hard times that we're truly able to comfort others and see beauty in the good times.
Back to today's blog topic, how do I create comfort in my home? Comfort can come in so many different ways. It's definitely from a clean, non-chaotic space, that's full of comfy, snuggly blankets, candles, and pillows. Those things make me very happy! But they also help me focus inwardly as I wrap myself up in them, with time to be alone with soothing music and time in the Word. Comfort is a good thing, and we need make time in our lives to receive it.
Be encouraged, fellow traveler, through this journey. God put us together to encourage and comfort each other. I pray you can find rest, peace, and comfort in your home today.
Until next time,