For Overwhelmed Me...and Maybe Overwhelmed You? On "One of Those Mondays"


Weeks of struggle,
Culminating in days of deep distress,
Followed by a day of immense encouragement,
Leading to Today.

Today is filled with a mixed up mess of emotion and mental chaos.
Gratitude, anticipation, joy, relief, 
Anxiety, mental fog, restlessness, pain.
Needing to accomplish much, 
Feeling like the long-ago cartoon characters running, running, running, and never moving forward, 
Watching the clock tick by,
Uncrossed list staring back at me, schedule revamped, reworked, and revamped again.

Physical impairments, circumstantial stressors, "what ifs?" piling on top of "what ifs?" 
All are surface problems. 
The root, I know...needing to sit at Jesus's feet like Mary.
And yet I struggle to clear the way.

Unfinished Bible studies beg for my attention. 
Responsibilities beckon.
"Should dos" line up at my door. 

Day upon day of "not keeping up" in every direction
Brings a near-paralysis as mind and body threaten to shut down. 
Time to "do the next thing".

I struggle to get into the Word, but I know the Word must get into me. 
Unable to word a coherent prayer, I cling to these words from Romans 8:26:
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 
 As I look up the verse, I begin to marvel once again at the verses just before...just after...the entire chapter. 

Do the next thing.
Read Romans 8. Read again. And again. Soak in its rich truth.
Thank God for the groanings of the Holy Spirit in my overwhelming weakness this morning.
Ask for wisdom...He promises to supply!
Move on to the next thing...and the next...

Loving the words of this poem again this morning:

Do The Next Thing
From an old English parsonage,
Down by the sea,
There came in the twilight,
A message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend,
Deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me,
Teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours
The quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration-
Do the next thing.

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment,
Let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity,
Guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows,
Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus,
Do the next thing.

Do it immediately;
Do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence,
Tracing His Hand,
Who placed it before thee with
Earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence,
Safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all resultings,
Do the next thing.

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering)
Be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence,
The rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance
Be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness,
Praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee,
Do the next thing.

-Author unknown

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.  
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?  Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 
~Romans 8:26-35

Today's post was not a planned post.  Even as I typed it, I really didn't plan to publish...I was processing through my own struggle this morning, and I often do that best through words on a page.  However, as I neared the end and worked my way through the passage in Romans 8 and the simple old poem God has used on similar days in the past, I began to reconsider.  

God has been working on me for the last 18 months or so about being more transparent. He began the process through a casual comment from an old friend while on vacation last year, and is continuing it currently through my participation on the Launch Team for Mary DeMuth's soon-to-be released book, The Wall Around Your HeartHe continues to remind me that He works through our transparency, even when we would sometimes be much more comfortable avoiding the vulnerability that requires. 

I may not be the only one who has started this week sludging through "a mixed up mess of emotion and mental chaos".  Perhaps others need the encouragement of these verses today, and the reminder to "do the next thing" in the strength and power He gives for this. very. moment....not this afternoon, or next week, or next year, but just this moment.  

So...I'm hesitantly going to hit "publish" a few minutes from now, and pray that God will use these raw, mostly-unedited, off-my-beaten path words to encourage someone today.  If you've been encouraged, I'd love to hear from you...that would be an encouragement to me!  And if you are struggling today, I would love to pray for you.  Leave a comment below, or send a note via the email widget in the sidebar.

Thank you for stopping by! If you're new here, welcome! I'd love to hear from you in the comments or via the email option in the sidebar. If you'd like to keep up with future posts,  it's easy to follow via  Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest. You can also sign up in the sidebar to receive new posts by email. Thank you!


If I Were Stuck on a Desert Island With One Adhesive {Glue Dots}


I always hated those games and quizzes that asked, "If you were stuck on a desert island and only had one food to eat..." or "If you were stuck on a desert island and only had one fiction book..." 

One food...forever?  Or one book to read over and over for the rest of my life?  I'm seriously not good at that kind of choices. 

But...put me on a desert island and tell me I have to pick just one adhesive, and I wouldn't bat an eyelash. I'd pick Glue Dots, hands down. 

I first encountered Glue Dots years ago when I was teaching scrapbooking classes.  3L Photo Squares were and still are my adhesive of choice for paper and photos.  For anything heavy or bulky, Glue Dots quickly became my "go to" adhesive.  

Then I began to introduce Glue Dots to my scrapbooking class attendees, children in church and homeschool craft classes, and friends, and they began to get hooked on them.  One little boy actually asked his mom for Glue Dots for Christmas! 

Not only do I use Glue Dots on all types of scrapbooking and craft projects (as do my children :)), but they come in handy for repairs as well.  We've used them for emergency hem fixes, short-term shoe mending, and a long-term patch on our microwave door handle. 

The only thing better than Glue Dots is free Glue Dots!  I recently won a Back-to-School pack from Glue Dots through an online giveaway.  Then last week I was cleaning out some boxes from long-ago craft classes, and I found an almost-full box of Glue Dots in the bottom of a RubberMaid tub.  It was like finding buried treasure. :)

Do you have  a favorite adhesive or craft project?  Please tell me about it in the comments! 

Joining in today (a little late :)) with Works for Me Wednesday.  Check out Kristen's blog to see what's working for others this week!

(I am not a paid representative for Glue Dots, although I probably should be! I just really appreciate their products, because they fill a need and fill it well.) 


Of Favorite Hymns, Not-So-Weird Tears, and a 19th Century Teenager...

I still can't sing it without crying.

There are certain hymns that triggered tears for a long time after my dad's death for obvious reasons. They still do, sometimes.  "It is Well" was one of his very favorites, and every time I sing it, I remember him telling me the story of Horatio G. Spafford and the great tragedy which inspired this much-loved hymn.  I was a little girl when he first told me the story, and I credit that and the stories he told me over the years about Fanny Crosby and other great hymn-writers with sparking my lifelong love of hymn stories.

"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" was another of his favorites, which I never hear now without remembering how beautifully the choir sang it at his funeral.  It was that arrangement that was used at Merlene's funeral last month...which brought back such a huge flood of memories.  That will always be my favorite arrangement of that beautiful hymn.

"O Sacred Head Now Wounded" and "And Can It Be?" were two other favorites that always bring back special memories.

Weird Tears...

I've done better in recent years about singing those without tears...most of the time, anyway.  But as we sang "My Jesus, I Love Thee" Sunday morning, my voice began to crack on the 3rd verse, and I began to wish for a kleenex for the tiny tears that were pooling in my eyes. I realized that not once since December 2004 have I sung this hymn without fighting back tears.

It's a bit odd.  There are so many hymns I associate with Daddy in some way: hymns that were on his list of favorites, hymns written by hymn writers he was partial to, hymns we'd played on handbells years ago (When Morning Gilds the Skies and Now The Day Is Over among others), and hymns written by Frances Ridley Havergal, author of the little devotional book he read to me for many years at bedtime.

This one fits into none of those categories, and yet is the one that hits me the hardest and brings him to mind the most.  How weird is that?

Not so weird, actually.

Not So Weird...

Daddy has been gone for over 8 years, and I still hear stories from people about how he impacted their lives.  What a huge blessing that is!   He certainly impacted mine in a million different ways over the 36 years we had together.  It would take a book to list them all.

And yet, the greatest impact of all was in the last months and days of his life.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;

He was faithful until the very end.  Although he was in serious pain, and dealing with severe physical limitations, he continued teaching 3rd grade Sunday School with my mom and singing in the choir until he just physically could not get out of the house anymore.  He loved teaching children, and he loved singing in choir, and he did those things with great joy until the very last.

Many of those who've shared the impact Daddy had on their lives are fellow choir members and (now) young adults who were in his Sunday School class those last few years.  They in particular saw his love for the Lord and his joy in serving him, even at a time when many would have said, "I'm too old, my health is too poor, I've done my time."  He didn't do any of it because he felt like he "should"; he did it because he loved every minute.

Greatest Memory of All!


And say when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
“If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”

Of all the memories I have of my dad, of all the things he taught me by word and example, of all the stories I could share...one stands out above all.  It was just days before his death, and he was in intense pain.  He had dealt with five years of devastating health issues,and he knew that death was drawing near.  He wasn't as talkative as usual; pain and meds and weakness were taking their toll.

Ammah Grace and I were on the bed with him, and as he looked at the tiny granddaughter for whom he (and everyone else) had prayed so hard, tears began to stream down his face as he said, "God has been so good to me."

My dad was by no means perfect.  I know that there were times when he struggled with his medical issues and the pain that he suffered.   But at that point, his overwhelming thought was "God has been so good to me." 

Although that wasn't our last conversation and those weren't his last words, they are seared into my heart and mind as the last words I remember of my dad's.  Everything after that gets fuzzy, as we waited and watched and lived on adrenaline and emotion.

Those words, though, those words still completely overwhelm me.  "God has been so good to me."

Pondering the Now...

 In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
“If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”

And then of course there's that last verse.  I love the thought of Daddy worshiping His Lord "in mansions of glory and endless delight", singing praise to the Father He loves in the choir to end all choirs.

The "Rest of the Story", With a Bit of a Twist...

This hymn...especially those last two verses...just sums up my dad's testimony to me.

Here's what's amazing about those words:  They were written by a teenaged boy.

Unlike many of the great hymn-writers, William Ralph Featherston's story is amazing mostly because of its lack of amazing-ness.  Little is known about him, and this is the only hymn he is known to have written.

The story is simple.  Featherston became a Christian as a teen, and was so overwhelmed by God's love for him that he wrote this as a poem to express his love for his Savior.  Years later, Adoniram Judson Gordon put the poem to the tune we sing now, and published it in his hymn book.  Featherston died at the age of 27.

There appears to be little known about Featherston beyond these facts.  And yet his testimony lives on in this  beautiful hymn. 


My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine—
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou:
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.

I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree;
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow:
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death-dew lies cold on my brow,
“If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.”

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow,
“If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.” 

 ~William Featherston

 Did you sing a favorite hymn yesterday?  Or a new one that touched you in a special way?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments!  Or share your favorite hymn or hymn story.


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