Monday Mindset :: Vol. 3

{I know it’s Sunday, and therefore this post shouldn’t technically be published today. But I hope you find it encouraging and maybe it will be just the preparation needed to take into Monday.}

So I was changing a diaper. But I wasn’t feeling right. And I’m not talking about the diaper. I was knee deep in personal need. So fundamental that I still can’t articulate the source. Whatever makes me “me” wasn’t right. And it hadn’t been right for days. The task at hand was, well, dirty and it didn’t look like the day was getting much brighter. My last Monday Mindset was on embracing the joy in pain, and here I was in a different type of pain that left me in the dark.

Do you know that feeling? Of being lost in the dark?

It’s full on spring now in Michigan, and the beauty and brightness of it all truly takes my breath away. I was driving a week or so ago with my children in the van, and I’ll never forget the shock of suddenly looking up and noticing that all the trees were green again! Something happened over the course of this long winter that led me to teach myself to be content with the grey. To embrace the dark and cold as gifts from the Creator who knows better than I. And that moment, that singular point in time was like an electrical current to my spirit that sparked everything to life.

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I’ve noticed that others must be feeling that same spark because I see life all around me in their smiling faces. People everywhere walking, running, and working in their yards. Happy to put their whole self to work in the brightness of the spring sun. “Spring cleaning” I’m observing is not a date on the calendar but rather a reaction to the sun. The light sets us in motion to work and clear out the dirty that the dark collects.

The darkness outside flees with nowhere to hide when the sun comes full circle and lights up the world around me. But the darkness inside, the clouds of pain and frustration that accumulate in my soul sometimes seem to have a force that can withstand the Light. The Truth seems dim and distant, and I’m turned around by my feelings and suddenly I revert to a childish condition of fear and panic relying on my fight or flight, my own strength, to force my way back to a place of safety.

My own strength can only produce false safeties. If I turn to fight, I exert myself in anger to regain a sense of “control” that has been lost in the dark. Or if I turn to flight, I surrender to what seems to be the wave of discouragement, the heavy blanket of despair which takes way too much effort to unburden myself.

Until that day with the diaper. One piercing ray of Truth broke through the clouds of dark, and I heard: there’s enough grace for this moment. Enough grace to stay steady, calm. Enough grace to take one step and stay in the Light. Enough grace to keep believing that the darkness has no real power over me. Enough grace to stay active with my mind, to resist temptation, to refuse the pull of fight or flight. Enough grace to truly feel thankful.

So for the past 7 weeks or so, and now going forward I’ve had this mindset: there is enough grace for this. And I’ve been granted enough faith to believe it and live in the Light.

 

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