Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sunday Afternoon Tea - Keeping strong in the midst of difficulties
I've been asked how I'm doing now, after the crisis of early spring. I wish I could say it is all resolved but life doesn't always work like a sixty minute drama on TV. However, the worst of the crisis appears to be over. I hope.
We receive grace, like manna, one day at a time. This past crisis has affected relationships, our finances, and to be honest... how I view the future. However, the Word promises that He holds His flock in the palm of His hand and that is a good place to be held.
I've written about the various ways I get through the hard times, those days while waiting for prayers to be answered and solutions provided. Always at the top of the "helping to get through" list is drawing nearer to God.
I'm a good prayer, I find it easy to talk to Him throughout the day. I'm not as good at intense Bible Study these days but I read devotionals and the Word (especially Psalms) in times of trouble.
I do read but as much as I love books and The Book... sometimes I find it hard to concentrate on reading if I'm in a crisis. When circumstances have lifted a bit, I then enjoy reading again. I have even accepted two books to review so that in itself is proof there is hope.
My favorite way to just get away from it all these days is to lose myself in a really good TV mystery. I know it isn't very spiritual but they provide a much needed mental vacation. A couple ladies I love run to British Period flicks based on Jane Austen's books while another watches one of the modern Superhero movies.
Currently, thanks to recommendations from blog readers when I mentioned loving Wallander and Shetland, I've been watching Vera on the iPad. Even though I can only download one episode at a time (my iPad is now considered ancient) and it takes two to three hours with our rural DSL... it is worth the wait.
I'm almost through with Season Three and it has provided the kind of mental escape that was needed. I will purchase Season Four in late July with credit, the downloads are quite inexpensive. Until then, I just may have to pop the one Miss Marple DVD I own in the DVD player. (I've loved mysteries since my Nancy Drew days)
There is something about Great Britain and mysteries, whether a more cozy mystery style such as Miss Marple or the grittier Shetland... they certainly know how to write and produce mysteries to enable us to lose oneself as we figure out "who done it". No wonder they were popular during times of war.
I have been traveling vicariously on a trip "out West" with my son and daughter-in-law's vacation photos and I have been in Scotland and England with the posted photos from my daughter's family. Technology is a good thing when they take me along via Instagram and Facebook. ;)
If this were mid-winter, I'd probably be spending more time in the kitchen either baking or making soup. It has been too hot, humid, and rainy for the kitchen to be a place of refuge most days. Although currently on the stove, there is a roasted chicken (leftovers) being simmered to turn into chicken stock.
That is a rather roundabout way of answering the question. I'm doing fine. Hanging in there with God's help (always with HIS strength). I am convinced that God doesn't waste trials.
They are there for a purpose and I always ask His wisdom to teach me in the trial, whether it was brought on from the actions of someone else or me... God is the Master Weaver of our lives and He is well able to use what the enemy intended for evil, not only for our good but for our growth. He provides the way through to the end.
Just this week, I received a gift from a friend that was something I've wanted to try for a very long time. Partly it was the gift itself that brought joy but also it was very much the love behind the gift. God was using a friend to show me His love and compassion, giving the gentle nudge to keep walking through the time of trial.
I need to remember that the next time a friend is experiencing trials. It will nudge me into writing that card or even just sending an email. So often I think of blog friends, those I have not corresponded with since Christmas... who were going through very severe times of trial. I need to let them know I'm remembering and praying and that God is with them.
That alone helps us not to waste a trial. The gift of empathy.
Mentioned in this Post
Vera Amazon Video (Season one was okay. I thought it got better with each episode. Seasons two and three were fabulous for those of us who like a broody mystery)... here.
Vera DVD set Seasons 1-5... here. On my Wish List!
Shetland Seasons One and Two on DVD.. here. (Based on the books written by the same author as Vera. For those who like a darker, broodier mystery.)
Wallander Season One on DVD... here. (For those who like a very flawed, broody hero with similar stories. Kenneth Branagh is an amazing actor.)
Miss Marple... there are family wars over which actress portrayed the best Miss Marple! I think they all offer something to enjoy but this is my favorite and this DVD series has been remastered, it looks beautiful... here.
Disclaimer: Most links to Amazon.com are Associate links. I thank you.