Thursday, November 12, 2015


Monday morning exercise class. The studio door closed behind me as I paused to write my name on the sign-in sheet underneath Diane's.

"How are you today?" Diane chirped.

"Fine," I replied.

Diane tilted her head to one side and stared at me. "Are you sure?"

"Ummmm, yeah!" I laughed.

Diane just kept staring.

"But if you keep looking at me like that," I protested, "I'm probably going to cry!"

Yes, I truly was "fine." And, no, I really wasn't "fine" at all.

I was looking forward to the first exercise class of the week with the awesome ladies at ADBC. I'd had a good night's sleep, an early morning cup of coffee, and time in God's Word. I was warm, clothed, and healthy. It was a beautiful morning and I was looking forward to the week ahead.

I was also mentally and emotionally exhausted. Grieving the loss of a sweet friend. Worn out from a too-busy weekend. Overwhelmed by the thought of all the things I needed to get done in the week ahead - the calendar for November is black with ink. Stressed about relationships and finances and the future.

Yes, I was fine. No, I wasn't fine at all.

Three days later, the pace hasn't slackened. The demands haven't lessened. The stresses have not disappeared.

I missed class at ADBC this morning. Thursday morning yoga/pilates - my favorite. I look forward to Thursday morning class like a kid looks forward to Christmas. But I simply couldn't make it. I was wiping out. Too much to do, getting too far behind. Not enough time to think, to process...

I wasn't "fine" this morning, But really, yes, I was.

After last night's storms, the hay field around the house is a brighter shade of green. We finally have blue skies and sunshine again, and the wet grass, dancing in a chilly wind, sparkles outside my kitchen window like a thousand, thousand jewels.

French toast for breakfast. Always yummy, but, for some reason, exceptionally good this particular morning. Heavenly aroma, a crisp crunch! when you sliced into it, the gooey sweetness of the syrup. "Is it just me, or is this French toast better than usual?" I asked. "It's not just you," Ben replied between bites.

Before he left for school early this morning, Ben and I watched an antlered buck and his doe meander slowly across the field, only yards from the house. Shhhh! Quiet! Don't startle them. Keep perfectly still so they don't see us. We froze at the front door, Ben and I, and held our breaths and watched.

Checked a few things off a mile-long ToDo list. Chugging through emails, only to find another Nuclear Bomb of Encouragement, dropped out of the blue, from someone completely unexpected.

That's when I lost it. Had to step away from the computer. This Presbyterian went all Pentecostal, weeping and laughing and jigging about the kitchen because I could not sit still, because I felt so loved, so blessed, that I thought my heart was going to burst.

When I finally calmed down enough to focus on getting back to work, I thought...

No, I am not fine. I have more to do than I can handle, and I am an incompetent mess. I am stressed, and I am worried about relationships and finances and the future. No, I am not fine at all, Diane!


But my lawn is paved with emeralds. I ate manna for breakfast. A king and a queen of the forest are my gatekeepers. And God himself writes emails to me, dictated to one of His children and typed at a keyboard hundreds of miles away. He does this just to tell me how much He loves me.

There is a beauty so exquisite, so resplendent, that even a glimpse of it breaks your heart.

That beauty...He smiled on me again this morning.

No, Diane, I am not fine. Fine is too weak a word.

I am renewed, transported, undone.

And I am grateful.


Jill Pair said...

Beautifully expressed, my friend! Thank you for your transparency. It reminds me of the Psalms when David is in despair but fixes His eyes on His Lord and always finds encouragement and comfort there. Thank you for pointing the way for us.
I am finally reading Bethel Road and loving it! You have always had a way with words, and I love how you express yourself. Hugs!

Camille said...

Jill Pair, you came up in conversation with a friend at dinner tonight. You can't imagine how often and how much you encourage me and challenge me to live out this faith, even across time and distance. When I think back to junior high, and high school, and college, and early married life, and new have been one of the most influential people in my life. I am so thankful for you!!! - Camille

Jill Pair said...

Well, it's mutual, sister! I am also challenged in my thinking when I listen to or read your thoughts. I have so many memories of our wacky times together that I just have to smile and laugh. Good times with you, my friend! I also think of times when we had sweet, meaningful conversations where we were pointing each other to Jesus. I have truly been blessed by our Lord to know you!
Love, Jill