I’m calling it tonight. I don’t have it in me to write about anything in particular. I’m just feeling too tired, too sore, too emotional. In reality, this is what pregnancy looks like sometimes. It’s what life looks like sometimes. Right now, my world so happens to be life and pregnancy, overlapping, and I’m giving both all I’ve got.
I spent time praying this morning and felt pressed to ask God for wisdom on gentleness. He plopped me down in the middle of 1 Peter 3 and I poured over those words for a long while, along with the chapters that followed. It’s true that God’s word does not come back void. Today’s time in prayer is what got me through the day.
…Your beauty should consist of what is inside the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit… (1 Pet 3.3-4)
…You have become [Sarah’s] children when you do what is good and are not frightened by anything alarming… (1 Pet 3.6)
…Always be ready to defend the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect…(1 Pet 3.15-16)
…While doing what is good, entrust [yourself] to a faithful Creator…(1 Pet 4.19)
…Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you… (1 Pet 5.6-7)
…Now the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen and support you after you have suffered a little… (1 Pet 5. 10)
That is a whole lot of good fuel for the soul in a few short pages of the Bible right there.
I was especially looking forward to diving in this morning, because I wanted to try out my new Illustrator’s Notetaking Bible*. It’s been sitting for a few weeks now just waiting to be cracked open, and honestly, it was perfect for today because it gave me space to linger and meditate on the words for longer than I normally would. Going over each letter carefully was a good exercise for me. It slowed me down and guided me through my time. I needed that.
This pregnancy has felt more like a spiritual battle than I imagined. I don’t know why so much is warring within me, but I am seeking joy with fervor everyday and sometimes still feel like I’m coming up short.
Dear friends, laughter and unexpected graces are the things carrying me through each 24 hours…like today’s impromptu invitation for our family to come over for dinner. I didn’t have to cook. I just had to show up. There are a lot of days right now where showing up is what I’ve got, so this was perfect. Being present with friends around the table while our kids played beautifully together was a saving grace today. Good food nourishing this baby when I have little energy for the kitchen was another.
God always knows what we need and meets us where we are if we let him.
I think spending time this morning was an invitation to God to enter more fully into this day with me. I’m bad at consistently diving into scripture and allowing it to be a balm over the rough places, but when I crave it and pursue it, it covers me every time.
One of my favorite authors released a book today and I’m anxiously awaiting its arrival on my doorstep. I’ve been wearing this bracelet with the words, “Present over Perfect” on it for a long while now. It serves as a reminder to me that I’m called to be present, but never called to be perfect. And it’s a good thing, because I needed to stop prioritizing perfection over people. I was never going to achieve it, anyway.
Tonight, I’m still wearing my cuff and being reminded even as I type that some days, it’s just about showing up. Some days it’s about cracking open the book that’s been sitting far too long on the shelf. Some days it’s about surrendering our messes (physical, emotional, mental, spiritual) to God before we spend time in worry over them. I had to do all of those things today, however jumbled and ungraceful my efforts may have been.
Truly, the Word and the truth of the Word carried me through today. God’s promises do not return void.
Before I prioritize any other thing, I know that my best bet is to dive into the Truth. I think I’ve gotten a little too far away from my dependence on that in these harder days. And it’s time to get back.
My body is craving rest and restoration tonight, and instead of worrying, I’m going to trust that God can provide that very thing.
one day at a time, one grace at a time,
*I recently received a free copy of the Holman Illustrator’s Notetaking Bible in exchange for my honest review. It’s a beautiful edition and translation, made lovelier by the space to hand letter and illustrate provided images, with plenty of room for note taking throughout. I’m so thankful to have a copy to utilize in this reflective season.