This Beautiful, Ordinary Life

I’ve got something new to tell you about! Also, an update to share…and something I’m really loving right now. Let’s get right to it!

Something new! 🎉

I’ve sent you an encouraging Life on Life email once per month for a while now. But I’ve found that I miss interacting more frequently with y’all and this is one way I’m going to do something about that. ❤️ I’ll still have a presence on social media, but email is one place where–no matter the algorithm–I’ll have the best shot at reaching you and hopefully(!!) receiving a response from you as well. 😉

If you sign up for my emails, you’ll receive This Beautiful, Ordinary Life email each Saturday morning to read at your leisure. (I love Saturdays to catch up on life…especially with friends!) I chose the title purposely because “God has made everything beautiful for its own time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Hard time, ordinary time, any time–when God is in the equation–there’s beauty to be found. So, grab your cup of coffee, tea, green juice or what have you… and let’s find the beauty in our life, together!

A couple of hard, but grace-filled, things:

1) You may recall that 2023 was the year of TKR (total knee replacement) of both my left knee, in January, and right knee in March. I purposed to take a year off from in-office ministry work (hence, the silent Life on Life podcast) to fully give myself time to rest and recover from two major surgeries.

My bionic knees are great, and for the first time since I was 10 years old, they work the way they are supposed to. The recovery was long, and physical therapy was hard and painful. And though this was not my first rodeo with pain, God has shown me even more about His amazing love, grace, tenderness, and kindness.

When you absolutely cannot do anything but be still (with your knee tethered to an ice machine), you are in the most prime position to know God…to learn things about Him you cannot learn when you are always going-going-going and doing-doing-doing. In His kindness, God will sometimes force a stillness on his very busy children.

❤️ Call a time-out on yourself and work on becoming comfortable in the practice of stillness. Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). Friend, this is one of the essential disciplines of the Christian Life—and with good reason. God longs for you to come and be with Him, to choose to be with Him… literally “to stop the frantic activity,” the hurry and the hustle, to curl up beside Him, be still, and soak in His lovely, loving presence. It is very good medicine for your soul.

2) My left foot/ankle keeps swelling. Apparently, it’s a domino effect of TKR recovery and it has persisted since surgery. 🫠 I’m told I’m still healing…I’m told the 6-month recovery could actually take 18 months. Taking care of me and my left foot has been exhausting. You name it; I’ve tried it…anything and everything to help it along, and it’s still painfully swelling.

Earlier this week, I was on the verge of breaking out yet another homeopathic remedy, when I told the Lord, “I quit! I’m weary of it all; tired of trying to remedy myself. It’s become a mental preoccupation…an idol. And besides, nobody can take care of me better than You can, and nobody really knows how to heal and make well what is unwell within me like You can…because You made me!”

And then the Holy Spirit put this thought in my heart…there was a man who suffered with swelling that Jesus healed! I found it; it’s in Luke 14:2-5, “There in front of him was a man suffering from swelling in his arms and legs…and Jesus touched him and healed him…” Jesus knows how to cure what ails us—emotionally, physically, spiritually, relationally. Like the woman with the issue of blood (Mark 5; Luke 8), we can spend a ton of money and time on trying to cure ourselves. I don’t know if Jesus will heal this swelling in my foot and ankle. But I do know that he can. He can do anything about everything that concerns us. So, until he does, I will recalibrate my focus on Him, continue to practice the relief available to me, and trust in his timing.

❤️ Something to Think About

Half the battle in dealing with the hard stuff of life is gaining the right perspective. How? Read what God says in His Word and start the practice of thinking the way God thinks about you, your life, and your good and hard stuff.

Something I’m loving!

I recently listened to Savannah Guthrie read her new book, Mostly What God Does, and I absolutely loved it! The title comes from Ephesians 5:1-2 in Eugene Peterson’s The Message Bible, Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you…

Savannah shares openly and honestly about her Christian faith in God, her walk with Jesus, and what everyday faith has looked like in her life—her close moments, hard times, screwups, and even when she’s been distant from God. Critics of her writing will tell you that it lacks spiritual depth, that “she doesn’t get to the point” or “she doesn’t tell the whole story.”

You know me well enough to know that I don’t espouse a wishy-washy, watered-down faith…but for many years in my walk with the Lord, while I biblically understood that God “loved” me, I did not experientially understand that God loved me with great affection. Yes, God’s love encompasses discipline and righteousness, obedience to his commands, and humbly surrendering to his will. Of course it does. But mostly—the biggest and best part of what God does—is loves you. And there is nothing wishy-washy or watered-down about that!

Savannah Guthrie wrote her book–not as a deep dive into systematic theology–but because of God’s constant presence in her life through every season. She felt she had “something good to say about God.” And she does. And it is good! And what Savannah helps us to know and believe is mostly what God wants us all to know and believe about Him— that mostly…mostly what God does is loves you. Just start there, and I assure you, you’ll want to know more of this God who loves you.

❤️ Read it. Listen to it. Let me know what you think!

I love you!
xo – P❤️