I Blog For Books

07 January 2016

The Post That Almost Wasn't

Lying in bed, late at night, I listen to the rhythmic sound of my husband's breathing and wonder why peaceful sleep (or any sleep, for that matter) eludes me. The soothing voice of Tahmoh Penikett has failed me this night, for the sleep-inducing meditation did not. Words, phrases, voices, and thoughts fight for recognition in the echoing cavern of my wide-awake mind. In what is now the wee hours of the seventh day of this new year, I stumble over these words and realize that I have thus far made minimal contributions to my 2016.

I had the best of intentions for the new year. Surely I am not alone in dreaming dreams, making plans, and setting some type of expectations for myself at the end of every year. As 2015 drew to a close, I vowed to read and write more, to discipline myself to write each day - even if only a few words, to eat less and move more, to quiet the discomfort and embrace the joy. Why is it, then, that I feel like a failure less than a week into the year?

New Year - New You! Nope, not my idea, I read it somewhere, probably Facebook. I find myself spending far more time there than I should. What started initially as a way to "keep up with friends and family" has turned into a time-consuming black hole for many, a portable soap opera for some, and an almost infinite source of amusement for most. The reality of Facebook, in my opinion, is that it isn't. Reality, that is. What we see of posters lives is what they choose to capture and share. I fully confess my part in the 'perfectionism.' I post the finished product of a kitchen creation, carefully hiding the dirty dishes and spills that usually accompany said creation. Here's a confession: I don't always wash the dishes immediately. I restart the dryer (sometimes more than once) to de-wrinkle my clothes, and I rarely make my bed. Does that matter in the big picture and overall scheme of things? I'm not sure if it does or not, but it obviously bothers me enough to confess my shortcomings.

The worst thing? In three short paragraphs, I have completely managed to change the post I intended to write. The thoughts that kept me awake had nothing to do with Facebook. Struggling with my own perceived imperfections lead my thoughts down roads better traveled in full daylight. Instead of reviewing my fears and delving into the Word for comfort, I scroll through social media and check my email. Why?

Psalm 139 reminds me that I am God's creation, that He knew me before I was me. He created me, He is everywhere and always with me. I am not now, never have been, and never will be perfect. What I do have, however, is His unending love, patience, and care. Psalm 138:3, 7 explains this with great clarity, "On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased ... Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me."(ESV)

What will 2016 bring to the Beadle household? Those answers have yet to be revealed. This much I do know with certainty - those answers won't be found on Facebook. I can only pray for guidance, seek understanding, and strive to follow God's plan, even if that requires me to step out on faith on a path not yet visible to my eyes. Will there be mistakes? Almost certainly. They won't be intentional, and I will certainly strive not to repeat them. Each journey begins with a single step, and this is mine.

"The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands."~PSALM 138:8ESV