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Monday, August 20, 2018

Monday's Devo: Lesson's from Yo-Yo-Ma & Jesus

Anne here. Anyone else get the end-of-summer slumps? I do. I love scheduling the summer full of fun things to look forward to, and I equally love the return to routine when August arrives. But each end-of-summer, I've come to recognize this sort of numbness that besets my transition from summer to fall. Those in-between days where summer overload has taken it's toll and I just need rest, but when I finally get there it feels sort of empty, "meh" "non" and "bleh".

So this last week when I had a day off full of nothing, I thought it would be so awesome just to nothing-it-away. But that felt flat, and I decided to shoot out a text to my prayer group to ask if I was the only one who felt that at the end of the summer. I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that I wasn't, but I was. So, here's a hearty welcome to all you who have felt that too! Suddenly after sharing that with my prayer group, reminders of love poured in the shape of scripture.

Ephesians 3: 17-19: So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Someone in my group sent it. Yep, I've read that before. I know it's true. But "still feeling flat here..." were my thoughts.

Then I opened my copy of Kim Meeder's Encountering Our Wild God and flipped to my current chapter. Through blurry morning eyes and coffee I read of His wild love....and yes, that same scripture!  I sat a little more bright eyed and pondered that God's love is really there even when I feel flat. His love doesn't come with instructions to always feel it, only to know it, and remember it.

(I'm hoping to do a review & give-away once I'm finished! Stay tuned!)

I went to the kitchen for another cup of joe and flipped open my emails and clicked on Thursday's newsletter from Laura Martin, from TimeToRevive. The Keurig chugged behind me. The dim morning light from the stove had begun to break through my morning haze as I skimmed the newsletter and my eyes halted....there it was, third time in the space of thirty minutes...the SAME scripture. Okay, I'm just saying, when you ask for prayer, or you see or hear something more than once...stop what you are doing and listen. That is God speaking to you!

Okay. I hear you now, Lord. You love me even when I feel flat, tired, and barraged by the summer schedule, the evening news, and the day-to-day junk. A relieved smile lifted the corners of my mouth.  That's it. I need a battle plan! I went to the closet and changed up the usual hum-drum wardrobe for the day's work and selected RED shoes!! I sorely needed to walk out this reminder of love all day long. I just needed to look down at my feet all day and remember that he speaks love.

It's amazing what a little shout out to your praying friends and the living God can do! That "meh" "blah" feeling ebbed slowly away over the day and by Friday on my drive home, a sense of peace stayed with me as I flipped on NPR news. It was an interview with Yo Yo Ma, called Tiny Desk, where they cram all their staff into a tiny room with a small desk and do an interview. Yo Yo Ma had set his cello upon the tiny desk and began to share about his music, playing these lovely cords between his words.

There is nothing like a cello to make you really FEEL something! (Note to self, put 'learn to play cello" on the bucket list...) I sighed and thanked God for my week, grateful that even the short experience of feeling flat, allowed the chance for great reminders of love and feeling good things deeply. I recalled the line I'd underlined in Kim Meeder's book that morning--that a girl she'd shared the love of Jesus with, began to ponder it as truth, actually began to wrestle with it--because Kim said, "she could feel it."

Now, I know over-feeling things has gotten a bad rap in the church. That wasn't my focus. But in culture we know that "not-feeling' it" equals "I don't believe you!"  Right?! My mind flitted to the commercial I'd seen this past week:

Yo Yo Ma's cello sounded over the radio as I refocused on my commute. It was the sound of peace. Like a river that flows, a butterfly, an ocean. Summer. Even ends of good things. Transitions. Places and times where God's love is large enough for it all. God's love. I felt it.

Listen to the sound: Click to hear Yo Yo Ma's Cello ....

Yo Yo Ma said, (admittedly paraphrased): "learning something new is not really that painful when you do it incrementally." He commented that once he played to execute the notes, later he played to express them...the notes were the same, but the sound was different and the experience became different.

Ahhh. That's it. That's like love. We can get caught  up in the doing of the things and tasks that represent love, but they can become tasks to check on a list and execute, complete--but the entire experience of love comes alive when we feel them, express them from a place of knowing love, believing in love. Then the experience changes us. And somehow we know we've been resurrected. Sort of like walking around in red shoes all day.

John 8: 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed....

So, get on your red shoes!!

Anyone else get the end-of-summer blues??
Any cello players out there, or bucket-list-wanna-be's?
Yo Yo Ma mentions he plays a particular piece for both weddings and funerals, "it has a dual purpose, so think about that, he says..."  How do feeling things and not feeling things have a dual purpose in your life?
How is feeling it, believing it?
How is knowing different than believing?
Isn't it miraculous that we are made to experience life deeply?

Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots. 
Nurse Practitioner by day. 
Wife, mother, writer by night. 
Coffee drinker--any time.
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Old posts at: Coffee Cups & Camisoles

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