Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In the Valley

"They gave our Master a crown of thorns.

Why do we hope for a crown of roses?"

~ Martin Luther ~

My prayers are often filled with thanks for the life I enjoy as a child of God. When I’m living on the mountain top, I eagerly anticipate each new day. The sun shines brighter; there’s a spring in my step and a song in my heart. At times like these, I can easily list the blessings He has showered on me: my family, friends, health, work, prosperity…the list is endless.

When I sink into the valley, I can’t even see the sun. Shadows loom all around me. I am cold, fearful, and alone. I find myself praying for strength, guidance, patience, faith…I could go on and on.

Climbing out of the abyss, I try to look back and learn from my time in the valley. I search for God’s hand in my experience. What did I do or fail to do that got me here? What was he trying to teach me? How can I grow from this? One question leads to another as I long for wisdom…..

Bottom line is this: to fully appreciate the mountain top experience, I need to experience the valley. As much as I long for the mountain top, I do most of my searching in the valley. I have found most of life’s lessons in the valley. I am schooled there; it is there that I grow and learn and fully appreciate the blessings that can only be found in Christ.

“The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in paths of righteousness for His name sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalms 23

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I can’t remember what started me to blog in the first place other than reading my daughter’s and thinking it would be fun to have my own, but blogging requires discipline, and discipline is seldom fun.

It is, however, even less fun to discipline yourself for a period of time and then to give it up. That is true of exercising, eating right, praying, studying the Bible, or even blogging. Developing the discipline is hard, then it gets rewarding, and, if you’re like me, you let it go and find yourself longing for the days when you were disciplined and feeling the benefits.

My friend and I exercise together at 6:00 each morning. Some days we spin; some days we walk.

Even though we walk as fast as we can without breaking into a jog, we manage to talk the whole hour.

On the days we go to spin class I will occasionally give her a lift home. One day as she got out of the car, she leaned in and muttered, “You know, your web of love has cobwebs” and promptly left me alone with my thoughts.

I sat in my car in the middle of the street puzzled; then it dawned on me.

Oh, yeah.

She is referring to my blog. My last entry, almost two months ago, was entitled, “Web of Love.”

Now the very fact that you are reading this tells me that you might not be able to relate. You probably have a blog of your own and have settled into a regular schedule of entries. Or you are toying with the idea of blogging and look forward to reading your friend’s blogs. Maybe you spend some serious time in blogs daily and have your favorites saved on your computer to check each day.

No, that one does not count; if my blog were saved on your desktop you would have deleted it by now, having checked it every day for two months with no new entries.

The other day a friend said to me in exasperation, “Don’t ever start blogging; it will take over your life!” Then he looked at me and said, “Oh, yeah, you do blog” and walked away.


He might as well have said, “And your web of love has cobwebs!”