On One Hand… and On the Other Hand…
It is one of those seasons, on one hand being blessed beyond what I imagined, and on the other, difficulty and doubt in a number of areas. I’ve gone back and forth whether to share more vulnerably about “the other hand.”
On one hand Keith and I had a wonderful time together vacationing in the canyons and then four days at our favorite local beach celebrating our anniversary. I am truly grateful. On the other hand, when we are home we are working hard, often into the evenings. We are both risking quite a bit in this season.
On one hand I am pleased to have two articles published in Somerset’s Coloring Studio magazine. The publication really is beautiful, and I am happy to have a part in it.
On the other hand, the “fly in the ointment” is that some information on the supply list was incorrectly changed in the first article (on flowing with my word of the year) without contacting me. It is disappointing. Please note the correction: The coloring page used is from the book titled: Colorful Blessings, not the other one listed. Colorful Blessings is the first coloring book of mine Taunton Press published earlier this year (see sidebar). The second article (shown below) with the little houses includes a page from the second book, Colorful Blessings~Celebrating Everyday Wonders.
On one hand, my website is being redone and looking beautiful. I’ve learned new and exciting things about video and look forward to them going live soon. On the other hand, I’m struggling to write a meaningful blog post. There are more “on the other hands” but I’ll stop there.
Really, my life has never been better, and yet I have been struggling with depression and doubt. It also has to do with the season I’m in physically. I have had a menstrual period six times this summer. All the other women I know my age have already gone through menopause and here I am going on and on and on… The past year has been extra rough. My emotional capacity seems small. In the past week I felt like I “fell of the wagon” into a ditch of “desolation,” to use a spiritual direction term. I needed to do something about it. But what? First, I wrote down how I was feeling, getting it out. Aware of my brokenness, I prayed a desperate prayer for help. I brought both hands full of sorrows and blessings to God, thanking God for the blessings and pouring my heart out with all the sorrows, losses, flaws and unforgiveness to be exchanged for peace, forgiveness, freedom and joy. The apostle Paul’s plea in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 came to mind:
“I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – NLT
Honestly, I’m not quite at the taking pleasure stage yet with this. To my natural mind, it makes no sense. Yesterday, still feeling a bit lost, realizing I need a transforming of my mind, I listened to some of Graham Cooke’s YouTube messages as I worked around the house and studio. I went to tea with a friend and we shared openly and deeply, encouraging one another. Today I am choosing to be thankful and focus on the one hand rather than the other, to give myself grace and be more gracious to others, and above all to place both my hands, full of it all, in God’s hands and let it go.