Good morning all!

Today’s scripture: Psalm 100

A Psalm of thanksgiving.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come into his presence with singing.

Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Sorry for the delay this morning. This day so far has been rough. I actually started to feel it last night.  During choir, something ticked me off and I had to take a break. So I excused myself and wandered down the stairs. My community has a lot of homeless folk (we call the community our “everyday congregation”) around.  When I came down the stairs, one of our guys said to the other two that were in our front area, “Oh no, she has THE look.  Make sure she has nothing to throw.”

I woke up this way. Full of anxiety. On the defensive and….really really really grumpy.  I warned the others who are around me but I could feel it settling in…the stress, the dread, the ultimate feeling of…horrible day.

I know you know the feeling.

I felt as though I could have used more sleep but perpetually late today.  I didn’t want to wear any of my clothes.  The brand new coffee pot didn’t work and when it did…it flooded the kitchen.   Because I have a board meeting in Portland today, I was taking Jenny to work and then decided to work until my meeting from a coffeeshop.  We stopped in Newberg to get a bagel and the server took FOREVER.  So now we are late and I STILL haven’t written my devotional.

I started to talk about all of the stress in my life…holidays are approaching, there is some stuff going on that really stresses me out.  Normally, I could take things step by step.  “We will figure it all out” is my mantra.  Jenny offered to help.  And then I reacted poorly.  I was defensive and didn’t receive the comments well.

We got to Jenny’s work and I promptly started weeping. Crying because I was overwhelmed and I felt horrible. I felt horrible because I don’t have all the answers and I did not react well to someone desperately trying to help. I lost it because I can’t explain why I feel so horrible today.  I. just. do.  And normally, it would be ok but today….today it just felt….crappy.  Today I feel like I don’t have the capacity to do it all. Today I realize that I haven’t had a day off in a while…and that’s probably not the best way to handle the world.  Today I feel the weight of some tensions between me and a couple of other people. Today I feel the allllll of the weight of where the church fails.

And this is where this gets over dramatic but I think you might be able to relate…

Because when I am in this kind of space…the whooolllee world gets overwhelming.  I feel the weight of injustice and the larger Church messing up.  Normally I would look at the positive but today I am overwhelmed by violence and things I can’t do.  I feel the weight of needing transformation in the world but the then I get really really angry that people don’t show up to transform. I feel the need for different ministry and then I get cynical that nothing works anymore…

See where I am going?  Today just….well, to be blunt…sucks. And then to top it off, I was trying to get to my favorite coffeeshop in a neighborhood I love and the bridge was closed. So I had to find somewhere else.  Blech.

I finally got to a coffeeshop and when I settled in…i realized this is really quite lovely.  Then I opened the scripture for today.  Great. (Hear the sarcasm).  A Hymn of Praise.  Not. feeling. it.  Do you hear my blatant attitude?

So I started writing to you, dear reader, hoping that God would soften my heart a bit.  I read and reread the scripture and it is helping.  Sometimes when I am in the weeds, it is just the thing to MAKE myself read praise and thanksgiving.  I have been making noises this morning…probably not of joy.  But maybe to God, it is all joy. My tears mingle into joy for what God has given me.  Jenny just messaged me encouragement and words of thanksgiving.  That helps.  I have support. I have community.  I am not alone.

I am not alone.  I am not alone!

Sometimes we have days where it sucks and this is bringing me out.  I knew you could relate out there.  It is not an immediate change but I know God will work and the words will work in and around me.  I love that about transformation.

I hope this devotion brings you joy once you reread the scripture. May you give thanksgiving for what will be and may it ease the stress of what is to come.

Thanks for listening. 🙂

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