Easy Like Sunday Morning

Yesterday was a very cold Sunday morning. Some ice and snow had stuck around from Saturday and temperatures dropped to the teens. This morning (Monday) we were at a cozy 10 at 7am. Things should start heating back up with temps at a high of 72 on Friday. Ha! Gotta love winters in North Carolina!

Mary and I decided to brave the roads (they were fine!) and drive to Raleigh to get some much-needed shopping done for her. S joined us after church and we had a very efficient and fun afternoon. The mall was closing at 5pm to make sure workers got home safely before dark so we had to be very strategic! 

The photo is from an hour or so I had after getting dressed and time to leave for church. Hubs had to attend both services so he was gone and Mary was puttering around, so things were quiet. Just me and my books, journal and drawing pad. I thought the sun slanting across the bed and warming my toes was lovely. My word for the year is "look", so I'm trying to pay attention to the small things... the little blessings I might find along the way if only I pay attention.... A warm sweater saved from Mary's Goodwill box, a thrifted blue-chenille bedspread, a oh-so-soft blanket from Best Buddy S.....  

All this reminded me of a line from a poem I read last week:

Just keep walking into whatever strange land God lays before me to gather his blessings like petals and stones, fallen dragonflies shimmering in the mud.
— Tania Runyan, "A Strange Land" in A Thousand Vessels

Gathering blessings like petals and stones and fallen dragonflies.... So lovely.

We are back into Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. The transition from Christmas began on Friday, January 6th, with Epiphany. I have to say, I'm really happy to see Ordinary Time come. Advent and Christmas, as wonderful as they are, can be tiring - emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I've had trouble shifting gears.... my morning quiet time the most notable casualty. That plus some lingering (minor) health issues has gotten my energy level quite low. This morning, I determined not to (1) let anxiousness rush me out the door, (2) let laziness hit the snooze button one more time or (3) let blogs and books distract me from spending time reading God's Word and praying. I picked back up a commentary on Matthew I had been working through last year until seminary classes made me stay away from reading commentaries "just for fun." (That's a whole other post.) I'm in chapter 10 and the focus is missions. Specifically, today I read in Matthew 10:13-15 about Jesus teaching the disciples how to handle rejection of the Gospel - dust-shaking and peace-retrieving. Bruner quotes John Calvin as writing about this passage:

The passage also tells us how greatly the Lord values His own Gospel,... as... an incomparable treasure.... God is offended by no crime so much as by contempt for His Word: not for murder or adultery or for any other crime are we told to show detestation in so serious a rite.
— John Calvin as quoted by Frederick Dale Bruner in Matthew: A Commentary. Volume 1: The Christbook, Matthew 1-12

What has hit me as I write this post is that the greatest blessing in my photo above is the Book on the bottom of the stack.... His Word. It is an incomparable treasure, greater than any other blessing He has given me here on this earth. Lord, forgive me for this period of absence from soaking in the warmth of Your Word. Forgive my weakness and sin shown so clearly in my anxiety, laziness, and distraction.  

Amen.