Knowing and Believing

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

May 9, 2017
I have a Bird in spring by Emily Dickinson

I have a Bird in spring
Which for myself doth sing --
The spring decoys.
And as the summer nears --
And as the Rose appears,
Robin is gone.

Yet do I not repine

Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown --
Learneth beyond the sea
Melody new for me
And will return.

Fast is a safer hand

Held in a truer Land
Are mine --
And though they now depart,
Tell I my doubting heart
They're thine.

In a serener Bright,

In a more golden light
I see
Each little doubt and fear,
Each little discord here

Then will I not repine,

Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown
Shall in a distant tree
Bright melody for me

It's too easy to get so caught up with the shadows. The coldest, darkest days of winter. The hardest, most confusing moments of life. The emotional ruts we get ourselves into. Life just isn't always sunshine and rainbows. And yet...Even when the shadows are cast long and dark and deep, they are a sign that there is light SOMEWHERE.

Emily's words have been on my mind lately as I think about what it is to be one who hopes in God. I've been trying to make sense of certain shadows lately. I've tried to shake them. I've tried to talk them down and put them in the place where they belong. And I'm really struggling.

My hope is still in God because I know the truth. I'm repeating it to myself over and over again. God is good. God is in control. He is faithful. He keeps His promises. Nothing in life is ever wasted. God is working right now for His glory and the good of His people. This life isn't all there is.

The statements are simple and each one carries with it the power to change my mind.

Spring and its birds will return. The decoys shouldn't wreck me. The things and people that go away don't change the hope that is mine in God. I know a day will come when the new melody will ring through the air. And yet...My heart doubts it and even seems to delight in this doubting.

God is removing that doubt without removing what it is that's stirring it up and causing it to spill over. What's mine will be mine before the bird ever comes back, before the song is ever heard. It's the hope, the assurance, and the knowing that carry the grace for each day. He is removing the doubt and the fear and the discord of a soul at war with itself and with Him. He replaces it with a knowing that leads to belief. Knowing the truth isn't enough. We have to believe it.

He sees to it that His people know and believe.

What's Saving My Life Right Now

Sunday, February 04, 2018

February 2, 2018
In this life there's always soooo much going on. The other day, I was washing the windows on a sunny afternoon while thinking back on lazy afternoons in the farming town I grew up in. I'm always thinking of that little town. When I was a kid, we'd race home from school to eat a snack and then do absolutely nothing until it got dark and we had to get to our homework. As I got older, there were sports practices and then after school jobs. 

Even in the middle of the "busy" times, that town had a different rhythm. Occasionally there was a rush, but most of life plodded along slowly. I think it's because the majority of life took place in the square mile that consisted of the town limits.

These days I find myself rushing on from one task to another with my eye on the clock. Sometimes, I'm granted the opportunity to really enjoy something as simple as washing the windows and having as much time for it as I need. Most of the time I find myself fitting those familiar tasks in around everything else.

Change is good. Doing our best to adapt to that change and make the most of it accomplishes more in us than we're aware of. Here are a few of the things I've been finding myself clinging to lately. In the middle of the rushing and the pacing myself and the planning, there are things that make the kind of difference I need. Today, I'm linking up with Anne and taking a minute to think about exactly what it is that's making that difference in my life right now.

* Long walks.

* The realization that the days are getting longer.

* Pancakes.

* Putting the tea kettle on to boil after a day at the library.

*Washing my hair more often than I have in years because freshly cleaned hair is worth it.

*Getting to Thursday with the laundry hampers empty, the grocery shopping done, a clean house, and a manicure.

*Looking up.

*YouTube playlists.

What's making a difference in your life right now?

So Far

Friday, February 02, 2018

February 8, 2016

I celebrated six months of working at the library this week. In a lot of ways it seems like I've been there forever, but mostly it feels like I'm still the new kid on the block. Six months in, I can still say that I adore my job and the people that I work with. I feel extremely blessed to have the management team that I have. They love what they do and none of them are afraid of pitching in or taking time to answer questions.

It's been fun to learn how many of the people I've gotten to know since moving here are readers and library regulars! I used to run into a fair amount of them as a fellow patron. Seeing a familiar face pop through the door while I'm working makes my day every single time. It has made me wonder why "what are you reading" doesn't come up in regular conversation more often.

Along with the highs have been some very low lows. I knew that a fair amount of traffic would consist of people that really don't have anywhere else to go. At first, this really made me sad for them. I wondered what everyone's story was and found myself thinking about them when it would be especially cold or wet or just miserable during hours when the library was closed. I've also had to deal with some situations that I NEVER thought I would have had to deal least, not on such a regular basis.

So far,  I've learned a few things...

* Plug your ears or be prepared to be told serious spoilers about every movie you've been meaning to watch.

* People LIE. About EVERYTHING. And they'll look you right in the face while they do it.

* People find the most hilarious things annoying. "He's yawning. Can you make him stop?"

* Helping people find books will never grow old.

* Being able to put the right book into someone's hands takes some serious talent. I'm still waiting on the moment when someone comes back to tell me that they LOVED a book I recommended.

* Seeing someone get excited over the prospect of a book you handpicked for them is delightful.

* Library books are seriously gross. I had nooooo idea I'd have to wash my hands so often.

* People use ODD things as bookmarks.

* People will ask you questions about anything and everything. 90% of my job is answering questions.

* The people who work in libraries are mostly serious introverts. If you run into one that seems bothered by your presence...just know they're probably just very uncomfortable or taxed from having to deal with people all day. They really do love their job and they're excited that you're there. I promise.

*My reading list is going to grow, but not as much as I thought it would. So far, I've discovered Snicket's "All The Wrong Questions" series and a book called "Writing Radar" which I've dubbed my "because I work in a library casualties."

* My most memorable find so far was a tube of toothpaste that came through the bookdrop. It was completely used up.

There's so much more I could say! For now...I'll leave you with this list. Life is strange. There are things that we have to do, whether we like it or not. There are people whose decisions affect us more than we imagined they ever could or would. And then, there are things that come along at just the right time. This job at this library is one of those things. I don't know where it is I'm off to, but the quiet dreams I've kept to myself for so long are seeing the light of day and you know, it's really nice.

Are you a library regular?

What's something you wish the staff at your library knew?