Confessions of Faith: Beauty for Ashes

beautyThe month of June is usually full of melancholy for me. At least it has been for the past few years. The explanation for my feelings of melancholy and sadness I’ll save for another day. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that gratitude lifts depression. So my confessions today are expressions of gratitude for some of the blessings I’ve received over the last couple of weeks. These occurrences reminded me that I am loved, appreciated and valuable. For all these things and more, I’m grateful.

My Uncle came to paint our house…well technically it’s his house, since we’re renting from him. But that’s besides the point. While he’s been there working over the last week, he put my new license plates on my car (I was riding dirty with my Texas tags for years!), promised to replace my brake pads, fussed at me for remembering to set the house alarm but forgetting to actually lock the door, and gave me pointers on improving my sweet potato pie recipe. It’s a blessing to have family near by, and our conversations about everything from the Rachel Dolezal media circus to the progress I’m making on my new book warmed my heart.

I was feeling a little discouraged about the progress I’m making in building a writer platform, and briefly entertained the thought of giving up. I wondered if I should put all the time and energy I’m currently giving to writing and publishing into something else. That same week I got an email from The Knowledge Maven stating how much she’s enjoying reading my book! It validated me that a fellow writer thought enough of my writing to make sure she told me that I’m good at it and to keep going with it. I also received a shout out from a fan on Facebook who said that she can’t wait to read my next book. Those expressions of recognition lifted my spirits and reminded me that I have to keep going. There are people all over the world who could one day be blessed by the work of my hands. That can’t happen if I give up.

Gratitude

What I’ve said so far are the major things that come to mind, but there are so many little things that make me pause and say ‘thank you’. Laughing at Melissa McCarthy in the movie Spy on a beautiful sunny day while feeling ultra feminine in a cute polka dot sundress. Discovering the Thai chicken salad at Panera Bread (try it, you’ll thank me later). Finally taking time to get the air conditioning in my car repaired; If you’ve ever experienced a Southern summer, you’ll know what a big deal that is! Seeing two men pray in the parking lot of Chick-fil-a. Visiting the library for the first time in over a year; I was almost dizzy with the hypnotic smell of books and knowledge. Rediscovering my love of cooking since my mama hit the road for the last few months. A text message from a friend I hadn’t heard from in a while. Getting a perfect eye brow wax. Finding a discount code for a business expense. Singing at the top of my lungs while washing dishes.

When it’s all said and done, all of my good outweighs the bad. There are so many random things that I’m grateful for, and when I begin to count my blessings, I give myself permission to live in the here and now rather than in the ache of the past. Does the sadness still creep up on me when I least expect it? Yes, and that’s ok. Because I’ve learned to sit with it for a moment, then let it fly away on the wings of gratitude.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 KJV

XoXo,

Faith

Have you ever felt like giving up on your passion? What keeps you going? What are you grateful for today? 

 

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick.. / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Photo credit: jmtimages / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

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9 thoughts on “Confessions of Faith: Beauty for Ashes

  1. Amen and Amen!
    Perhaps, I’m speaking out of turn…but I really don’t think we (your loyal readers and writer friends) are going to “let” you give up writing.

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  2. I’ve had my moments where I’ve felt like, “What am I doing this for???” But then, just like what happened to you, I’ll get a kind word. Ain’t nobody but the Lord trying to remind us that we need to stop it with the pity party and pursue our gifts to our max potential. Don’t you even THINK about not finishing your book because I have to know what happens to that no good husband! You are talented and it’s just a matter of time before the world knows it, but patience is key.

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    • Lol, thanks Quanie! I can’t wait to find out what happens to him too…I have a feeling it won’t be pretty.

      Yep, God is always on time. I’ve rec’d so much positive feedback for WTRTCA in the last couple of weeks that it has blown my mind.

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  3. Very lovely post! I’ve been there and still visit occasionally. Like you, however, my day is always brightened if I hear from just 1 person who appreciated my book(s). Thanks for sharing! I look forward to more of your awesome posts! 🙂

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    • I’m starting to think that if you don’t entertain the thought of giving up as a writer every once in a blue moon, you’re not challenging yourself enough. It’s a true love/hate relationship. But if it’s meant to be, it lives in your bones and you always come back to it. Thanks for stopping by and don’t be a stranger! 🙂

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