It’s busy right now.

Crammed and quite stressful, in fact.

It’s so easy for me to get lost in it, to give myself up to it, to say, “oh, that all can slide right now…I’m busy.”  And then I remember why my parents and I decided to do “college” this way in the first place…so that I could set my own pace.  So that I can actually be a part of my family, in the trenches, day to day.  It’s easy to lose sight of that.  It’s easy to lose sight of God’s grace, His peace, His presence…especially when I’m in the middle of this crazy whirlwind called “life.”

So I thought this would be a good time to begin on a new project.  Just a little one, one that will help me to refocus and to realize that, while it may not be pretty, this is life!  The life God has given me and is enabling me to live.  And by the grace of Christ my Savior, the life through which I can joyfully glorify Him.

This is not, strictly speaking, your typical 52 project.  I had some pretty ambitious goals to try a 365 project, but I failed by the second day.  So, instead, I’m going to try to journal the little things in photos and praise God for each and every one of them.  I’m going to try to post at least one photo a week…maybe more, maybe less, depending on how much time I have, whether I can find my camera charger, and other minor details like that.  Lord willing, it will be a way to keep me focused on God’s hand in every aspect of my life.

So.  Here they are…the little things from the last two weeks.  Little things like the last few leaves that survived autumn and frost, radiant even on a bare branch at the end of January.  A little unexpected fall beauty for my winter birthday.  (The leaves are actually in focus on the real picture, though you can’t tell here…for some reason WordPress is fuzzifying it.  Oh, well.)

Little things, like intense study for my American Government CLEP (my last one!), shingles, and cold sores.

Studies, immune-building and ugly lips.  Frustration, and, oh, yes, sometimes tears.  It sounds silly, but it is difficult for me when I don’t understand why this virus likes my body so very much!  And then I ask myself whether it’s a new allergy that has cropped up, or, more likely, was it just stress?  Oh, the joys of college studies…but wait.

Isn’t this what I was talking about?  Yes, joy.  Joy in every circumstance…which is only possible because circumstances are circumstantial.  The love of Christ is perfect, rich, strong and everlasting.  What does it matter what “life” is like when I have life, true Life, Life Everlasting?  It doesn’t, except that those circumstances are opportunities to glorify my Savior.  I feel so incompetent, so tiny in the face of this task…like a mute ambassador of the richest, most powerful and glittering kingdom.

I guess, in a way, I am.

I so don’t have it together.  But I do know the secret. As God is my glory, so is He my voice and my song…my salvation.  I must decrease and He must increase.  Strange paradox…but it is so.  And I’m so very grateful for it.

“Would you like to know the sweetness
of the secret of the Lord?
Go and hide beneath His shadow:
this shall then be your reward;
And wheneer you leave the silence of
that happy meeting place,
You must mind and bear the image
of the Master in your face,
Of the Master in your face.”

(sandra mccracken, ‘shelter‘)

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