Saturday, August 20, 2011

40 Days of Now: Day 40! True Confessions and A Giveaway

(This post is part of a series. If you'd like to know what it's all about, go here.)
In the year 2000, black storm clouds appeared in our patch of sky. At that time, my husband and I had no idea we were in for ten years of thunder and rain. It seemed that as one storm dissipated, and the sun broke through, another storm soon came rolling into view. "Will this never end?" we wondered. The Lord was faithful and stuck by us through it all. And we did have great blessings come to us during those years, not the least of which were our three children. But I found myself longing for an escape from the intensity of emotion. I wanted a respite from grief and the pounding rain of fear. I wanted just to have a normal, everyday, regular, sunshiny kind of life for awhile.
And so I have, this past year. The summer of 2010, as I recovered fully from my illness, the clouds parted, the skies turned a clear and lovely shade of aqua, and the sun shone nearly every day. I have been blissfully happy. This has been a much needed time of rest and reflection. It's been a great year to write and soak in all that the Lord has taught me and the ways He blessed and rescued me through all those storms. (It's kind of ironic that as I type these words, thunder is booming, rattling my windows. Hmm...hope that's not some kind of sign that this season of fun in the sun is coming to an end.)
Now, a curious thing has happened during this storm-free year. I'm not even quite sure how to say this without sounding like a complete ingrate. But here it is: everyday, regular, storm-free life, while blissful, can also be...well...boring. I found myself tiring of the humdrum of daily life. You know what I mean, right? Please don't tell me I'm the only one. This discovery has come with much guilt. "How," I thought, "could I be feeling this monotony of daily life when I am so blessed?"
I certainly wasn't asking for troubles and hardship. Rather, I was looking for meaning, for significance, for the divine in the midst of cooking, cleaning, laundry, errands, and raising children. And I wanted very much to know that Jesus understands this. He lived down here for awhile. He had His fair share of storms, hardship, and excitement. But didn't He also experience the daily humdrum of life?
The Bible doesn't say much about this, but there are some little clues, I think. He was raised by Joseph, who was a carpenter and taught Jesus the trade. Did Jesus ever tire of the wood and sawdust? Did He ever weary over making plows and yokes and doors again and again? And what about living according to the traditional Jewish laws and customs? Did He ever tire of the minutiae of the very law He came to fulfill? Surely, at times He must have. The Bible says He was tempted in every way just as we are, but He did not sin. I am tempted at times, to throw in the towel, and go look for fun and excitement. So, I must believe that Jesus gets it. He's been there.
But He did not sin. And He found a way to experience the divine in His daily life. This, I think, comes through so beautifully in His teachings. He used common, everyday things to teach spiritual truths. A lost coin, a bit of yeast, a fig tree, a missing sheep, a mustard seed, a fishing net, a marriage, a lamp, a door, a grain of wheat, a bunch of weeds, and so many more things of little note became entryways into understanding the kingdom of Heaven.
And it was this same Jesus who inspired me to travel through my 40 days of Now. Not only did this help me to live each day with gratitude, but it reminded me of the beauty that can be found in the everyday. Jesus gave me gifts of meaning, significance, and the divine in my ordinary daily activities.
Another true confession here: I didn't always feel like finding the gift. A few of those days, by the time evening fell, I was too tired or cranky to sit down and ponder what Jesus did for me that day. But, because I'd made a commitment, I pushed through it. And Jesus was always faithful. He always had a beautiful little something for me. So, although I will no longer be publicly blogging about this every day, I will continue to ask Him to reveal Himself to me whether I am in a storm or in the sun. And I pray You will, too.
Lord Jesus, thank You for these 40 days. In the words of Sara Groves, what You do with my everyday is simply amazing. ~R 

Did you know Sara Groves is my favorite musical artist? Out of all others, her songs most mirror my own thoughts and feelings on life and people and God. I find myself often wishing I could say what she says so simply and beautifully. But she already said it, so I just enjoy the songs and say, "Yeah. What she said, God." I actually used a Sara Groves song three times during my 40 days--one in this post, one here, and also here.

So, because I enjoyed 40 days of Now so much, and because we are starting school around here on Monday, and I won't be blogging much, and because I love you, I'm giving away any Sara Groves CD to the winner of my last drawing for awhile. There are many to choose from! You can see the store if you click here. Her albums are listed on the left, and you can click on each one to see the song titles. Clicking on the song title will also open up the lyrics.

This giveaway is open to everyone, whether you've been reading awhile, or this is your first time here! Leave me a comment and let me know which one you would choose if you win. You can leave a comment here. But because there are still problems with blogger, you can also leave a comment on my facebook link or by email: pioneergirl(at)embarqmail(dot)com.

I hope you win! 

Note: this giveaway is now closed.



  1. Definitely "Fireflies and Songs." Wow, how beautiful the song is that you shared. I've not heard her before.
    R - Thank you for sharing these 40 days. I have learned so much from you and have shared so many of your thoughts you wrote about. You have such a gift with words, with all that you do -- every single day. Your beautiful children, home, life. You are very blessed and I feel so blessed as well to know you and learn from you. Thank you again for all that you share. You are a gem! Carrie Sisson

  2. I love you, Aunt Rachelle! - Hannah

  3. So perfectly said!

    Thank you Rachelle so very much for the invitation to walk these 40 days with you and document Jesus NOW! It was a terrific experience and I am so glad I made the commitment. I too didn't always feel like doing it at the end of a day and I bet I missed a handful of days. But even those were days to remind me to just keep living by my commitments and get back up when I fall down.

    Jesus I see you in this journey of living life and your perfect and faithful commitment to your children!

  4. Rachelle, I have loved your 40 day project and admire you for sticking with it. You have such amazing insight on things and I love your writing. I laughed, I cried. I'm so blessed to get to be your sister.

  5. Sara Groves is my favorite for the very same reasons :)
    I would choose Station Wagon. 1) Because I have most of the others and 2) Because I have a 20 month old and these songs pertain so much to me right now!

  6. Rachelle, thank you so much for sharing Jesus with us. I am teary as I think back at all the clear times He spoke to my heart as I read your ponderings. I'm just NOW finishing, and bummed it's over. Looking forward to hearing more about our God as we take a glimpse of His face through your eyes. He is so beautiful!


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