Rested and Relaxed

I am feeling like a new person. I woke up yesterday and again today with energy and not wanting to stay in bed just a little longer.

It's been a therapeutic week for me. John and I got away for a couple of days last weekend. Monday I spent a relaxing day at home. Monday night John and I attended a party to celebrate Danny's birthday. Tuesday I met my mother-in-law and niece in Nashville for a quick Sarah Cannon visit and a fun lunch at Maggiano's. Wednesday I had lunch at Jim 'n Nick's with my friend Julie. Wednesday evening I met my friend Karen at Bonefish for Bang Bang Shrimp and Sangria. And yesterday I finally used my 51st birthday present (gift certificate to Equilibrium Med Spa) from John: a facial and hot stone massage ... with a little extra left over to try a new skincare product. I have been saving this gift certificate since last May, since it didn't expire until my next birthday.

As you well know from some of my recent posts, I've been feeling kind of ragged. But after a little extra time with John, a little solitude, a little girl time with friends and a couple of spa services, I'm feeling so refreshed and rested. I've also done a lot of reading this week, which revives me mentally.

I recently finished Laura Bush's memoir (Spoken From the Heart) and Mary Beth Chapman's book (Choosing to SEE). I enjoyed both. But Mary Beth's was the one I couldn't put down. I love her transparency. I loved reading about her life and her early years with SCC. I was so inspired by their family's strong faith and desire to glorify God. I loved this quote from the chapter Not My Plan:

"Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude." ~ Simone Weil.

That statement is so true and I have experienced the reality of it. For someone who has not, I can imagine the reaction of, "Oh yeah, right." But I have had moments of deep gratitude in the midst of suffering and heartache that only comes from complete trust in God and His plan for my life. There is such comfort and gratitude in knowing that my suffering is for a purpose and it is for my ultimate good. God has many times redeemed my suffering in such amazing and surprising ways that I could not regret the suffering for a moment In the moment, it was hard. But the joy that followed was so much sweeter and God's glory shone brighter because of it. In hindsight, I have almost always been able to see the hand of God in everything I have gone through. And I have always grown from those experiences. It also becomes easier to trust God when He has proven Himself and His faithfulness in your life through many difficult places you thought you couldn't endure.

I am currently reading Decision Points by George W. Bush and The God Who is There by D. A. Carson. (The God Who is There is the one I can't put down so far.) And I've been more consistent with my daily Bible reading lately. I am using the YouVersion online so I can read on my Droid X (anytime, anywhere). I selected the daily reading plan: The Essential Jesus, which consists of 100 carefully selected passages focusing on Jesus (Old and New Testaments). I have always read the Bible sequentially rather than topically and I am enjoying this 100 day focus.

It is 7:00 a.m. and I am headed for a workout on my Stairmaster. Then, if everybody wakes up healthy, I plan to see my grandkids and my daughter-in-law today. What a way to top off a great week!

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