“Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup; You make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. It keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will You let Your faithful one see decay” (Psalm 16: 5-10).
Jazz, chocolate and tea. What in the world could these have to do with God?
It is early on a Tuesday morning and after a stressful few weeks my kids are in school and I am at my favorite coffee house, feet up, sipping black iced tea–even though it is cold outside. I am eating a chocolate-covered graham cracker and writing. There are a handful of customers in the shop, some reading, others drinking, studying or visiting.
I’ve been waiting for God to resolve a problem and today he opened a door slightly towards resolution. A burden was lifted, so much so that even though I did not sleep much, I still had enough stamina to get to the coffee shop to relax. God could have turned His back on me as He knew how angry I have been recently. But that is the amazing part–He allows us our time of annoyance, frustration, anger, confusion, and sadness. Even if we direct it at Him–He does not abandon us.
I sit in this coffee house with a heart filled with gratitude and love. I know my problems are not over, and I know the stress they have produced have put a strain on a body challenged by chronic illness. My job is to continue to take care of myself, despite what occurs in life. I failed a bit recently in self care. Sure, I exercised a little, wrote, prayed, talked to trusted friends, and spent time with family, but not nearly enough as necessary.
It is a quiet blessing this morning as I sit in the coffee house and do what I enjoy. And despite my circumstances, I need to embrace these gifts from God and live. After all living is what we do best.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Please help those struggling with problems to remember to rely on You for guidance and strength. Amen.
About the author
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three children. She is a retired elementary school counselor who discovered her love of writing about 35 years ago. Laura is the disability/chronic illness advocate for her church and also enjoys running a HopeKeepers group. She is writing a book about her illness, dysautonomia: the deregulation of the autonomic nervous system. She had a pacemaker implanted in October 2013 as a result of dysautonomia slowing her heart rate.
How do you take care of yourself when added stressors enter your life?
Regardless of what life gives us, we can know that God and His love for us remains. I hope this song, “Remain,” by Royal Tailor blesses you. I like his music and the lyrics in this song touch my heart as a good reminder that –no matter what–God loves you and I. -Lisa