Hello there, sweet friends....
What a week this has been. With all that has taken place in Boston this week, my thoughts -- as I'm sure yours have too -- have turned to those hurting, those broken, those suffering in Boston and around the country. My thoughts have turned from me to others.
Even before the awful bombing took place, we were at our small group last week and the same sort of thing was happening in my heart and mind even then.
Side note: Does your church have small groups? Maybe they're called community groups or life groups or Bible studies? If they do and you haven't gotten involved yet, I would so encourage you to try it out. I can't tell you how blessed we've been by getting together weekly with the same group of people -- people who have become really great friends -- and eating a meal together, chasing kiddos together, sharing our hearts together, and praying together. It's been awesome.
So back to this week...or last week, really. We were at small group. One of the gals in the group has had a serious health issue for years now and doctors can't seem to figure out what's going on to cause the problem. She seems healthy except for this one issue. There was also a couple there that we hadn't met before. Turns out, she's also been struggling with a serious health issue for a year now and going thru tests and doctor's appointments to try to figure out what is going on. And I've told you all about my health issues lately, and the fact that I'm also going thru testing to figure out what is causing my symptoms. So this felt pretty amazing to "end up" in a group with other girls that are also going thru some pretty huge things in their lives -- things that quite honestly, seem much worse than mine. (And no, I don't think we all "ended up" in a group together by accident!) And you know what my new friend said? She said that lately, she'd really felt like God was speaking to her heart, encouraging her to focus on HIM rather than on the illness. Rather than on the uncertainty. And the thought occurred to me that in focusing on feeling cruddy all the time, I'm ultimately focusing on ME and that is just a tad bit selfish. This last week, I've really felt challenged to focus less on ME and more on OTHERS and then I end up in a group with other girls who have serious issues that I can pray for. And then this horrific bombing took place, and again, I could choose to focus less on ME and more on others. I can pray for those in Boston. I can pray for those all around this country that are directly or indirectly affected by what's taken place in Boston. I can focus more on being kind to those around me. On reaching out to a friend who's just had a baby and might need a meal dropped off. On spending time investing in friendships.
I don't know about you, but with all that has happened in the last week, it's just really reiterated to me, that it's not all about ME. It never was! And in spite of the struggles I myself might be facing, it feels SO much better to focus my heart and mind on God and on others, than to focus on me.
Whatever your situation, whatever your struggles (because we ALL have struggles at one time or another), I encourage you to shift your focus off of you and your situation and to focus more on others. Do a kind deed. Pray for a friend. Pray for those in Boston. Reach out and lend a hand to someone in need. Pick up the phone and call or send a quick text or even a card (remember actual mail?!) to encourage someone else...to brighten their day. You'll be so glad you did.
I'm thinking of YOU today, dear friends...
P.S. I snapped both of these pictures the other day on my iPhone, while out walking with Windsor. There is such beauty all around us. Sometimes you just have to get out and look for it.