Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Life in Survival Mode

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Sometimes we have to live through some demanding days… some rough spots on the road that can make us start surviving rather than really living. I have come to the point, in recent days, when I don’t really care if my purse matches my clothes. I’ve stopped unpacking and repacking and started just throwing a few items on top of what was already in the bag from the last trip and the one before that– and figuring I can make it work. And if it doesn’t work…well…it still works. I have had to omit even more of the yard work, which, for me, means a jungle outside my door rather than the former English garden. (An English garden, to me, meant an overgrown conglomeration of weeds and wildflowers. English garden just sounds more like I meant for it to be that way.) I rush out the door without remembering to pick up my wedding band out of the kitchen windowsill. Hair styling has gone by the wayside, too, in favor of a ponytail. My husband sometimes has to look in the dryer for socks instead of the drawer and in the dishwasher for a bowl rather than the cabinet shelf. There is a bowl of cat food in my basement floor and our only family cat, Baxter, who currently lives with Hannah, has not visited my house since the Christmas holidays. And, by the way, I just noticed that the crystal stems with holly and ivy are still sitting on the buffet. My scented candle is rarely burning and yet my candle’s burning at both ends. I go to the grocery store without my list or to the cleaners without the laundry, or to the library without the books. Glenn sometimes calls me when I am out of town and says, “Now where are you again?” The bad part about that is that I have to think a minute before I answer. It’s surviving—not really living.

But sometimes that’s what happens when you squeeze some unexpected things into life. I’ve had the privilege of speaking to ladies on spiritual topics some twenty times thus far this year. Every time I speak, I am by far the most blessed of all the ladies in attendance. If I had just done that, what a blessed life I’d be living in 2011! But Hannah threw planning a wedding into the mix. Now I’ve not ever been the mother of the bride, but who knew? Who knew what all that entails when blessed with a gajillion people who truly are friends in the most real sense of friendship? And my dad…well he threw a broken wrist into the mix. Now this entails a bunch of driving…both to him and for him. But seriously now…who gets to have an 88 year old father who is determined to recuperate and go back to his driving and mowing and who hasn’t missed a class or a worship service or a fellowship meal since that fall he took in the church parking lot three weeks ago? Extremely blessed is what I am.

So I will thank Him for life in survival mode today: for ladies who want to come and hear me talk about His Word, the key to unraveling all of life’s chaos; for the jobs that are always waiting at Dad’s and for siblings and Christians there who are so good to help do them; for the wedding band in the windowsill that means I am forgetful and yet means so much more; for the child who is asking about dresses and flowers and cakes and music and for the Christian man she will marry; for the daily needs we have: socks from the dryer, bowls from the shelf, and lists at the store. It all means we’re still running the race.

Some of you are running faster and harder than I. Don’t forget to look to Jesus who knows all about survival mode. He founded and perfected our faith. He endured much that we might not grow weary. I’ve learned that there are lots of lessons about priorities when you live in survival mode. The stuff that starts to “not matter” anymore (you know, like the purse matching and hair styling) probably never did.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted (Heb. 12: 1-4).

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