Waving farewell to another month, I rejoice in a glance back at my May Mercies joining Heather Gerwing as she hosts a monthly feature called, Share Four Somethings, where writers share the fourth Saturday of each month something in each of four categories from the previous month.
My regular readers often notice I choose a “theme” for my Share Four Somethings post. Last month was a fun theme with April Adagio; be sure to check my reason for choosing that theme! This month I chose “mercies”, because I felt God’s new mercies throughout the month.
Each month the four categories remain the same: something loved, something gleaned, something braved (or saved), and something achieved.
The premise delights me; the new categories falling right in line with my one word 2022 journey with Resilience! Looking back over the previous month through these four categories helps me linger with God’s goodness, and ignites my gratitude.
My May Mercies: Share Four Somethings starts off with not only something I loved, but with a reminder of others’ love for me. Mother’s Day often brings bittersweet memories for me, but God’s mercy moved me to reflect in a unique way upon the grief normally present.
As a result, I experienced a freedom which enabled me to experience joy once again as I spent the day with my youngest daughter and granddaughter Grace.
She and my former daughter-in-law Mia, gifted me a most extraordinary collection from One Good Woman, a specialty coffee, fine food and gift shop in Camp Hill, Pa. They offer custom gift baskets, and the girls put together a beautiful gift box for me!
Full of everything I love, plus a few surprises, they demonstrated their love for me in such an unexpected and lavish gift!
Filled with Italian coffee-custom ground for my electric perculator, special blends of Italian olive oil and herbs, an exquisite peach vinegar, lavender and mint hand soap, honey and lavender lotion, a custom lavender tea blend, swedish wash cloth, whimsical note pad, with the saying “You Are Loved”, a special mug and gorgeous purple slippers!
Of course anyone would be blessed by this gift, but the attention to detail which included the Italian things I love, and my penchant for all things lavender and purple, filled my heart with the love these girls hold for me. I have not received such a lavish and personal gift for many years.
God’s mercy on a day normally filled with sadness brought incredible healing to my heart.
but wait! there’s something else!
As God’s mercies overflowed this month for me, I have TWO Somethings Loved! If you follow me on Instagram you already know about my other treasure.
As part of my hospice agency’s care for its employees we often have therapy animals in the form of puppies, dogs and cats visit us regularly. But this month we had an incredible treat!
I not only had the opportunity of seeing two precious female kangaroos, but one, even attempted to give me a kiss! Meet Lady, an eleven-month old baby kangaroo who brought her six month old friend, Abby along to share moments of love and smiles!
Truly an incredible experience of seeing God’s creation in a personal and unique way!
Something gleaned this month comes from Karl Clauson’s “The 7 Resolutions: Where Self-Help Ends and God’s Power Begins.”
This book addresses the fallacy of self-help for Christians, reminding them of the truth of the gospel and that lasting change only happens through the transformative work of the Holy Spirit.
The book’s premise intrigued me, because we all have areas of defeat in our personal and spiritual lives. Areas where, no matter how much effort we exercise we still feel “stuck”. While attractive, self-help books present a threat to Christians, leading them to believe the lie that “bootstrapping” their way to holiness is the only way out of their sin.
After debunking the “resolution” myth, Clauson encourages his readers to pursue in the power of the Holy Spirit the following seven resolutions:
- Join God
- Think Truth
- Kill Sin
- Choose Friends
- Take Risks
- Focus Effort
- Redeem Time
Through personal illustrations – from competing in the Iditarod in his native Alaska as a teenager, to dealing and abusing cocaine, failing in his marriage and everything in between, Clauson invites you into Christ-centered transformation.
My favorite chapter was “Kill Sin”, where Clauson aptly starts the chapter with the quote from John Owen: “be killing sin, or it will be killing you.”
Radical change involves radical measures, and Clauson uses a “no holds barred” approach to killing sin, which is not for the faint of heart. But it works.
Each chapter ends with a concrete plan for implementing each resolution. This book is not a once and done read, nor is it meant to sit on a shelf. Clauson’s book propels you to take action through commitment to dependency on the Triune God, fully embracing gospel truth.
A new category starting in January 2022, Something Braved gives opportunity for reflecting on the hard places we often walk or times we step out of our comfort zone.
God’s mercies took me out of my comfort zone this month into a place of pursuing a passion for educating others on the importance of cultural diversity.
A volunteer member of my hospice agency’s Diversity Committee, we work to create, nurture, and sustain a culture where diversity, equity, and inclusion are respected and intentionally valued by implementing thoughtful practices and innovative strategies to ensure that all individuals are valued and respected.
This applies not only to those working for the agency, but the patient population for whom we care. The committee has worked hard to implement training for new employees, especially those who work in the field.
This month marked the first session for me to teach an educational module on Cultural Awareness. While teaching is not outside my comfort zone, going deep and engaging on a difficult topic is never easy.
Receiving wonderful feedback and engagement supplied yet another reminder of God’s mercies at work in my life.
Rounding out my May Mercies: Share Four Somethings, is another new category, dedicated to things achieved. For goal setting geeks, this category offers an opportunity to shine. But even if goal setting makes you squeamish, right here is the place for celebrating even baby steps towards getting things done.
This month finally offered me some free time and luxurious weather for getting my porch planters refurbished for spring and summer enjoyment.
Ever a fan of geraniums, I found some beauties at the local nursery store, as well as some gorgeous, dark purple sweet potato vine, alyssium and a few miniature petunias. Our hospice agency gifted me with two beautiful new guinea impatiens to round out the planter options for this year!
A magnificent time of relaxation organizing all of my planters, it also gave me a huge sense of accomplishment to see them happily adorning my porches each day I arrive home! I’m sharing two of my favorites with you today!
May Mercies: Share four somethings
Thank you for taking a leisurely walk back through my May Mercies with me! I am grateful to Heather for creating such a creative way to review the moments of our days which often slip by so quickly. Sharing Four Somethings is a way to savor one more time those things we loved, gleaned, braved and achieved!
But you don’t have to be a writer or blogger to enjoy this practice. Why not take a few moments and think back over YOUR May Mercies and share four somethings with me in the comments! Meet me back here at the end of June for more joyful somethings!