I'm finally starting to exhale.
I actually wanted to paint today. We had the Summer Solstice art show going on outside so it was sunny and busy. But I picked up my brushes.
The day started with a chat about Nehemiah with Jed. ( I mention Jed a lot. Our chats are always anchors for my soul.)
We chatted about how each person mending the wall was rebuilding what was in front of their business and home. They didn't flit all over.
But the thing that struck us was the rebuilding of Israel's mindset. They'd become defeated and thought like victims. Suddenly, they were rebuilding under ridicule and manipulation from their enemies. They had a shovel in one hand and a sword in the other.
This is inconvenient, but rebuilding your soul from victim to victor takes hard work and the necessary shift to recognize that the enemy will. not. quit. ever. The enemy was so sly with lies that, if they couldn't make the workers afraid, they made their families afraid until they sent word saying, "This is too hard. Come on home." They tried to distract the leader to a meeting where they would completely slay him. He said, "No. I'm doing important work."
How did Nehemiah recognize the lies? He was a man of prayer - like Cornelius and Peter in Acts 10, like Abraham who was God's friend, like Paul, like Jesus.
I've been struck by how many times I've read, "While they were yet praying..." the miracle came. But what struck me harder was that this wasn't a sudden run to God in prayer. Like Daniel, they were at home in the house of God. Jed talked about Hezekiah. I need to go read it again, but the enemy used words of fear, lies of comparison, but Hezekiah ran to the house of God where he knew he would get the truth. That was his battle strategy.
SOoooo much to think about. Am I in the habit of prayer all day?
Do I work with worship on my lips?
Do I have my paintbrush in one hand and my "sword" in the other?
Is my mind, spirit, soul gaining muscle by learning a new way to work that might not seem fair, but is necessary and amazing if I am to get out of victim mentality and lie based living.
Living Lightly can actually look like learning to carry my weapon of the word and my Ephesian 6 armor while I rebuild what the enemy tore down. Sure, it's hard work - like doing Rock House Center and digging deep. But the very method of rebuilding the walls also rebuilds my mind and soul. And while I am responsible for what's in front of me, I'm not alone.
And then Leslie and Jim Hicks came in!
Leslie is a high school friend. We hugged and cried.
"It's like hugging my childhood."
We toured around The Loft and the show outside. They're staying for 2 nights.
Over a salmon dinner followed by local strawberries and ice cream, we got to know each other as adults loving Jesus.
We've been repairing our wall sections and now we reach the part where they join and intertwine. I love it!
Sorry, I didn't even take photos. We're ziplining tomorrow, so they'll come.