Valley and Peak are the words for the weekly haiku challenge this week at Ronovan Writes. We often talk about times in our lives as valleys and peaks. Usually we are not too happy in the valleys and want to climb back up to the peak.
Here is my contribution in four stanzas, each a haiku:
From Valley to Peak
Down in the valley
Fears threaten to overwhelm
I can’t see the peak
But I’m not alone
Hope and light come seeking me
Jesus takes my hand
Fear gives way to trust
As He gives me strength and peace
Through the darkest night
Peak and valley meet
As love and gratitude grow
I am filled with joy
OVERWHELMED IN THE VALLEY
When we are in the valley we might be sad or afraid. Maybe circumstances overwhelm us, and we just want to get out.
But often right there, when we are at our lowest is the place where God meets us with His light.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.
Every valley shall be exalted
And every mountain and hill brought low;
The crooked places shall be made straight
And the rough places smooth;
The glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
And all flesh shall see it together;
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
Yesterday, I felt overwhelmed and exhausted from all the demands of the past few days. Some of you may know that one of my sons, who is in a wheelchair and has muscular dystrophy, also has congestive heart failure.
He’s been up and down as we try to get the right meds that will help keep his heart rate from skyrocketing. Not to mention the scary feeling when it gets so high. It’s been an emotional roller coaster ride.
Also, he has had a lot of stomach pain and reflux. So it’s been hard to find food that he can eat and actually like. He seems to be doing better for now. But that, along with my husband having surgery last week, we’ve got a lot going on.
GRATITUDE EVEN IN THE VALLEY
Earlier this month I won a journal with some washitape in a giveaway by The Merry Kettle and Quill. This month they are challenging us to be thankful, to look for or do things that evoke a sense of thanksgiving.
As you can see, the title on the front is Life is Just a Moment. With a title like that I thought it would be perfect for a gratitude journal. When I counted the pages in the journal, including both sides of the page, I saw there were 40. If I started that day, November 17, the 40 days would take me to the day after Christmas. What better way to have an attitude of thanksgiving every day!
My Gratitude Journal
I reflected on Psalms I have been reading for my morning devotions. As I read the scriptures and worked on the first page of the journal, my attitude began to change.
I was still tired, but there was more of a feeling of joy rather than of defeat.
Here is my first page:
The next day I wrote another verse in the journal that helped me focus on who God is and that His greatness doesn’t keep Him from loving me.
I want to end with another scripture on a recent watercolor painting I made.
Praise God, for He is worthy! Today, instead of letting myself get all worn out, I took time to pause. Because of this I mostly stayed relaxed even though I still had duties to fulfill. I knew God would give me strength.
Later, my son and I had some sweet times of reading, talking and praying together. Also, my husband got a good report at his follow up visit with the surgeon.
How about you? Do you have a gratitude journal or some other way to remind yourself to give thanks? I’d love to hear your ideas!