Blessed or Stressed?

I was touched to tears the other day.

As many of you know, I had been traveling for the past month. One of the places I stayed was in lovely Encinitas, CA, for about 3 weeks in my cousin and husband’s new, totally custom built home with sprawling ocean views.

Not only is this house exquisite, an amazing piece of architect, and beautifully, though simply, decorated… it is the most orderly, uncluttered environment I have ever been in. Quite frankly… it sort of intimidated me.

Though my cousin is family, I didn’t really know her or her husband, at least not intimately.

Would they get upset with me if I left a glass around? spilled something? God forbid… broke something?

I found myself wondering… would I leave this place and their company with them disappointed in me?

As kind, generous, and welcoming as they were, it took me a little time to RELAX and ENJOY such a lovely dwelling.

After a few days of discomfort and even resistance, I was surprised to realize that much of my discomfort was about ME and my PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS about them.

Despite my secret concerns, they just kept on giving… fixing me gourmet meals each night, sharing their best bottles of wine, inviting lively discussions, demonstrating curiosity and interest in me and my work….

And yet… I still remained slightly uncomfortable.

And then, it happened. God showed me I had a choice to make. Worry and resist or relax and receive. I became profoundly aware (again!) of how perceptions can either stress or bless!

CHOOSING to see favor, another thing happened…. I came to WANT to see, understand, and embrace THEIR hearts, THEIR ways, and THEIR whys.

By the third week, a beautiful flow of love, appreciation, and acceptance moved between us. I knew them. They knew me.

The day I left, my cousin called me on the way to her work. She expressed sadness that I was leaving, and that she left me something outside my door. Thinking it was some breakfast treat, I opened the door, and there, beautifully wrapped… a gorgeous journal inscribed with a heart felt sentiment.

So, here I am… staying in their home, eating their food, using their things for, what many would think is an excessive amount of time, and …. she leaves me a gift. I was touched to tears.

There are so many things to say about all of this, but I feel, viscerally, the passages, Psalm 23: 6. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever,” and John 15:4, “Abide (dwell) in Me, and I in you…. “

God wants us to intimately dwell with Him, in His Kingdom, in our hearts, consciously. God knows us… and He wants us to know Him… really know Him…

But how often do our PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS about Him, maybe even our worry and doubt, keep us from relaxing with and enjoying Him, our time together, and all His provisions?

How often does this discomfort keep us at arms length, often missing His blessings? How often do we give up in trying to be in His presence because we initially don’t feel what we want to feel.

I’ll be honest. The first week I was there, I was tempted to find another place to go. But there was no other place. How fortunate for me!

What I would have missed had I not been there to share life with them!

So, here’s my encouragement to you. Choose each day to consciously dwell in the house of the Lord, asking Him about Him, relaxing and receiving all He has for you. Ask Him to enlighten the eyes of your heart so you don’t miss a thing.

I love you!

In Your Corner!

3 Responses to Blessed or Stressed?
  1. Kezia
    February 16, 2011 | 11:52 am

    Lovely !! 🙂
    You’re lucky to have a cousin like her, and she is lucky to have you as well. When I go to my cousin’s place, I hardly think as much, lolzzz !!

    God bless you 🙂

  2. Maryann Ehmann
    February 16, 2011 | 12:00 pm

    Oh, my… true words! I have an amazing family!!

  3. Monica Hall
    February 16, 2011 | 2:21 pm

    How beautifully expressed, Maryann. I never cease to be amazed at how easily I develop all of these PERCEIVED feelings in my head, only to learn I couldn’t be more wrong. What a waste of time, energy and most importantly, the blessings that God had planned for me through those very same people. Thanks for such a poignant reminder!

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