Compassions never fail

Jul 14

Tonight as I was going to bed, Brad stopped me and said, “Are you really okay, are you just tired?  What’s going on?”

I sighed at my own discontent, and acknowledged that, in the late evening hour, after a long day, in a funky stretch, “I’m feeling a little low.”

“Nothing is actually wrong tonight,” I added, “I’m just having a moment.”

Emotions are tricky things because I’m feeling low about a whole bunch of things that don’t really matter; it all just caught up to me in that last twenty minutes before bed, thus a clear sign that I stayed up twenty minutes too late.  It’s easy to get caught up in such things: the nonsense and non-important.  The to-dos, the shoulds, the it’s-already-lates.  The piles, the lists, the undone.  The messy, the guilt, the forgotten.  The wishes, the jealousy, the broken.

As I collect my thoughts and type this literally from my bed, I shake my head at my own mis-steps.  It’s been a great couple of days.  I am so blessed.  I need to trust that the folks on the other end of my unfinished life are not hinging their approval or acceptance of me upon my actions.  And even if they are, I need to be okay with that too.  Meanwhile, great things have happened this week; that’s what I need to think about.

Brad and I have had two dates in the last week; more if you count “family dates” of quality time.  We’re good, on the same page, connected, awesome.  He is my beloved.

Today I watched Greta in her very best Greta surroundings.  She got to go to a party where the theme was princesses and the sparkle was un-matched.  Seriously, if it held still, it was glittered.  She was the kid who bought into the fairy story hook, line, and sinker.  She was the one who believed only the magic could open that door.  She was finally appropriately dressed for something in her ruffled tulle dress and purple leopard–yes, glittered–shoes.  I love my bright-eyed girl and her wonder.

Early this morning I showered Maren in genuine praise and wonder at what a terrific job she did cleaning her own room.  Apparently I’ve been coddling her in the room cleaning department because this was miles better than any effort I’ve previously seen from her.  Bar raised, girl!  I also feigned interest as she gave me a much more detailed tour of the newly sorted room than I was anticipating.  Also today, I saw her first dives into the pool; another first checked off.  I’m fascinated watching her.

I was a good sister this week, and my sisters were good to me this week.

Friends stepped in and blessed me in ways I wasn’t expecting.  It’s not even that I wasn’t expecting it, it’s that I didn’t know what I needed.  People who love me have seen a hole and stepped in to plug it.  I didn’t even know the bucket was leaking, much less how to fix it.  I’m seen, and known, even in my funk; grace and gifts are extended.

So, I’m fine, and life is good.  That about sums it up; tonight I just needed to say it out loud as a reminder to myself.  I’m already feeling notably better as I’ve righted my perspective and chosen to reflect on the joy in the day.  I press in gratitude where it hurts; there is so much to be grateful for.  The work of it starts with me.

I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.  Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  –Lamentations 3:19-22

I typed this last night and didn’t “publish” because I was soooo tired and didn’t want to be whiny or pitiful.  (Sometimes I am whiny and pitiful though–keeping it real!).  I’ve also found that when I say what is frustrating me, people do nice things, and I’m sensitive to — for example — telling you something like my garden is weed-y and then — poof — someone weeds it.  (I have to trust that you know that’s not what I meant, not what I asked for, and I share that specific example because I know that was a gift done with joy.)  I don’t want to share out of my desire to be honest with my weakness and wimpiness and have it be interpreted that I’m crying out for help.  I’m not; I’m continuing to be vulnerable and share because it’s how I do cancer.  It’s how I do life, actually.  Today, three different people asked me for help or references, and I’m so happy to be helpful and be a reference, even when I have to say no.  I wonder: if I had typed this blog and published it last night, would those three still have asked me for help?  I hope so.  Lord, I hope so.  Today, I’m publishing, and I’m adding this disclaimer at the end.  Include me, ask me, and let me in.  It’s so much better to be overhwhelmed with love than to be lonely.  I know I am a blessed woman indeed, and just as that verse says: I am not consumed.  His compassions never fail.  Thank you for being a community that blesses me with riches beyond my dreams.

And–by the way–I’m having a great day today.  There is so much to be grateful for.


  1. Lisa Smith /

    “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:71 {You ARE doing this well.}

  2. Malia /

    Continuing to pray from Seattle. I will also ‘press in gratitude where it hurts; there IS so much to be grateful for! The work of it starts with me’…

  3. Nancy /

    I love you Jen. Thank you so much for letting me in.

  4. Sue Nitz /

    Jen your realness is what i love about you. Your realness shows your humanity and how you make the very best of it. What a true and living example of Faith and Hope and Love you are. And when you feel like you are taking more than giving just know that you are giving way more than you think by being you. God bless you today and always. My prayers continue. Love to you. Sue

  5. Bonnie BJ /

    I AM Enough because HE is More than Enough in and through me. A blogger I read said that and those words are taking up residence in my heart. These days are difficult and gut wrenching on a variety of levels but we need to cling to Jesus and be honest in our struggles to Do these days well. Jen, you’re an inspiration to so so many. Do not lose heart for the Lord is strengthening you in ways that encourage others. Encourage us. Encourage me. Today IS a new day and you are NOT alone.

  6. Genora /

    We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;