Playing Angry Birds Rio on my iPad while hiding out in my nine year old's room wasn't the way I planned to end 2014. Didn't I just write a post about dwelling in the present and focusing on the really important things? I'm pretty sure a game involving kamikaze birds isn't on that list. That's where my attention was the night before New Year's Eve, though.
Last week was one of "those" weeks. You know, the kind when nothing major goes wrong, but it's just a yucky, no good kind of week? I was still fighting the cold I'd come down with on Christmas Eve. I worked three days, pumping myself full of Claritin D and Mucinex to get through eight hours of seeing patients. My Christmas decorations were still up because I was too exhausted after work to take them down. Not quite the grand finale I had in mind for 2014.
I was tired and frustrated and feeling a little sorry for myself. But watching my Facebook friends - something else I spent too much time on - I saw a lot of hard things. Saying goodbye to family members. Uncertainty about the future. Waiting for answers. Guilt tugged at me. There I sat, wasting time and feeling discouraged, when friends were dealing with real problems.
New Year's Eve, I was a little more intentional with my time. I sat down to write my last journal entry before starting a new journal. It's always a little bittersweet as I say goodbye to a year of memories. I started looking back over 2014. There were a lot of ups and downs. We'd had our own times of uncertainty and fear. But through it all, there was grace. No matter ho big or how small the problems were, God was there.
We all need grace. The best thing? God knows we need His grace, for the big and the small things. The morning we're exhausted and trying to get ready for work matters to Him. The day we have to buy groceries in the pouring rain with kids in tow matters. The day our work hours get cut or a job disappears is important. The day we hold a loved one's hand, knowing it will be the last time, matters. The size of the needs doesn't matter to God. He cares about them all.
When the weekend rolled around, I needed another reminder of God's grace. I busied myself prepping for the week ahead, getting workbooks and backpacks together for the new homeschool semester, and planning ahead for children's church lessons and project deadlines. As stress crept in on Sunday, I sat on the couch and picked up my copy of Jesus Calling. As always, God gave me the perfect reminder.
Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.
I am always wrapped in His arms, close to His heart, and inscribed on His hands. He's watching out for me, no matter how big or small my needs. That's a promise I can cling to, even on "those days."