Just for Today: It’s Enough

by | Feb 15, 2012 | Uncategorized

Sometimes clarity comes during the last swirl of claret sediment and a casual conversation over a kitchen island, among the spoons stuck with beans from last night’s chili and squiggles of yellow cheese lying like jigsaw puzzle. Harnessing fragmented thoughts to create a window to the soul.

I admit the words out loud. Hear myself ask him, “Is this all there is?” Picking up after the people I love, deciding what to eat for dinner, swiping squiggles off counters, pen daily prose when the destination remains foggy. All this today, only to wake up and start over again?

Is this all there is?

“Yes, this is all there is,” he responds while carrying dirty dishes to the sink, “for today.”

“Do you think that when Sarah wiped the nose of Isaac, stood over dirty dishwater; do you think she wondered if this was all there is,” he asks.

I remember how Sarah laughs unbelieving when God tells her she will conceive a child in her old age (Genesis 21:6). It wasn’t how she envisioned it.

Yes Sarah, wipe the nose of Isaac today because he is the promise of blessing for generations. The number of people his life will impact: like the grains of sand that cover the shore. But for today, pick up his clothes off the floor, feed him a warm breakfast, send him to school, teach him how to pray.

I have an acute fixation called the need to figure things out, nail them down, and then hang them up like trophies. Know where all the drama leads, how what I do today effects the future, if I am doing enough in order to reach the place I am going. This place called Unknown.

And maybe a mid-life crisis is really just God setting an alarm, the pitch of which we can’t hear until we arrive in the middle. The middle of what we envision, blasted free to fulfill the future.  

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why Did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? (Genesis 18:13)

What if, what you do today effects eternity, but it’s not how you envision it?

I lean into the island, over the smell of chopped onions, laugh ashamed. Remember Naaman. See myself in the shadow of his story. (II Kings 5)

How Naaman nearly missed the gift of healing from the snowy white horror on his skin because the advice given wasn’t what he envisioned. It seemed foolish and beneath him to walk in and out of river water seven times.

Sometimes life doesn’t look the way we envision it, but God unfolds the mystery of eternity by being faithful in the here and now.

Is this all there is?

No, not if we are willing to be bread and wine poured out for Him. Poured out over a kitchen island full of dirty dishes and menial conversation.

And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever. I John 2:17


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  1. roseann elliott

    oh how moms can get lost in the sea of little things…tossed around…losing the shoreline…holding my grandlove brings me back…watching my daughter love…feed…hold…something that others think anyone could do for Ellie…but not like a mom…it is a spiritual communion between them…one that continues through life…through the seeming insignificant things…wiping noses…until they walk through the door into the world that calls them…
    great post…blessings to your day…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You are learning so much from that baby. What a blessing, to see how this newness is effecting you, changing your vision, opening your heart.

  2. alex

    ‘Sometimes life doesn’t look the way we envision it, but God unfolds the mystery of eternity by being faithful in the here and now.’

    Just beautiful!

    “I have an acute fixation called the need to figure things out, nail them down, and then hang them up like trophies. Know where all the drama leads, how what I do today effects the future, if I am doing enough in order to reach the place I am going. This place called Unknown.”

    Me too. Those words pierced my heart as I do this daily.

    Thanks for such a great post!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Alex, thanks for being here today. Knowing this resonated, it blesses me.

  3. Audra Marie

    Beautiful thoughts. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Audra Marie, so glad to meet you and blessed knowing that our meeting today seemed to be timely.

  4. LuAnn

    Hi Shelly,
    Each time I read your post I feel like I’ve had a much needed conversation with you. I am longing more and more for that girl-get-away-and-refresh time.
    I love and miss you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yep, we need to look into it. And you, my friend, have a birthday coming up in a few days! Love you too.

  5. Ms. Kathleen

    This is much wisdom in this post. I don’t know if I am in the middle of a mid life crisis or not but I don’t want to change – and for the better. Love your photos as well 🙂 Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Ms. Kathleen. Transitions – one thing we can be certain of in life, because He doesn’t want us to be stuck.
      I’ll be enjoying time off with my kids over this long weekend. Hope you have a good one too.

  6. toshowthemjesus

    I’ve asked the same questions. Always trying to anticipate God’s next move, as though I could be ready and prepared. Not living here and now. This spoke to me today, thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Oh, I feel your pain. I often revisit the same scenarios of wondering about the future and then get mad at myself for being there all over again. Faith – it grows as we do.

  7. Sandra Heska King

    Oh Shelly, wow. He unfolds the mystery of eternity crumb by crumb and squiggle by squiggle. And for today, that is enough.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Sandra, I want it to be enough for me. That’s where I am trying to stay. It often feels like pushing the jack-in-the-box down when he wants to pop up. I get swept up in trying to figure things out instead of being content with today.

  8. DeborahJoy

    I am also prone to wanting things all sorted out nice and neatly. I crave certainty. And yes, often this IS all there is, and it IS enough. Thank you for the reminder.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I need reminding too DeborahJoy. Wish it would stick, but that’s where I am.

  9. Lisa

    I definitely have the days when it feels like I’m just running on the little hamster wheel in a swirl of never-ending get up, make breakfast, make lunches, go to work, come home, make dinner….you get the picture. But then, something happens, like this weekend’s ordeal, and you crave the normalcy…..It may seem mundane, but we do everything for His glory! Thanks again for the beautiful words!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lisa, so excited to see you in the comment box. Hope Hank is on the mend. What an incredible testimony of God’s faithfulness last week.

  10. Courtney

    This is a beautiful reminder of what our daily work means to God. Thank you.

  11. lori macmath

    This is a “God instance…” JUST this morning in my time with my prayer girls, I mentioned that there are seasons when I wonder if I’m really USING the gifts…His gifts. I SEE the gifts and yet so often life takes over and the gifts are put aside for the LIFE THINGS…Your eloquent words sum it all up…it IS Kingdom work..”I have an acute fixation called the need to figure things out, nail them down, and then hang them up like trophies. Know where all the drama leads, how what I do today effects the future, if I am doing enough in order to reach the place I am going. This place called Unknown.” I am not alone it seems in this place…living a life that will one day be a legacy…submission and finding peace in the unknown…and maybe one day, actually liking that place 🙂
    Beautiful! So blessed you joined us at ICDevos! Sorry for the site glitches this morning!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lori, what a pleasure to link with you today. And how blessed I am knowing that this was a sacred echo for you. I have had to come to peace with the possiblity that I may never see the fruit of what I do today in my lifetime. And honestly, I don’t know if I am truly okay with that. I like to see the progress, pray I will see the fruit of my labor. We ARE in good company!

  12. kd sullivan

    I have had a hard day…and I know that it seems like I have had a lot of these lately. I don’t like that, because it makes me wonder if it is my day that is hard, or my heart. But jobless, despondent husbands, college stressed-out sons, and yes, even amongst God’s faithfulness, wondering where the next bit of grocery money is coming from…(How many times does God have to prove His faithfulness?) And I lie to myself. Saying that if I were a missionary having to trust God for provision that it would be different. It would be easier. But I know that it’s untrue. I ask myself, “When does it get easier? When do I fall into His plans for me?” And hindsight will be 20/20 someday. I will see in a mirror clearly rather than darkly….I think I have the beginning of a post here…thanks for the prompt.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I’ve been the missionary. It isn’t any easier. When we say we want to follow Christ, we are all in, in poverty and in wealth, in easy and uncomfortable. I’m so sorry you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. I know this kind of ache. It isn’t easy and know I am praying for you friend. Don’t apologize, He didn’t promise us perfect, just grace to make it through. Blessings and thanks for sharing your heart honestly here. It blesses me.

  13. charinabrooks

    I just want to say thank you for this beautifully written post Shelley. Blessings!

  14. Denise

    Beautiful, truthful post.

  15. Denise J. Hughes

    “Sometimes life doesn’t look the way we envision it, but God unfolds the mystery of eternity by being faithful in the here and now.”

    These are truly words to live by. So beautifully said, Shelly.

  16. tara // pohlkottepress

    ok, ok. you get it – you get me…I’ve said it a ton of times before. But seriously girl, alright already…I know you’ve got that one stop shop window into my soul…but today? today was hard. felt small. muddled. and yearning for so much more. thank you for reminding me there is more. I know I’ll get my mind there tomorrow. But for today? I’ll let your words guide me.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      aww, Tara, I had to admit that during my writing of this post I did think about your magic ball in your last post. I wondered where you were today. didn’t see you in the usual link ups and hoped all is well. I know those small, muddled and yearning days. Know them well. Tomorrow will be better friend. So blessed to have you in my life. God is good.

  17. Lisa notes

    Okay, I’m convicted.I like to know how my work today will affect the future tomorrow. But God doesn’t work that way. His ways are best; His ways are best (I must preach to myself). Leaning on the truth of his word to be content living and loving in the place called Unknown.

    A beautiful post. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Lisa, I like results and to know how what I do will effect things too. It’s a new discipline for me, to be content without results. A painful one worth enduring.

  18. Debbie

    Wow; you certainly do have a way with words! What a beautiful, descriptive post this was.

    I would never have envisioned my life the way it is years ago. In fact, if God had revealed my future …I probably would have run away. But He walked with me every step of the way. He revealed the next step and that works best for me.

    There are seasons in our lives. During this season of raising children, embrace each child with your whole heart. Wash those dishes. Put away the clothes and start over the next morning. This is the day that the Lord has given. And we trust Him with your tomorrows. There will be a day when the little ones grow up.

    I had to laugh. I was working the gate at our school as the long line of cars arrived to pick up their children. We have to scan each child out and match badges with their parent. One mom seemed so overwhelmed as she struggled to find her badge and comfort her baby crying in the back as she made room for her four year old who was trying to tell her about his day. I patted her arm and said “it’s just this season” and gave her a hug.

    I’m so glad I came to read your post today.

    Blessings and love,

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Debbie, I envision you loving on those kids and joy just bubbling out of you. What a gift you are to them and how thankful they must be that you are part of their daily lives. We never know where He will take us, who we will touch along the way, life is a mystery that doesn’t need solving, just experiencing.

  19. Jennifer@GDWJ

    Oh my. This goes down as one of my favorite posts of yours. Wow…. I think I’ve seen the word “Wow” a few times up there in the comment box. Add my Wow to the WOWs.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Aww, Jennifer thanks! That means so much coming from one of the women I admire most in the blogging world.

  20. Dea Moore

    I have a big load of “darks” to put in the machine—-two weeks of layers to wash from my trip to Ukraine. I knew I would come home to laundry and crumbs…to my life here. My challenge will not be Sarah’s but Hagar’s. Will my life here become my wilderness? Will I see the well? I must remember the God who sees me…who sees the world…who sees it all from the end to the beginning. I must see the well right here where I am…and to drink long from it, fill with his outpouring as the “alarm” rings loudly, awakening me to the provision that is mine for every place, every stage of life.

    What a blessing to catch up with you today, Shelly!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Dea, your comment should be a blog post, seriously. I read it several times because of the depth and thoughfulness. Oh my. Once you get settled back in, with your thoughts and the mundane, and you want to talk, I would love to process with you.

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