I putter about my blog, search for posts that include the word comfort, and seek to come up with a way to revisit my One Little Word for this Spiritual Journey Thursday post that will do double duty with the Sharing Our Stories community.
I chose to approach my OLW for 2021 through the lens of these three phrases: Snuggle into comfort, reach out to comfort, and step out of my comfort zone. I've probably snuggled into comfort long enough. This quote by Kay Arthur that I shared in my January post reminds me that the Lord is beside us and willing to comfort us in our daily walks and trials: "Snuggle
in God's arms when you are hurting, when you feel lonely, when you feel
left out. Let Him cradle you, comfort you, reassure you of His all
sufficient power and love."
I'm relieved that vaccinations have enabled me to actually reach out to comfort and embrace dear friends. I've resumed walking with friends and our church congregation has slowly moved back to "in person" gatherings. This week will mark the first Sunday that we will gather in person for two hours of worship instead of one hour church followed by Zoom gatherings for second hour classes that has been our schedule for the past two months. I'm looking forward to hosting our first in person book club in June.
But the comfort that I'm leaning into is the comfort of being with friends and family for the next week. I traveled to Austin, Texas yesterday (traveling is one way that I'm stepping out of my comfort zone). My good friend, Mallory, picked me up at the airport and will drive me to my sister's home in Bryan, Texas today. It's been almost two years since I've seen Mallory's family. We shared a pew with them on Sundays for almost ten years and they shared their children with us. We were so sad when they decided to move to Texas. Here are pics taken from their last visit to our home in July 2019 and one of the family taken just yesterday.
And today I'm off to see my sis in Texas. It's been two years since we've been together. I can't wait to see her. Her son and family, my sister-in-law, my niece, and my nephew and his family are joining us for a family weekend together. It's a sure bet that we'll be doing a bit of embracing and comforting. It's our first time together since my brother's death. Covid-19 has stolen so much from us. We are looking forward to this time together to share our love, remember those we lost (a sister and a brother in December 2020), and comfort each other. These words from 2 Corinthians 1: 3 & 4 remind us that as we are comforted by God, we have a responsibility to reach out to comfort others: "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God."
Finally, it's time to step out of my comfort zone and get to work on some projects at home. I've been gentle with myself and spent a lot of time snuggling into comfort and giving comfort. When I get home from this trip, I'll make hay while the sun shines (and while the garage is not cold and dark) to join husband in his efforts to declutter the garage and our home in preparation for downsizing at some point in the future. (I welcome all helpful hints from friends who have already walked this path.) The words of this quote will help me remember that outside my comfort zone is real growth. "Be comfortable with being outside your comfort zone. That's the only way to grow."
I look forward to reading your posts about your 2021 journey with your OLW!