Finding Sweet in Bitter Juices

Another friend just took a short hiatus from Facebook.

I don’t blame her. That endless news feed torments whomsoever should check their status updates with all manner of words and images. Much of this is cleverly disguised bait for the purpose of hooking one into a total waste of a day.

Guilty. It happens to me more than I’d like to admit. 

Social Media of late is swarming in heated and disturbing debates. It is toxic. Taking the time to breathe fresh, clean air and renew the mind in good things and beauty is a necessity.

I tend to avoid debate. Online, it often ends up with contrary words bantered about like so much swordplay. Some time ago, I felt the call to Devotion–not Debate. That looks more like the shining of a light-saber, leading with a parry and thrust from Philippians 4:8 . . .

phil 4-8 gladys

But, with so many disturbing headlines assailing me daily–this can get pretty tough! Touche!

That’s when I need to get in gear with Psalm 46:10 . . .

be still and know

In such a state, it is a smoother path to care casting . . .

539015_473653532645713_647158863_n

I’m glad my friend has a blog, though. And email.

It’s good to stay connected. In trying times–it’s imperative. In our connectedness, God ministers encouragement and comfort when we don’t think we can handle another senseless act of ignorance or violence within society and human government blazing across trending headlines.

I’ll be keeping up with my friend–social media hiatus notwithstanding.

But, I understand her need for silencing the voices competing for stronghold status in mind and heart. I can’t relinquish that priceless territory to anyone. So much damage has been done in the name of broadening our world and thinking on this front.

Distractions and competitors for quality space in our thoughts and opinions must be discerned and subsequently discarded if found unworthy. It is a daily trial we face. Sometimes, just checking my messages strikes my core being with pangs of anxiety. I involuntarily respond with irritability, nervous tension, and a heightened sense of impatience. My to-do list of dutiful activity is usurped by melancholy lethargy.

I am backlogged in the work God has called me to, once again.

Devotion is derailed as Debate careens through my anxious thoughts resulting in mindless activity. Or, restless inactivity, as the case may be. Discontent settles in. I don’t want to taste this bitterness. But, what can I do? It is the flavor of the season we are in and I am powerless to change the destination.

What might I gain from such troublesome times? My call to Devotion is unchanged. 

This is something I’m currently working through thematically in my new Fable Springs Parables picture book. It’s a not-just-for-little-kids kind of picture book. As a matter of fact, like Book 1 in the series, Mother Chicken’s Eggs: Choosing to Grow into Greater Things, the stories in Fable Springs have a greater impact on older “children” of all ages. I write them on a metaphorical level with greater depths and guiding principles to glean from, than a simple  entertaining momentary read at the surface storyline.

My new book is about bees–Bugaboo-Bee’s Bop: Patience for the Prize. I was inspired to write it stemming from a devotional study I did where I came across an interesting quote by classic Christian writer Frances deSales:

Bugaboo-Bee's Bop, Frances deSales, Pageant Wagon Publishing

Ouch! 

That statement about bees having the ability to change bitter juices into something sweet and nourishing gets me every time. Clearly, we’re not talking about clouds with silver linings. This is a wholesale transformation!

Do I have the ability to manufacture bitter juice moments into sweet nourishing honey in my own life? 

Be it personal hardship or disturbing, anxiety ridden world news headlines, not a day goes by without its share of bitter juices. What do the bees know that keeps them on task to fulfill their ordained duty?

My ordained duty is Devotion.

What must I do to stay on task with my call to focused Devotion to my Lord? To His Word? To His Will? To His call on my life even in the face of bitter distractions seeking to shove me off course?

What must I do to walk in patience and contentment in such bitter seasons and situations?

        So I can be a producer of sweet and nourishing nectar in the lives of others?

                So I can fulfill my place in the beehive of this swiftly spinning out of control planet?

Perhaps first, I need to understand that all things are well under control, after all. Under God’s control–not man’s. Not mine.

I need to be okay with that.

And, once I am . . . sweet peace . . . Devotional focus returns.

936249_371398626295312_1938947532_n

I wrestle with this in my own life. So too, my little Bugaboo-Bee character, in all her discontentment to the devotion to duty which she is called, will wrestle with it in her story, too. Expect chaos to ensue should she choose to fan the flames of her unrest.

angry

What will we learn from her story?

Well, I’m figuring that out now. You can read about it by early spring 2016 when I publish in hardcover, paperback, and audio book editions. And, dig even deeper into this honeycomb of biblical teaching and learning with the six in-depth study guides to follow in the fall of 2016. Retreat and conference workshop sessions to follow.

In the meantime, I’m brewing a cup of tea with a honey sweetener, sipping slowly, savoring the moment, and choosing to live–moment by moment–in His presence via the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart.

boney to be found

Devastating headlines will have their day. 

Devotion to God alone will be my way.

Now, ain’t that sweetness and light . . .

blog signature

Sharing Finding Sweet in Bitter Juices this week with:

Not Just Homemaking Party at Hope in Every Season

Whole-Hearted Wednesday

Jennifer Dukes Lee’s Tell His Story

A  Little R&R Wednesday

Thought Provoking Thursday

Vintage Mama’s Cottage

Thursday’s Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner

Fellowship Friday at Christian Mommy Blogger

Faith Filled Fridays at Missional Women

Spiritual Sundays

P.S. A shout out to Sharon at Sharon Sharing God for the terrific quote she shared with me. Meme worthy, indeed.

long subscribe w border

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2015 Kathryn Ross 

Comments

  1. Hello Kathy,
    My heart was warmed to see the verse you had right at the top …. I have been hearing this in my head a lot these days and for the same reasons. We will trust in Him because that is our sanctuary! Looking forward to the “bee book!”
    Hope all else is well…. ~Jill

    • Thanks, Jillian! Been thinking about you and yours and hope all is well in this change of season! Bebe in school? She’s getting so big!! Been bee-bee-buzy, as you see–and sure do need a refreshing break. Not forthcoming–so I’ll just stroll your online shop. Sigh.
      Joy!
      Kathy

  2. What a wonderful post today Miss Kathy! I LOVE your words…”My ordained duty is devotion”. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    • Blessings, Cindy. It was very freeing when I felt the yoke of debate lift with the understanding that my best defense of God’s Word and His Ways is the light of living in His Light day in and out. All good things and beauty–gotta BE it.
      Joy!
      Kathy

  3. Sweetness often follows the bitterness in our lives. It is in the process of the renewing of our minds and hearts that the change occurs. Love those illustrations. Can’t wait to read the next book.

  4. I’ve taken breaks from the social media debate, and I’m currently limiting my time on it. I agree with you. I want my life so filled with devotion that the debate loses interest. Love your bees. What a great lesson. Blessings to you!

  5. A Beautiful and encouraging post! Thank you. God bless~Nadine

  6. Such a cute and encouraging post – I shall be sharing it ON Facebook :) You’re right, it’s definitely easy to become a time suck AND to get into an argument. But then again, you and I are blessed to stay so busy, it’s even easier to say – No time for that – and scurry away to better things God has for us – like sharing the sweet Word of God on social media. Who KNOW what God will do with it – quite exciting when you think about it. :) Thanks for excellent food for thought and feast for the eyes. Have a blessed and beautiful week.

    Kaye

    • I appreciate the shares, Kaye! Blessed that you’ve been blessed! Holding fast to the social shares the Holy Spirit places in my heart, rather than the often worldly stories and images that assail us in social media online, no matter how we try to regulate our feeds. God wins.
      Joy!
      Kathy

  7. Still not on Facebook, and still not regretting that decision. Though some have suggested getting a FB page for my blog. Have to ponder that one.

    I know this is a super busy season in your life. And when you’re being used by the Lord, there are endless challenges to face, and enemy attacks to battle. My prayers are with you, as I know that God is using your talents for His glory!

    GOD BLESS!

    (Thanks for the meme “shout out” – now if I could only remember my own advice!!)

    • Thanks for those prayers, Sharon! They are much appreciated with my busy. I always feel like I’m finding my way in the darkness. Seeking the Light of the Lord in the mundane and miraculous!
      Joy!
      Kathy

I would love to hear from you--share your thoughts!

*

%d bloggers like this: