what is?

A few words latch tightly onto my spirit this morning.

Not “what if”, Elaine, but rather “what is”.

What is. What if I could just live there instead of living in the interminable list of maybes? I’m going to try. With God’s help I’m going to endeavor to live in the reality of today and not take on the unseen possibilities of tomorrow.

What is?

Family relocation in less than a month. Four of us heading south. Two of us heading north.

What is?

Exhaustion. I must take time to rest my body, mind, soul, and spirit, even in the midst of chaos.

What is?

Fear of the unknown. Today, I give it over to God and allow the Faith that has carried my Elaine in these last forty-seven years to be enough to see me through till nightfall.

What is?

Food in my cupboards and a little money in my pocket. Daily manna for daily needs.

What is?

No startling news on the health front. Thanking God for still waters.

What is?

A family’s love. I am accepted and celebrated for who I am.

What is?

The truth of God and his Word tightly tethered to my heart. Oh the sweet, inescapable grace of the Creator! Wherever I am, God IS as well.

What is?

Friendship. Kinship. The fellowship of the beloved. The family of God is long and wide and high and deep. I am not alone on this pilgrim road.

What is?

Good books. Good authors. Words that sustain me, challenge me, and lead me toward truth.

What is?

A day filled with sunshine. A good day for a walk in God’s garden. Eden doesn’t seem so far out of reach.

What is?

Motherhood. They are mine for a season. Today I’ll give them my time, my patience, my love, and my faith. It’s the best I can do.

What is?

Kingdom influence. An undeserved grace. A weighty privilege. A sacred participation with the Almighty. It might sneak quietly into my day, but I pray for eyes to see, a heart to believe, and hands wide-open to receive it as it arrives.

What is?

Right now. This moment.

What is?

Jesus Christ near me, with me, in me.

What is?

Enough peace for the journey I’m traveling.

How about you? What is? I’m praying that God will keep us focused here, on the “is” that really is and not on the “what ifs” that crowd our agenda. In keeping it this small, in breaking down the grand chaos into bite-sized, reality chunks, I think we’re better able to live our moments as they arrive. Not that we deny the truth of “what is”; the starkness of the life in front of us can be a challenge. But even when our “what is” is difficult, as a people of faith we can be certain that God’s “what is” is coupled alongside us as we progressively step through the struggle.

Would you be willing to think it through today – all the way through? Write down your “what is” and receive it as truth? “What ifs” are time wasters; I don’t know about you, but I’ve got enough on my agenda without squandering a single speck of emotional and mental energy on living a scenario that has yet to breathe.

What is? Well, I better get busy with it – two kids running down the hallway and asking the lunch lady regarding today’s menu. I’ll see you on the other side of my Monday, friends. Keep me posted on what your “what is”. I am praying for you.

18 Responses to what is?

  1. What a difference ONE letter makes (“f”/”s”)! I think I’ll take your challenge and make my list in a few minutes. This will be good exercise for me. Thanks! And God bless ALL your is-es with Himself and with joy.

  2. If ever there was/is a discipline that challenged me, it is this one: living in the now. I know you’re up to the challenge, my friend ~ and, what’s more, to inspire us to be likewise.

    The best is yet to come!

  3. Oh I love this Elaine! What is for me is having a roof over my head, a husband who loves me, a job I enjoy, good health and most of all …a personal relationship with the One who created it all. Now that’s something for which I can know and be thankful.

    You are a blessing. I am praying for you as you go through this transition in your life.

    Blessings and love,

  4. Oh, I am a first-class traveler on the “What-If Train” – often gripped and paralyzed by my anxieties and fears.

    But, how I love your *what is* – yes, focusing on the Truth that is true every single day. (I loved your phrase: “Faith that has carried my Elaine…”) This is the sustaining frame of mind that I must cling to in every moment.

    My “what is” today? A family that I love dearly, and who loves me back. A husband who is the most wonderful companion. And, a God who is by my side, in all the good, bad, and ugly…


  5. Love this post, Elaine. Love how you started by acknowledging the reality of the challenges in your current what is, but then you continued by listing the many blessings of your what is as well. It’s a good reminder that whatever problems we have to include in our what is, we have considerable more blessings that are part of our reality, too.

    I know God will walk you through the coming weeks. I pray things will go as smoothly as possible. Will be praying for you!

  6. I, too, have trouble living in the moment…being fully present. The what if’s sometimes take over and crowd out the today. Thanks for the reminder to be fully present in today. Praying for you as you prepare for your move.

    • When is life not overwhelming:)? Let’s just keep walking it through, Maryann, trusting and believing in our Father who walks each step with us.

  7. This is my first visit to your blog Diane, I read about you on Cindy’s blog “Letters from Midlife”. As a long time christian one would think I’d have it all figured out, but no, it is a jouney we are on. I have to go back to Matthew 6:34 and remind myself not to worry about tomorrow and the “What If’s”. God has promised me peace in my storms and grace to sustain me. Trusting in His promises has to become a why of life. That is my “what is” and God will handle my “What If’s”. Reading your post did cause me to stop and think, being human I do like to look ahead and plan for tomorrow but God already has a plan and I do need to learn to listen more and draw from Him as I jouney through life.
    Have a blessed day!

    • Thank you for making me a part of your “what is” today, Sylvia. I’m always delighted to see new faces here. Blessings and peace to you as you walk this day through with God!

  8. “What is” this very second is a good word from a friend who articulates so well the jumble of thoughts in my mind…once again, Elaine, your inspired sharing has touched a place in my heart that knows the truth yet desires remembrance

    “…in breaking down the grand chaos into bite-sized, reality chunks, I think we’re better able to live our moments as they arrive.”…AMEN…adding my prayers that your present bite-sized portions become most savory and sweet!

  9. Oh I love this post! I am SOOOOO guilty of saying what if all the time not what is now. My what is now is a roof over my head (even if it is nothing I would ever pick), friends nearby to come over when I need a good cry, and a husband who is happier than he was last year. And a church who love the Lord. Thank you for turning our heads in a direction we need to walk,

  10. Are you moving from Releigh? I try to read you whenever you post and it sounds, today, as though someone may be moving. We just moving, from the parsonage to our own home(first home since we sold our home while in seminary). It is quite nice to be living jn our house and not just a borrowed home. The last two parsonages have been nice and large, unlike our house which is 1900sq. ft. when the others were 2800 and 2900 respectively.My point was to say that we are still unboxing a few remaining boxes that are left. I know just how exhausting it. I will continue to pray for you all but I will add a moving clause in there.
    Blessings, Cindy.

    • So glad you’re in a home of your own, Cindy. Yes, it’s that time of year for Methodist pastors everywhere. We’ll be moving at the end of June. Knee deep in boxes over here. Thank you for any spare prayers. My stress level is at overload! Blessings, friend.

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