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Filling my Cup Again: Beautiful Things


posted by Susan Dominikovich on , ,

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Taranaki has been home for 17 years.  Whenever we have gone away, whether by car or by plane, I have craned my neck on the return trip for that first glimpse of the mountain and the comforting knowledge that I was home again.  Until my cup broke.  

In January we had a camping trip out of the region with some friends.  During the drive home as the mountain came into view, my heart sank and my stomach churned.  The whole view grew dark and bleak.  There was no comfort, no feeling of being home again.  I will never forget instead the dread, the awfulness of thinking we had to move, that in order to heal, we would need to start again, to completely start over again somewhere else.  That was my lowest moment before my cup was mended, knowing that my home was no longer home.  Thank God He helped me find the pieces of my cup and glue them back together again so that we never had to consider that option. 

Jump to the present:  When I took the plunge and started my blog, I knew I had to find an appropriate name.  In fact, it had to be exactly the right name.  I had spent the morning with a friend bandying around names for her new on-line business and knew how important it was.  "Beautiful Things" was the first thing to come out of my fingertips, and while I hit the backspace and tried other names, the original stuck.

"Beautiful Things" is the name of a song written and sung by Michael Gungor. A friend of mine gave me the song and another by Gungor after that camping trip, knowing that I needed to start filling my cup again.  She knew how much I loved music and would listen to anointed songs all day long on my MP3 player, songs that picked me up off the ground and also reminded me that it isn't all supposed to be about me anyway.  But when your cup has been broken and people have trampled on it, you come away feeling a little bruised and battered.  And when you're in that place, it is hard sometimes to see beyond the bruising.


It is a song that speaks to my journey of the last few months.  It's a song that reminds me that God has it all under control, even the ugliness.  


Because God makes beautiful things out of the dust.


God brought this song to my attention again at a very significant time.  Paul and I took our family to Easter Camp at Totara Springs in Matamata this year.  We were hoping for a time of refreshing and perhaps even a little clarity.  We were hoping God had a reason for us to be there and it wasn't just our own idea, grasping at straws and answers.  We even went so far as to hope our son Sam would find a friend.  I hoped that my cup would be filled again, because I recognised that I had nothing to give with an empty cup.  And I am a giver.  I love to love.  But I'd had to turn all loving off for awhile.

I should mention at this point that the process of cup-filling had already begun.  I had re-discovered an old friend in Oswald Chamber's daily devotions, My Utmost for His Highest. And these daily readings led me to my Bible, specifically Eugene Peterson's translation, The Message.  My "dry" season was certainly over.  God has been speaking to me in quite profound and extraordinary ways through His Word ever since.  Sometimes I still catch myself thinking, "wow this is so amazing that He is speaking to me like this right now," and then I remember rather shame-faced, it is supposed to be like that.  We are supposed to be in His word, listening to Him and talking to Him.  Bringing him our cares and asking for His wisdom in the matter.  


After 11 years of self-sufficiency and control, what a relief it was to let go and stop trying to figure out all the answers by myself!  


Perhaps it was because we were at such a low, that there was only one way but up.  I rather think it was God's intention for us to be at that camp and He came through for us mightily.  We were blessed by speakers who affirmed us, who spoke the message of our hearts backed up by scripture for four straight days.  Day after day God gently said to us, "you are not wrong, keep going.  Look, I am doing something here."  He also said, "you have been obedient.  Look at what I am doing for you, all for you."  God brought some amazing people into our lives at Easter Camp, first through Sam.  He didn't make one friend; he made two, and has kept in touch with both of them via email.  The family of one of his friends became our friends.  We shared meals together, found things in common like worship and on-line shopping and were a living example of Christian community together.  We were so blessed.


At Easter Camp, we sang this song by Gungor.  I felt God wrap His arms around me and say, "Okay, it's over now.  Stop thinking about the pain and the hurt.  The pain was there for a reason.  Hope is springing up.  I make beautiful things out of the dust.  So forget about the dust.  It's gone."   During the drive home from Easter Camp, the mountain came into view as we rounded the coast at Mokau.  My spirit was light and I looked at it with longing again.  We were on our way home.  


My cup was filled.


My cup was filled with beautiful things and I was home again.



All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new
You are making me new

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

Michael Gungor, "Beautiful Things"







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