In her book, Pursue the Intentional Life, Jean Fleming wrote a chapter called “Wise Reframing: Keeping My Core in Life’s Transitions.” According to my Merriam-Webster dictionary, to reframe is
“to frame (something) again and often in a different way to be open to the view: to reveal.”Jean Fleming, Pursue the Intentional Life
Jean has a lot of wisdom to share with us in this book—it is one of the first ones we read and discuss briefly in our course for women, Heart2Heart, Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity. We will look at it in more detail in the days to come. For now I wanted to briefly focus on some of her thoughts in this chapter that have really resonated with me as I consider the recent changes in my life into widowhood and so into my future places. Perhaps you have some questions about your future days as well as we transition back to whatever “normal” life might look like at this time.
Again, I don’t know where you are coming from as you read this post:
- You may believe in God as your Audience of One, sovereign and so in charge of every detail of your life. You are growing to know Him personally and you believe that His words to us in the Bible are true and worth hearing and following. You also believe that God’s Big Story of the history of the universe includes your part in that story.
- Or you may have heard of the Bible and something about God but you don’t really understand why it is so important and what difference it would make in your life to know and follow Him.
- Or you may have never been exposed to any teaching about God and sometimes, as you lay your head on the pillow at night, you wonder what it’s all about and what’s ahead of us.
So what does it mean to keep our “core”, in the midst of all that life brings our way everyday? Our core is the inmost and most intimate part of ourself, and it needs to be focused and stable no matter what, when, where, why, or how. We will all live through many stages of life, and we will experience both joy and sorrow, courage and fear, good and evil, highs and lows, and much else in each one. There is always something new to learn on a journey of reframing/intentionality.
Isaiah 26:3 from the Bible says,
“Reframing means keeping what is important but wisely reconfiguring as necessary.”
At some point in our life we need to come to an initial place of choosing what is most important to us and then living according to what we decide. I believe that God has a plan for my life and for your life that He made before He even created us.
Psalm 139 is a wonderful chapter in the Book of Psalms in the Bible that tells us how God planned our days.
Verse 16 says:
I have been in a place of reframing my whole life as I begin to consider what my future is going to look like. Over these next weeks I would like to walk with you through some areas of life that give us a framework to consider what needs to change, to evolve, and to grow us into the person God intends for us to be.
We are going to consider all of this from the perspective of what it could look like:
- TO PONDER about what is an intentional life.
- TO PREPARE to live an intentional life.
- TO PRACTICE living an intentional life.
- TO PRODUCE a life that is faithful and fruitful, God-honoring and people-loving for all our days.
My Musings This Week
One way that I have had to “reframe” my life—to reconfigure out of necessity—is in my gardening techniques. Jean talks about how we need to adjust in different life stages to how we do the things we love in smaller and simpler ways, instead of giving them up totally. We pull in the boundaries where God directs because it is not our passion that has diminished, but our strength.
Our former home which was sold last summer (more about the reframing of it soon) was situated on a half-acre of land. I moved to a condo which is just the right size but now my gardening area is reduced to a balcony. I love my flowers. They bring joy to my heart. I have many photos of my flowers over the years so I can still enjoy those but I also decided that I was going to continue to have a space to enjoy them now if I could figure out a system. So this is what my flower garden looks like this year…
Another aspect of wisely reframing Jean discusses is to live in reality. We have to accept the fact that life expands and contracts, and so some things and some persons we love may be stripped from us.
Tonight we are going to celebrate Grandson #7’s fourth birthday and Grandpa Van will not be there. All our grandchildren bring so much joy to our family, and they all loved Grandpa a lot as he did them. We will miss having him there to celebrate with us, but we know that he is in a safe and healthy place and that brings us comfort. He would want us to celebrate all the milestones just like we always have, and so we will…
Next week we will celebrate Grandson #4’s Graduation from high school! So much to be thankful for…
Your Musings This Week
To BEGIN is to set in motion…
- PONDER WHAT IS TRUE in your life that is or needs reframing? Obtain a journal or a notebook where you can write your observations down. Begin a list.
- PREPARE one thing you can do to begin that process. Ask God to show you what a next step could be. Maybe outline three steps, if appropriate, to begin to put that reframing in motion. Write them down.
- PRACTICE–To choose to reframe something in your life is to take a step towards being more intentional. What does the first of those three steps require? Perhaps seeking God’s wisdom about what He wants for you is the first step?
- How do you find out?
- Seek His wisdom by reading His words to you in the Bible. So let’s look at the Book of Psalms (open your Bible to the middle and Psalms should be nearby) and read Psalm One this week. Blessed is the man who… If you don’t have a physical Bible, perhaps download the YouVersion Bible app and read on your device. As you read, look for what the words tell you about Who God is. A great first step in wise reframing.
- PRODUCE-What is God saying will happen in your life if you are a blessed person? Write it down and then re-read Psalm One every day this week to reinforce what God is saying to you. Take your time and let it all simmer, right down into your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength.
Blessings on you this week—enjoy your walk…
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