You’ve probably never heard of the word ‘growlery’. But when I heard about it, I liked it immediately because it was just what I needed.
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The long, warm summer days of July, along with my house and heart, were stuffed-crammed with wonderful family-people and happy activities.
Day after day was busy, and I grew tired, body-and-soul. So many blessings and challenges and no time nor space to be alone-alone.
Let me say, it is not easy for me to act nice for so many days in a row!
But I was hanging in there, pushing through, faking it (ha! maybe not) while looking forward to a break, to solitude and quiet when my life would be more mine and I would rest.
Then, after the sad driveway goodbye to family we won’t see for a year or more, we got the shocking news of the death of a dear niece.
“No rest for the weary” . . . but how thankful we were to be able to go to the service (two hours away), to be there and hear the stories, to cry and enter into that heavy grief. (The third death in that family in two years!)
I stayed alone in a hotel room for two nights with the out-of-town family.
Afterward we were glad to bring Jake’s sister to Montreat for a visit, but unfortunately, she became covid-sick, poor dear, and had to stay with us longer. We quarantined, enjoyed some covid blessings, then sent her back to New York.
That day, Jake fell sick, poor guy. And a few days later, I did, too.
Such is life, but I didn’t get discouraged because of what happened in my hotel room.
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In that hotel room, I heard a podcast called “Neologisms and Obsologisms.”**
Those big terms simply mean ‘new words and unused (obsolete) words’.
I learned that Shakespeare invented over 1700 words. Lonely, mountaineer, amazement, dwindle, critic, majestic … lots of words we commonly use were made up by him.
Also John Milton, author of Paradise Lost. He added 630 new words to the English language. Complacency, pandemonium, terrific, fragrance are just a few.
“Languages evolve . . . words come and go over time, many fall into obscurity,” linguist Richard Brookes wrote. “Sometimes the sad fate of obscurity befalls perfectly good words—words that deserve another chance at life.” — words, suggested the podcaster, like ‘growlery,’ coined by Charles Dickens.
A ‘growlery’ is “a place to retreat from the world when you are in a foul mood.”
That was what I needed and there I was.
God had given me a ‘growlery’, that hotel room; two mornings and two evenings to be alone and ‘growl.’ To sleep, to read and write and listen.
And then He transformed it into a ‘hopery:’ “a place to run to God when you are in need of hope.”
(If those guys can make up new words, so can I, right?)
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I know that God so loved the whole world that He sent Jesus to give us hope.
He gave us His Word.
He gave us His Spirit.
It is more than enough.
But every now and then, God does something unique.
Something very personal.
He proves that He loves me, and that He is here for me.
I am so grateful for that ‘growlery-turned-hopery’ hotel room.
Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to do infinitely more than we would dare to ask or hope. Ephesians 3:20
*Wordplay by George Grant