Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Busy Schedules’

chessc435_edited-1

I love rain storms. Rain storms are the pause button to my schedule. Maybe it’s baseball or football that keeps you busy – it’s soccer for me. When the rain comes, my schedule comes to a grinding halt.

“I’m bored. What can we do?” the boys always ask.

“Fill the emptiness,” I answer.

“With what?” they persist.

“With big and little thoughts,” I think. “Press in to the quietness. Let its peace be like a soothing balm rubbed into the cracked and worn feet of my soul, soothing my walk, giving me rest.”

“’This is the resting place, let the weary rest’”; and, “’This is the place of repose’”–but they would not listen” (Isaiah 28:12).

“It is important to learn how to handle nothing-ness,” I answer. I go into a great story about back in the day when I was their age, only 3 TV channels existed. On a rainy day we built card houses, watched NASCAR races, played cards or board games. . . read books. On sunny days, porch wall jump-offs, sidewalk roller skating, tree climbing, daisy chain construction, bee catching.

We never uttered the words, “I am bored.” If we gave them a mouth-full of whine, they gave us an afternoon full of chores. We wisely kept our complaints to ourselves.

“Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature” (Albert Einstein).

Where do you go when nothing-ness comes? Where is your Pausing Place? Pausing Places – a place to sit and let nothingness wash through, like clear water in a rushing stream – clearing away the debris of my soul, clearing away for freshness and new growth.

My back porch, during a rain storm – that is one of my pausing places. Sometimes it is my kitchen when no one is home – and I can throw myself into the cooking and think about life without interruptions – while making something wonderful for my boys.

“Solitude is such a potential thing. We hear voices in solitude, we never hear in the hurry and turmoil of life; we receive counsels and comforts, we get under no condition”
(Amelia E. Barr).

Other times, it is wrapping myself in a blanket, curling up with a good book and my knitting. I would read a bit, knit a bit. That happened the other day. My son flung himself across the end of my bed – and just looked at me.

“There’s nothing to do,” he said, baleful eyes woefully wooing me to create “something” for him out of nothing.

“I’m having a great time,” I said. “I’m loving this. I’m sorry there is nothing you want to do – but there is plenty you can do. But – I am not going to let your frustration mar my nothing-to-do-time.

He sighed.

“One of the most important things you need to learn is how to find peace and joy in the nothingness of a day,” I gently coaxed.

He wallowed a bit more, making sure I knew he was frustrated. I wouldn’t be baited. I sent him on his way.

Filling each moment with him-centered activities does not prepare him to live a fully enriched life. If they do not learn to embrace the quiet times, in the stopping times later, they might fill those moments with harmful activities – just to fill the nothingness.

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15)

One of the most important skills in life is to learn how to embrace those pauses. My boys, well, they need to learn how to make something out of nothing. Their day is so chocked full of activities they become bewildered when they face, what they think, is the Great Monster Nothingness – which I have discovered to be a great friend.

Learning to turn nothing into blessing – what a great life-skill. Bring on those rainy days!

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work” (James 5:7)
Waiting – I was never very good at that. Learning to cook – that taught me much about timing – and that sometimes you just cannot jump to the end. The middle part, the rising part – it all fails without that.

My tomatoes and zinnia’s are like that, too – the inbetween the seed-planting and harvesting – the waiting inbetween, well – you really cannot rush it.

Parenting is like that, too. There comes a waiting inbetween, where you know you planted all the right seeds in the right ways – 4 square-kind-of-planting. Some seeds, though, require longer in-between, some shorter – but the waiting – for the harvest – oh, sometimes that is hard.

Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong” (James 5:8).

The Father, He wants us to be patient like the Father.

Patient: Persevering; constant in pursuit or exertion; calmly diligent” (Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary)

Not giving up hope

:. . . .waiting or expecting with calmness or without discontent” ((Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary)

How are you expecting? “Are you waiting without discontent? That in-between place can get mighty uncomfortable. You might not like the present state of the inbetween. Are you finger-drumming, surly-spirited, glass-half-empty, sack-clothe moaning waiting through the in-between?

Living in the inbetween – where there is no evidence of a good harvest, no evidence of the good things you planted – oh, that is hard.

How are you going to spend all that inbetween? Are you speaking hope? Walking faith? Smelling like Christ?

“Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life” (2 Cor 2:15)

Maybe how you spend the inbetween time is like the Miracle Grow to your tomatoes and zinnias?

Maybe it is how we live in the inbetween that is really the important part – the hope and faith living.

“The Master could arrive at any time. Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner” (James 5:8-9)

Sometimes, there is a need to share the challenges.

I’ve had recipes fail. My garden struggled this year. The potting shed of raising children sometimes looks more like the corn fields through Kentucky this year.

I know what I planted, though. I know the resilience of God’s plan.

Sometimes I just need friends to listen to the tale, to encourage through prayer, to see the hope of God’s plan for harvest , not to complain, not to commiserate, not to grind up the seed through a faithless pestle of words that just tear up, not hope-up.

“Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God” (James 5:10)

God shows us over and over again in the bible – stories of hope fulfilled, God’s promises ful-filled, and in Hebrews 11 – we learn of hope continued to the other side for things promised but not seen here, today, right now. Those stories are God saying that our challenges are no surprise to Him, that He is our Champion – that He will bring us through – we just need to learn to believe Him in the in-between.

What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail“(James 5:7-11)

He cares about every detail planted in the potting shed of my life, my children’s life. He is faithful to the hope and faith in Him I planted in each of my sons.

He wants me to live the in-between as though matters have been taken care of, as though the harvest is assured – and so my words and the words of those around me will be hope and faith words, cheering words, sometimes through tears and pain – but words of assurance of a harvest bountiful, complete. They will have a sweet aroma.

Last night, I saw gaggles and gaggles of geese flying, celebrated a wedding in the midst of precious family, and as I walked grandbaby girl around, I found more acorns. Instead of 5, I picked up 7 – 7 seeds symbolizing 7 hope and faith potting-shed projects.

The acorns remind to live like I believe in the inbetween.

701) The moment, when frustration in the challenge overwhelms and I give it to God, firmly placing it all in His capable hands, trusting Him, knowing He is not surprised and He can handle the challenge much better than I can.
702) Italian Chamber music that soothes frayed nerves
703) Coffee in the morning with Italian Sweet Cream
704) I shabby chiced an old picture frame and put it on my ground-floor window at work – and every once in a while, I find blessing in what passes through my frame – students rushing to class, an evolving garden, rain spilling onto everything, a squirrel not quite hopping, not quite leaping but a leisurely in-between.
705) Coolness, the autumn kind. I know God is beside me all the time, but I always feel Him more – the clouds pull closer to where I am, the blue seems cheerier, somewhat relieved, and the coolness, it touches my cheek – and it all feels like God walking beside me.
706) Being together with all my boys for a wedding
707) Watching my soldier son walk the grandmother of the groom down the aisle, seeing his slow, comfortable smile spread across his face.
708) 4 pairs of shoes to find instead of 6, 4 belts, 4 pressured shirts and pants, 4 ties – all instead of 6 – God whispering, things are moving along as they ought.
709) Shoes outgrown and shoes still to fill – the blessing of hand-me-downs – a kind of experience that reminds me I can handle the challenges that come in those size shoes – because God has shown me He can handle it.
710) Sharing wedding tables with friend’s mothers who are now friends, too.
711) A grandfather’s prayer for his grandson marrying, filled with hope and faith
712) The blessing of beautiful places to celebrate important moments
713) Hugs from people you love.
714) Gaggles of geese, at least 7, flying across the evening sky as I carried grand-baby girl – and we both watched in delight.
715) 7 acorns on the ground, symbolizing these boys of mine, a daughter-in-law and now a granddaughter.
716) Lidia’s message at her blog, Crown of Beauty, about being an ambassador of love in the midst of unlovely situations.
717) Post-it notes reminding me of prayer requests
718) The energy that comes with feeling better
719) Sitting over a dinner table with my mother one evening – time to talk, time to laugh, time to be together
720) Sitting over a breakfast table with my aunt one morning, time to talk, time to laugh, time to be together
721) Just knowing that sometimes people are cheering you on, have got your back – and know your heart is worthy of that kind of support.
722) The littlest one, getting ready to turn 12 on the first day of fall, wanting me to sing him to sleep.
723) Knowing that sometimes, someone asking me to make a sandwich or fill up a plate, sometimes it is just someone really asking for an Acts of Service love language hug – and which it doesn’t sound like a hug or feel like a hug – it can be translated into a hug.
724) Getting ready for tomorrow, if I think of all the schedules, all the things that want to stress me out – and the list starts piling up, the Father, He tells me to set the pile down – to just step into tomorrow – to take the week just one day, or a half a day or a quarter day at a time, to not give up, to respond in love, hold on to Him and He will take me through to the end of it all.

Read Full Post »