So far this summer has been simply wonderful!
There have been some great moments of relaxing and recharging…with plenty of celebrating thrown into the mix. Graduations and anniversaries and young love. The Reynolds’ are living the moments and dreaming of the future.
Never mind it is July already! Somebody should slow the calendar down.
I’m in the middle of learning life-changing lessons. I figure I write best about the things I have learned. I will throw this one out there first.
If you are so busy you cannot eat at home on a regular basis or are not able to stay on top of life’s basic demands, you are too busy.
It doesn’t seem very spiritual, but it is. I don’t share this to heap more mom guilt. Lord knows, nobody needs that. But, it is a sad realization I have come to. Perhaps I’m the only one needing to learn this?
I know we all live full and complex lives.
But, I’m convinced meaningful life is not meant to be lived at hyper speed. So fast you can’t breathe or even think clearly. That was my life six months ago.
It wasn’t for a lack of money or resources to handle the responsibilities, it was lack of time. It wasn’t for the lack of skill in the kitchen. I figured if I just could pull it together better, at our speed of life, then all would fly straight. I have to admit, this pace didn’t even feel right, but what was I going to do?
I realize now (but, suspected then) the quality of life I was missing out on. Yes, so many good things filled our time. Serving others, leading productive ministries and raising well-rounded children. But, holy goodness. It was not a healthy pace.
So, lesson number two–
Sabbath, solitude and silence are essential to good living.
I am experiencing the beauty of these practices. What an ahhhh moment this has been for me. Oxygen to my soul. I have to admit, it wasn’t by my own design. Life just kind of worked out that way. I didn’t really have a choice.
But, it’s the best thing that has happened to us!
I’d like to encourage you to find simple ways to simplify and bring solitude and sabbath to your world. So much chaos is competing for our attention. These quiet moments are where we hear God the most clearly.
Sabbath and solitude are the antidote to chaos.
A book is always helpful, I think. The Sacred Year by Michael Yankoski will challenge you. Check it out.
Let’s go for the third lesson.
What you see is what you get.
Are you looking for God?
Are you noticing He is right in front of you?
Creation calls out to us and testifies of his presence. If we are moving so fast we don’t even notice the world around us—the intricacy and detail of this physical creation passes us by. Perhaps he made all of this just for us. For our appreciation. In order for us to understand him better.
But, do you even get to enjoy it? Appreciate it? Value it?
I didn’t. So much around me, yet, I flew past it and didn’t acknowledge the gift of creation and life. Sometimes, the most spiritual thing I do is sit, take in a deep breath, close my eyes and sit. That usually leads into contemplation and gratitude. Try it; you might like it!
And, here’s numero quatro.
When people disappoint and hurt us or walk away OR when things come to an end and suffering and pain invade our lives, we can stand firm and serene.
We rest in the HOPE and the knowledge of who we are in Christ.
None of these things are irrevocable or will harm us permanently. No loss is lasting or defeat is final.
Life will bring pain. No doubt about that. These things are not the final declaration upon our lives. We know that the Kingdom of God will conquer it.
What do we need to do now, in this moment?
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
In this, rests our HOPE. Instead of focusing on the loss, pain and disappointment, focus on the gifts that have come. There are indeed many gifts.
I know I want to hear that still small voice. Christ speaks powerfully to my heart in the still small ways. It’s amazing how I can hear when I listen.
He has taken me on a journey of resting and healing.
The thing is, I didn’t even realize I needed rest and healing. But, he did.
He intervened in my chaos and began setting it to right. It’s amazing how in service to God and others, we can miss so much. I certainly don’t even begin to think I’ve got a corner on God and all he has to reveal.
That is why we all need, for our own sake, to stop, look and listen.
Those sacred habits I had started dropping, I now look forward to with so much anticipation.
I know now that to sit quietly with a slowed heart and mind will yield blessing. These are the gifts I’ve been given. And, what gifts they are!