Well, really its nearly 3am. But who’s counting.
Nearly every moonlit night as I sneak my way around the squeaky floorboards toward my bedroom, I glance at the computer. Its always in the quiets of my mind, the stillness that comes when the Fantastic Four are tucked in bed and my hard-working, battle-weary husband is taking a nap somewhere between the couch and the floor in their room, there as my eyes slip heavily and my garage-saled down blanket calls sweetly, my thoughts begin to pour.
Here my plans, dreams, to-do lists and whatever emotions my minimalist, type A personality can conjure, collide. My heart feels weighted with words; I feel the stirring. The draw to pour my heart out onto an empty page pulls nearly as great as my soft bed and the nearby sounds of my precious, peaceful sleepers.
Usually my logic wins as I tell myself I have to be up in six hours and my children, as well as myself, and my to-do list, will appreciate me having had that full six hours; so I fumble for a piece of paper to scribble out my thoughts on tomorrows “to accomplish”. If I’m feeling particularly writey, I’ll start a few sentences in hopes that they will carry me through a full blog post or journal entry the next day. Alas. Not once yet has that happened. Experience-driven motivation is a fickle thing, and I’m being reminded every day with a sense of urgency that faithfulness and dedication are the true fine line, the marathon determining factor.
So tonight I write.
Its impossible to sum up all the things I haven’t written these past months; perhaps just take my word for it that they have been an incredible adventure thus far.
This past week marked Nathan’s return from a twenty-one day work trip to Michigan, and the moving out of our Congolese family of 9 whose presence graced our apartment the past three and a half weeks. Somewhere in there I drove with my sweet Mother-In-Law and four kiddos to Salt Lake City for a doTERRA summit (a 14-hour drive from home, which we all know means around 18-20 with children), back to our growing-up hometown for rodeo and lake time, attended a 3-day workshop on tutoring for our home education community this fall, and struggled often to keep up with all that is important. Plainly, life refuses to stand still; requiring a very active participation.
So much being present. My big re-learning curve this month.
Oh I know. I know you know it. I know I do too. But how much more challenging to live it than simply to know it?
Its funny because as this underlining of fully present has been settling in my heart over the past month I took it to the Bible… while I didn’t yet find much help in direct passage, no instructions to ‘be present’ or such; I see it so carefully woven into the life of Jesus. He was focused, efficient, effective and present with the time he was given on this earth.
Being present grows gratefulness. Encourages contentment. Breathes worship. Intensifies our witness. And gives birth to more love.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
How can I give thanks in all, if I don’t take time to really see my all?
- Philippians 4:11-12 “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
My contentment comes from learning to thrive where I am planted.
- Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
My sacrifice, my worship, happens in the living of my day. How can I live my best life today?
- Colossians 4:6 “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”
How will I know what to say if I don’t learn to truly hear?
- John 15:13 “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Daily, in the less literal sense, the act of laying down my life requires me to hold my plans, my life, with open hands. To be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading and present for the needs at hand, with lesser regard for the things I had planned to accomplish.
I find that most of my struggle currently lies in the puzzle pieces of a full and vibrant life
aka busy. It’s only as we learn to fit those pieces together that we begin to see the bigger picture, the incredible artistic masterpiece, take shape. I also find that I struggle with feeling like I wake up a half dozen steps behind. I dream of pressing pause on life to get caught up on wishful lists of projects, both necessary and simply desired. But we all know this isn’t reality.
And so I pray grace.
And just enough wisdom to use the time and talents I’ve been given- wildly, passionately, and with respectful conservation.
And as my sleeping eyes turn to bed, for the hour or two I have left, I pray the same for you. For your tomorrow. Your today.
Stay tuned as I put those puzzle pieces together… And I’d love to hear how as husbands, wives, moms, dads, friends, daughters, sons, students, workers, and, you get the picture, you find grace and peace in being present and crafting your unique puzzle.