Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How I Am Working On the Sabbath...Get It?

13 years ago when Bath and Body Works introduced their Aromatherapy line and we were changing the signage I was allowed to nab one of the signs we had displayed and take it home. It is a soothing green circle and the words on it are simply: "Stress Less." It hangs on the wall of my computer room to be seen when I walk in. I can see it with my peripheral vision right now.

Yesterday, I read a Facebook status update from a friend that said he watched a spider build its web and while watching he did nothing else. It took 45 minutes. What bliss, that is part of what life is about and yet people believe that they could never have time for that. They don't know that it is richer to drink in life instead of gulping it down. 

This afternoon, I picked up "My Utmost for His Highest" and this is what Oswald Chambers had to say when I picked up my bookmarked page: "When God brings in the blank space, see that you do not fill it in, but wait. The blank space may come in order to teach you what sanctification means, or it may come after sanctification to teach you what service means." How does God always know how to pave the way for things?

In my last post, I talked about still figuring out how to write again and I also mentioned trying to find "pockets" of time. It seems to be much the same concerning the Sabbath. It is something that I am still figuring out at this point, but I have been conscious of needing rest and making time to rest.

When I say rest, I do mean literally naps, because in times past I would never allow myself that. In fact, admitting that I do take naps at times is difficult because I am afraid of being perceived as lazy. But God has impressed on me that sometimes I must so that I can give everything I need give to those in my household and around me. That sometimes it is more important than finishing something else.

When I say rest, I also mean learning to be at peace with some mess because that is not in my natural makeup as a person. But I have found that it took up so much of my time, I always felt like I was cleaning up after everyone, and I would become frustrated with them. I am being taught that the minimum in this area is not always bad. I am still learning. Right now my son keeps opening the desk drawer to get something new out and I keep shutting it. Testament to the fact that I am a continual work in progress.

When I say rest, I mean to rest on God. And rest on Him like my Daddy. Cuddling up and just knowing that His strength will take care of it all.

When I say rest, I mean to rest my eyes on my sons. To be refreshed by play. To drink in the cool water that is my two little boys. To throw off the idea of anything else and just look at them. To choose rest over strain. To lessen the "lessons" I teach with words so that I do not tire them and myself and instead choose lessons by action.

This being said, I feel like God is telling me to figure out a specific time to have as my Sabbath, but that He is well pleased with my progress. And this is a rest I have been learning as well because I always had a notion (never expressed or admitted) that I must be at the end, at completion, at perfection to finally rest or for God to be pleased. But I have learned that God will always be completing, always be perfecting and that as long as I am working on what He says, I can rest. I can have peace.

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore mist gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, the the power of Christ may rest upon me."

                                                              2 Corinthians 12:9

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How I Am Figuring Out Writing Again

Lately, I have had trouble writing. I have not evolved completely from teenager who had excessive amounts of time to write in silence to wife and then wife and mom with hardly any silence ever. You would think that I would have learned in the span of ten years. It is difficult to change any habit and this includes a writing habit.

However, I am trying to consciously make little pockets of time to write. Pockets of time, even though I have not completely defined what that means yet, is my main plan of action. And when I say this, it is because I am trying to break the habit of needing to write a complete essay in one sitting. So, pocket time creates a space for my writing juices to start flowing, to stretch my literary muscles and then strengthen them. I am not in the habit yet, but I am finding time.

In what ways am I finding time? If I think of a good turn of a phrase (such as I did while mowing the lawn while my boys were in quiet time) then I write it in my journal. Often, the phrase flies out nearly as soon as it comes in because a little boy voice pushes it out by saying "I'm hungry" a few times in a row-more than a few. But when it stays for a few minutes, I write it down and this is better than I have done in the past.

The "pocket" idea I am currently most proud of is returning to a favorite pastime from my childhood. All the while, introducing it to my own son while sneaking in some writing. Two weeks ago, I folded and stapled together about five pages and then told my son that we were going to write a book. I let him draw and then I used his drawings to inspire writing (see below). I also stapled together some pages of my own and just did a freewrite. Making a cover page with my name on it somehow inspired me to write better.


On the horizon
A lonely cloud
In a storm.

You have 
The reason
My Life
Is a book.

Capture my madness
In your arms
And love my
Tornado ways.
Keep me grounded
But fly and let
Me fly
And let us

Another exercise has been recording some of my past writings on the computer and, when I type out words I have written before, I start to feel encouraged and somehow something comes to mind. In fact, I was in the middle of recording a short story and I felt that it was time to begin this post.

I will admit that the boys have stayed in quiet time a little longer than usual today. But I think they will not be scarred.

Lastly, I am learning that perfection cannot always be attained in a post, but that it feels best to get something out there instead of one hanging in limbo until perfect. Which is why I am going to leave this one alone now, post it, and get my boys' out of quiet time.

Until we meet again.


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