A collection of moments from recent days, now in the last week...
At long last, Friday! It doesn’t actually make that much of a difference whether it’s a weekday or weekend (because the work just continues) but somehow the completion of another school week is a small accomplishment. Some weeks we survive, some weeks we thrive. I’m trying to figure out how to tip the balance into the thrive category more consistently, and I am often left wondering if thriving is mostly an illusion during this phase of life. Maybe mere survival is a feat I should simply be thankful for.
I tell myself just to do the task at hand, and then the next, and the next thing after that… until the day closes and I remember that everything else was not meant for me to do. God doesn’t call me to accomplish certain things then deny me the time to do it. To say, "I don't have time," is a fallacy. We do have the time, but only to do certain things. It takes wisdom and discipline to figure out what it is I am called to do, and then to do those things at the neglect of other seemingly good things. We will each give an account for how we used our time and talent. It seems I have to learn and relearn that other people's thoughts and expectations on how I divide my time and energy will not matter when I stand before God. I am also reminded that Jesus pulled away from the vast and legitimate needs around him. He always did was was most important, not necessarily that which appeared most needful.
Incidentally, pulling away to a quiet place to pray was frequently most important, regardless of the very real and pressing human needs around him. May I learn to discern what is most needful and important, too.
Maybe learning to do this while not feeling guilty and defeated about all the rest is the secret to thriving…
I’ve sat down to blog a number of times this week, sort of as a mental break. Mostly those attempts have amounted to nothing, as interruptions and pressing needs require my attention. But that’s OK. My days have been so varied, it’s often hard for me to gather all the odd bits of time and journal something sensible. I don’t think I know how. These are just a few random tidbits of the week that have come to mind:
* Twister is a fun family game. OK, maybe it’s a highly inappropriate game for mixed company, and the conversations/responses it encourages is less than classy, but it has given us some time of family laughter. Everyone should play it. Maybe consider taking the game out again after your kids go to bed and play a round or two with just your husband… :)
* I’ve loved living by the ocean. I know, who wouldn’t, right? Ocean weather can be so interesting. We had a heavy fog covering yesterday while most other areas were basking in sunny rays. My kids and I enjoyed watching long, wispy ribbons of fog waft into our yard, over the palm trees, then up and over our house. My neighborhood was covered in a soft gray blanket by late afternoon, and droplets of water speckled my skin as I ran. I’m not sure why I mention it here, except to say that the fog was a particular beauty that captured our attention. Michael and Olivia enjoyed it, too, as they biked into town to complete some school at a coffee shop.
* At the notary yesterday, I signed my name over and over again until it no longer looked like my signature. It was almost as if I was unable to sign normally no matter how much I tried, and my normal identifying mark become unfamiliar. It made me wonder how often the act of repeating mundane tasks in my everyday life can threaten to confuse my identity. May I remember who I am in Christ (my truest identity) no matter how mundane and repetitive life may feel.
* I pray for my children everyday. I pray with them everyday too, though I would like to pray together even more. Recently, as I asked for each of their requests, I was encouraged by their responses: to receive correction and instruction humbly, to grow in faith, to grow in patience towards a particular person, for wisdom in making some decisions….
* To hear my boy say, "Thanks for doing my laundry," without being prompted made me happy.
I have been sorting my computer files and preparing to transfer my 2016 pictures to an external hard drive. These are pictures from the end of the year.
Recently, someone asked how my kids feel about being preacher's kids. This is an interesting topic, and I'm looking forward to hearing my kids' thoughts a decade or two from now! We talk about it quite a bit, and I have spent many, many hours considering the issue from many perspectives. This is not the place/time to discuss this subject at length, but Jon and I have endeavored to point out the many benefits and privileges our kids receive despite the challenges. For one, we are upheld in prayer and support by far more people than those who are critical or who look for faults. We've also have the opportunity to build relationships with various types of people, some that would not normally be accessible to us. We are the recipients of many blessings and privileges to be sure.
These pictures are from one such experience. A sweet couple from church chose to treat our family with some sailing (and wale watching for wales that never showed).
I sat bundled up in the corner, so my pictures are mostly at strange angles.
Olivia and Michael both were involved in steering and changing the direction of the sails-- such cool exposure for them.
Snow covered mountains in the distance
Six people was the max on the sailboat, so Olivia and I stayed behind while the younger boys took our place. We enjoyed a rare girls-only lunch with our hostess, just getting to know her better. I was intrigued by her story, and have thought many times about our encounter since then. To hear about her life and commitment to present responsibilities ministered to me in such a special way. Stories of our past are so important. They bring such color and meaning to the present, and can testify of God's mercy and grace in such a beautiful manner. Anyway, it was a sweet afternoon for which we are grateful.
Well, another week is underway. It is surely going to be a good one!