The Refining Fires of Busyness

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I am so sorry for the unplanned hiatus these past couple of months.  Sometimes the seesaw of life (relationships, roles, unplanned events, and tasks) tips unevenly to one side or the other and seems to stay there awhile.  During busy seasons and faced with a decision on where to focus my energies, I often set creative endeavors aside.

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No, don’t adjust your monitor.  These photos are indeed out of focus and a little distracting.  A couple of years ago, the pace of daily life shifted to warp speed.  There’s barely time to live in each moment; much less process it.  As I click away, my mind continually processing scenes faster than the camera, my husband often shakes his head.  (I have even requested that no blurry photos be deleted.  Someday, I just might use those!)  Sometimes I snap a shot as some writing idea races through my mind.  More often than not, I am simply trying to capture the scenes of life flying past.

The busier the schedule gets, the quieter I become. But that quietness on the outside doesn’t always mean stillness on the inside.  Internally, there is often a flurry of activity as changes come fast and furious and I find myself in a continual balancing act.  There are times that I am quite certain the flexibility joint has bent as far as it possibly can.  But God always shows me that, yes, it can bend some more … if I am willing. He uses these hectic seasons to help me prioritize between the essential and non-essential.

Today, He may use me to bring comfort through a smile or a hug; to listen and cry with a grieving friend over a devastating loss.  Tomorrow, my role may be that of a secretary, chauffeur, dishwasher, or grocery shopper.  Next week, it could be as homework checker, teacher, or all around errand runner; to name only a few.  And on most days, the roles collide and blend together.  Regardless of the task, I am called to be available; even in the words of my posts.

Yes, there is joy at warp speed … again, if I am willing.  Instead of focusing on what isn’t getting done or what’s up ahead, God reminds me of the importance of the tasks He sets before me.  He would have me live fully in His moment; not mine.   It’s not the speed of life that’s the issue; the problem surfaces when I take my eyes off of God, even for a second.

I pray that one day, even in the busiest of seasons, a peaceful spirit will reign inside as well as out.

Romans 15:32-33 that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.  Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

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Special Reminder

This piece was written when our children were very young and posted in an e-zine no longer published. Those early stay-at-home mom years were sweet and tender. But, quite honestly, they were also full of hard work and sometimes, utter exhaustion. God always sent whatever was needed at just the right time. Be it a friend offering to help fold laundry, a family member surprising us with a cooked meal, or a kind word of encouragement from a dear sister in Christ. I pray I never forget those precious years nor the angels of mercy sent my way.

SPECIAL REMINDER

It has been one of those days that young mothers have so often. The laundry is piled high and I fear one of the babies may crawl into a pile and disappear. The unwashed dishes are stacked haphazardly. I just know that the little one, trying to help, will soon send dishes crashing to the floor.

I walk from room to room, seeing many household tasks before me. From morning to night, my feet tread the same path. At the end of the day, I often feel as if no progress has been made.

As I open the refrigerator to fill drink cups yet again, my eyes stray to a familiar newspaper clipping amidst the colorful magnets plastered all over the door. The poem’s author is unknown and I’ve read it many times before. But for some reason, today the poignant words strike a chord.

I read of a mother’s tender reflections on hands once too busy to play, now hauntingly still. My eyes fill with tears and I release a heavy sigh. It was exactly what my weary soul needed to hear on this difficult day.

Often my own hands are busy when my children ask me to play. My days are spent cleaning our home and caring for my babies. But in the busyness of daily chores, a very important part often gets left out. I rarely set aside time to just play with my little ones.

It was no accident that poem caught my eye today. God, in His gracious mercy, had answered my earlier request for encouragement.

I realize that as my children get older, they will not want to play games, find hidden treasures, or chase butterflies. Time flies and they will be grown with families of their own someday.

Much too soon, my own arms will ache with loneliness. I will no longer be able to kiss the hurts away, play with their dollies and cars, and read the same stories over and over.

God gently reminded me to cherish this gift; this special day with my children.

2 Corinthians 1:4 … [God] who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. NKJV

Early Morning Quiet

I love early mornings; the peaceful quiet when most of the household is still asleep. There are no interruptions. My brain is fuzzy, still sleepy.  It is a quiet that allows my heart to dream, to soar, and to pray without the distractions that will come later in the day.  I try not to think about the chores that need to be completed, the school lessons that need to be planned, or make a decision about what’s for dinner.  My thoughts can go directly from my head to the written word, whether by pen or keystroke.  Most days they get stalled somewhere along the way between correcting math lessons and keeping track of our busy schedule.  Perhaps this is why the psalmist writes of seeking God early in the morning. The days’ cares haven’t had time to push out the warm intimacy that comes in those early morning hours alone with Him.  I can cry out in anguish, lift my heart in praise, openly wait for His direction, and see things more clearly than at any other time of the day. Problems haven’t yet presented themselves.  Sleep doesn’t beckon like a chocolate bar when hormones are raging. On those mornings when I am up early, I enjoy the quiet where we all meet…my Lord, His word, my pen and paper or keyboard, my soul, and sometimes, a blessed cup of hot coffee.

Psalm 143:8  Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You.  (NKJV)