Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Snippets of Time

Presently I am waiting for Jon to return home from teaching the men's Bible study at church tonight, here at the dining table by the warmth of a fire. I think often of coming 'round to this little blog to record a few thoughts as the days unfold, and as the weeks go by. I miss remembering and writing of our days especially as long stretches of time pass between posts. I often hope to find a moment here or there to post, but many times my days are simply too full and I am too tired at the end of it to say anything worthwhile!

It seems to me that our society puts a lot of value on busyness, as though being busy-- always rushing from one thing to the next-- is good. There is a glorification of busyness. I would disagree. There is something to be said for simplicity, for having the time just to be, time to enjoy blessings and beauty. I prefer simplicity of schedules and life that allow for meaningful relationships, and for time to let the things which are learnt and felt settle deep and find root. There needs to be time available if one hopes to get beyond the surface of things.

I've been thinking recently about how we can live with someone for years (ex. parents, spouse, children) and never really know them. People can living side-by-side and never really knowing each other. Relationship takes some digging, vulnerability, work, and wisdom. It takes a desire to go deep, to want to know and to search out. It takes having the time to do it.

Last week I read in Proverbs, "A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, but a man of understanding draws it out."

I want to know what makes those closest to me tic, I want to know their dreams and fears, their longings. We were created to be relational people, with God first and with each other. I want it. And I admit that I struggle.

We are busy people living in a busy world. I consider what fills our days and wonder what could be cut out, and there is very little that I can find. I think this season of life (and the years to come, no doubt) and unavoidably busy. It's one thing to the next, always looking several days down the line and preparing so that the juggling act doesn't crash.

But in the midst of it I look for simplicity, for beauty. My heart yearns for relationship and I try to connect in the whirlwind of our days, making meaningful interactions on the go.

There is a flip side to all that I've written so far: I want to be busy. Not so much rushing along in life with meaningless things, but I want to use my days to the fullest, making my life count for eternity. I don't want to take the easy road, the least tiring route without bumps and risk. I want to use my days, my life, for eternity. I want to run hard. I've often thought that I'm OK with living life tired if I am doing what has eternal significance. I will have all eternity to rest in heaven!

In the meantime, I would sure like to have a housekeeper! A little help here and there would be nice. It's not like the work would ever be completely done-- no, that is constant-- it would just provide a little freedom to do more with my time rather than less. It would free me up to do that which is more meaningful, like taking care of people rather than things. I had a little household help (every other week) after Jon and Andrew's car accident several years ago, when I could barely keep up with the  immediate needs of their injuries and a household of little children. My little townhouse was a wreck and I had come to a point where help was absolutely needed. I am admittedly a little of a control freak when it comes to my home and cleanliness, and my personal space and privacy, but in the process I learned to let go and quickly saw that a housekeeper increased my freedom to serve more fully in ways that only I could. Some of us have a hang-up about household help, but the Proverbs 31 lady sure had her maidservants! (And she was a blessing to them, too.) If you can afford it, I think it's awesome. I hope to have one someday.


The Lord was kind in reminding me this week that though life is full, the work is constant and the mental energy is taxing, there is still plenty of enjoyment and together-ness going on. I am thankful.

Some days it's just an easy lunch on the deck with my kids. Yes, I have to remind myself to be thankful I get to be with them at lunchtime. I shouldn't take it for granted. And we have warm sunshine streaming down in February, and enough time to enjoy it on some days.

And we have friends who invite us out to play: A birthday party on the hills in a grove, with motor bikes, guns (targets, protective gear, and responsible dads too!), campfires, and late nights... making sweet memories.

And the beach with Jon. Another Taco Tuesday on the beach last night, with a campfire. Kind of romantic after his many recent days away. Kids running wild, all tired and satisfied by the time they are showered and tucked in bed. 

Local spots for quick trips. Just for fun. So thankful for that. We do have time, and the hard work before makes the moments of recreation all the sweeter. These a pictures from several weeks ago when Jon was away doing a radio show.

 (The sign said that the pelicans bite. Of course it turned into a challenge for the boys.)

I had the privilege of going to the nursery and picking up some flowers for the front of the house. I could have stayed there for hours, among all those pretty blossoms. It was hard to choose. We recently tore out all the mismatched shrubs and bushes, and these calla lilies, hydrangeas, and ivy are what I'm going to start with. We also picked up an apple tree. Eventually I'd like to have a garden that provides enough flowers to keep vases filled inside, too.

The kids used the pool for the first time in a few months today. I'm not sure what the temperature was but I am certain it was freezing cold. Since last fall, they haven't asked about the pool until now and I think they were surprised I said they could swim. Good thing for wetsuits, though, making it possible. Michael discovered he had grown out of his suit, so he used Jon's. That provided a great deal of entertainment.

They wanted to "practice" surfing! Michael recently asked if we could do some workouts to get him ready for the surfing he is looking forward to in months to come. I'm game. I could use a little challenge.

The little orange tree we planted last year is now full of blossoms, and it smells amazing.


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