"May the God of hope fill you with great joy and peace as you trust in him." Romans 15:13

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Day I Walked. . .

My life has been filled with RUSH this summer.  Rush to the lake.  Rush to get home. Rush to get our construction completed.  Rush to get supper done.  Rush to buy groceries.  Rush to do the laundry.  Rush to water flowers.  Rush to clean the house.  Rush to get Brenna to one activity or another. Rush to complete work tasks.  Rush to squeeze some quality family activities into the mix.  Rush to get the kids in the bath.  Rush to get them to bed.  Rush to get up in the morning.  Rush to complete my run so I can rush through the rest of the day.

This morning I got up at 5:15, as always.  I was more weary than exhausted.

Weary of the rush.

I awakened thinking. . .  knowing, that there is more to life than RUSH.

And then, with tenderness and grace, God gently reminded me that rush is not His plan.  It is my mistake..

Here are three quotes He brought to my attention before 6:30 AM.

"Today, you and I have a choice:
We can stop.
Be still and breathe.

Rest with Jesus and hear Him whisper,
Be beloved, not busy.
Come away with me. Today."
-Bonnie Gray

"Come away with me by yourselves to a quiet place and rest a while." Mark 6:31

"Busyness doesn't prove significance.  Activity isn't productivity.  A busy life can be a barren life.  Be still and listen to God."  Rick Warren

When you hear the same message three times, you better pay attention.  Right?!?

S    L    O     W    I     N     G               D     O     W     N      is not easy for me.  I knew God was calling to stop the madness and SLOW DOWN.  So, although my plan had been to run a brisk five miler and return to shower before rushing Brenna to practice at 8:40 - as a physical act of both obedience and healing, I walked  this morning.  In fact, I practically strolled.  Exercise was not my priority.  Quieting myself was.

I walked until I found quiet.

In that quiet, I walked listening to the birds, the leaves, the snap of a twig as a deer ran from me, insects swarming my ears.  I walked listening to my heart, hearing my own thoughts, and handing them to the Lord.  I walked watching for beauty - magnificent cloud formations in the sky, a blue jay, twin fawns following their momma, the many colors of green that God paints onto foliage.

I hardly broke a sweat, and I definitely did not burn enough calories to make up for the scoop of ice cream I devoured this afternoon.  However, I DID return home more centered. . . much more prepared to go about my day replacing rush with intentionality.

Living intentionally is something I must constantly practice.  I slip easily and quickly into the routine of rush.  There is just so much to do, and it is easier to rush than to breathe.  It's easier to take control, rather than to trust.  If I do not rush, how will I get it all done?

Even more importantly, (God whispers) if you do not slow down, savor, notice the moments, what will you miss?  You must choose intentionality.

As if to test my resolve, Mataya came bursting out of the house the moment she saw me walking up the driveway.  She had a huge grin as she raced to give me a ginormous hug, and yell, "MOM!!!! I missed you!  Are you done running?" all in one breathe.  I gave her a huge squeeze and suggested she help me water the flowers.

"Yay!!" she said.  "I love watering!"

So we began the task of dragging the hose from plant to plant.  As we went, Riley, our golden retriever, insisted on drinking from the hose for what felt like ten minutes.  (He does have three bowls filled with water in the garage - but I guess they are not as cold?)  Then Mataya insisted on smelling each flower on each plant.  At one point I nearly growled, "Mataya, they all smell the same!  Go to the next plant and see how it smells!"  But. . . luckily I looked at her instead.  

Really looked at her.  I soaked in her bedhead.  Her long eyelashes.  Her contented joy.  Her pure sweetness.  And rather than grumbling, I snapped her photo.