Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Slowing down...allows more time...to say Thank You!

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"Mom!  I want to go there".  It was 10:30am.

"Yes, Caleb.  When this little hand sits at the 2 and this big hand is all the way up here at the number 12.  Then we'll get ready to go".

"Can I stand here and wait for it?  Watch it get there?"... my four year old son wanted to know.

I chuckled at the thought of him sitting/standing in my kitchen the whole time to watch time move on.  I quickly explained to him, as best I could, that if you stand to watch the time go by - you'll be waiting a really, really long time...because it goes by so s.l.o.w.l.y.

And I told him that if he'd run off and go play, to busy himself - that the time would go by (much, much) faster and before "you know it... it's time!!!!  Time to go.  Time to be.  Time to... enjoy".

I got to thinking about the irony.

And.  Ahh!!  This is exactly the same as when this question, "Where did the time go?", comes to the forefront of any given conversation.  We ask this of ourselves all of the time, don't we?  What happened?  Where did it go - the hour, the day, the year?


I was challenged to think about what I could do (or not do) to SLOW down and live this year intentionally so as not to have it whiz right by me, leaving me to wonder where it went.  Stop busy-ing myself so much that I miss the moments.

I was struck by this vivid picture - one that I remember from, I believe, just after Christmas and right before the New Year.  Scott and I were at the local Post Office.  He had gone into drop off a piece of mail, for delivery, and I was sitting in the car with the children.  I couldn't help but notice all the hustle and bustle that was going on - in the parking lot.  Cars coming and going.  People in a hurry.  A real hurry.  In and Out.

My eyes caught sight of this elderly gentleman coming out of the post office.  My guess was that he was in his early to late seventies.  So it wasn't like he was slow due to his age...if you know what I mean.  But what I noticed was he how just took his time.  Meandering s.l.o.w.l.y through the hustle and bustle... he would stop now and again to thumb through his mail and honestly, he was in no real hurry to get on with life.  No matter to him if a car was coming around the corner or not.  He was the pedestrian.  It seemed good with him.  This pace.

I liked that.

I smiled.

I sensed the imagery of the moment whell up within me and I (literally) thanked God in the moment for that gift.  This picture.  One I hope to not ever forget. 

The paradox is this.

What seems to be time-management, efficiency, good stewardship, all good things, can in turn be a bout of selfish motives, impatience, inconvenience, false expectation and at most....pride.

I don't know the woman's story.  The one who sits in her car behind me at an intersection who is "telling me off ", using all kinds of hand motion and glaring expressions, because I didn't go....when she thought I would have had plenty of time to "make it".  You know...the get up and GO!!!

I don't know, something tells me this "mom" was on a tight schedule.  She had places to go and people to see and I was simply in her way.  Or, maybe she just got caught up in this fast-paced lifestyle...and time was of the essence.

It's okay.  Don't get me wrong.  We ALL have our hurry-up moments...the kind that get us nowhere FAST...don't we?  We want to teach our children those good character qualities of coming immediately when they're called; to do a good job - properly and efficiently, all in good time... and yes! there is a balance to be made in this dichotomy.  In order to do a good job - we need to slow down.  Practice patience with others and ourselves.  Have a mindset as unto the Lord and not unto men.

Oh, how much grace He extends towards us on a regular basis.

Back to the story of the "mom on a mission".  I literally had to make a choice of how I was going to handle my reaction or was it going to be my response?  I (honestly) felt angst rise up within me and I was frustrated...both at her and myself.  Then I "stopped" (Not literally.  I was driving, remember?), and took time to say a prayer.  For this woman. Who knew (honestly) what she was going through right then - in her current life situation.  And I prayed, for myself, to allow this moment, this transaction, this exchange that had just taken place to resonate within me...asking God to help me remember...and thanking Him for this.

***
Do you catch yourself always telling your kids to "hurry up!"? 

Do you say things like, "Quick!, brush your teeth", "Hurry up and finish your breakfast - we have to GO!"?

How about, "Pay attention!" or  "Slow down! ....and stop running on ahead", etc.?

It's interesting, isn't it?  All that we encounter in any given day... and yet, on top of all that I just said, think of ALL the things that we don't do and oh! how much we miss.

I was reminded of this, again, while reading in the book I first mentioned last week - Prayers and Peanut Butter.  The author brings to mind how each day is a gift and we must take it.

(Most of what I'm saying here, next, was adapted from what she writes - it is not written word-for-word...and it got me thinking to add some of my own thoughts...and analogy.)

So often, we honestly don't get outside...enough.  We need to and we don't.  In this modern age we live in ... we stay indoors.  We seldom notice the stars anymore because we drive right into our garages, park our car and go indoors from there.  Our kids get the mail from the mailbox - we don't have to and so we miss the cool breezes blowing across the way.  We have garbage disposals and the ever present drive-through.  We have bedtime schedules, for our kids and we forget about the flitting fireflies out there in the dark, backyard - showing us by their twinkling lights where they are so we can run and catch them collecting them into a jar.   We have air-conditioning so our windows are never open to hear the night time sounds of crickets and cows mooing in the back forty.  We miss the birds singing their songs in the early morning light - again, because those windows are closed.
We don't sit on our front porches, anymore - like the good ole days - and so we miss the beautiful sunsets and fore go a great conversation that might ensue.

Do we see the gifts?  Do we?

~~~

I realize this is a rather lengthy post and I may have lost you along the way... perhaps I was too slow!?!?  But that's okay.  I'm planning  I wanted to finish off the the list to One Thousand Gifts today, but it ain't going to happen...join along if you'd like and consider saying Thank You! to your Maker for all the gifts He grants to You in any one given day.  Like I said I wanted to keep on going and finish the list... but  it looks like I still need to slow down and take the time to enjoy them a bit more. 


715. fabulous weekends, back to back

716. stories on tape - What Would Jesus Do!

717. food samples, handed out, in the grocery store

718. handmade Valentines - getting ready for a school party next week

719. Caleb cutting out; writing his own name and addressing each one...all 16 valentines

720. clocks...that keep time

721. all three children napping - at once

722. "clean up, clean up, everybody clean up" - Caleb is teaching us a song from school.

723. repeated gifts

724. comments the children say that make me smile - particularly Aubrey

725. "tell me a story when you were a little girl/boy"... the new bedtime regiment

726. the need for Nebulizers again and we have them available - here at home

727. lots of friends

728. the way she looks at me and smiles

729. I found her tickle spot - its up on her shoulder just under her chin

730. her sweet-breath baby kisses -just for Mama

731. she's found her toes

732. cute pudgy baby toes

733. folded clothes and those waiting to be folded

734. the ringing of the phone

735. traffic lights - particularly the red light

736. green is good, too!

737. my favorite color

738. pumpkin pancakes for breakfast

739. spinach.  Can I just tell you how much I love chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry...add to most any recipe for all that it entails...

740. toys in the washer - now sparkly clean

741. automated car wash - ((I should practice what I preach.  Get outdoors and wash it myself.))

742. walking late at night - round and round our driveway

743. pounds lost

744. bath time

745. falling off the roof - explains a lot!

746. store coupons

747. milk-store errands

748. (instrumental) baby lullabies

749. a friend asking for and appreciating your decorating style and advice

750. Kindergarten!  the potential is endless...

751. child-like faith and prayers answered, literally right before our eyes

752. when the lost has been found

753. relief from intermittent lower back pain

754. creativity in the kitchen

755. my very cool green clock

756. tea parties between sisters - along comes brother...he joins in and it's all good.

757. crying out...I'm so sorry...and their little arms circle around my neck with an "I forgive you" - again and again!

758. another hug.

759. blankets to snuggle under

780. The (mouth-watering, soul-satisfying) Bread of Life!


4 comments:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful post! For reminding me in such a special way to stand still. Live the moment. Find the moment. Not rush by in a whirlwind, trying to get something done...Today I did actually do that...I just went for a walk to enjoy the beautiful outside, and let my house and my mess sit there, for what it was. And it felt good :)
    Have a wonderful day!

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  2. Beautiful post!! One of "Bevy's Best" ?? Can SO hear your "for real" voice in it. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. You were right to prayed for the hurried mom. We also need more prayer and not just for ourselves.

    Way to go on the list. It has been fun to read your list. Love that book and her blog.

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  4. Beautiful thoughts, Bevy, I'm just absorbing them and wondering how to apply SLOWING down to my day tomorrow. Be more intentional with the kids? Hold them more? You are such an encourager!

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