It has been a while since I have had a day like this one. My planner has no directives for places to go. My list of things to do is small and so I plan to knock out those couple of penned plans, and then enjoy catching up on those back burner ones which have been simmering in my mind.
Perhaps like you, I have been seriously duped into believing that the empty nest equals an empty calendar. So a word of advice to you younger women about your seasonal busyness and dreaming of lazy days ahead-
It takes work ahead of time and a commitment to your spirit and your sanity to get those lazy days worked in on your calendar no matter the season in which you find yourself.
Still lounging in my pjs and writing this post past noon, I am pondering things like:
I am not sure how I let myself get too stretched and then stressed like a weakening rubber band bundling way more than its cylindrical strength will accommodate. Like that rubber band stretching farther than it should before snapping and releasing all of its hold down to the floor, I can also be stretched past the point of allowance and burst. When that occurs it manifests itself in ugly ways like judgmental thoughts and comments, criticism, sarcasm, short words with Rob, mindless munching, and a huge desire to drop everything and hide.
Then I make promises to God, Rob, and myself that I will never ever overdo my schedule again. Ever. Ever.
Then I go to bed, get a solid eight (most nights), and awaken to a renewed sense of being helpful and following through with great joy on those commitments.
So it is on a rare day like today that I sense the Lord saying to me to build in space for empty time. Granted when I was a college student that looked like a nap between classes. Then as a working wife outside the home, it was Saturday watching PBS with my husband while taking care of laundry. As a young mom and homemaker, it was a 15-minute bath with pen and journal in hand. Building in some time came easier when the boys were in school. Now that I’m a mom to adult sons and their wives and now their children, my free time is still limited as my time to get more involved in ministering to women has opened up. It is also my pleasure to be available to help my family, much like I remember specific women in our families who could assist us at a moment’s notice when the boys were little.
Yet, I am still learning repeatedly that if I am not careful to protect some quality down time to refresh and refuel my spirit, then I will be of no value to those in my family, in ministry, and friendships.
I rarely build in blank space on my calendar. And I want to be more intentional to do so in order to be a happier helper of those to whom I’ve committed my time. Today, God has been gracious to remind me that it is a good and necessary thing for this child of his.
Are days like this rare for you? If so, how do you sense God is directing you?Read More
My nephew and niece had identical twin baby girls Lillian and Laine a few weeks ago, and I had given a promise at a shower way before they arrived to knit blankets for the girls.
It took me forever to figure out what the blankets should look like, stressing over the details from pattern to color. I would try one pattern and yarn only to be disappointed. Yarn was too fuzzy or too difficult to work with so, back to the store to return and buy more yarn and try another pattern I’d go only to repeat the return process. Buy, try, return, repeat.
So, I decided to quit and wait for the girls to be born rather than make any old blanket out of obligation to a promise as a shower present.
The girls arrived and once they were home and settling in my daughters-in-love and I went to visit them and as soon as I saw the nursery, it all came together in a sweet blend of color and style.
I pictured a vintage look of pale pink chevron knitted with sections of four rows of variegated yarn containing all the colors I saw in their nursery. I hoped such yarn could be found here.
The next day, I found everything I needed and began the blankets.
Working on the first blanket in the evenings while Rob and I watched our shows (like Fixer Upper, Downton Abbey, NCIS, etc.) I managed to complete it and looked forward to beginning the second one, hopeful I would be consistent in gauge for both.
I’m happy to say the blankets are both complete and have been delivered to the babies and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.
In the blink of an eye it seems, I have done much and not so much. I consider all the mental plans I had made for last year sitting here, gazing out my window as cars zoom by and students leave school. The occasional jogger runs by and I wonder what we are all thinking in this moment in time.
I imagine all of our ideas of things we want/need to do as vastly diverse as our fingerprints. I can almost see those ideas and tentative plans swirling upward like breath out of that jogger’s mouth on a wintry morning – quickly remembered, quickly vanished.
My to-do lists, sticky notes, planner jottings, and journal all filled and representing my 2015 now loom ready to stay either checked off as completed or ready to be transferred to clean pages of a new year’s planner, folder, journal in time to get those undone things done, I hope. It’s time to put 2015 away and keep on going into 2016.
Good bye to the shoulda, woulda, and coulda things.
Hello to shall, will, and can things.
Last year, I never had that day alone with God when I set aside time to pray through plans for the year ahead. The file folder containing past years’ penned prayerful goals and plans sat unopened all of the year. Occasionally, a scrap of paper would be forced in-between others in the folder in hopes I would get around to that day. I looked forward to it. Yet, I neglected to make time for it. No goals or specific hopes with prayers and verses were ever penned last year.
So yesterday I had the opportunity to begin the refreshing work on it a bit in the morning and I yearned to complete it before leaving the house to fulfill a joyful duty. I contemplated forgetting about the commitment only to be reminded of letting my yes be yes. Off I went with my thoughts swirling about my head, excited to pick up the day alone with God today. It looks like that will happen over the course of several days…snippets of time savored alone with the Lord. Ahhhhh.
A bit of tidying up the space on this blog needed to be completed today and thus, I have evaluated whether to keep investing money into a spot where so little writing happens. But then, I thought better of it and decided to keep it for this year. After all, writing still remains a pleasant activity for me, along with sewing, knitting, crocheting, reading, cooking, volunteering at the local cancer center, working on a manageable garden in the spring, taking care of dear husband, helping our adult children and our two-year-old grandson and soon another boy due in April to the younger son and daughter-in-love…then there’s teaching the occasional Bible study, helping out with church things for women, mentoring, spending time with friends, maybe practicing photography, maybe learning hand-lettering and hybrid journaling, cross-stitching, healthier habits (always), paring down my wardrobe, remembering the gospel daily, sharing the gospel with others, remembering God’s gracious goodness…
…and so the hopes, plans, and thoughts swirl about and waft up from my head hoping to make it to the days ahead and respective lists of things to do. Goodness gracious, it’s 2016!