I'm sitting here in the office of my home, wearing my favorite flannel jammie pants, sipping coffee and enjoying the bliss of moisturized feet and soft handmade wool socks...and I am thinking of summer.
It was some kind of different summer--crazy chaos crashed into days of slow removal. Endings were abrupt. Relationships changed. Concepts became practices. Words were weighed. Love was shared. Moments were savored, and moments were missed. It was a difficult summer in many ways, and in others it was a delicious comfort. Isn't that the way of life?
However when all is weighed and accounted for, I think I spent more time drifting than focused. More time reacting than preparing. I wasted more than I gained. I say that not regretfully because I don't know how else I could have unfolded that season which I believe was meant to show me that flexibility is desirable, but free fall is never beneficial. It was definitely a learning summer, and I thought I would share some of the things I have learned.
* Take time to slow down - I often expect way too much of myself. I over estimate my abilities, and I underestimate time to completion of most activities. I overwhelm myself with multitasking. I put pressure on myself to complete a mental task list which makes me short tempered with my family and hypercritical in my self talk. It isn't healthy. I need to streamline my goals, realize my limits and not forget about fun and rest. For a task oriented person, those can be hard habits to learn.
* Privacy will never grow you as much as community. I am a private person (yes, it's true). I'm not afraid of quiet and in fact, I prefer it. I think a lot. I am prone to withdraw. I will always be a firm believer that it's best to hear God when you are minimally distracted by others, both people and things. However, we are not called to only be hearers of The Word. If we were, wouldn't life be easy and delightful? Instead we are called to be DO-ERS and the fact is that very few real demands are made on my selfish heart when I remain isolated. Community is where my heart grows feet and starts walking around and living this life we are called to. More and more, I am being called to reach out, to be uncomfortable (sometimes extremely so), to stop playing safe, to be in community.
*Less is more - This is such a recurring theme for me lately. I find myself evaluating everything: do I use it, do I love it, is it necessary or am I just hanging on to it because I might need it one day. Less is also more in more abstract ways (for instance, in slowing down I am accomplishing less, but am more me each day - an excellent trade off). Schedules, meals, stuff, room, budgets...it's happening in all areas of my life. I must be less...so He can be more.
*When God gives you a theme verse for the year, He really means it.
6 Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; 9 a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills. --Deut 8