Friday, September 12, 2014

Sabbath


I love me a clean house! The feel of a squeaky floor under my bare feet or the smell of fresh linens on my bed. Ahhh! It only lasts about 5 minutes before the dog, or the baby, or the husband track in something...but it's 5 minutes I thoroughly enjoy!

I've recently gotten back into the habit of taking a cue from ancient Jewish culture--getting my house in order before the Sabbath so I can focus on more important things. A few extra minutes washing dishes on Friday night, means more time for making pancakes instead of fishing for a clean dish Saturday morning. A quick vacuuming of crumbs and dog hair Friday night, means a clean canvas for wrestling, tickle fights, and reading all weekend. It means we can pack up and go out of town for the weekend or pack up a picnic lunch to take to the park. It means giving myself permission to not be a clean freak for a few days each week, and to do some of the other things I don't get to do--like painting, or reading, or sitting on the porch to watch the rain. 
More time for playing at the creek!

I challenge all of us to take a day each week and not do. For our sanity, our health, and the well-being of our families. 



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Longing

Tinker's Creek on a sunny, summer morning.

The breeze, blowing the first leaves of fall off the trees overhead. The mighty roar of the waterfall just feet away from me. The cold water swirling around my feet. I sat and breathed in the beauty of the walls of green all around me. My heart was filled with the presence of such an amazing Creator and I was at peace. 

But along with the joy of this moment was another familiar feeling...

Sadness?

Sorrow?

Loneliness?

But how? I was sharing a moment with the most perfect of all Beings and yet I was lonely? How can that be?

I wished that Joseph could be enjoying this moment with me. But I knew that even if Joseph was here, I'd still be lonely. I'd want my best girlfriend with me. All my girlfriends. My brother. My mom. My mom-in-law. 

If I start to think about it, I always feel lonely. Even in the midst of worship at my church, or dinner with my family, I feel lonely.

I long for companionship. I ache for it. It is always gnawing away in my heart. Always being satisfied, and yet always hungry. 

In her book, Captivating, Stasi Eldredge calls this ache, "A woman's infinite capacity for relationship." We have been made in the image of a Lover who longs to know us and be known by each of us. So we as women long to have deep, meaningful relationships. To be fully ourselves and to be enjoyed as we are. It is a beautiful aspect of femininity that we bring to the world. 

So there is nothing wrong with me. The loneliness is just a part of how I was made. So let it drive me to more sweet conversations over coffee. To more laughs and more tears with new friends and old. Let it be what makes me strike up a conversation with others who are lonely like me. Let it be what makes me better this world, one lonely person at a time. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Straight, No Chaser

I had followed the instructions and set-up the weight machine and my body on it step-by-step. Or so I thought. I could have just asked a trainer about it, but I figured I am reasonably intelligent and should be able to figure this out on my own. A few reps in, an older man stepped up behind me, told me to stop, and fixed the settings. "You might wanna use it the right way," he said. I mumbled something about how I thought I may have been using it wrong, and he just gave me a look of pity that said something like "Honey, you should probably not be here if you don't know the ropes." I finished my sets feeling like a complete idiot, but oh-so-thankful someone stepped in and saved me from my stupidity (and from possibly injuring myself).

There are days I need someone to show me the ropes of marriage. I think I have it all down, until a friend, or mentor, or parent shows me a better way of doing it, and I wonder why I didn't ask for help in the first place. My I-can-do-it-myself-just-leave-me-alone personality gets annoyed when someone tries to give me advice about being a wife or mom. But a few days into it, I am so thankful that they had the guts to speak up and say something, 

I've had several family and friends shock me with the announcement that they are divorcing their spouse. I wonder how many of those commitments could have been saved if only someone had reached out, even at the risk of losing the friendship.  

So MY advice for the day, if you see a married friend doing something stupid, take them out for coffee and tell it to them straight. We will probably get mad, but if we're worth our salt, we will respect you all the more for it...later. Oh, and be open to the possibility that YOU may be the one needing the advice. That's a lesson I'm still learning.

"Do I have something in my nose?"
We all need THAT friend.