Saturday, September 26, 2015

a breathing space

There's this lovely corner in Abi's new home in New York. . . I can't wait to go back, to toss my knitting in the basket, to settle in the little chair, just my size- and to breathe.
I've been reading some stuff. . . reminders to make a space to breathe. I understand the mechanics, really I do- but usually it's not the space that's noisy; the problem is my own noisy, distracted self.

Honestly, I struggle to have restful time alone with God especially when I travel; I grow a bit frantic inside.
Ahh, we were created to long for Him, to yearn for the Good Shepherd to lead us beside still waters! Sometimes the still waters elude me and discouraged,  I conclude that a monastic life must be the answer. (Imagine that!)

So, I'm home in Texas, back in my routines and in my familiar breathing space.  I'm anticipating travel again next month- and I wonder, Will I find that space to breathe with God inside my own heart?

Last month I spent a season of days in Psalm 119. . . I find myself resting there about every 6 months,  drinking in the Psalmist's heart:

God be gracious to me according to your promise. . .when I think on your ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies, I hasten and do not delay to keep your commandments. (vs 59)

I'm not looking for a formula, a literal space, a particular routine. Today I breathe in God and desire a yearning heart . And I'm thinking on his ways, one thought at a time, again and again, thoughts that will change the direction of my heart no matter where I carry my backpack, no matter where I lay my my head.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

He keeps doing what he loves. . . .

Yesterday John and I got to take part in Grandparents Day with Hope and Logan, children from our church family.
In first grade the teacher requested a few grandparents to volunteer for storytelling.  Hope, sweet girl, right away raised her hand and offered John and me for the storytelling job!

I declined, but John stepped up with a story of his own, a great story about 6 year old Johnny who was fearful of train tracks and train noise but who loved his grandma's quiet house and the delight of exploring old trunks in the basement. The kids were attentive, laughed and responded in all the right places in the story. Then they clapped at the end.

Sometimes I wonder,  What does a man do with himself in retirement?
This man just keeps doing what he loves . . . and I'm grateful.

Monday, September 7, 2015

we share children. . .

Early this morning I pulled tall weeds from my garden, weeds that evidence my 5 week absence.
Martha, my sweet neighbor, faithfully watered my garden in the August heat, but weeds always grow faster and heartier than plants, have you noticed?

A few weeks ago we headed south to Texas, driving between New York, Ohio, Tennessee and Arkansas. I kept waking in the night, Which bed? in which house? where's the bathroom?
But now we're home- and my neighbor sent me a text, "Welcome home, it's good to see your windows open again!"

Sometimes I come home from a summer trip and feel like I need a vacation. This time I'm weary and resting- weary and pursing the next thing. Summer memories and milestones flood in.. . . and I'm thinking about lots of sweet ones.
For the fourth time I heard my husband answer, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" (funny thing, he answers a little different every time, but the sentiment is the same- warm and hearty affirmation.)

 I'm thinking about Lucinda, my dear friend, and how we share children and grandchildren twice over- Lucinda, we get to be mother-in-laws together, again, imagine that?

The Monday after the wedding, in the yard over coffee and scones we talked about our favorite parts of the day. . . . the dancing flower girls. . . worship in the open air. . . the vows, bold and tender.

We prayed together for our children, Sam and Mercy, Nathaniel and Abigail- and I thought about the richness of friendship and a favorite quote:

"They went lovingly on together and had pleasant conversation
 about all the things that happened to them on their pilgrimage"
(The Pilgrim's Progress)