Bone weary gratitude

 

Something hit me. Hard. Whatever it was (or is!), I went from 100 mph doing chores, cleaning dishes and getting charting done to about 5 mph as I crawled into bed at 9 pm and slept for about 12 hours. A fever and GI symptoms knocked me FLAT!

I have gardening to do, housecleaning to mow through, reading to finish and reviews to write, and absolutely none of them grab my attention. My pillow, electric blanket and bed are calling me…

I am emotionally and physically run down. But I am also blessed down to my toenails with the good things in my life. So what do you do when you know you need a quick re-start to get back on track again?

You. Rest.

I know. DUH. But that’s what I need to do. So today I slept almost all day. answered a few emails that couldn’t wait (about 2 out of 50) and followed my cats’ examples of getting into a good nap.

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I’m still tired. I’m still facing the problems and discouragements of yesterday. I’m still angry at the lies and collusion that appear to be rampant in our government. But I’m a little better rested than I was yesterday.

And maybe, just maybe, I can tackle my “do list” with more enthusiasm and grace.

Breathe. Even when it hurts. Just breathe. 

  
There is laundry to do. Dishes. Vacuuming. Dusting. Reading and studying. A book review (which really must get bumped up on my priority list!) The list is actually quite long, and just a wee bit annoying.

Being productive by striking things off my to do list was not what I needed to do this morning. Instead, I put on my gardening shoes, walked out into my muddy yard, and enjoyed some moments of beauty. The birds were singing their heads off. The violets were peeking out beside newly sprouted grass. And my grandmother’s peony bush shows the first signs of blossoms!

A week ago this area had snow showers. Today I don’t need a jacket, and I’m swatting at gnats.

The headlong, crazy rush of one week into the next is almost overwhelming. And while I have plenty more yardwork left to do, the most productive thing I did all morning was to sit on this bench, breathe, (and sneeze!) and hear the sound of God’s love deep in my heart.

Find a moment, grab a moment if necessary, and just breathe. Be. Beloved. 

  

Running on empty

Empty from Flickr via Wylio

My parents had some pretty clear rules. One of them was inviolable… NEVER EVER leave the car gas tank at less than 1/4 tank.

This was especially true when one drove one of the family cars. The next driver would not appreciate driving on fumes. And since my parents were generous with gas money whenever we needed it, there really was no excuse!

Growing up in Rock Hill, SC, there was a gas station that kept a running tab for all of the teen drivers. The owner would settle up with my dad whenever he came by for a fill-up. We lived outside the city limits and, at the time, there weren’t any gas stations close by. (Times have changed! I checked out the old neighborhood and there’s been a lot of new developments!)

You’d think, hearing the pointed reminders at the dinner table that I would not forget to keep my car gassed up. And you would be… wrong!

Last week I was running here and there, busy with tasks for work, home and church. The “low fuel” light came on as I was headed home from a big church event. “I’ll fill up on my way to church in the morning,” I thought.

I ran late on my way to church on Sunday… so I figured I would just stop on my way home. And then forgot. And didn’t fill up on my way to work on Monday morning… And you can guess what happened. I realized in a panic that I was cutting it a little too close when I coasted to a stop at the gas pump, just as the engine cut out.

Whew. (I can hear my dad chuckling…) 

I found out that my car’s 19.2 gallon tank holds 18.55 useable gallons of gas. I didn’t really need to know that bit of trivia.

All’s well that ends well… except… It is a cautionary tale. Beyond the obvious common sense not to run your tank dry, of course.

Whatever the reason, no matter how good it is, there is nothing that should keep us from taking time to refuel. To rest. To heed the warning that we are low on energy. To find ways to rejuvenate that are more than just a pit stop. IMG_0883

In fact, it wouldn’t hurt any of us to just simply stop. Find a moment of beauty, of peace, of tranquility. Celebrate the renewal of the earth, the first flowers of spring, the giddy romp of the rabbits in the back yard.

Too often I push myself past the limits of my energies and emotions. I wear down. I get tired and careless. I lose patience. I don’t have the perspective that I need to solve a problem.

I’m counting the daffodils as they bloom in our yard (so far there’s five!) and remembering I was made to work, create and worship, yes. But also to rest. Refuel. And remember Who created me.

Selah…

 

Prayer for a Sunday

henrysnooze

 

Oh Lord,
It is far too easy to find things to do
that do not feed our souls.
We can shop and dine out, run errands and do laundry,
and these are tasks that do not revive us.

Yet there is work for a Sunday
that has been neglected far too long;
work that would be a unifying task
with family or church or friends.
Work that requires time to consider
“Do I need to keep this?”
or
“Is it time to let this go?”

So today,
I will engage in a task of holy reflection,
one where I think of my many blessings,
spiritual and material,
my wants and my needs,
and Your abundant Providence.
And I humbly repent
of all my excesses.

For today, after church,
we are cleaning out the garage.

May it be a holy work.
May it be a reflective work.
And may it be done quickly!

Amen.