Tag Archives: breathe

Sabbathing the Plants

I offered my plants rest today from the work they have been doing trying to grow in pots that are too small. All of the striving and pushing against and reaching for sun was exhausting them, causing drooping, yellowing, and general plant malaise.

Dumping the plant that hangs in my room to transfer it to a larger container, I almost heard an audible sigh as the roots loosened and stems separated from each other, stretching. Some of them asked to be moved to a completely different pot, and I obliged.

This is the plant in its larger hanging basket.

hanging plant

The plant in the bathroom needed some additional soil to cover exposed roots and invited one of the extra cuttings from my bedroom plant to come and reside with it.

bathroom plant

The rubber plant was bound in the pot that it came in last year. After searching around the yard, I found an empty container for its new home.

Much better.

rubber plant

Sabbathing the plants sabbathed my heart, as well, offering rest and refreshment on the heels of a busy, full season that doesn’t seem to want to slow down.

As I worked the song Healing Begins was running through my head. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe it’s because my plants needed attention, maybe it’s because my heart needed attention, maybe it’s because I’ve been walking through so much brokenness with so many of my loves, lately.

For whatever reason, I thought I would share, because maybe you need to hear these words, Dear Reader.

We’re here now.

Snow on a Saturday

It’s a change of perspective, this view from my bed, propped by pillows to gaze out the windows at the falling snow.

Snow on a Saturday is a rare, beautiful thing, removing the pressure of errands and running around; encouraging true stillness and rest.

Heart and mind try to rush ahead as I focus on falling flakes of white coating the ground and overgrown honeysuckle.

Be present. Be here. Breathe in the moment.

But even moments of snowy Saturday shalom shatter, as siblings argue over episodes, nerves fray, and plans change.

Quiet reflection and introspection last all of five minutes before knocks on the door interrupt asking for any number of things ranging from help reaching a cereal bowl to permission to open the new vitamins which I mindlessly grant and then become frustrated by the fact that there are two different kinds of vitamins now in use.

So in the rest, there is also disruption. In the stillness, there is noise. In the calm, there is chaos. In the falling snow, there is invitation.

Invitation to change. To engage. To rest. To be.

You are invited to enjoy your day! I am off to be present in mine, even though things USED to be FUN around here before all of these CHORES and having to put things AWAY that we are going to need later ANYWAY.

Because even in the midst of the rest, there is work to be done. Living in the tension, I tell ya!

Wrangled and Raining

It’s Sunday night as I write this. Superbowl Sunday at that.

This day has been long and challenging, and actually this season in our family life has been a long, challenging one. So much so that we made it to church this morning just in time to traipse down the far left side wall during the final before-sermon song and squish together in our usual second row.

To the casual observer this could say something about our devotion to God and to church. To what we prioritize. They can get up during the week for work and school and can’t even give God the time of day. tsk. tsk. They don’t even have babies. They should be able to get those kids out the door and to church on time.

Yes, we probably should. There are a lot of things we probably should be able to do. Feel free to leave the lists in the comments.

In our defense we were in the car waiting on our driver who gets his license tomorrow, so long as the rain holds up and temperatures don’t drop.

And waiting. And waiting. And listening to the disputes about who was sitting where and why and how unfair everything is. And waiting.

Our driver was inside tending to a nosebleed.

So we were even later than the late that I was deep breathing through.

That’s just how the day started, and it didn’t seem to improve much, save for the time I spent unconscious, napping.

We pushed through a family meeting with the four littles, because the bigs can’t be the only ones with the corner on family meeting memories. And not only that, but at the end we had to HOLD HANDS and PRAY! I didn’t mind the praying part, but I was NOT by Mom and Dad. I was between ~ and ~ who (insert gross kid habit here) and did NOT want to touch them . . .

Then it was time for the boys to hit their Super Bowl plans and the girls to remember that we always go to Grandma and Grandpa’s to watch the Super Bowl.

Not this year.

So the girls hung out for awhile before the bedtime wrangling began. Getting everyone to bed at their proper time is a huge deal. I’m sure we should be able to ~fill it in here ~ but we can’t. Not yet.

After all were in bed, but before Dad needed to leave to pick up the twelve-year-old from his event, one who could not sleep and had noticed snow falling outside came downstairs.

I see snow falling! She said in her excited, hopeful voice.

Fully aware that the weather report calls for temperatures in the upper 30’s and low 40’s overnight, I caution her that we can’t know what the morning will hold. I know her desire is for a snow day, and judging by facebook chatter, she is not the only one.

God knows what we need tomorrow, and we will trust Him to give it to us.

This is what I tell my girl, and this is what I needed to tell myself as Sunday ends and Monday dawns and whatever lies before, God knows what I need.

As it stands, all are wrangled into bed, asleep, and it sounds like it is raining from where I sit here in my corner.

Grace, Like Rain

It’s been a rainy couple of days, and a look at my phone’s weather app shows more in the forecast.

I was thankful that on my school docket were merit store and desk changing for Friday’s activities. Both were indoor and disruptive, but low-key.

My partner teacher did a great job of running a sale on stuffed animals, so that those who wanted a mini dog could purchase one in our classroom store.

One student brought a mini NFL helmet set from home, and indoor recess turned into teeny-beanies and mini dogs playing football. Shh. . .it might not be the coolest, but it was super-cute and a safe place to be uncool.

Is that helmet JMU?

No! These are NFL football teams.

Is this one VCU?

Do you know what the NFL is? These are NFL helmets.

I love the conversations that I overhear. Usually.

Last Friday, the students and I traipsed around outdoors at a pumpkin patch under threat of rain. It held off until evening. I was so thankful.

Last Friday’s rain soaked into the parched fields where my daughters play soccer, quenching the ground’s thirst. The Saturday sunshine allowed games to be played. This season’s games are not as early as in the past, but they still disrupt the day.

A rainy start to the week didn’t call off Wednesday’s practice, though mud was flying.

As yesterday’s rain steadily fell, I began to wonder what the weekend would hold. Would there be soccer games? Would I be bringing a snack for my youngest girl’s team?

She had it all planned out, I just hadn’t made a run to the store, yet.

The email cancellation came through to an internal sigh of relief from this mama.

It felt like such grace to be given respite from the routine and space to stretch my soul amidst the Saturday morning crazy.

Yes, today will continue to come at me, and I know there is a lot ahead, but for now I will bask in that disruptive grace.

 

My Restful Porch

This morning Steve and I sat on the porch drinking coffee and eating Honey Nut Cheerios. There were a few moments of peace before a minivan passed.

Was that (insert name of band parent here)? Is there band today? Is our son awake?

Peace interruptus ensued as Steve ran inside and upstairs to wake teenage boy. A friend who drives pulled up, and we waved him along.

We’ll drive him in. He just woke up. Thanks!

Risky move there on our part. That usually means said teenager will come running out of the house, fully ready to leave, fully annoyed with us for taking matters into our own hands and cramping his style.

It worked. This time. Small graces.

We sat together a few minutes longer, waiting for our boy to be ready. A neighbor walked by with her dog.

I’ve been meaning to tell you how nice the porch looks! So relaxing and restful.

In that instant, I tried to view through those eyes, because, honestly, life has been neither relaxing nor restful, lately. Writing is my outlet, and you see how much of that has been happening!

Seasons are changing again.

Returning to the present, I realized that for a few more minutes, my luvvah and I could drink coffee and eat cereal before the rest of the day took over. That moment was both relaxing and restful, and I chose to embrace it.

Embrace. I remember that word!

This Week

Remember how much you are loved and cared for this week.

These words concluded training session one of the 201st Stephen Series Leader Training Course (LTC). It’s where I am this week.

After a long day of travel in the rental truck, I arrived at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburg to check in, register, and pick up my 35lb box of training materials to sort and organize.

There was an opening banquet at a table with seven other people that I didn’t know but was about to meet.

I am here by myself, but I am not alone.

This week has been on my calendar for several months. I have prayed about it, planned for it, prepared as I could. It’s finally here, marking the true end of summer for me.

Next week I return to work, getting things ready for the new school year.

But this week is a time to settle and focus and learn. It is a time to remember to trust the process and receive care.

My prayer is that I will be open to what God has for me this week.

For the first session, I joined a group of women at a table with an empty chair. There I met my prayer partner for the week during The Relationship Exercise. She has a kind, open face, beautiful eyes, and a gentle voice.

We plan to meet after lunch to walk and share what is going on with us each day as the week progresses.

She has already agreed to pray that the rental return goes smoothly in the morning. Oh, and that my heart will be open to the process this week. That, too. That I will be present and focused rather than scattered and worried about all that is out of my control.

So this week will be less facebook (though this will post to my blog wall) and texting and more presence and reflection, listening to what God has for me.

Tonight it is this from Isaiah 41:9-10. . .I have called you back from the ends of the earth, saying, “You are my servant.” For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

After

I sit here in the after. Festivities over. All that has been left undone for months screams at me to get busy, yet there must be space.

Finding a corner to process and reflect, I wonder how this summer will be. I feel more settled, yet still very unsettled.

For months I have anticipated this time that has come ~ and gone.

There is more to come ~ Little Mae’s birthday. My birthday. Teaching Sunday school. Camp. Appointments for the kids. Vacation. Bible School. Stephen Ministry leadership training. Loving my husband and kids in the midst of it all. Loving my friends.

I want to pray and plan and hope about next year.

I want to pray and plan and hope about now.

I want quiet time with God. Quiet spaces. My mind is so loud.

Unplugging into quiet and journals and pens and things between me and God ~ not me, God, and the world~wide~web.

Not everything must be announced and packaged for all to see. Some things can be quiet and hopeful and private.

Unplugged.

After.

Managing Monday

It’s Monday. Time to catch up around the house.

Last night Steve unveiled a new chore system that resulted in much pushback, weeping, and gnashing of teeth.

And that was just from me.

It’s always hard forging new paths and making changes. I appreciate his hard work and effort to implement this new system. Breaking it to the kids last night was a bit challenging.

So here we go. Walking into the week, the school year and wedding behind us, the summer before us, and me trying to stay motivated to keep on, trusting my teammate that this will be good.

I was doing really well with it until I walked through birdseed that had spilled all over the pass-through pantry. Deep breaths. Deep, deep breaths.

Hello, June!

You have arrived, bringing with you pause from the school year and wedding planning and preparation for summer and all that it holds.

I hope to enjoy you, and the moments you bring.

I tend to stress out.

You bring my birthday, and that of Little Mae.

Preparation for camp.

Stephen Ministry teaching, recruiting, and leadership preparation.

Catching up on things around the house.

Revamping the porch.

Caring for my children.

Scheduling appointments.

Writing.

Resting.

The resting is the hard part. There will always be more doing.

I begin this month curious as to where it will take me and what I will learn from it. Feel free to join me and to share where you are and what you are learning, as well. Life is a journey, Friends. Let’s try to enjoy it!