Last night trying to do downward facing dog I thought to myself, “You’re too old for this”!
But that just can’t be true.
I was reading through the early chapters of Genesis this morning, stiff muscles and all, and I saw that Noah was like 500 years old when he started building the ark and 600 when he finished it and the rain began.
What if Noah had thought, “I’m too old for this”?
Where would we all be?
Well, we wouldn’t be at all, or ever, but that’s not the point.
Grandma Moses started ‘painting in earnest at 78’ when her arthritis made embroidery too painful. 1500 canvases according to Wikipedia.
I have two friends who both got their PhD’s at 60. Freaky overachievers :)
Today we are the perfect age for whatever God has for us to do.
How do I know that?
Because we’ve reached today.
You can’t argue with that logic.
And why would you want to? With a whole world out there of stuff to do we’ll find plenty of nay-sayers and plenty of adversity.
I’m just saying, let’s not let something as meaningless as the number of candles on a cake limit us.
Life is a great big canvas; throw all the paint on it you can.
We all have the same 24 hours in every single day.
That’s what I read in a lot of books and articles on productivity.
And I’ve let it drive me not motivate me.
At the heart of that statement is our fear of failure and our constant urge to measure ourselves against others.
As though what somebody else does has any bearing at all on my life, my path. Seriously, it’s absurd and destructive.
The little clock pictured above is a travel souvenir. I’ve loved it well, but it began slowing down. It kept time erratically until one day it decided to be something other than a clock. Lately it’s become a reminder “That life is so urgent it necessitates living slow”. That’s a quote from Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, a book I can’t stop reading.
In a beautiful chapter called A Sanctuary of Time she pleads the case against hurry.
It’s a chronic condition for some of us. A wasting disease that strips us of vitality and joy leaving us frustrated, irritable, and dissatisfied with life. In our rush to fit more into every minute and hour, we lose the ability to simply be in any single moment. In trying to stretch our time we lose it altogether. Like the bubbles we blew with our little pink rectangle of Bazooka—we’ve over-reached and all the breath seeped out through the spot that could stretch no further.
The solution is to quit being amateurs.
“On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”
That’s from a woman named Evelyn Underhill that Voskamp quotes. What an encouraging challenge that is to me at the beginning of a new year.
What will it take to quit living like an amateur? Hurrying from one thing to another, living life in a mindless blur of activity. I’m craving guidance from God and the clarity that comes from time spent with Him. In my ‘mother years’ I didn’t think, I just did. Now without those constant demands I can be easily diverted. Lots of beginnings and fewer finishes.
Some days I feel like this Golden Retriever.
I want to savor the life God has given me, but I want to live it well.
To do the things that should be done in this—my life. To work, to love, to share, to create, to give thanks, to worship God and seek Him with earnest focus.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. Eccles. 3:1
Now it’s your turn :)
Who are you reading that inspires you?
Is it possible you can make 2016 a better year by creating a list of New Year’s Resolutions?
I don’t know, but I’m gonna try.
Whether you see it as motivation, inspiration, or an exercise in futility—The New Year’s Resolutions List has made its annual appearance here there and everywhere. That’s a Beatles reference for those of you who don’t have an AARP membership.
Right up front I want to let you know that there’s an official opt-out day if you decide you don’t want to play anymore.
National Ditch Your Resolutions Day is January 17th.
I could find zilch about the origins of the day, but we all know its origins are in our general lameness at keeping resolutions. By day 17 discipline-fatigue sets in and so some wise soul knew we needed an official day to get out from under the blame and shame.
Like Google analytics, I love lists, but I opted instead for poetry form in my personal version of The Ubiquitous 2016 New Year’s Resolutions List.
Like the best lists of this kind it’s aspirational and improbable.
It’s a blend of high-minded goals and low-brow ambition, it’s a veritable latte of fun and faith, and it’s the best I can manage and still get the sheets changed.
*This is important because my whole self-worth is strangely attached to the regular changing of linens ;). I know better than to waste countless $$$$ and hours trying to discover in psychotherapy the source of this attachment or try to affect a detachment.
Who knows what my fickle self-worth would glom onto if I was ever successful???
Without further preamble, ceremony, or ado, here are my 2016 New Year’s Resolutions.
To stop and smell the roses
To do my very best
To work as hard as I can
To finally get some rest
To eat more greens
To take more steps
To brush and floss
To tidy and toss
To sort and file
To read and think
To eat less sugar
To more water drink
To write more letters
To see more friends
To turn off the TV
To make amends
To curb my temper
To hold my tongue
To tone up my abs
To work till it’s done
To talk to Jesus every day
To listen when He speaks
To give Him every burden
To first His Kingdom seek
To count up all His blessings
To write them down in ink
To pray for little children
To recall that in a blink
I’ll one day change completely
Mystery in a moment of time
A heavenly body will clothe me
Immortal by Jesus’ design
Then I’ll live with God forever
And with all on His name who believe
In a place He is now preparing
His children to Himself He’ll receive
I’ll see Him as He is, as we say, face to face
All my sin, my weakness, and disgrace
Blessedly gone and forgotten
Thankfully and at last
And New Year’s Resolutions definitely a thing of the past!
Happy New Year :)
As always I’d love to hear from you.
Have you made your list? Do you feel having goals written down has helped you to make desired changes?
If you could change just one thing in 2016 what would it be?
And if you liked this, feel free to share with friends on FB or Twitter.
photo by Michael Hull
While limping around cleaning my office I found an old Amy Grant Christmas album in my iTunes to listen to while I worked. When this song came on I thought some of you might want to hear it right about now ;) Totally lifted my spirit.
Out on the golf course the usually stoic conifers shake their low boughs like a Flamenco dancer snapping the ruffled length of her skirt.
I watch their dance through the big glass sliding doors that open out to the patio. Because they’re closed up tight against the wind, the trees are dancing to the only sound in my house—the low thrumming of the refrigerator. A few brave iceberg rose blossoms join the troupe in this impromptu entertainment. Sporadic bobbing is all they’ve got to add to the dance.
The stiff boxwood hedge and the bare branched trees watch with me, on this the shortest day of the year.
This is the scene of the accident.
Last night I was adjusting the garland on the mantle and fell off the ladder. My shoe caught on one of the rungs and I twisted sideways as I went down, managing to hit my head on the open cabinet door, land on my hip—the bone, not the cushy part, and pull a muscle in my groin.
I know TMI [:-)
I didn’t see my life flash before my eyes.
I’d have to fall off the Empire State Building for a show that long.
But, I did hear the old TV commercial line, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
I just heard it in my head. Not out loud.
And I did get up, but very slowly.
I can’t remember the last time I had a goose-egg on my head, but I’m not gonna try to appease my great-grandson with just a kiss next time he gets one.
I’m giving him a bag of Oreos and a carton of ice cream.
Too bad I had neither in the house last night!
And now you know why I’m sitting on the sofa looking outside.
I’m so sore I can’t do much else.
Plus, and I’m not alone in this—our Directv reception is sketchy since they were acquired by AT&T.
I was gonna watch a Downton Abbey rerun because that’s what I do if I get sick, but the stinkers won’t give me access to my playlist.
According to 60 Minutes Apple is thinking of getting into TV.
I wish they would. Can you imagine how beautiful an Apple satellite dish would be????
But wait, Apple would never make us have something attached to a south or east facing wall.
They’d give us a sleek and yet powerful black or graphite box small enough to sit on the bookshelf and bring a banquet of broadcasting goodies to our big screens—all through a slick little remote that feels lovely in our hands. Or they might integrate it with our iPhones, like Apple TV and then we could just boss Siri around and make her change the channel and pause or rewind stuff.
OK, maybe I should get the bump on the back of my head checked after all.
Seriously, this quiet morning was a gift. I hope you’ll discover some quiet moments this week.
Get alone with God and tell Him your need. Share your heart and listen as grace answers. Jesus knew what the blind man would ask, but He still invited him to say it.
“What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”
He wants to hear from you, from me, from each of us.
“Our whole being by its very nature is one vast need; incomplete, preparatory, empty yet cluttered, crying out for Him who can untie the things that are now knotted together and tie up the things that are still dangling loose.
Now to Him Who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with great joy. . .
I needed this reminder from the Doxology today.
He is able.
I had a mess of yarn that was so knotted I threw it away after hours of trying to untangle it proved futile.
When things get crazy that yarn feels like a metaphor for my life.
Too much to do, people I’m ‘concerned’ about but can’t fix (oh yeah, I tried, but that made things worse), and of course—my own struggles with being a good Christian. Or a good wife, or mother, or daughter, or friend, or . . . well you get it.
God never gives up on us.
He’s not frustrated, or discouraged with us.
He’s patient, wise, and capable.
Put yourself in His hands.
He’ll work and get you ready for that coming day when you’ll be presented blameless—with great joy.
Your joy and His joy.
“Empty yet cluttered”, that’s a perfect description of how we sometimes feel. If that resonates with you, give yourself, your whole tangled life, to Him. I feel better already and you will too :)
What always brings a smile to your heart?
The sound of your husband’s hello? Hugs from your kids?
Puppy antics? The fragrance of flowers? The rhythm of the surf as it rolls in? Lasagna, especially your Mom’s lasagna?
All good stuff.
Today I read this,
And he rejoiced. . . that he had believed in God.
The season of Thanksgiving is here.
We hang a blessing-tag on certain things in our lives—especially the people and experiences that bring us real joy and make our hearts break into a big wide smile.
And he rejoiced. . .that he had believed in God.
Of all your blessings, don’t forget this one.
Don’t let the joy of it fade with age. Some things just get old, others develop a patina from constant use and frequent polishing.
Take this one out and admire its beauty. Don’t leave it on a high shelf like a fragile porcelain figurine. Hold it in your hands and examine the workmanship.
God spoke to you and you really listened. Something magnificent happened in your heart and mind, in your soul. In a moment you believed in God and were born again.
You have believed in God.
Count it as the greatest blessing of your life.
And give thanks.
Every man is made to reach out beyond his grasp. It is God who draws me, and my relationship to Him in the first place is a personal one, not an intellectual one. I am introduced into the relationship by the miracle of God and my own will to believe, then I begin to get an intelligent appreciation and understanding of the wonder of the transaction.
My Utmost for His Highest
I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving,
Start with a puppy that makes you laugh. . .
Add artists singing old gospel songs and hymns :)
Can you believe these are two artists from the current season of The Voice?
How awesome is that?
Notice the beauty of Fall that’s showing up all around us.
Remember ~ There’s a message in every miracle.
I’ve been thinking about that as I’m reading through the gospels—on a hunt for miracles and their messages.
Matthew tells us about a leper who came to Jesus. (Matthew 8)
He knelt before Jesus and declared “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
What would you ask?
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said.
What’s the message for us in this miracle?
In his chapter on God’s Goodness, A.W. Tower writes
Nobody ever got anything from God on the grounds that he deserved it. Having fallen, man deserves only punishment and death. So if God answers prayer it’s because God is good.
From His goodness, His lovingkindness, His good-natured benevolence, God does it!
That’s the source of everything.
We’re not on the merit system with God.
At school we earn grades, at work we earn a promotion. Some of us have had friends that made us feel we had to earn their approval.
But we can’t let this world’s thinking seep into our relationship with God.
We’re under grace.
That’s unearned, undeserved favor from God.
Today is the perfect time to seek His grace, to seek His face, to go and ask for a fresh touch from Jesus.
Last Sunday I heard Him described as ‘The With Us God’.
Jesus is with us.
He is for us.
And He’s willing.