Monday, December 31, 2012

What God looks like to me.

I bedded down by the wood stove last night, cozy in my sleeping bag while the temperatures dropped to the single digits.

Spending New Years with my sister-in-law's family in Central Oregon has been a great adventure so far. Spontaneous and testing the limits of my flexibility, but fun and adventurous at the same time.

I woke up to my brother coming in, stoking the fire and putting his infant daughter back to sleep in front of the stove.

I stirred in my cocoon and we visited as he watched his baby sleep - checking to make sure she was warm enough, admiring her, comforting her if she squirmed - and again I was reminded of God as a father.

"He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep... The Lord will keep you from harm - He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore."

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Things that matter this morning

I crept into the quiet dining room this morning, presumably to burn through some pages in the book I'm supposed to finish before I start a class I've signed up for, but my keyboard was calling to me like an old friend.

By the time I had fixed myself a cup of tea, contemplated whether all of the water outside was "raining," "falling" or just "drizzling," and had booted up my computer, the book was far out of my mind.

I've missed taking the time to search out what's on my heart and put it into words.  You know, I think it's healthy for me, in a way, to dredge down to the bottom, to sit in solitude with only my thoughts and the clicking of the keys, to open up the doors of my mind and explore the ideas and insights that I don't normally have the time or energy to pursue.  To know what's going on in my heart.

I keep telling myself that I'm way too busy most of the time.  Too busy to pursue my relationship with Christ.  Too busy to invest in my little sisters who are growing up so fast.  Too busy to sit and listen to my dad when he's exploring new ideas and insights.  Too busy to chat on the phone with a friend and catch up on what God's been doing in her life.

I did a mental review to see just what it was that I've been to busy with, and my automatic defensive answer was that I've been too busy with....life.

This morning I gave that answer some objective thought only to realize that these very things I've been too busy for - they are LIFE.  These are the most vital aspects of life, these relationships; with my Savior, with my sisters, my brothers, with my dad and mom, with my sweet friends - these are the pulse and purpose of my life here.

The shower just shut off indicating that my quiet time is up.  The studying will have to happen later, maybe with headphones on.  Right now I have a life to live.

Edit:  Learning new things is life too, and should not be discounted.  I think the idea here is for me to find a balance between the two; not shutting out the people so that I can learn more about... people, and not shutting out the investment into the future so that I can invest more in the present. =)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Of quiet reflections in a bustling household

The bustle of breakfast greeted my ears when I stepped into the kitchen this morning. I'd been looking forward to some quiet reflective moments over a cup of coffee from the time I first opened my eyes, so the fourteen plus people gathered around engaging in fourteen plus conversations took half a minute to get used to.

As always, the conversations were too intriguing for me to tune out completely, and before I was totally swept away, I found myself thanking the Lord for giving me what I didn't even realize I needed.

His gifts to me are so far above and beyond what I think I need or want, but they're the perfect fit for me every time.

I'm so grateful for a Father who knows me better than I know myself; who gives me exactly what I need before I ask.

For the sister who cooked breakfast for me.

For Dad, who offered to put eye drops on my irritated eye, because I was too chicken to do it myself.

For my little sister who makes a great pot of coffee.

For my not-so-little-anymore brother who sets an awesome example for me in his attitude towards life, in the way he lets grievances roll off his back.

For my nieces and nephew, and the smiles they constantly bring to all of our faces.

And I'm going to have to start getting up earlier than I have been lately if I'm going to have that quiet cup of coffee.