Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Blessings of a Fractioned Day

     I love walking. My preference is to briskly walk on a sidewalk, up and down, around and back through the neighborhood. But, these days my walks are on my treadmill and that's okay.
     When solitary walks are by choice, it is exhilarating, delicious. Enjoying the cool of the evening, quietness, sweetness of life. Pondering, rejoicing. Wondering. Singing. Remembering. Laughing.

Then, there are times the walk is lonely. The road is hidden. Dark. Tedious. Solitary.

     I'm learning to let that be okay, also. Even though some well-meaning and loving friends tell me, "Ask for help." "Take care of yourself." "You can't do it all."

     Well. What happens at 10 p.m. and the mover/shaker/care-giver gets a splinter in the right thumb?? Who do you call?

     The funny thing is that there is no one in my household who could get it out at high noon. And, believe me, it is laughable to look up and see yourself in the mirror trying to take out a sticker!!!

Some of my days, recently, had been dark and solitary and difficult.

     I really did pray long and hard about my last post. Perhaps it was more for myself than for most of my readers. While some of it might be for those who walk similar care-giver journeys, it was basically a somber read.


The day dawns when you realize, "Wow. It IS all up to me!!!"
The day blasts when you know that there is no one else.

Man! I'm IT, baby !!!

        That understanding can either set you free ---- or slap you into your own mental prison. I do not like the thought of a prison.

     Do you remember a TV commercial from oh so many years ago when the young mom, exhausted and obviously fighting a terrible headache slams the kitchen cupboard, grits her teeth, and hisses, "Please Mother, I can do it myself!!" Some instant pain headache reliever, as I recall. I'm sad to admit that sometimes I treat my Holy Father that way.

     Last night, sleep would not come. The day had been pretty good and fruitful but long and I fell into bed with many things left undone. Finally, I snapped on the light (thankfully, my wonderful Dear Heart goes to sleep instantly and can sleep through anything), pulled out the book I chose to read during Lent.

The Praying Life Seeking God in All Things, by Deborah Smith Douglas.
Yep, I chose a heavy duty lesson to study. But, it had been good and over the weekend it was my great privilege to attend a day seminar to hear the author in person.

So, last night, after enough wiggling and squirming I got still and quiet and opened the book to where I had left off last Friday. Page 47. I picked up in the middle of a chapter. And God sat down beside me.

Ms Douglas writes of her own experience as a harried and sometimes too-busy-to-pray young mother. "The fractioning of my days is not likely to end any time soon. But perhaps--by a miracle of grace, by the grace of God--I can come to see myself not as meaninglessly disintegrated but as broken and given like bread, poured out like wine......"

I read it over and over. I cried. I found my trusty yellow highlighter and rubbed the words. I cried.

Providing care to my grown disabled daughter and to my beloved husband is, in some aspects, like those long ago days as a harried and too-busy-to-pray young mother. Except now I am old. With health issues of my own. But, last night I felt not alone and I slept.

Today, I worshiped as I tiptoed into another day of Lent, remembering what Jesus did for me. He does know all about my journey.

And I know that God's word is true. Because He said so. (Colossians 1:17) 
And, by the way, He is alive. Now.

"He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

He will even hold together the solitary life of this aging care-giver!!

Praise be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Busy Lent

And God said……

31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Mark 6:31  (NIV)

Our house is relatively quiet these days. But we are B. U. S. Y.

We come and go    Get it done




B.  U.  S.  Y.

Oh. I said that.

Busy. Even though it is Lent. And winter hangs on.

  Easter has not dawned
We did attend Ash Wednesday services     Well, it was an evening service
 I could handle that. (Thank You, Father) Then . . . .

          Another day. Another grocery store run
          and Dishes into the dishwasher (thankful I don’t have to scrub each by hand)

          and Dirty clothes into the washing machine

Pick up prescriptions, drop off a bad hearing aid at the Fixer Place

Bring in wood

Make a fire

  Light candles after dinner    Just because

Get some rest, child

          Another daylight

    Beds made

     Gas in the car

    Load the walker into the car

          Run the car through the car wash

(thankful it doesn’t have to wait for me to do it myself)

Get some rest, child

          Everyone in bed, lights low, house softly creaks

Balance the checkbook            Call in prescriptions

 (thankful for telephone recording systems)

    and another load into the over-worked but faithful washing machine

             fill Dishwasher, again      it      quietly does its job

                    Night-lights turned on          Oops….rinse the sprouts
(just because I love green things on my counter and in our salads)

Okay, Father, now I am here.


                    Finally       I sleep

Sunrise, mark days off the calendar     and buy ice cream-- just because

 The house gets dark and it rests again. . . then it wakes and runs    then it rests

Father. Hi.



                    No thunder    No lightening    No doors slam   

          If a tree falls in the forest, I don’t hear

Another day dawns       B. U. S. Y.

Then . . .

Father, I am here.

Daylight            Dirty clothes   Feed the dog,    the cat      the people

Smile, cook, share news, acknowledge birthdays, send e-mails                                

Encourage hurting others, bake molasses cookies, go to another funeral,
unload the walker      walk slowly and hold doors      smile
Re-load the walker       drive     talk about the life lived well

Check on all the far-off children/grands/greats

Truth be told, I expected a quiet revelation at the most

                    A loving whisper at the least

          Just silence         and      The quiet screams all around me

Father. It’s me        Again


I sit           Ask for nothing             He does not reply

I go back     Again     
                                       And again

Cold      Silence

               And still     I     Return     


When did I finally KNOW       . . . . . .   that He sat beside me

           When did the quietness wrap around me      Like a warm blanket

I ponder His sweet, amazing love      and       my     on-going human frailty

His love is greater than all my need

Now I can breathe

                     And carry on     All the things that are mine to do      Alone

     But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9