Down time, and how I have eaten my body weight in cheese
Because my son sat on the couch and played video games for an entire day while I prepared the house for a few friends to come over and drink 25 bottles of wine, I promised him I would take him to Sky Zone today. If you are not familiar with Sky Zone, it is an exact replication of Hell on earth, disguised as an indoor trampoline park. God bless my husband, who all on his own, swooped on in and let me stay home for some down time, while he took the kids to Sky Zone. He brought his rosary beads and St. Augustine book to read while the kids jump, which I am sure, did not look strange at all.
And so now I have all of this down time to do all of those things I say I wish I could do but am too busy to do. Only why can't I remember what all of those things are? I really do work so much better under busy, constant pressure, which I am sure is a not so good thing about me that I need to address. And I will. When I have the time. Which I suppose is now. Only I don't feel like it.
Be still...He speaks in whispers...yeah, yeah, I know all of this. I do. So, why is it so hard for me to do? Why am I so restless?
Maybe I am afraid of what I will hear; what He has to say.
Or maybe I am growing tired of trying to hear, only to walk away from prayer feeling like I do when I talk for ten minutes to my kids only to realize they are wearing ear buds and did not hear a single word I said.
People, it has been a dry bones season for me. And I am not sure why. Maybe it was the guinea pig madness that has finally kicked in and taken its toll. Or maybe it is the 459 pounds of cheese I have consumed in the last three days. Have you ever eaten that much cheese? Because I have. And it does not feel so good. Or maybe it is the extra time on Instagram looking at everybody else living their full, vibrant lives. Or maybe it is just December, and December can be hard. But whatever it is, I am recalling something my son's therapist told us about; something about mindfulness. Now, after I rolled my eyes in my head at the mere word mindfulness, and how new age it sounded, I did see the benefit of it, and how I could apply it to my own life, without feeling like I had just sold my soul to the pagan gods of a new age cult. The gist of this mindfulness thing is simply being aware of how I am feeling...that maybe I can not change it at this moment...and how sometimes it is ok to simply sit in this feeling; to be mindful of it, that this is how I feel and yes it is crappy and I am not sure why I feel this way but I do, and that is ok.
And so after I acknowledged where I am at, which I suppose is sort of in a place of boredom and restlessness with a little bit of sorrow tossed in, I chose to light a candle and read the book of Sirach, because I have been binge listening to Leah Darrow's podcasts this Christmas break, and she happened to mention it in one of the many conversations I listened to. She said to start at Chapter 6 but I began at Chapter 1 because I don't follow directions that well. And when I started to read Chapter 2, a wave of emotion came over me. Because God always does that. When I least expect it, He shows up, He starts talking. To me. And that makes me cry.
"My son, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, undisturbed in time of adversity." Sirach 2:1-2
I forgot this.
And I continue to forget this.
I forget that because I have chosen to wake and offer my day-the good the bad, all of it, to the Lord, that trials will still come my way.
I forget that because I have chosen to work for a women's bible ministry that I love and is changing the world, trials will come my way.
I forget that saying YES to the Lord does not mean I get a pass to heaven with the added bonus of skipping all obstacles and disappointments on the way.
In fact, the very opposite is true.
When you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself...for dry seasons, for fruitless trees, for sorrow with seemingly no explanation.
But you know what else I forget?
"Accept whatever befalls you, in crushing misfortune be patient; For in fire gold is tested, and worthy men in the crucible of humiliation. Trust God and he will help you; make straight your ways and hope in him." Sirach 2:4-6
In this down time, both literal and emotional, I need not only be mindful of this is where I am, but more so, mindful of where this is going to lead me. It is fine to accept not feeling so great, but better than just sitting in it, is to offer it up as a prayer; to say I do not know what I am feeling Lord, but I know that it is where I am meant to be, that it will not last, and that your plans for me are good; that this desert I am walking is the path to milk and honey flowing, and that You waste nothing., including this season I am going through. Strengthen me in patience Lord, and give me a heart sincere and steadfast, not one that flips and flops based on circumstance. Increase my trust in you, God. And it is really important to cling to His Word in these moments of quiet restlessness, so that the enemy does not take advantage. "Use your time well; guard yourself from evil" Sirach 4:20
My husband just texted me to say that they are finished with Sky Zone and now he is taking the kids to Buffalo Wild Wings. If he keeps this up, the man will be canonized a Saint by tomorrow morning. So not only am I married to a Saint of a man, but now, I have been given even more down time. Down time to be mindful of where I am, and better yet, mindful of whose I am. Down time to to remember that working for Christ is never easy, but the pay off is so great. Down time to feel these dry bones, and to call on the Holy Spirit to come and pour into every inch of me. Down time to pick up my Bible, to cling to His word, knowing that every single line has been written for me.
"Cling to Him, forsake him not; thus will your future be great." Sirach 2: 3