Saturday, September 09, 2006

zero to 60 in 12

I'm in a period in my that I know other people might envy, but I'm finding it rather disorienting. My husband and I own a business, and whether I work one day or four, I'm on salary and get the same pay. Lately my weeks have been of the one day variety, so I have a good deal of time at home. I'm also an artist, so that is more or less a "second" job, but paid commissions are few and far between. I'm trying to change that. I love being a wife and mother, and being able to keep my house the way I want to-I'm not doing laundry at midnight or worrying about hairy food in the back of the fridge. I try very hard to organize my time and fill the day with good and productive things. I feel at rest knowing I have the time to maintain my responsibilities here easily. But some days those responsibilities seem, as one friend puts it, redundant. I had time and money yesterday to buy some tennis shoes I really needed, get my hair cut, pick up art supplies, do a little housecleaning, and I had no energy for any of it. It seemed so routine and so unimportant by the world's standards-like, whoopee, I changed the ink cartridge in our printer and crossed that big boy off my to-do list.

I try always to start my day with Bible reading and study, and then prayer, offering the day up to God for whatever He has in mind. It appeared that yesterday He didn't have much in mind for me. Still, it was one of those stunning, jewel-like days in September, warm, blinding blue skies, flowers still on the vine, and I had to thank Him for that and get outside for a walk in my new sneaks. I walked to our church and let myself in to go over the praise music for Sunday. The songs were way over-familiar and it was hard to get into that, but I could feel myself wanting to. I thought, He's not letting me off the hook here. The day went on and my teenaged daughter plopped down at the kitchen table just wanting to gab. I thought as I watched her laugh and gesture how much she reminds me of my mother, who passed away in '73. The day seemed to pick up energy as I took her to get a birthday check cashed and pick up a girlfriend-the chatter in the car got me laughing and smiling. Then a phone call came-a friend with a drinking problem called and asked me to drive her to a Celebrate Recovery meeting that was going on that night. She was struggling all week and was afraid to drive herself. My husband and I were slated to go to an art show opening to pick out MY birthday present, a piece of funky pottery another artist friend was showing. So the day was putting on a head of steam very quickly.

Well, I brought two laughing girls to the house, quickly changed my clothes, flew back out with my husband, had a whirlwind and fun time at the opening reception (and found a great piece of pottery!), zoomed home to change yet again and run to pick up my friend for the CR meeting. She was so grateful and talked all the way to the meeting. Immediately upon entering the house where it was held several people she knew came right to her side and she began to cry. Her need was great, and I was so thankful to be the messenger. As the night went on and the teaching began, then a testimony shared, I realized how much I needed to be there, too. The man who shared his story of how God delivered him from severe drug addiction that took everything away from him (even a leg), emphasized that it was finally in prison that he heard the Lord's voice. I thought of my son and real hope welled up in my heart. The whole lesson was on hope. The leader actually said he was glad he was an addict and alcoholic, because those demons in his life forced him to make a choice for God and a new life.

Then it seemed as I sat there, the light got shined on my own life. I began to thank God for the tremendous power of choice. We need His power to choose for Him, but when we exercise that ability, He is there. I know some people really struggle with this, and people in recovery most of all, but actually, we are all in recovery as some wise person observed. Even when it seems our choices are so unimportant, truly the smallest things can be so huge, like offering to drive a person to a meeting. The friend I brought to the meeting had to begin making some different choices in her life. It might not seem like a life and death matter to simply open the scriptures daily and pray, but for her it is, because that bottle will shout for equal time as long as she, by default, does not decide to fill her heart and life with what it really needs. I had to realize that my positive choices led me to helping her. Had I complained all day, not cared to do my spiritual "maintenance" and allowed my negative feelings to rule the day, I probably would have blown her off. I ended the day so grateful I wasn't so overwhelmed and crushed by my own problems that I didn't see someone else's need, and God answered my morning prayer by saving the best for last!

The scriptures say to declare the Lord is good, to praise and to thank Him with the fruit of our lips, and give Him the honor due His name. In all we do we are to give glory to Him. Whatever happens, that's a given and the reason our lives have significance, no matter what they consist of in the world or what a day brings.


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