Thursday, September 13, 2007

to do

I'm upstairs trying to finish a drawing I've been working on for weeks. I'm tired, it has to be completed so I can start the next one, and I have to concentrate. The past week was so crazy. I didn't have a moment and I'm not used to that. Even things I know should be unhurried were hurried waiting to get to the next thing. I planned a "girl's day out" with my youngest daughter, a perfect activity and dinner afterward. I tried to love it, we did laugh alot and she was great company, but my mind was fast-forwarding to my easel, the unfinished lessons I have, bobbing and weaving through conversations I've had and should have with certain people, letters to write, things to do....every moments was shoe-horned into a slot of "to do". Sigh. It's ok, I have the grace, I can do this.

I guess I think of people who I depended on in similar constraints. I hope I had grace for them. And I thank God for those who are freer and give me their time. Thanks, Orangeman, for a great phone conversation-you always make me laugh. Thanks, my sponsor, for understanding and helping me sort out the complicated mental threads. Thanks, my precious Rebecca, for your company. And thank you, Lord, for all the complications. They truly are blessed ones.

uphill climb

I've been lax in writing. The desire just does not seem to be there any more. Brandon is fine, surviving in this middle stage of his imprisonment. We talk on the phone weekly and trade letters and books. I miss him. Not in a way that makes life impossible, but I miss him. I need people around me. I've never been one to reach out to other people. I'm more of a loner. But now I know how quickly things can be removed from a life, and it makes me willing to risk more, and think alot harder about doing what it takes to keep relationships alive.

I'm teaching college now, and it is an up and down ride. My emotions are getting the better of me for many reasons and I have less time and strength to spend on extras. But I've always loved to write, and so will try to keep up this blog. Miss you, Caravaggio.

Monday, September 03, 2007

God will be God

My recent scripture reading reminds me that God will be God no matter what I do. I have a tendency to have faith at the least common denominator of any situation. That way I don't get disappointed or hurt. I tend to rationalize and excuse, make it easy for myself or just paw the air rather than take a solid whack at life. Being in the classroom reminds me I need to take that solid whack every day. I never expected to be there, and if it were up to me, I wouldn't-not the way I trust. I suppose there is something to be said for detached dispassion, but somehow I think that's fear faking it.

There is a scripture in Ephesians that is the benediction of a prayer by St. Paul that says more or less, now to Him who is able to do excessively, abundantly above all we could ask or think, to Him be the glory forever, amen. The glory, indeed. He makes the promise, but do we believe it? No. I don't ask big enough, think grandly enough, want enough, need enough, love enough. But God always does. Doesn't the world show us that? Not the failures of men, but the way everything is blessed every day. May I never forget that.

rest from our labors

It's officially Labor Day, the which we are supposed to celebrate the worker and take a rest from our labors. This extra day in the week to rest has enabled me to finish planning my classes for school and begin to do the real "work" I love, which is drawing. I've been reminded the past two weeks that certain types of work are of a season, and in those times they are all-consuming. My father could have been classed a workaholic, mostly out of necessity, but also because his strength came from his work. I know that for men in particular, so much of their self-worth is defined by the job description. I found that being so busy after months of steady time to myself really challenged me. I needed this challenge. It's a funny thing that working more can actually help you use your time more wisely and more productively. I could not sustain the pace forever, but it got me to looking very carefully at what I do (or don't do) and why. I suddenly became jealous for my drawing time and my time alone in the morning with God. I had to learn to walk away after a time because I was becoming too involved. When I was growing up, there was never "too involved". The more I did the better.

But yesterday was the Sabbath, and I was again reminded where my priorities are. We had a great discussion in Sunday School as we work through the book of Ephesians. The most important thing the Apostle Paul had to discuss with them was being worthy of their calling, and at all costs keeping unity in the body. To love one another and to love God was the absolute focus of their lives. I thought to myself how much I need to look at what I do, because in the end that is what really counts. I believe this teaching job is part of my calling from God. In His graciousness and desire to bless me, He also desires to bless my family, the body of Christ and the world at large. I cannot take my eyes off of this for a moment. If I think this life belongs to me, I lose my purpose. My strength for work comes from the fact that I have a responsibility to serve the Lord in this life and my fellow man. I am extremely fortunate that I may do this within a framework of something I love.

So yesterday I looked very carefully at my time and tried to have a balanced day. I worked in the morning but also exercised. I went to church to worship and be with other believers. I finished one task for school but also went out with my husband on the motorcycle and watched a silly Sci-Fi movie (Mansquito-ok, not a cinematic classic but how can you miss with a guy getting his DNA scrambled and turning into a giant mosquito?). I drew for awhile, cooked a turkey and talked to my sister last night. I went to bed feeling like the day was full in the right sort of way! May I continue to have my ear trained to heaven and do the work I was called to do-all of it.