Patient, encouraging, wonderful, gentle, composer Joel. Yesterday morning I had so much on my to do list that I awakened at 4:33 just wondering how I was going to get it all done. Nate gone back to California, Joel still here for 10 days, Joy needed help in math, I needed to organize our schedules and life, and mom's conferences to arrange……..
I had neglected Joel a bit to get everything done for Nate. I had put Sarah off to talk with Joy. Everybody had needs and they all expected me to meet them!
Anxiety began to gather in my body, bubbles in my stomach as it tightened and my head and neck tensing up.
More came to mind….Articles due, a blog to write, hotels to call for conferences, meals to arrange, school for Joy, a dinner at my home in the evening, about 25 phone calls to make. All had stacked up over the past week. Sarah needed advice for "an important" decision.
A little cloud began to hover over my heart and voices whispered, “You won’t be able to do it all. Why do you write--you can't even keep your own life together. How can you suppose to teach anyone else to walk with God? Things are going to fall through the cracks. People will be dropped and disappointed.”
Thus, a familiar cloak of stress was wrapping itself around my being. I could tell that if I didn't get perspective, it was going to be a wasted day. So, I climbed into my large, soft quiet time chair, and mentally climbed into the secret place of His tent, because He had promised:
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me Psalm 27:5
“Hide me away, as your child, today, I whispered. Place me in your care and in your defense. I need to know you see and hold my burdens.”
I asked Him to show me His way for my day. I pleaded for Him to show me an answer from heaven.
Just then, Joel, my delightful, gentle, patient, composer son came up the stairs to the den.
All the piles that had clouded my heart began to melt away. God was at work in the midst of my piles of life.The Lord immediately put his finger on my heart and nudged.
"This is your answer. He is your priority today. And I am your priority today.”
"How about we have breakfast out, alone?" I asked Joel. We both threw on our jeans and got ready in minutes.
As we climbed into the car, Joel said, “Let’s not have any music today, Mom. I just enjoy being able to talk without any distractions.”
The thirty minute drive to our favorite breakfast place, gave me time to ease my soul. The sun sparkled on the crystal snow, atop the mountain, reflecting the majesty of Pike’s Peak in hues of purples, pinks and blues. “I am here. Seek me. All will be well,” now a voice whispering away the previous hovering dark cloud.
Joel and I talked about how sometimes, when the mundane covered us over, with tasks to be accomplished and mundane chores to be finished one more time, we had a desire to be noticed and heard. Getting lost in the demands of life made us both feel diminished. Our desires were the same: to not feel invisible in the universe, but as though we mattered to someone--that all this faithfulness, work, and patience somehow made sense and was important in the overarching scheme of things.
For 2 hours, we had a "heart to heart–dreams, stresses, thoughts, goals, values, fears shared" time that was pouring value into our deepening adult friendship, on the stable foundation that had been laid in childhood. We cherished the time, talking intimately with no one else around.
He had needed my attention and my focus, and in the busy-ness, and crowds of our home, neither of us had noticed. Having your adult children as best friends and your little ones as cheerleaders, is such a gift from God that nurtures soul-grace and peace. I had not realized that in my serving and giving and washing and straightening, I needed a personal touch, before I even began to start my pile of “to dos.”
How comforted I was in the presence of this very alive, passionate, intelligent young man. His words of life encouraged me. My sharing his dreams and affirming his worth heartened him. A walk around a local lake together sealed the time.
To make time for love and focused relationship, once again, gave me the strength to carry on.
When I arrived back home, my piles of duties and chores were still there. But I was different, and my perspective was healthy as I entered back into the fray, because now I remembered just who I was serving and why it mattered for eternity, because I had the smile of my gentle-hearted son still warm and fresh in the shared moments of our day.
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