Memories and Seasons

 

memories

This morning, like most days, Facebook presented me with “memories” I could look back on. As I was scrolling through them, I realized my life has taken some amazing turns. My Facebook doesn’t reach back that far, but I have moved 29 times in 26 years of marriage, but have lived 20 of those years in 2 houses!! (We both really do NOT like moving but maybe God likes to keep us from getting stagnant that way!) I have been a childcare business owner for most of those years, homeschooled my children for about 17 years and have helped several other families homeschool through the years. At one point, I was a college student, a childcare provider, a cake decorator, and I was trying to homeschool my children. THAT WAS an INSANE SEASON of my life. At another crazy time, I was a pastor’s wife, a youth pastor, a church van driver and was helping to plan two of my daughters’ weddings– all at the same time. That season ended about a year and a half ago and I am still recovering!! (My bank account may never recover!!)

This season, right now, is my favorite. Now, don’t get me wrong. I loved it when my children were small and I could hold them and life was busy with t-ball games and homeschool co-ops. I look back and wish I would’ve taken the time to just enjoy that season more.The crazy days of staying up late to finish a college assignment and then trying to be all smiles at 7 a.m. with 3 hours sleep–yep glad those days are past. I do miss college sometimes though. (I love to learn!)  I loved the long season of being a childcare provider. I sometimes miss the kiddos and the loud, fun, rambunctious days.Yeah, those are some good times and I have good memories. And some bad ones too.the_four_seasons___vivaldi_by_irvinggfm-d4tj3vc

Some seasons are difficult and messy. Some seasons I was too busy and I look back and know that I harmed my family by taking on too much. We came through it, but maybe a little worse for the wear. Every season has made me wiser, some have made me weaker, and some have strengthened me in many ways. Some of the worst and some of the best times in my life have changed me so dramatically that I look back at myself and can’t really even fathom who that person was. I don’t know her anymore. Others may not see all of them, but I know I have changed in ways that are important and lasting.

But as I said, this season is my favorite. No, I haven’t learned yet how to just BE ONE thing. Today I am a youth pastor again (third time), a media and nursery worker, a writer/editor, a caterer/cake decorator and I still like to care for children when people need me and when my other jobs allow. But the best part about this season is being a wife and a mom. Yes, I have been a wife and a mom for the last 26 years (mom for 25), but I have learned to make that the main part of my life, because that is the job that I know God gave me before all these other jobs. It’s not really a job! Being a wife and a mom is a calling.  What I do as a ministry and as an occupation is important, but I think and hope I have finally learned that all that is secondary to being a wife and a mom. Some seasons, I didn’t put that into practice very well. I tried to juggle too many things and my marriage suffered and my family lacked my attention.

This season is full of new things, like becoming Zsa Zsa (grandma) last year. And this year, getting to see my little grandson on a 3-D ultrasound!! I am excitedly awaiting his arrival into this world!! Any day now! I can’t wait to hold him and hug him and kiss his chubby cheeks (right after his mommy and daddy get their time with him). My hubby is helping me with the youth! That is a NEW thing. Last year, we team taught a marriage class!! That was a wonderful and amazing new thing, but also kinda stressful!! I became a published author recently. That was an exciting new thing. I tried sushi!! I liked it!!

This season is the best season. I choose to be present in it. It’s the best because it’s the only season I can change. I can decide to do differently. I can choose to step up to my calling as a wife and mom in ways I didn’t in seasons past. I can pay attention to what I am getting myself into and step back when I need to. I can make this season the best, even if events happen that aren’t what I would call “good”. I can learn from the past, look to the future but enjoy this season to the fullest. And that’s what I choose to do.

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Living in Kairos

No, Kairos isn’t a place. Well, not exactly.

A friend on Facebook said she was going to spend the next two months with her children and in kairos time. I had to see what she meant so I started searching. Here is some of what I found:

Kairos (καιρός) is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment). The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time lapse, a moment of indeterminate time in which everything happens.

KAIROS

The Bible uses the word kairos and its cognates 86 times in the New Testament (e.g., in Matthew 8:29;Luke 19:44; and Acts 24:25). The word
often includes the idea of an opportunity or a suitable time for an action to take place. When we “seize the day,” we are taking advantage of the kairos given to us.Kairosis related to the Greek word kara(“head”). Akairosis a time when things “come to a head,” requiring decisive action.

Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/kairos-meaning.html#ixzz3chT8iEuZ

Some Bible verses with “kairos” in them that I enjoyed.

  • Ro 5:6 ¶ For when we were yet without strength, in due time (kairos) Christ died for the ungodly. {in due time: or, according to the time}
  • Eph 5:15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
    Eph 5:16 Redeeming the time (kairos), because the days are evil.
  • Eph 6:18 Praying always (kairos) with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
  • Col 4:5 ¶ Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time (kairos).
  • 1Pe 4:17 For the time (kairos) is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?quotes-every-moment-eckhart-tolle-600x411

So, I really enjoy word studies. And this one had me intrigued. If you read my last post, you know that I strive to live IN the moment (not FOR the moment) and kairos is basically describing that, in a way. Kairos is a season or an opportunity. Something that is fleeting but not necessarily defined in chronos (chronological time). So when I say I am trying to live in the moment, I am also saying that I am trying to live in kairos. Living in the opportunity, in the season of my life.

This season of my life is different than any season before. I had the season of having young children and I had to take the opportunity (kairos) to teach them, nurture them, and admonish them, during THAT time (kairos). I don’t think I really focused on that season as much as I should have. I had times of focused energy but I got caught up in looking to the future and worrying about the time (chronos) and the season slipped by before I was really fully enjoying it. I will never have that kairos again! Now they are adults, entering into a different season (kairos) of their lives and our relationship has changed. I still love them, but my place in their life changed with the season (kairos).

This season is one of more solitude than I have ever known. I am alone but at the same time, I have found comfort and contentment in the quiet.

It is also a kairos of great independence for me. I have learned to do many new things. I have stepped into and out of roles that I never really imagined I would have. My days (chronos) are often open and unplanned, which is in stark contrast to any other season I have had since adulthood!!

During this kairos, I am fulfilling dreams that I have held close to my heart for most of my life. In the next few weeks, I will publish my first book and plan to soon follow up with others. Often, I have found myself focusing on the chronos of the whole process but when I step back and just look at the opportunity (kairos), I am calmed and at the same time excited for what is happening!!

This kairos is one of renewing, rejuvenating, and expanding my love for my husband. I am able to focus on him more than I have during any other kairos in my life. This kairos is truly a great opportunity and one I do NOT view flippantly. I have loved this man for most of my life and now to get to spend focused, quality time with him on a daily basis is truly AWESOME!! I have learned much about myself and him during this kairos. And it isn’t over yet.

In our lives, when we enter a new stage, we often chafe at the changes we see happening aroualarmclocknd us. We are often annoyed by how long (chronos) events seem to be taking to unfold in our lives. We live focused on the minutes and hours, living in chronos. We forget to live in kairos, the opportunity, the season that we are CURRENTLY in. Our lives are often focused on the 8 hour workday, the errands, the ballgames, the dance recitals, the bills, the future plans, etc. etc. We become so focused on all of those things, the chronos; the season, the opportunity, the kairos gets lost. And if we aren’t careful, we will pass through the season and look back and ask, “Where did that time go? How did my kids grow up so quickly? Why did I worry about everything so much?”

When a season is past, there is no returning to it. Each kairos is unique and unretrievable.

SO LIVE IN THE MOMENT!

SEIZE THE DAY!!

TAKE THE TIME!!

LIVE IN KAIROS!!!

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Keep Life Interesting

Life can get boring. Yes, I know we all have busy lives, but sometimes the busy-ness even gets boring. Go to a birthday party one night, work late another night, clean house another night, work all day…. If we aren’t careful, life becomes all about the busy, just doing the status quo and really not LIVING, just surviving!!

That is not the type of life I want to live!

In November of 2013, I took a trip to Idaho for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

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While there, I had an epiphany of sorts. To say it simply, I once again learned to LIVE IN THE MOMENT! I say “once again” because I believe as children we do live in the moment. I am not sure at what point in our lives we stop, and maybe some of us never do, but somewhere along the way, sometime after the picture below was taken, I just started living the status quo.

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This little girl knew how to live in the moment.

Before and during my trip to Idaho, I felt God speaking to me to quit obsessing so much about planning and just LIVE IN THE MOMENT. (I write more about this in this blog post.) Since that trip, I have been focusing on making life meaningful, new, and vitalizing.

One of the ways I have been doing that is to pursue having new adventures. Trying new food (sushi is actually good), going to new places (Chicago is a future goal), and developing new skills (still working on the website building skill).

This week has been a pretty status quo week. Hubby was at work extremely late Monday night, I had a birthday cake to make Tuesday and then a party Tuesday night. But Wednesday night, I pursued a new adventure and worked on developing a new skill. I do think that a picture is worth a thousand words so here is the story.

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My friend, Melanie and I at a painting class.

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Some experiences we enjoy, some we learn from, some we never want to repeat. This one fell well above that first category. I didn’t just enjoy this experience, I enjoyed it immensely. I could hardly sleep from the thrill of it. To say painting a picture was “thrilling” may seem strange to some people but that’s the word I would use to describe it. I found it relaxing, invigorating, therapeutic, and exciting. I focused on just being IN the moment, enjoying the experience fully, not worrying about the next day, not thinking about the rain outside (which was quite a flood); I was just there, painting, talking to my friend, living.

So here is the final product of my new adventure.

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A Stormy Night

Lightning flashes in the skylightning flash
Electric crackling in the air
Thunder closer with each minute
We unplug from the rest of the world
To enjoy the real world
This moment
With my love by my side
Dogs at our feet
The old one,
Sire to many,
close and trembling
His long-time fear
well founded
wounded by a loud bullet from a mean neighbor’s  gun.
Momma dog
hiding from her puppies,
Except for the one that followed her here
The cute little runt
I should take that puppy back to the barn
Before she thinks this is home

 rain-fall-animation

The rain pours down
Slow at first
The fire we started
Sputters,
smokes
Valiantly fighting against the rain
Tucking itself under the pile of brush
I collected today
Struggling to ignite
To burn bright
Courageous
Stubborn
Persistent
Passionate

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But the rain
And wind will win
Tonight
Coals hiding
Buried in ash
Waiting for the storm
To pass

When things really don’t work-you still do

So this week has been a little crazy!! Monday was a hectic day of mowing for 5 hours because we were forecasted to have rain for every day of the week after that. Tuesday I finished up mowing, trimmed some trees and went to town for some errands. Tuesday night, hubby and I enjoyed some time outside on the porch listening to the rain and wind and thunder. Yeah and watching lightning. We didn’t find out until in the morning, just how much damage that lightning did!! Our phone line, our internet service, our satellite television service, one printer and a garage door opener were all knocked out!! NO FUN!!

So with slow and unreliable internet from a hot spot device, I have been trying to set up a new website. I do not really enjoy that kind of stuff but it is a challenge. It is really a challenge with slow internet. Last night, I felt like a total idiot because it had taken me most of the day to figure out web hosting and domain name buying. And I had spent more money than I wanted to. Some time spent outside, clearing brush and trimming trees made me feel better and we once again enjoyed sitting outside and listening to the rain.

Today, I have made little progress on the website, but I have managed to get about half of the book pulled together into one document from the sixty-five or so documents it was in previously. And I have baked a cake and made some little flowers for the cake. The internet repairmen came by and told me the rain was going to keep them from being able to work on my equipment until next week but they would update my equipment and also help me lower my telephone bill. So good news mixed in with bad news.

What is important and what I really wanted to say is: I just kept working. Sounds strange but sometimes it is what is most important. When life just goes crazy and wrong and seriously is frustrating, you just gotta keep going. You might change what you are doing to work around the problems, but you keep working. Little by little, it will all get done. I like to sleep in as much as the next person (okay, honestly, depending on the person, probably a lot more) but I haven’t done it this week. I have wanted to but everyday, I think, “I only have so much time to get this stuff done. I better get busy.”

I have been taking lessons from the ants. I mow over those horrendous little fire ants’ nests and they just rebuild them. When it rains and their home gets washed away, they just gather themselves back together and rebuild another home. Piece by piece, one grain of dirt at a time, they make a home, complete a task, rebuild a wreck. I despise their stinging ways but they are industrious, hard working little devils. No time to be lazy, there is work to be done.

Reminds me of this passage in Proverbs 6:6-11 KJV

“Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.”

As the saying goes, “No rest for the wicked and the righteous don’t need any.” Or something like that! I am sure someone will tell me if I got it wrong.

So I hope you keep going. I hope you just keep working. Even when things don’t work like you want them to, just keep on working! Because things usually go wrong when you least want them to (who ever WANTS THEM TO) and you gotta figure out how to get life back on track and moving on down the road. Be like the ant, not the sluggard!! But don’t sting anyone!

Now back to work!! The oven timer is letting me know that the cakes are done so I am going back to work too!! Happy Thursday!!

YOU IN ME

I can never deserve His love

—No one can

But He longs for me to go past

the unworthiness

To a place

Where I can see clearly

His Glory

His Love

His Grace

He longs for me to see

the Perfect in Me

The Part of me that is Him

The Breath

The Spirit

That part I so often forget

When on my knees

—I sometimes catch a glimpse

That Perfect Part of Me

That my Groom has always seen

Lord, help me to see You in Me!!

Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost

—who comes to me

Wooing me

Moving me to

Obedience

Love

Worship

Only through You can the Truth be fully understood

Only through You can my heart ever begin to conceive

the Praise that my Lord desires.

Without you

how could I ever begin to say

the words that would bring

The Lover of my Soul to me?

Use me

Complete me

Speak through me

Never let me take for granted

Your Sweet Ecstasy

Holy Ghost

—Fill me