I'm sitting on my deck this beautiful Easter evening reflecting on the perfection of this High holy day. I love Easter. Much more than Christmas, because the message of this day is what leads to eternal life.
It's been such a peaceful weekend for our family. It started Friday evening with a wonderful worship experience at our church. I have to admit, it's a little hard for this good Baptist girl to get used to untraditional meeting times, but it was well worth it. We had an amazing service in a standing room only crowd, and I know that same experience was repeated four more times throughout this Holy weekend to the everlasting Glory of God. Saturday morning, we slept in, then I went on a long run with my favorite running buddy, my man. We won't have the luxury of sleeping in on Saturdays before long runs much longer, so we took advantage of it. We went to the Longleaf Trace, a local rails to trails project, and ran a less traveled part of it, so there weren't tons of people. It's a beautiful section, alive with the sights and smells of springtime: the smell of honeysuckle, a lazy beaver pond, green as far as the eye can see, and flowers blooming in the most unexpected places. This morning, we left early and went on our first kayaking trip of the season with our youngest daughter, Kaitlyn. We were the only ones on the water; the birds, frogs, and river creatures didn't seem too disturbed by our presence, and we had church right there on the creek. Then, a grill, a grillmaster (Gary), a good book, and a hammock finished off our day.
As I lay in the hammock, I thought about how it seems like forever since I've been this relaxed. I think I've been running full steam ahead for the last twenty years, and it feels really good to slow down a little. Over the past months, I've made a concentrated effort to stop and smell the roses more often, and I had forgotten how good they smell! The last few weeks I've rediscovered that I actually enjoy cooking, and it's whole lot cheaper than all the eating out we usually do. Not to mention how much better for us it is.
Where did we lose the art of simplicity in our lives? When did it become all about working unitl we dropped, then digging deep to find leftover scraps of ourselves to feed our families? The untraditional worship time we participated in this week really helped me to rediscover that we've allowed others to guilt us into saying "yes" to too many things. I have been so guilty of that in my life. Saying "no" is really hard when it is a worthwhile project, but I've too often said yes, and my family paid the price. They never complained, but I feel it now, more than ever.
So, along with the other goals I'm trying to achieve this year, I've added a new one. One that was inspired by the events (or lack of them) this weekend. Truly simplify my life. I don't just want to pay lip service to it, I want to weed out all those things that keep me from being the most effective, influential, and powerful woman I can be. Don't misunderstand those adjectives. I don't mean that I want to be rich and famous. I can say, without reservation or pretense, that I don't. But, I want to have time to enjoy with my family, restful, re-energizing time that fills me up and prepares me for the world. Time to really listen to God, to dig deep in His word and find out exactly why it is that I'm here, then the energy to act on that. God has placed some deep desires in my heart that I'm not sure I'm ready or able to accomplish. I know, then, that there are some things in me that He is trying to refine out of me in order to make me ready. One of those things I feel sure is pridefulness. The message of this weekend has shown me that another one is "busyness". I've been entirely too busy and have gotten too little accomplished over the last years. My only hope is in Him. So thankful this day for the gift of the cross.
New Living Translation (NLT)
5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath.”
6 We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth,
not knowing who will spend it.
7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.