A Bouquet of Dandelions
Ann Voskamp once said, and maybe she was quoting someone else…”Live a life worth writing about.”
I sat down and read the whole of Ecclesiastes this morning, which doesn’t really lend encouragement to writing, living, or much else. You know, “all is meaningless!” – written down or not. Over the years it has been hard for me to understand much of what Solomon wrote; for all his wisdom, he can’t seem to speak clear enough for me. Yet, today, as I sat and read I noticed that maybe he and I aren’t too different in our thoughts and writings. We go here, there, and everywhere only to end up at the same conclusion: all our ramblings, whether they be in word or action, are in fact meaningless – vain – if they aren’t lived with the fear, obedience, and glory of God in mind.
We can strive, work, withhold, laugh, cry, gain, or give away but if it isn’t done with eternity in mind, all will be worthless in the end. A chasing of the wind. I suppose after almost a year of studying the Lower Story versus the Upper Story this makes a lot more sense. All the Lower Story pursuits a man can have will all end the same way – as dust. But for those who keep eternity before their eyes, the Upper Story, all that is meaningless to a vain world becomes something beautiful and purposeful! It becomes a glory and a praise unto the Creator. Life does become a joy! It doesn’t happen because you obtain or abstain; it happens because in your life He reigns!
Smack dab in the middle of the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon gives a nugget of meaning to his purpose for writing. It might just be the very thing that could change our lives – could give our own lives an Upper Story kind of story! “To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life – that is indeed a gift from God. People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy…Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have.” (Eccl. 5:19-20; 6:9)
Yesterday I wrote my Dad, not in the usual way we like to correspond (via snail mail), but once I sat down, my idea of a short, quick email response just didn’t fit. It really felt good to write because yesterday…I got to live a life worth writing about!
Today was a beautiful day here in The Springs. Sun with just enough cloud cover to provide a “perfect” weather day. (A bit of a breeze as well.) This was what I considered our first real day of summer break. (Nathan was off yesterday for Memorial Day.) Woke up early, Nathan left for the gym, and I made coffee. I begin my day sitting by the big window in our main living room (the no t.v. room), sipping coffee, working on my memory work (right now I’m memorizing Romans 1), reading the Bible, and finishing up with journaling, prayer, and/or other devotional books. The kiddos usually come down between 6:15-6:30. I get them cups of chocolate milk, tea, or juice; then something small to eat. Sometimes they stay upstairs, but usually they head downstairs for a little Disney Jr, giving me about 30 more minutes of “quiet time.” Around 7 I head out to the front step, where I bird watch, pray, and wait for Nathan to get home. It’s my favorite time of the day!
After Nathan left for work today I did a little straightening up, watered my plants, and Christopher made himself and his siblings some eggs. (He loves making eggs!) When they were done eating Christopher read our morning Bible reading out of the Jesus Storybook Bible (I like it a lot! Highly recommend it!). We read and talked about Jesus Calming the Storm. The kids journaled and drew about it after we were done. Then, they did some “school” for about an hour.
I put supper in the crock pot, we ate lunch, then the kids played outside and with legos for awhile. I cleaned bathrooms (smile), and Nathan came home early today. The kids and I took both dogs out, one by one, to the park/on a short walk, then I took all but Christopher back to the park for about 20 minutes. When we came back, Hannah and I took a nap while the boys read and played some more. I got up around 4 and finished supper. Nathan played baseball with the boys in the backyard until it was ready.
We just finished cleaning things up (all the kids have chores after supper), and here I am writing to you about my simple day. I loved it! (The boys are playing outside a little longer before it’s time to clean up for bed; Hannah and Nathan have been playing with the plastic dinosaurs. I need to get Hannah in the bathtub soon.) I am finding I am more and more thankful for the simplicity of a day. No big screens, big engagements, big headlines, big deals…just a simple day of doing the glorious mundane.
Christopher has been praying for me – that I feel better. I told him today that his prayers are working! He is such a servant – a gift giver! He is at an age where he wants to do something that he knows is of worth and value. He still enjoys playing with his brothers, but I do catch him pulling away a bit and being by himself. He’s thinking, pondering, and dreaming. I pray we can nurture him as he needs as he enters this season.
We are all very excited for Ruthie to arrive! I’m hoping this little one will be her own person and actually arrive before her due date (though not before it’s safe!)! I am either 35 or 36 weeks right now. You will most certainly be called when she’s on her way!
Nathan and Aaron dealt with allergies in NC/SC, and Nathan has had a time of it since we’ve been back because he’s been hanging drywall in the garage. I’m hoping things will calm down for him now that it’s done. He is enjoying the MLB station again this year; so, I’m becoming familiar with baseball players’ names again. (Well, mainly the Texas Rangers players.) We don’t really watch too much of anything else in the summer. There is one show we like, it’s the modern take on Sherlock Holmes called Elementary. It comes on Thursday evenings here. Last night we watched one that was more gory than any of the others, so I turned my head a lot. But, for the most part, we really like it! We still want to see Iron Man 3 and the new Star Trek that’s out. We may wait until it’s at the the $1 theatre or just rent it…
I love you!
Just a simple day – a day of “the glorious mundane!” And all of yesterday could be meaningless in a trail of other meaningless days, but it wasn’t. How come? There were no fireworks or epic moments or out-of-the-ordinary events. No one would make a movie about it or, perhaps, even write a book about it; well, except maybe me – but who would read it!? It wasn’t special in the way the world would consider special, but it was everything to me! I counted it all, every minute, every word, every breath, as a gift. Though it may have looked similar to another Wife and Momma’s day, it wasn’t exactly the same. It was the day that God gave me; His gift specifically for me. Why wouldn’t I smile and enJoy it? (Why haven’t I?) He picked that day just for me, by His loving hand. Maybe it looked like a bouquet of dandelions to onlookers (do your kiddos give you lots of those too?), but to me it was the most beautiful sight ever!
May our days be lived in Joy as we open every one as a loving gift from our Father’s hand! May we live lives worthy of being written about. Oh, because there is One Other who delights in writing about our simple days…“Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!” (Psalm 139:16-18)