Embracing the Now


Has it really been since Oct 20 since I lasted posted a blog? How can time be so slow, yet fast?
Last weekend was the most full few days we’ve had since arriving in Swaziland. Saturday we enjoyed a meal with some new friends from African Christian College in Matsapha area. We lingered almost six hours until we hurried back to our tent to join our neighbors in an evening braii. A family that only stays at the ‘farm’ on the weekend, we’ve really come to enjoy this couple and their 3 kiddos. Any weekend we’re all present usually ends with us at their place, around a braii(barbecue as we’d say in the states), and talking until way past the children have gone to bed. The fellowship is good to us 🙂
The week days tend to be slower. We wake early, study siSwati, cook breakfast (it has to be cooked since we don’t have a fridge for milk, etc), do our morning reading, prayer time and talking. Usually I check on the garden- watering, weeding and de-bugging as needed. Between more studying, we take breaks to read an educational book, Sean clears his head with guitar playing. We respond to emails, study some more and eat a snack. There becomes this real rhythm to things. I’ve committed myself to 6-7 hrs of ‘work’ before lunch. That way, when lunch is finished, I have an hour or two of free time before we go to language lessons for 2.5 hrs.
When I consider the life that many of my friends and family live in the States and Europe, I chuckle. I wonder if you all would be very bored here. What do I actually do? Well, I do plenty. But a lot of it is the inner work. of a personal level, of an academic level, or in an essential level that comes when all food is prepared from raw ingredients.
I’m very thankful and feel a huge weight of peace that sits on my chest. Yah, I feel the weight of peace engulfing me. I recall times in Newark – weeks, months where I felt hectic, rushed, constantly going and doing and rushing and planning and doing. My arms were full of papers, phone calls, endless to-do lists, filling needs of others, paperwork, ideas, rushing, shopping, talking and going forward. Always forward. In those days, especially as summer break approached, I’d say to Sean, “I just want to sit and be. When our time here is done, I want you to be the one to work hard, and I’ll have it easy.” (hah have grace for me in this statement because I was totally drained in giving all of myself) really, I craved that balanced life. The space where I can be peacefully present, even with a lot to do. A place I can work hard at a task, while still remembering my worth doesn’t come from this finished work.
Now I’m most definitely in a less-hectic place. And thankful. For the hectic, busy times that meant my life was so full. Thankful for the slower, quieter times of now that mean I can be.
These days of study, slow food preparation, few meetings, limited phone or Internet use, and almost no requests of my time from the people around me remind me of when I was single. Single. In college. And I had loads of time. I watched some of my friends who were happily married and in college struggle to find balance of time with spouses, friends, books, and jobs. A few moments of absolute clarity stand out. My spirit stood, arms wide, head tilted back, throat open, chest reaching to the sky, and I spoke: “I embrace my time of singleness, as it may not always be here. I will allow it to fill me fully and enjoy these extra moments with me that I get.”
My spirit stands in that same place, now. Arms outstretched. Legs firmly planted. Head back. Throat open. Heart broadening wih each breathe. Embracing.
I embrace my time of now, without children or a bursting ministry, as it may not always be here. I will allow this quiet time to fill me, refresh me, teach me, and strengthen me. My chest is heavy with the weight of peace. My spirit is light with the easiness of freedom. I need only what is in this moment. Being fully present, I let go . . . and embrace.
My hope is that we, all people everywhere have enough of our daily needs met- food, sleep, safety, shelter, water, love- that we are able to have moments of stability, ability, openness, acceptance, curiosity, and freedom (thank u Jen for these recent thoughts!)
Me? I’m seeking ways of action that actively draw myself deeper into this place. Let’s be honest, I’m here for a moment, but when I’m hungry in an hour, I may be frustrated that I have to drag my stove out and eat rice and beans again instead of cold tuna salad, or something stupid like that. I’m in a good place, but it can just as quickly leave. SO I have to create ways of constantly cultivating this place. And with the grace of The Spirit, others might also be drawn into this space. For Life and Grace and Peace never just end with ourselves, do they?

arms open wide

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Categories: Kingdom Coming Related, Public Confession | Leave a comment

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