I Stopped for a While

The last few months have been a whirlwind for our family. Such a whirlwind, in fact, that I was ever so slightly swept away by all that October, November, and December had to offer.  God called, we acted. As the Lord quickly opened one door after the other with an almost audible “go”, we obeyed.  It was not what we had planned, but knowing that His ways are higher than our ways, we trusted and found ourselves in a new town, with new jobs, new schools, a new home, and a new adventure.

You, my blog reading friends, have not heard from me in a while because at first, I was just so busy.  Then, you did not hear from me because I felt it necessary to not be so busy.  Every once in a while we must stop. That is exactly what I did.

Certainly, life continued. There were classes to be taught, bills to be paid, clothes to be washed, homework to be done, and many other daily tasks to be attended to.  But besides the most necessary things, I stopped.

I needed some time to not only pour into others, but to be poured into. I needed some time to make sure I wasn’t just writing about life without living in it. I didn’t want to just capture moments with a camera or with my pen, but I wanted to bask in each second of the day.  I made sure to listen to my daughter’s hour long, amazingly detailed stories with full attentiveness and to watch my son play with even deeper wonder and amazement at the complexity and beauty of his life. I took in the cuteness of little freckles, tiny toes, and silly giggles. I wanted to soak in the gift of the mundane.  I wanted to not miss a moment of the extraordinary.  I needed to be sure that time was taken to incorporate praises of thanksgiving for each and every blessing that the Lord has so graciously bestowed upon my life.

There are times, I believe, that we must stop to shake off the things that might possibly be clouding our view of the “life to the fullest” that God promises us in John 10:10. I have been reminded that a “life to the fullest” may not be full of accolades, great accomplishments, or highly “notable” moments according to the world’s standards. A “life to the fullest” is not one of superficial relationships, haphazard conversations, or rushed routines.  Instead, a “life to the fullest” is lived with intention. God says that He came so that we could “have life and have it to the fullest!” He didn't come for our lives to be full of “good things”, but of “God things”.  I want to shake off the things that keep me from developing a deeper faith. I want to shake off the things that destroy my hope.  Most of all, I want to be so filled by the Holy Spirit that I am a reflection of Christ’s unconditional and unfathomable love.

So, I have been busy shaking things off. I've been busy about making sure that I do not allow life to just happen to me. I have been busy about living in each moment and soaking up the abundance of blessings hidden in the routine, mundane, extraordinary and even the busy moments that are unique to my life. I am thankful for our whirlwind and now, I am thankful to have shaken some things off, and to refocus for the New Year... It's good to see you all again! 

Ezra gave Grace kisses. She was so excited! He has allowed her to kiss him before, but this time he was the one looking for kisses!

Ezra gave Grace kisses. She was so excited! He has allowed her to kiss him before, but this time he was the one looking for kisses!

Treasuring this beautiful girl and hours spent building her castle.

Treasuring this beautiful girl and hours spent building her castle.

Ezra has "noticed" our puppy and loves to pet it. This is HUGE because he is learning to be "gentle" and have "soft hands." He does a great job!

Ezra has "noticed" our puppy and loves to pet it. This is HUGE because he is learning to be "gentle" and have "soft hands." He does a great job!

Grace and Ezra have begun to play together more. They have little games and jokes between the two of them. It fills this momma's heart with joy!

Grace and Ezra have begun to play together more. They have little games and jokes between the two of them. It fills this momma's heart with joy!

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest." John 10:10