All We Have to Do

Its about Time Series III’m always busy, always overwhelmed with what I have to do.  I can’t seem to sit still. I spent much of my life being busy, looking busy, feeling busy inside.  I remember quite clearly that this stems from a father that you didn’t want to catch you not busy, in case he found something for you to do.  Dad would come home in the evening and we would all scatter like leaves, spending much of our time outside or in our rooms.

Later when I got married at 17, at the insistence of my parents, to a man eight years older than I was the feeling didn’t go away.  Three months after the wedding day I conceived and within the year I had my first child, within four I had my third.  The struggle to please and look busy was replaced by necessity.  Active in church to the point of feeling like a full-time job I added God to my list of men I had to be busy to please.  Now, over 30 years and 6 children later, I find that it has become a horrible habit I can’t shake, sometimes to the point of exhaustion.

Sitting in church Sunday I hear this phrase and it rocks my world; We are saved, not by any works of our own, but by grace.  So I’ve been spinning my wheels all this time, never feeling good enough, never “doing enough” and all this time the ride was paid for?

I sit there stunned. I know I knew this but I guess I never internalized it.  Somehow I’d missed the implications of the gift. I had spent some of that busy time feeling obligation, guilt, frustration and loss, and believing that by my good works God would find me good enough to love, to bless, to invite into heaven.  It frustrates me and I am a bit angry for having gave up my time and my life in that way.

Then I suddenly feel a kind of satisfaction as I contemplate the implications…there were also times that I spent my life being busy for the right reasons; the love of my family, the concern for a friend, the comfort of a pet.  I know these were my gift to God and colleagues in this life because it was never expected.  All I had to do was have faith.

I realize that all I have to do is not on my to-do list.  It’s the decision I make, when I wake up in the morning each day, to believe.

Father / Heavenly Father

http://crystaladoptions.comA little girl visited my daughter a few nights ago.  They’re best friends. She claims to be an atheist but I’m confused about how anyone younger than sixteen knows if there is a God or not for sure.  I remember when I was that age and thought I knew though.  It must be possible to have that strong of a feeling to the contrary.

We spent the evening together having a rare teen-adult connection during conversation where she blurted out that her parents were not very kind to her.  She recounted some stories that made me hurt for her and, even if only remembered wrongly, I still recognized as life-shaping.  This is a girl, I kept thinking, that will turn into a woman who questions everything about the relationships she is in.  She will wonder if, when he says he loves her, if he really does.  She will second-guess her best friends (as she already does) and she will wonder if there is anyone who finds worth in her, even as she painstakingly dresses for another date or business meeting.

And this is a girl who can’t believe in God.  She could never believe in a Father in Heaven who loves her because she doesn’t even believe that her parents do.

I have thought about this for days.  I mull it over as one of the strangest but truest thoughts I’ve had in a while.  The question seems so obvious to me and yet so vague: Does our relationship and belief in a Heavenly Father have anything to do with our dysfunctional or trusting relationships with our own earthly parents?  And, regardless of whether or not those perceptions of our relationships are actually true or not, did it shape the way we formed our bond with God?

Does the man who spends his childhood with a father who is never home believe there is a God but that He doesn’t really participate in the daily lives of his children?  Does the woman who spent her childhood lost in the sea of children of a large family grow up to think that God loves her but never notices the things she does?  Does the child who is criticized often believe that they will never be good enough to go to heaven?

I’m starting to think a lot about my own parents these days and my perception of them.

The Lesser Trials

(c)2012 Waltzingon Photography

What is learned respect for earned humility?

The natural feeling of grateful reflection of another trial overcome?

I, too, have been humbled by the enormous

but I have failed to respect the provoked devotion

one must have to bow beneath lesser trials.

It is easy to comfort oneself after the big mountains

saying, “Look, all I had to overcome!”

But maybe in reverence we should bow our hearts,

even in an exhausted plea for comfort,

for those trials of a lesser degree,

those problems of every day,

and then experience true humility.

Art of the Sacred Self

SELF-RELIANCE

…The art of knowing your day is done before the sun goes down.

SELF-PRESERVATION

…The art of protecting the prices you must eventually pay for being yourself.

SELF-SATISFACTION

…The art of being completely enthused with the rises and falls of each trial.

SELF-LOVE

…The art of knowing who you are and what you can become.

SELF-ACCEPTANCE

…The art of believing that who that is will be enough.

(c)2013 RDW

 

To Trust Again

(c)2012 Waltzingon Photography
(c)2012 Waltzingon Photography

A dream fulfilled.

An unspoken reminder that we are not the masters

that make all possible,

but only the pupil.

 

Anticipation.

How we dread the feelings that it “sounds to good to be true”.

Oh, please – let it be true!

 

And somewhere

inside my always-questioning soul I reach for you

and ask that you will forgive me…

my ever-doubting heart.

 

You are who you are.

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