working out what life and call and prayer and silence are all about

Posts tagged ‘busyness’

abundant life in the little moments

This is a big week. For pastors and for musicians and for church leaders, Holy Week is the busiest time of year, with extra worship services that all have different liturgies, different sermons, different music, different decor. And it usually coincides with the busyness of the world around us: spring sports overlapping, choirs and bands with their spring concerts, end-of-year standardized testing, graduations, weddings, and vacation planning. 

Which is why today has surprised me. The abundant life I’ve been on the lookout for has shown up in small, unexpected ways, in moments that I could have breezed right past. 

Talking with another mom after dropping off my son at school, we connected on an entirely new level, sharing our backgrounds and religious experiences and hopes for our kids as they grow.

Deciding to cut my workout short because I was so low on energy this morning, I ended up with extra time to chat with a friend I always see at the gym, and was able to share in her joy at the news of her first grandchild on the way.

Expressing my frustration at the many details still to accomplish this week, I received a very heartfelt and generous offer of time and support for our office work from a dear friend and member of the church.

I’m grateful that in the midst of a very busy week, I was able to slow down and allow these people to touch my life. In the pauses, in the breaks, in the exhaling, I’ve received the gifts of connection and understanding and compassion. And that’s what abundant life is about. Opening up and allowing the Divine Love to touch me in my vulnerable places, those places that need healing and wholeness more than ever.

I pray that you might find little moments today, too, to slow down, to listen a little more, to share a little deeper, and in those moments, discover abundant life.

When there’s no time to reflect

It’s been almost 2 weeks since I last shared a reflection on abundant life. It was going to be a daily discipline for me during Lent: becoming increasingly aware of God’s presence within and around me, and sharing thoughts on my blog about the abundant life God was gifting me. But the pace of life picked up. There were more appointments, more tasks, more projects to manage. And slowly I found myself without time to reflect on my day. Life became a blur of getting things done in the nick of time and putting off what wasn’t urgent and falling into bed, afraid to think about what the next day’s busyness would bring.

But this morning, I am claiming for myself. I’m not going to accomplish anything. I’m not going to plan for anything. I’m simply going to rest in God’s lap for a while. And maybe ponder these last two weeks. There have been some marvelous moments, after all.

My sister has been in town and we’ve had some wonderful adventures. I think we’re both most proud of our hike up Bell Rock in Sedona.

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The weather was perfect. And the mountain just kept calling us higher and higher. There were more levels to explore, new curves of the rock to investigate. And these piles of rock that marked our path:

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There were moments to stop and turn around and experience another breathtaking view. And there were moments to encourage one another: “Put your foot here – there’s a ledge to grab onto here – you can make it!” What a blessing to be able to share this special place with a special person. Who knew that’s what sisters were for?

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Twice in the last 2 weeks I was surprised by a family of deer. Driving home from Chorale rehearsal late at night, their eyes reflected the light of my headlights and I slowed my car, pausing with them to consider our encounter. Deciding that I wasn’t a threat, they would amble slowly, gracefully into the woods, slipping away into the darkness.

I was showered with love on my birthday. My sister decorated my living room in the middle of the night so I would wake up to streamers and balloons and a “red carpet.” Image

My congregation surprised me with balloons and a cake and The Birthday Song in Lutheran harmony after worship.

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Then more singing, in more parts than I could count, at rehearsal with Arizona Mountain Chorale. And then, of course, there’s Facebook, which allowed birthday wishes to flood in from people I haven’t seen in years. The day was overwhelming, in a good way.

I’m so filled with gratitude for my life, for the people in my life, for the love that we share together. And I’m grateful for this morning to stop and remember the abundant life I’m living. Time to reflect is life-giving. Time to reflect is love-increasing. Time to reflect is essential to my well-being. Praying that I remember that tomorrow. And praying that you are able to find time to reflect on the abundant life that surrounds and fills you this day.

 

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