I came home from Seattle last year with a fierce determination to be purposeful and productive in our little home. I made goals, I made changes, and my life blossomed- even if just a little. And this time around I feel the same, but it goes deeper.
These past few years, my whole life, has been God carrying me through lessons. Teaching me things without my even having to pursue the learning. And now I'm being totally schooled in these lessons that don't even have a name, I just feel the stretch of it in my heart and I know it's all meant to be taken together.
I see Annika growing up into a little girl and I barely even recognize her sometimes. Its a sweet and painful knot in my stomach, gaining so much with each year and yet losing some things forever. I hate the losing part. I hold her close, try not to miss a thing, but that makes it almost harder as I watch time march unrelentlessly on.
And about that time: it ages me too quickly, too. We dedicated nearly a month of bedtime stories to Frances Hodgsen Burnett and as I led her through the moors and into the secret garden with Mary, I myself felt an ache to run on wind-swept hills and push slowly through tangled vines to a hidden garden of roses. We read The Little Princess and I felt almost silly as I rushed through bedtime routines so we could read an extra chapter of good triumphing evil. The truth is just plain: I'm not finished being a little girl, yet. I haven't outgrown things mysterious, enchantment and delight. And even as I felt it then, I feel it now - God. Somehow that's the answer.
Somehow he is always my answer.
And my new friend who just recently fell in total love with Jesus, she said it well over my kitchen table one recent afternoon. "It's like God is telling me, you can draw near to me and have as much wonder and awe as you want. As much as you want! Or you can not. And know what it's like to live without me."
Wonder and awe, and as much as I want. As much as I want? Because I want a lot.
And then this book I'm reading that I didn't want to read is about gifts from God and how to receive them. I didn't want to read it because I've got two unfinished books already on my nightstand and because I like such different types of books than most. But the author is Anne Voskamp and I heard her name three times in a matter of days, each time going a little further in convincing me to hear this woman's story. So I finally walked the upstairs aisles of the library (the quiet, tall ones made for adults that I rarely walk) until I found 248.4 VOS and took the book home.
Among a hundred other things in this book that are weaving their way into my life right now is this one:
Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time's swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment. And when I'm always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter. And time slows. Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time's river slows, slows, slows.
It has stayed with me, this thought that "the weight of me all here" can bring time to slow itself around me. Not me hanging on tighter to anything that's around me, begging time to stay still, but me digging my feet deep into that raging river, forcing the waters to slow with just the weight of me.
And what's more. What's so much more about everything. The Hebrew word for glory is this word kabod and it means literally, something heavy.
Heaviness. Weight. God's glory in each piece of my life.
That other post, the one when I thought I was seeking productivity and purpose, I used words to describe what I longed for: a life that was still, thick, and rich. What I really longed for was a life that was heavy, rich and laden with God's glory. Glory overflowing, dripping luxuriously into all things.
Magnifying him in such a way that everything else seems to stand still.
Wonder and awe, and as much as I want.
The Glory that has weighed my life into slow moving moments lately...
|Our back porch overgrew with ivy while we were away.|
|Twisting, reaching, clinging arms covering everything.|
|A stick bug on our mailbox that ran faster than any of us expected.|
|A break in the clouds revealing a perfectly blue sky on the other side|
|Raindrops settled onto cobwebs all over our yard. Embroidered lace.|
|My husband taking time to watch the storm roll past.|
|Sunshine dappling the leaves outside my window.|
|Annika's box of treasures, she has been a Collector her whole life.|
|The Word. Oh God, the Word. Greatest mystery of all.|