Wednesday, January 9, 2013

a handful of quietness

Flying hour upon hour through the air, jumping over oceans, sleeping in borrowed beds... this is our life.  Last week we crossed from one hemisphere to the other, and have crash-landed in Sonoma, CA.  Wine country.  Rolling green hills covered with vineyards, Spanish moss green on trees, the wet smell of rain-soaked earth.  We're eating smoked-paprika fish tacos with mango salsa and my Mom's delicious assortment of Christmas cookies, watching movies, enjoying her glittering glass-bedecked Christmas tree, and trying to catch our breath and readjust to America after a 2-year absence.

I click on Ann's links and enjoy the high-speed internet on my new smart phone... this fast, digital age - this era that's leaving me behind, that I feel breathless trying to keep up with.  My "failure" tugs, nags at me... and suddenly I'm angry for feeling like a failure, because it isn't even really failure at all, because who cares if I can't communicate on Facebook, and if my phone only has the bare essentials because I can't be bothered looking up all the fancy time-wasting apps I could have?

This post of Ann's speaks to me - this is how I feel about my year 2012, too: that I didn't blog enough, memorize enough, parent gently enough... that I didn't succeed with the things I wanted to do, that I kept persisting in the sins I wanted to quit.

But guess what?  Time doesn't stop flowing just because I feel like a failure... The New Year has already rolled over, the holidays have come and gone, we are 9 days into 2013, and the days keep ticking by.  I can either flop over in defeat, or I can stop and slow, and live in each next moment.  So I haven't made any resolutions for 2013?  Or even set any large goals?

Maybe I actually am setting goals, birthing goals, I'm just not fully aware of them:

Develop a homeschool philosophy of. my. own.
Enjoy my three (three!) children.
Drink in each moment.
Begin to organize my thoughts and learn how to write better.
Bravely spend my snippets of extra time on creating music.
Memorize more Scripture in this other language, tell more stories about Jesus.

I do have goals.  They're rolling up in my heart, surging gently to the surface - I stop here, in this space, listen for a few brief moments and they're there, the next things the Lord wants me to do.

Wants to do in me.

Quiet.  The year of quietness.  I hear Him whispering it to me:

"Quiet your heart, quiet your mind.  Let this be the year of sitting quietly with Me.  Drink deeply in My presence.  Let your roots go deep, let Me blossom you."

I sense this verse waiting patient in me:

Better is a handful of quietness 

than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind. 

~Ecclesiastes 4:6

I admit, I am a striver, born and bred.  Mostly, my two hands live stretched way out in front, grasping wild, flailing fast.  And most often, when I live stretched out like that, I grasp wind - empty, formless, nothing.

I want a handful of quietness.  I want to live with my hands cupped, waiting.  I want to receive what is in each moment, not grasp after the next, or the last.  I want to live the better.

Live with me, the Year of Quietness?  

There might be quite a bit of noise swirling around us, but I want to keep a quiet heart.


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