In the stillness of the morning before dawn, my mind awakes first before my body is fully aware of it. The dogs begin to stir as they begin to sense my restlessness and Bella comes over and licks my face a few times. I hate it and love it at the same time. I convince myself that she hasn’t licked her butt since at least yesterday.
I grab her and put her by my side and spoon her. I then giggle to myself and wonder if I am the only person who makes their dog spoon with them at 4:30am. In the background, I hear Muffin’s morning sounds. She sounds like a Gremlin or an Ewok, making all sorts of non-sensical sounds that are quite adorable. They make me smile too. They make me appreciate the time I have left with this precious and old animal who has brought me so much joy.
I turn over and put my head on Michael’s perfectly hairy and heaving chest. I listen to the gently purring of his breath and smile again. I love this too. I can feel his heartbeat. We intertwine legs for a moment until I get too hot and peel myself away. I just stayed there for a few minutes and cherished those small moments so deeply and an even bigger smile appeared on my face that was even grander than the last.
I rise and this time, I make myself some delectable coffee and I wonder about my day ahead of me. Michael usually makes the coffee, but today I wanted him to keep sleeping.
My days are quite different right now. I wonder what God has in store for me. Is there someone I can help? Inspire? Help? Listen to? Talk to me God. I am listening.
It has been a while since I have asked these questions. I had been too busy. I had prayed, but not those prayers.
I started to take in a deep breath and just for a second forgot about those blood clots in my lungs until I realized that I could breathe in no more. It hurt. A grim reminder of my current condition.
The dogs both nudged me as my thoughts came in and out of my mind. I decreed with a whisper to myself that I must pause and pet these babies. What kind of person would I be otherwise?
I am surrounded by love and I am grateful, Lord.
During the great pause of 2020, I have had a lot of time to think. There is not much else to do. I am certain that when this is all over, I will have a really cool story to tell. I am waiting for you, God, to tell me where You want me to go next. I know You will provide me with the path You want me to take. I know it will be in a different direction…a better one. I just wish You would tell me what it would look like. You know how impatient I am.
For the past 20 years, I have immersed myself in a world where busyness was glamorized and celebrated. It is really funny to me right now to answer, “Oh nothing” when someone asks me what I have to do today. My life has been ruled by my activities. I had let time be a persecutor in my life…always controlling what I do. Another phone call, another meeting, another project…ALWAYS something to do even when I was supposed to be done “doing” my day. I was always on the go. My mind was always going; never stopping or pausing. I had become almost frantic. The things that meant nothing consumed my day and the things that meant everything got shoved so far down my priority list, they became almost non-existent.
I felt like I never really rested. I mean really rested.
Being in quarantine this year had already started to teach me the value of what it means to slow down and just how nice that could be. NOT having to go and do all of that “extra” stuff that went with my profession proved to be quite nice. I realized that all of those things that I thought that I needed to do weren’t really needed after all. The world went on just fine without them. Lesson learned.
At first, I resisted staying at home. As an avid traveller, it was hard to keep me pinned down at home for more than a few weeks. Then something crazy started to happen…I actually started to LIKE being home. I liked working from home. I liked staying home when I was done working. Life got a little more leisure injected into it and I was starting to see the difference in me. Not enough though. I said SOME difference.
During the day, I remained my frazzled and anxious self…trying to juggle 85 trillion things at the same time. We were (and still are) so busy at work that I had a tough time flipping the switch when my work day was over. In my mornings, I still did my routine and had my peace and calmness in my morning when I prayed, but it came to an abrupt halt as soon as my work day started. Frenzy.
I would have to remind myself a LOT to pray during the day for people I felt needed it or even for myself when I all-too-often needed it. I would totally forget sometimes to do it a lot though…I admit it. I got “too busy” with things.
Something had to change and I didn’t know how to do it. How do I slow myself down?
So, God did it for me. He slowed my roll.
Not my will, but Your’s, God. Use me as Your vessel and show me how You want me to live…how You want me to be. You lead me to let my light shine for You, but I admit that sometimes I place walls between the light and myself. I don’t want to do that anymore.
Show me, Lord, how to temper my ego. To let go of the esteem and prominence I feel when I tell people what I do. To not just strive to be the best in what I do for the namesake. In the end, it doesn’t matter anyways.
Lead me to get out of the deception of self-sufficiency while I fool myself into thinking I have it all together – until I don’t. Help me to continuously remember what is important in life.
Dependence on You.
Not just for one hour a day…throughout the day. A simple prayer, pause, whisper…smile.
So, I surrender to you, God. I know You will use me the way that You made me to be…I just need your help keeping my mind and heart open and to have courage and not be scared.
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