Trying to Be...

Recently, I complained about how I'd replaced the busyness of paid work with the busyness of not-working. That all my schedule-making to make space for intentional listening for God's plan for me had kept me busy in the transitioning out, but not the transitioning in.

Have you ever felt that the time is gone before you'd even started what you hoped or planned to do?

One morning last week, I took a step back.

I have a number of "honey do" tasks still waiting my attention. I have gained proficiency with the caulking gun and sort-of-not-really with spackle paste in an effort to prove that I am still a productive member of society -- or at least this household.

I went so far that morning as to retrieve tools from the garage for the next "honey do" task.

But something drew me to the back patio door. Ah, I remember what it was. I was a dog short, so I went looking for him.

Sure enough, he was under the tree sniffing away.

And I felt the soft breeze and thought, maybe I should just sit and be before getting to that task.

In making that choice, I saw the single strand of spider silk that stretched across the entire width of our small backyard.

I saw tiny footprints left by the skunk who lives under our back patio.

So I left the tools on the dining room table and collected another set: a cup of White Ginger Pear tea (with milk and sugar), my journal, my Joy Dare thanksgiving journal, a pen, a book and my camera.

That necessitated several trips: water set to boil, a camera battery dying ...

I journaled, reflecting on questions asked in the book I'm slowly working through: "The Artist's Rule: Nurturing Your Creative Soul with Monastic Wisdom" by Christine Valters Paintner. I sipped my tea. I listened intentionally whilst doing lectio divina. I watched my dogs sun themselves and caught a brief glimpse of a white cabbage butterfly as it disappeared in foliage.

My dogs roamed, settled only for a minute, as if they'd taken on my anxiety of doing. One moved back and forth trying to find the perfect spot in the sun. The other went inside, came back out to me and went inside to bark at something happening out the front.

Yep, that sounds like a never-still, anxious to be doing something of worth, me.

I spent about half an hour out there, though it felt longer in a beautiful, watching-the-river-slide-by kind of way. (I don't have a view of a river from my backyard.)

As for the "honey do" list?

The tools stayed on the dining room table until the next day.

By the end of my intentionally-being-present session, I realized that I had an even more important "honey do" item: getting my hair cut before our anniversary weekend.

The balance is being kept in a less-regulated way: being faithful in prayer (even if it doesn't occur exactly at the "decreed" time); a little bit of art; a little bit of "honey do" and finally, listening intentionally: both to what is occupying and distracting me as well as creating space for God to put a word in.

How do you keep balance in your life?

Linking up with:

and Ann Voskamp's "Walk with Him Wednesdays".


  1. Balance has been a real struggle. I tend to overdo in one area, neglecting other parts. In the past few years, I've tried to really schedule my day more effectively, so I am working, playing, studying, meditating, exercising a little every day ... It's not a perfect plan, but when it works out, it feels so good.

  2. What a beautiful description of a quiet moment. Too often I am guilty of rushing past, but you are right - it is so important to slow. What a treat.


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