A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse


A heart for those who want more of God. A desperate plea for those who don't.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Savoring

I’m sure it’s some sort of signal to me that my brain doesn’t have any more room to process life when I stand on my porch, fob in hand, pressing the unlock button, and wait for the door to open. Not a car door, my house door.

Still fighting to figure out what needs scraped off of my too-full plate. And I refuse to go the martyr’s way of forcing myself to manufacture a bigger plate. As I fight against physical obesity, I must also resist mental, calendarical, and metaphorical obesity, too. Too big to properly function. It’s a frightening thought, but the universe will go on without me in charge of it or even without me throwing my influence into every nook and cranny of my environment that’s clamoring to be filled. It’s hard to disappoint people, especially when it’s so gently clear to you that you have. But after weeks of fitful prayer, struggling against the terrible feeling that I’m quite successfully nailing the concept of mediocre living, I give up.

Savoring denotes an intentional slowing down, in order to let whatever beauty has entered my environment have its moment to unfold, appreciating what it’s offering me. Children. Friends. Marriage. Silence. Books. Music. Serving. The Lord.

It’s the savoring that’s been missing. Instead it’s all seemed like each day is the beginning of a 16-hour race through the checklist, the end of which I collapse into an exhausted heap. And I think it’s good to feel tired at the end of a hard day of work, but there’s quality tired and empty tired, when you look back and can’t really understand what the point of the day was, except to move one step closer to the next day. I’m not settling for this anymore. The day will come when there isn’t a next one for me.

So I’m turning my back on the jury in my head who constantly reviews the evidence the world around me presents that suggests I’m failing to come through in carrying my share of the load. I can’t forget that I have an Advocate speaking for me, and that He has designed for me the best life I can have. Time to listen. Time to listen. I’m not wiser than He is. How absurdly arrogant I let myself become!

I took a step of faith yesterday in two ways, one that made no sense to me and one that made perfect sense to me but was risky to chance, because I was leaving something precious to me on the altar and out of my control. I was met with grace in the first and grace and tender compassion in the second, and the light is shining a little brighter on my path today. I know where to go. It’s a little clearer now what needs scraped off my plate. A couple of tangible things, yes. But really, what needs scraped off are the burdens of performance and expectation and the failure to meet them that I’ve allotted far too much space to: any space at all.

New mercies every morning.