A Blog by Jennifer Aulthouse


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

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Savoring II

October is my favorite month for many obvious reasons: the comfortable temperatures, the magnificent colors, the build-up to the holidays. But in turn, October also ends up being one of our busiest months as a family and therefore it all flies by without my usually taking any time to enjoy what I love so much about it. It all serves to remind me that I need to daily make the effort to grasp my joy. As God’s child, it’s there for me to claim at all times, but I must determine to hold it firmly.

I’ve struggled this month with keeping my joy. The tyrannical feeling of my family’s schedule easily assumes authority over those deeper needs that quietly press against our souls, yet seem to hold no rational argument when the debate comes as to how our time is spent. And in my fatigue and desperation to keep up, I too easily concede this authority. But I feel the gentle prodding telling me that a key element to the abundant life promised to me as one who believes in and receives Jesus is the redemption of my time.

How easily I tire these days. This constant hamster wheel of activity makes me feel as though I’ve entirely missed the point when it comes to desiring a meaningful life for our family. Is it really meant to be this day-to-day redundancy of experiences and temperaments? I’m not sure exactly how I’d make it different but it doesn’t feel satisfying the way it is. And yet, it is in these redundant moments that glory is birthed and revealed. It is finding His treasure and abundance whilst in the midst of chaotic monotony that marks victory, I think. He’s here, even as I fold sheets. But just as there is a time to laugh and a time to mourn, there is a time to fold sheets and a time to creatively design ministries and follow exciting callings. They all hold significance; one just requires more faith to believe it so.

My Bible study this week speaks of John the Baptist and His preaching that we were not born to be little mini-saviors (John 3). It really isn’t our job to make things grow. We scatter the seeds, and in order to scatter seeds there needs to be a certain awareness of the fertile grounds around us that are ready to receive in whatever way God chooses. So we share what has grown in us simply because we can’t help it; we see no greater gift to leave the world around us than the experience with love and grace and mercy that has beckoned us away from the ground we started off in. We responded as we were touched but we didn’t orchestrate our growth, and so we can’t orchestrate anyone else’s. I think as a mom I need to get my thinking off of the fact that I can put all the ingredients in place for true life and liberty to surround my kids as they grow, but I do not do the harvesting. They are God’s handiwork and He is the one glorified for His omniscience and sovereignty in passages such as Psalm 139, not I. How merciful He is to remember our human weakness.

So here it is, November 2, and I will not allow the authority to shift from joy to tyranny this month. These wonderful, good ways of spending time we’re engaged in and the expectation of our full participation in said ways may still be there but they will not take charge when the deeper need to deliberately tap into the quality of the moment makes its presence known. I must resist the heaviness and compulsion that drives me to strap the burden of coming through for everyone’s needs onto my back, pushing my eyes to the ground so that I can only see the imminence of my falling from what I have not been designed to bear. It isn’t about meeting the deadlines and getting the work done and ensuring that the to-do list is completed all the time, though these things are important. Can I look up from all of this and intentionally see the fertile grounds around me? Am I sensing my own soil needing nourishment? Am I scattering seeds?

More importantly, am I relishing the grace and mercy that affords me the joy in doing so? This is what my time has been redeemed for.



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