Resolutions, bah humbug!

Have you heard the saying, “Want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans?” So what’s He laughing about? Our inability to do what we know we ought to? Maybe. Our inabilty to consider the rocks we may encounter in our paths? Maybe. Our inabilty … Maybe.

On the other hand, have you heard the saying, “You aim at nothing, that’s what you’ll hit?” I think that thought pattern may be where New Year’s Resolutions came from. You may think,¬†based on the title of this blog, I’m one of those slugs who parks on the couch, moving only to replenish the potato chips. I’m not. Unfortunately, I’m seriously goal- oriented, sometimes to the exclusion of actively loving the people I’m supposed to love. Can you relate?

I’m actually this odd conglomeration of motivation and laziness. Some days I find myself puffing because I focused so hard on what I wanted to get done that I paid no attention to my body crying for rest. Other days I’m weary, and I don’t care what doesn’t get done. Some days I’m committed to losing the ten pounds I gained during the holidays, and others I don’t understand why calories have to count or my body needs exercise. One thing I’m sure of, I’m tired of guilt based on whatever.

What’s a person to do?

Build our houses on the rock – Jesus. Let Him share our yokes. Follow Him. Stop orbitting ourselves, since we are unable to plot the course anyway. Sunday school language, you say? What does it really mean? Guilt should be like a cop’s ligths in the rear view mirror. When we feel it, we’ve started doing our own things again. So we stop the action. We hunker down and pray,¬† which doesn’t mean we do all the talking. We listen, and His small voice will plot us a course correction. Or we pull out the Word, find a word in the back that matches what’s bugging us, and flip around until the words give us His answer. Yep, simple, but marvelous at the same time. Here’s a way better saying: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Prov. 3:5-6 So, who needs resolutions?

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Breathing

Now that I’m retired, I have more time to consider things.

For example, Bake and I went on a cruise up Elkhorn Slough, down by Moss Landing the other day. We saw a lot of sea lions and otters and shore birds, even an egg yolk jelly fish. But my big takeaway was something the captain told us. He said, ” People think of the tide as either in or out, but it doesn’t really work that way. It’s in constant motion, either rising or declining.”

I nudged Bake. “So the tide is like the earth breathing, right?”

“Exactly.”

Well , that is a thought to ponder all by itself. However, today is Monday. Yesterday was church, and I had slides. Busy, busy, busy. Love it! Worshipping with and serving God’s people.

Today, I’m not looking for anyone to hang around with. I like catching things up around our acre (Baker’s acre, get it?). The weekend kind of throws me off schedule. I groomed the dog, fed the chickens and cleaned their house, cleaned up the kitchen, got the house ready for the Roomba (do I love multi-tasking, oh yeah!) Two parenthetial statements in one paragraph is a bad idea. I do know that. Anyhow, in the midst it occurred to me that I don’t need to see any people today, well, except Bake, who doesn’t really count, being my other half. More breathing.

So I posted something to that effect on Facebook. Sure enough, other people feel the same way. Some even more than I do. I would be ok with seeing people tomorrow, some people could give it another day. Breathing – people, no people, people, no people.

Now, I realize that not everyone gets the luxury of breathing that way. Take parents, therapists, teachers for example. I am truly blessed to be retired. However, since I have had time to realize this, please feel free to steal it. If you are one of those folks who don’t usually get to choose solitude, when you do, go for it, take a deep breath.

Family Parameters

I think, therefore I need silence. What? See, family means more than one, sometimes lots more. Each one who is added to the group ups the noise level. I remember when we had three kids in our house under ten. Someone always had something to say, or yell, or cry, or laugh. That is so good. Let it all hang out, I say. Rejoice in the cacophony. Thank You, Lord.

However, all us lunatics need a time out. A time when the only intrusion is a bird singing or the whistle of a distant train. Me and my old man, not the one I used to be, but Bake, my loyal spouse, made a deal. One Saturday a month was his to go be whoever he wanted, and one Saturday a month was mine in the same vein. Do you know how much better a mom I was because of that? People told me I was so patient. Well yeah, because I’ve been out looking at the fox holes in Del Puerto Canyon or down at the library with no goal except floating among the authors and knowledge. I came home empty and full, if you can get that, and opened my arms to those big and little people who depended upon me for love and guidance.

Just a thought. Enjoy your fam!

Resting

I rested all the way through May, at least as far as writing here is concerned. But today I’m resting before I start my summer writing. So how do I rest? It’s not easy after the mad dashes of teaching. I keep refusing to think about the next thing I have to do.
I went out to a breakfast of oatmeal and sausages with Art. That’s resting. I think I’ll wash the dog, that will rest my nose. And have an avocado stuffed with tuna for lunch, and take my new Nook out to the swing and read before it gets real hot. Maybe I’ll paint this afternoon – that’s definitely rest. Then I’ll have a chicken breast with balsamci vinegar for dinner – that isn’t resting, but it’s really good. OK, I’m ready to rest now. Feel free to follow my example if you’re reading this.