Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Coming Up To Breathe

No, it's not about the MercyMe album, but about life. This season has been the busiest of my life to date, and there is little I could have done about it. When you're a specialist, the whole world wants you (or so it seems).

(It's lunchtime, so let's make this quick)

On the weekend I was talking with an editor friend and said that I felt like I was in the scene in the Count of Monte Christo where Edmond hides in the old priest's burial sack and gets thrown off the cliff into the sea. Lucky for Edmond he grabs the jailer's keys and also takes him over the cliff edge and together they plunge into the surge below.

I admitted to my friend that I feel like I'm still in that canvas sack, waiting to be freed, waiting to swim unfettered. In many respects the only person who can free me is me, and by His grace and help, God. On the other hand, we all fall into the tyrrany of the cost of living and bills must be paid. Make hay while the sun shines, as they say (just don't get hayfever).

The long and short of it is this. I couldn't take much more at the rate the demand was coming at me. I put my phone on silent and missed a couple of important phone calls. But you know what? The world still turned and somehow they managed without me. It was great, and my head felt a lot better, and I was able to return those calls in a better frame of mind. The short reprieve reminded me that if I was unable to say no for whatever reason, I could at least draw my line in the sand and declare "This far, no further".

Like the movie, I know I'll break out eventually. This season will soon end and a new one must follow it. Goodness knows what that one will hold, but at least I'll have acquired some extra training up my sleeve to deal with it.

What do you do when it seems the whole world wants you and everyone has a demand?

How hard is it to say no?

What time, what peace, what joy do you allow yourself
to get back on track?

I saw an interesting spot on tv last night where Dr. Phil was explaining the fast-paced society we live in. Everything comes at us at such a rate of knots that we give attention to many things, but our quality focus level is spread too thin to be of any true effect or goodness. There is no quality. We're not accomplishing anything at all. There are no bonds, no points of lasting contact.

Don't let yourself get that swept away. Have some campfire moments. Without them, life loses its flavour and enjoyment.

Lunch is over, but I'm taking my cuppa with me...

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5v16

Mais lui, il se retirait dans les déserts et priait.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The call of the sea...

I don't know about you, but life can get a bit hectic at times. This year I discovered (after many, many seasons on TV) The Block. I'm loving it.

Two weeks ago they finished "Hell Week" - aka "Bathroom Week". Last week was "Ben Hur Week" (formal lounge, hallway and storage closet week). I'm not in the home renovation business, but I related. It was Monday. I had four massive jobs to finish with a Friday deadline and my margin for 'extra' time was slim (extra is slightly facetious). At the eleventh hour with fifty-nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds I had not one, not two, but seven other jobs come in from a faithful client I could not ignore (who, by the way, was also squeezed to the absolute limit).

I grabbed the client.

Shook the client.


I hung my head. This was the impossible. It was not hell week, it was Ben Hur week. There was only one solution because there was certainly NO way out. In my town, there are two specialists in my occupation. The other specialist was not an option. That little breathing space called margin just got eaten four times over. The work fell to me. I could not walk away from her.

Cry? No. No point. No energy for that. No time for that. Instead, pray. The simple kind of prayer that says it all. God, please make a way. Make more time. If You don't help me now it's never going to happen.

The week before I had seen with my own eyes a miracle of provision from God. I knew He could do this if I just put my head down and went for it (and if Mr. Valley and the little Valleys also helped me out).

Miracle of miracles, the Ben Hur week could not have gone any better than it did. I mean, it was such a testament to God's goodness, faithfulness and unfailing mercy that even the unsaved who know me were acknolwedging Him openly (I'm not talking about a benign off-the-cuff "Thank God" either)!!! Can you imagine? Isn't this what we live for as Christians?

My Ben Hur week was not the kind of thing I'd anticipated would shine a tremendous light the way it did. Perhaps seeing me under pressure while more of the same was applied spoke very loudly. Now, this is my week:

Both images are of my hometown. I get to see this every day. I am blessed.

Now I can do laundry. I can cook (I made my famous tomato & corn relish today - a jar also for my 7-job client mentioned above ;). I can do whatever I want in this self-imposed week of nothingness. The irony is that all my head wants to do is WORK.

Take a leaf out of my Ben Hur book and don't wait til you are frazzled before you take time out. God is pleased when we rest, so do it often.

In the next four weeks I'll have another decent-sized cache of work on, so I'm determined to rest now before turning into Mrs. MV Crankypants. No one would enjoy that...

Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2v3
Dieu bénit le septième jour et en fit un jour saint, parce que ce jour-là il se reposa de toute son activité, de tout ce qu'il avait créé.