One of the good things about writing out these pages each day is that I can look back and review the lessons I should have been learning. While there are cleaning and prep tasks that I need to have done before the start of each school day, I am thankful for the great flexibility I have in my daily schedule that allows me to not only maintain the building and direct the prayer ministry, but also allows me to maintain a balance of life, ministry, work, and rest. Wednesday’s are typically long work days for me by my choice because if I stay after the mid-week Bible studies and get the building cleaned and ready for the next day, I end up with a day that I can sleep in. Sometimes after a long day, I find myself in the midst of an internal discussion about whether to stay and clean or head home and have to wake up early to come back. Last night was one in which the day had been long and I gave serious thought to putting off the cleaning until this morning. It didn’t take very long as I looked back on the benefit of being able to sleep in on Thursday mornings, that I decided to do the cleaning and prep last night before going home.
I did wake up while it was still dark this morning and gave thought to heading out somewhere to photograph the sunrise, but decided the rest was more useful and I laid down and went back to sleep. When I did finally wake up for the day, the sun was shining brightly and was melting away yesterday’s snow. Susan was still sleeping soundly so I fixed some coffee before checking email and messages while catching up on social media postings. By late morning Susan was ready to get up, so I got her meds and breakfast out and made sure she had what she needed to get the day started. When MJ came home from work, we went out to lunch then headed down to Potato Creek to enjoy the sunshine with a walk in the park.
When we arrived at the park, one of the bald eagles was there to greet us but greeting was the only interaction on his agenda. As we got out of the truck and grabbed cameras, we watched as the eagle left his perch high in the tree and headed out across the lake and out of view. As we drove through the park before walking, I saw one of the juvenile bald eagles in a tree but he was directly between me and the sun so I couldn’t get any of the photo attempts to turn out. As I tried to move to a better vantage point, he took off and was joined by a second juvenile eagle as they soared back toward the lake and out of sight. Even though I ended up with no good eagle photos today, it was good to see them and to watch them soar — even if they were soaring away. During our walk we passed by one of the wetland areas which ended up being the photo for today’s page. It represented such a mix of the seasons as the ice and snow encrusted edges gave way to clear water and reflected tree lines.
After our walk, we headed home and spent a relaxing evening as I began to work on today’s page. I was thankful that I had chosen to work late last night and was able to rest today and have a relaxing time with my family. Tomorrow will be another long day as I will need to get the building ready early for the start of the school day, and then get it ready for the weekend once all the activity in the building is done for the day. Remembering what is coming just adds to the value of learning to rest and relax when the opportunity is available.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- I usually have a reason for dong what I do . . . sometimes I need to remind even myself about what those reasons are.
- It can be tempting to take the path that is easiest right now and lose sight of the bigger picture.
- Sometimes a little extra effort now can make for an easier time later.
- Writing each day’s page, or journaling, helps me to understand better approaches to life — especially in the repetitive routines I face.
- It is easy to fill up a day of rest with good things that are not that restful. Knowing I need rest helps me to say “no” or “later” to the good things so I can get the rest that I know I need.
- My life isn’t all about me. My choosing to work late one day so I can have a day of rest, also benefits my daughter who needs the rest even more than I do.
- Sometimes the experience of what God shows us is enough even if aren’t able to share it — maybe this moment was meant to be just between us.
- Even on days that appear “plain”, God will reveal His creativity and beauty if we pay attention and take the time to notice.
- Sometimes a day of rest is catching up from the past and sometimes it is preparing for the future — often times it is both.