|Life in the Kingdom includes kisses from Brooks-the-Wonder-Dog|
I typically post a family Advent blog, but it didn’t happen last year. My last post was for Nate’s Gotcha Day in September. I try and post a New Year’s family blog. But it didn’t happen this year. I have to say I know something is off when I’m not writing in some form or fashion. By that I mean the type of writing that brings me joy – the rambling in my journals, a blog for the Quan Family, the passing of a few chapters back and forth with my friend Cynthia. But the only writing I’ve been doing has to do with appeal letters, website verbiage and promotional pieces. Don’t get me wrong, I’m good at it and they are necessary parts of the job. But, it doesn’t feed my soul.
We’ve been living in a bit of a black hole of late. I’ve found that my little family is often overwhelmed by the tasks at hand. Somehow, without knowing it, our family hopped back on the hamster wheel when we weren’t looking. It’s like we’re bobble head dolls without our heads on. We’ve lost our heads! All that’s sitting on top of the necks is the spring where the heads are supposed to sit. Not a good sight!
|Life in the Kingdom is when Dave cooks!|
In a conversation yesterday with a kindred spirit, I said these words: “After tasting what life can be like when really lived in the Kingdom, you know when things are out of whack, and you desperately begin to try and re-calibrate to get back to that place of peace.” The sad realization for me as I contemplated that statement last night was that around the Quan Household, we’ve known it’s been out of whack for a while. So we’ve started using statements like: “We just have to get through the holidays and then we’ll find our equilibrium,” or “Mom just has to finish traveling for the next three weeks and life will get back to normal.” We think if we just get through the next season of busy-ness we can then can back to REAL life. These statements are better known as Justification Statements. As in, “we’re okay living here because we’re only going to live here for a while and then we’ll get back to what’s healthy and good for us.” And, if I’m really honest with myself, my job and my pace have put us here. So, what to do?
Here’s the conversation from yesterday with my dear friend, Chris Hall:
Chris: You and I, we have similar job stresses and I know what you’re struggling with. Do you know what God says to me about it?
Rachel: Tell me what God says to you.
Chris: He says ‘You know, Chris, there are only so many hours in a day and so many days in your life. And, don’t you think I know how many there are?’
Ouch. We live as if we have 48 hours in a day and that the days are ours to waste. We live as if our jobs are more important than our families. Or you do what I do. I’m home, in the same space as my family, but not present. So even when I am acting like my family is important, my heart isn’t following. Because sadly, even as the leader of an organization that is all about Life WITH God, I spend most of my time performing FOR God. In the midst of performing FOR God I have missed out on Life in the Kingdom. And I know it.
It’s Spring Break week. And, we’re completely recalibrating. I don’t care if I work for a great ministry. The ministry doesn’t own my family. I can’t fret when a few folks are disappointed that we have to say ‘no’ and we’re going to stay home today instead of getting back in the spin cycle. This week Life in the Kingdom is the rodeo carnival, chocolate fondue night with Nate, walks with the dog, a movie that just the three of us go to... I’m going to let some folks know that although I had planned a work trip in the near future, I’m going to have to re-schedule it for another time.
There are not 48 hours in a day and my days aren’t mine to waste anyway. Living WITH God is not the hamster wheel or the headless bobble heads. It is grace and rhythm. It is being present - body, mind and spirit. It is relationship over tasks. It’s planning our annual trek to Montana and already hearing the waters of the Yellowstone River flowing by. It is sharing a piece of lemon sheet cake – one plate, three forks. It is serving others together. It is laughing together. It is the quiet in the mornings when my boy is still sleeping and it’s just me with my cup of coffee. It is Dave’s Saturday morning jaunt down to the bayou with the dog, sitting on the bench, watching the world go by and listening to NPR on his iPhone. It is Nate chilling in his room and reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid just one more time. It is deep breaths and reading a book for the simple pleasure of reading it and not because it has anything to do with my job. It is an evening with our young adult small group. It is doing absolutely nothing but listening.
It is the slow work of God in our lives because we have slowed down so that he can do the work.
We’re getting back to REAL life.
What does living life WITH God look like for you?
Rachel for the Quan Clan