Lucy was pleased as punch to tag along with my husband to clear all manner of snow- from cars, driveway, sidewalks and patio. She never left his side, and was a faithful companion.
Meanwhile, with schools closed and the rest of the house still asleep, I found myself again with the gift of time. Time to photograph, time to putter, time to write, time to think. That seems to be a recurring gift to me from God so far in 2014. During a stressful and wrung-out December, at one point I distinctly remember feeling that I never had the opportunity to retreat; I was never alone. I never had any time to simply gather my thoughts, run mentally through my plans, organize the chaos in my head or, just think for any extended period of time.
I was exhausted.
Ever since that little epiphany (you know - that wonderful feeling you get when you finally put your finger exactly on the problem), it was as if God heard me loud and clear, and while He knew my problem all along, He was waiting for me to realize it so that I could see how desperately I need downtime and alone-time in my life. And more than that, time with Him - to refresh and refill my weary soul.
Where does that time come from in a busy life? How do I make sure days don't go by where the time slithers so easily away? The answer is that minutes, hours, must be carved out, planned for, penciled in the calendar if necessary. On the other hand, an opportunity may come surprisingly, quietly, like snow cold covering frozen ground in the night. I need to be watchful for and seek out those times - like this morning- that are nudges from Him saying, "Here is my love gift to you. Take it. Spend time with Me."
I am not of use, service, or refreshment to others if my well-soul is dry. I cannot give what I do not have. Filling my own cavernous need for Him is something that needs to be a priority. I have to have something to give if I want God to use me.
There'll be a change in my life moving forward. It will be about taking the time. About letting God fill me. It'll be looking for His gifts and absorbing His love.
It will be time well spent.