Wednesday, June 29, 2011

in clover: rest a minute

This summer hasn't exactly worked out as I planned.  Back in mid-May, I wrote this post for my other blogging gig, over on The Bluevine Collective.  As I reflect over the past month, I realize that despite "clearing my plate", life has continued to be very busy and I haven't checked much off on that list of things I intended to do this summer. (This might make more sense if you read the post but I can't promise anything.)

While I have done a bit of walking, I haven't read a single book...and I'm someone who can knock out a book (or two) per weekend. In fact, I've just received a notice from the library, letting me know that the Paul Knitter book mentioned in the above BVC post is now overdue. I'm only a few pages into the first chapter.

I've not picked berries, and my garden is struggling, I mean, REALLY struggling!  I've only boiled eggs, tried no new recipes at all and despite the lovely June weather, I haven't spent much time sitting in the garden, with or without coffee, watching my chickens.

I am definitely experiencing how extremely difficult it is to truly, genuinely make some space and room in our busy, busy lives.  I probably should only speak for myself here.  I am finding it extremely difficult to make time for sacred silence.  And I am experiencing just how clearly I resist silence and stillness, even as I very loudly and publicly proclaim my desire for both. 

In spiritual direction last week, I confessed that I was finding it difficult to read, impossible to journal (or write for publication with any real depth at all) and also, I noticed while walking and sharing with my friends that I talk more than they do.   Quite a bit more.  (I am blessed with patient and loving friends.  Thank you.  I love you.) 

It was gently suggested to me that all of the difficulties I am currently experiencing have one thing in common.  They all involve NOT listening.  I was asked to name what it is I am avoiding hearing but I had no answer.  I'm sitting with that question.  Well, sort of. 

Funny thing is, even at this level of busy-ness, I do not accomplish even one smidegeon of what many, actually, what MOST of my friends accomplish. (I have patient, loving and accomplished friends!) To be honest, that really bugs me.  To be perfectly honest, it really bugs me a lot!

I want to be accomplished too.  And isn't that what this summer was supposed to be about?  A period of discernment...time for me to hear what God is asking (telling) me to accomplish?

The (nearly obsessed) planning, list making, do-er me got busy thinking about and making a list all about how I could do more.  And that's just so I can  feel like I am merely (sort of) keeping up.

And then I remembered.  Turns out I have employed that strategy before and it failed quite miserably.  And left me quite miserable.  And my family even more miserable.

Clearly, I have plenty to sit with.  That is, if I ever actually sit.  

A few mornings ago I found myself with nothing to do and nowhere to be. First time all summer!  I wandered out to the garden with a cup of coffee  and had a seat. Within two minutes I was up and rearranging the garden. I moved lots of things.  

My hens, despite their clipped wings, have proved to be very accomplished escape artists.  There is a ledge between their coop and the aviary where I used to place a trio of flowers in pots.   But the girls used the sloped coop roof like a ladder and helped themselves to a nice snack of violas and geraniums!  The violas were on their last leg but hey, leggo my geranium!

So (although it nearly killed me) I decided to be practical and leave the ledge bare.  It's really hard for me to leave most any flat surface bare.   And come to find out, it wasn't a very good idea anyway because that nice flat surface really encouraged the hens to hop the fence so I replaced the flower pots with three (let's hope) non-edible vintage galvanized watering cans.   

I was left with what to do with those three flower pots so I flipped three old buckets upside down,  creating a bit of a plant stand effect.

Then I had to rearrange the French baker's rack that houses the rest of the galvanized.  It ended up looking like this...

I love my old tool collection so I left these lying about, as part of the vignette.  

The whole thing ended up looking like this... 

It was at that point that I realized I was no longer sitting.  Or being still, in the least.  And my head was FAR from silent.  

So I made myself sit down.  But as soon as I sat down, I thought I should get a shot of my view while sitting. For the blog.  And that's when I noticed which coffee mug I had (not intentionally) chosen that morning. 

Rest a minute.  Ok, universe.  Got it.  Well, I really don't GOT it but I think I've got it



P.S.  I don't really think it's so much about "resting" as it is about "listening." I'll keep you posted. 



  1. Lisa, I think we are kindred spirits :)

  2. What a compliment, Meg. Thank you!

  3. Thanks for this post, Lisa! I've found that listening, although it appears to be easy, can be quite challenging. It is, however, an extremely valuable skill!

    Reagarding this topic, I often remind myself of a quote from Mike, a good friend of mine: "When you listen, you learn what everyone else thinks. When you talk, you only learn what you think."


  4. Tanya, GREAT quote! Thank you. Glad you liked the post.


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