Time… past, present, and future

If you happened to read my post on time management (or lack thereof) than you can understand why the below email from Pastor Wayne resonated so deeply within me.

(There’s a lot of mixed feelings knowing that our Pastor will be retiring this summer. In the meantime, be sure to sign up to receive his weekly inspirational emails while you can here.)

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*The below is reposted from Trinity United Methodist Church Pastor Wayne dated 2/24/16.

Dear Friends,

             I sometimes worry that I bore you with my Wednesday morning ramblings but then I remember your ‘delete’ button is just a touch away on your keyboard and the ‘unsubscribe’ button is only a click away at the bottom of the page!   My thoughts today (and probably for the next few months)  have to do with what’s going on in my heart and head as I approach retirement.  Thus the disclaimer in the first sentence!

                My emotions these days are pretty fragile.  I get choked up a lot as I realize these are the ‘last’ of many things.  I made the comment a few weeks ago in my sermon “I have concluded on this, my last time around…” and was admonished by one of my church members to clarify and not make it sound like it’s the end of my life!

                Here’s what is going through my heart and head today.   Gretchen Rubin, in her book  ‘The Happiness project”   writes:   “The days are long but the years are short.” 

              Many of my days are very long.  Sunday is perhaps the longest.  I’m up at 5 AM or earlier, especially if I feel my sermon still needs some work.  (Does a preacher ever NOT feel their sermon needs a little more work??)  Then in the office at 5:30 to go over the sermon a few more times, then greeting people at the door as they arrive for church, then worship and preaching and prayers (three times!), then lots of handshakes and hellos, then often spending the afternoon getting ready for the next week so that I can really take my day off on Monday.

              Yes, it’s a long day.  Much like you and your long days I would imagine.   You’re up before dawn feeding the baby and making lunches.  Out the door as the sun is coming up.  In line at Starbucks waiting for your latte and thinking about everything ahead of you for the next ten hours.  Driving the kids from school to soccer practice to homework to bed.   Writing  texts and opening email and going to meetings.  Rushing home and cooking dinner and loading the dishwasher and finally…finally!…the day is done.  “I sure am glad that day’s over!” we declare.

                But then one day before we know it, there are no more sermons to preach or parishioners to reach or meetings to attend.  Then one day the baby who kept us awake at 3 AM is off to college, no longer pulling on our leg for a cookie or a hug.  No more getting up at the crack of dawn, no more sitting in traffic, no more in-boxes full of email.  We trade the  minivan in for a sensible sedan.  We make dinner for just two or one, watch a movie, catch the news.  And as we finally get ready for bed, another long day is over and we declare  “Where did that day go?!

             However long the day and whatever our day consists of,  what finally matters is how we experience the gift of  the time God has given us… how well, or not so well, we use and embrace that time.   The danger and temptation is to wish for nothing more than to make it to the end of the day.   It’s easy to fall into the trap of asking, even pleading, “Won’t this day ever end?!”

              But here’s the truth.  Today, this day, will never happen again.  When it’s over, it’s over.   It could be a great day or a horrible day or something in between.   It could be long or short or sweet or sour.   But all we have is this one day.   At midnight, the day is nothing  but a memory, the stuff of “remember when…”

              As finite beings, mere mortals, I believe this is the spiritual tension we all face.  We may complain that some days seem to never end.  We may decide when life is full or busy or feels overwhelming with so much to do, that we have to somehow just get through the day.  We may even perceive that with so many days, it all just seems to run together.  As one world weary writer in the Bible said, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)  Sounds like he or she must have had a long day!

                Perhaps there is another way to understand the day… a more grateful  way… to face  each day, especially the very, very long ones.   Listen to this wisdom and prayer:  “Lord, teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” (Psalm 90:12)  Count the days.  Wake up and wise up to the fact that this is a “never happened before” and “never will happen again” day.  

                 So, how is this day for  you?  Is it a long one?  An exhausting one?   A never -ending one?   A  great one?    

                Well guess what?   One day you won’t have to fight the morning traffic anymore or watch another of your kids’ soccer games anymore or pick up the laundry off the floor anymore or sit through a boring meeting anymore or flop into bed, exhausted, from another day, anymore.  And on that one day you’ll pray for just one more, just one more, long day.  I know I will.

               Indeed:  “The days are long but the years are short”.   Make the most of today.

You are loved,

Wayne

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St. Augustine

So much for our “severe weather” that we cautiously watched approaching last night. Today was a gorgeous, sunny, windy and slightly cooler. The purest form of an impromptu break.  If only I could have used the stolen time to take a break…. instead it was allergist, drug store, errands, yard work, laundry, and exciting things like that.

 

Speaking of exciting- last Friday K’s class went to St. Augustine for an educational field trip. A first for this Florida natives and oh was it fun. Such a great, old Florida city full of history and architecture. I shall not wait another 38 years to return (sorry, I am watching Downton DVR and the shall just kind of came out).

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How am I spending my time?

Little Beethoven had a violin concert last weekend.

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The End.

 

This was going to be all I was going to write for these few photos. Why? Because there was no time to write anything else. And therein lies the problem. I never seem to have time for anything. Ever. But why is that? How am I spending my time? Is it on what really matters? Time is our most precious commodity.

I was thinking about this very thing, and carrying  typical mom and wife guilt, when I stumbled upon a sermon on YouTube (of all places) that said  (and of course I am paraphrasing because no time to cross reference) essentially… we spend 80% of our time doing meaningless, grind-type, going through the motions type work. The remaining 20% is spent on doing things that bring us energy, allow us to be creative, and drive our passion.

What would life be like if we could flip flop this and spend 80% of our time doing things that bring us joy, tap into our creative side, and the other 20% going through the motions with the meaningless motions.  Makes you wonder, right. Oh, how life would be so different. I am not quite sure how to achieve this because,.. you guessed it… it was late and no time left to finish watching (that and it then prompted me to subscribe to the YouTube channel to continue watching).

One of the things I can do to, at the very least, put me on the right path, is learn to say no. On occasion. Let’s start there. Learning to say no– on occasion.

I’d love to help but I am over-committed already.

As much as she would like to be there, our family already has plans that day.

It sounds like it’s going to be so much fun, I am sorry we will have to miss it.

Sorry, but I won’t be able to make it.

 

That wasn’t nearly as hard as I had imagined. If only I could stop saying it in front of the mirror and try saying it in real life.

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We raced to sweet Kenley’s first Winter Orchestra concert- after a tennis match but before an evening work event.

 

As I often have to remind myself, this too shall pass. This running around, never having quite enough time, always feel like a ball is dropping-business. It will, it will, if I think it enough it will.
For now? For now I’ll keep on trying to squeeze a little blog post here and there. Even if the thoughts aren’t cohesive and my spelling sucks.

 

I’ll keep setting reminders on my iPhone to fill prescriptions, load money in kid’s lunch accounts, and buy my cousin a baby gift.

I’ll keep pushing the envelop to see how late I can stay up, and how early I can rise, and still get everything done without getting so tired I can’t function.

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This one had no trouble slowing down to sit quietly, still and listen intently to the music.

 

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For now? I’ll slow my pace down, re-evaluate how I spend my time, and make sure I’m focusing on the people that mean the most to me. All of whom are under my roof with me at this very moment.

5 reasons why… I know I’m getting old

Though I could come up with many, many more these are the top 5 reasons why I know I’m getting old.

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1. Lately it has been hard to read menus, nutritional content on boxes, books and I’m starting to believe it’s not from the “bad light.”

2. When I wake up in the mornings I have to stretch my hamstrings before I can even walk to the bathroom.

3.When filling out an online form the birth year is longer, and longer, down the list of years on the drop down menu.

4. If you open my purse, you will find Tums, under eye concealer and contact solution.

5. Last week, in matter of two days I forgot Britton’s doctor’s appointment, my hair appointment (what?!),  and Kenley’s acting class. At least I didn’t forget a child. Again. 

 

15 days of Christmas

This is an old post that has been sitting in drafts since December. And so it goes…

 

Mr. Robinson returns shortly following a 5-day hunting trip out of state. His second round in the past two weeks. If you are better at math than me, that means he was gone for 10 out of 22 days in December so far. So what’s a girl to do? Party, of course. And so began, the 15 days of parties. Or, as I like to call it. The 15 days of Christmas.

 

Day 1: Garden Club party — yes, Garden Club is a real thing whose roots run deep in  T-town. Bee keeping. Florida bears and community organic gardens- that’s us.

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Day 2: Birthday party for a dear friend… with not a single selfie, post, Insta or tweet to be found. Sometimes when you are having that much fun there is no time to capture.

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Day 3: My favorite’s nieces holiday song followed by an evening Christmas party with Mr. R– chili and bonfire style. And once again, nothing but a date on the ol’ iPhone and conversations with friends to commemorate.

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stockings are hung on the banister with care….

 

Day 4: Rayne’s Holiday Sing-Along and Annual White Elephant Christmas Party- mama style.

 

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Day 5: I know I had something this evening but for the life of me cannot remember it now….

 

Day 6: Cotillion Club party (and pre and post and everything in between) and…. Britton’s first non-birthday party complete with a party dress and DJ. Sadly, no photos of my little girl who is no longer a little girl.

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Day 7: Lighting advent candle at church, (with a great sermon on how to be a gracious receiver- “A partridge and a pear tree), birthday party and Mrs. Claus party (again, for the mama- after all we are working overtime this month), and… Ugly Christmas  party for one of the kiddos.

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birthday celebration for sweet Windsor.. the big THREE!

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talk about a festive birthday cake!

 

Day 8: Allie Boone’s birthday party… with Christmas cheer for the parents that evening. Or parent in my case.

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Day 9: Triple play evening starting with the annual WebbSteiner Christmas dinner… Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up. This is really consecutive nights. The plus side? Mr. Robinson made it home just in time to join in on the evening fun.

 

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Day 10 :  A lovely dinner with Santa.. in what might as well have been the house I also grew up in.

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Day 11:  Christmas Eve family service followed by annual party at the Hanleys. Aunt Bunny said this is the 30th + year they’ve hosted the celebration. Looking back, I cannot remember a Christmas eve that didn’t involve the Hanley’s home (with the exception the Christmas my Dad was sick– also known as the worst Christmas ever).

 

Day 12:  Family Christmas Dinner

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Day 13: Post-Christmas Cheer at a co-workers house…. Loved it!

 

Day 14: Skeet Shooting with some of my favorite high school friends.

 

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