April 3, 2014

Tune In.

I've been living in a whirlwind.  None of it is bad things, but it hasn't stopped swirling yet, either.  I have a feeling it isn't going to for a very long time.  Is there such a thing as settling into a tornado?  If there is, that's me.  I don't know what to tell ya.  Women's Bible Study on Mondays, husband's Men's Bible Study on Tuesdays, Wednesdays bring ballet, soccer, kids worship team practice and church, Thursdays are for ballet, soccer and husband's worship team practice, Friday is hubby's day off...from his day job, but it's the day he has to go and work on his songwriting, recording and producing so that new albums keep coming along!  Saturday mornings are bubbling with 2 soccer games and often airsoft for my teen boy and then whatever else the day may bring (grocery shopping...ugh!) Sundays begin it all again with 2 church services, a lunch break, and then youth worship team practice and youth group that night.

You got tired just reading it, didn't you?  Yup.  I feel ya.  But here's the honest to goodness truth:  We. Are. Happy.  We are tired, and busy, and glued to a calendar, but we're happy.  We keep a flow to all the activities and we grab a sacred lunch as a party of 6 or 7 or whichever of us can come, and Jeff and I always snag a date once a week, whichever day we can make it work.  (Breakfast at IHOP never hurt anybody's feelings.)

However, in the midst of all the "living" we're doing, we've gotten behind on laundry.  And dishes.  And dusting.  And vacuuming.  Don't let your mind wander any farther...you won't let yourself visit me if you do.  I'm nuts for lists, calendars, charts, schedules, routines.  I know their value and I know what happens when I don't keep them maintained.  This.   This craziness is what happens.  I learned to utilize sites like Flylady.net to build routines that kept it all in place.  And it works.  But sometimes, like now, if I crossed every "T" and dotted every "I" on our routines, we'd be missing out on a lot.  We'd be missing out on the chance to live a very full season to the fullest, and, this week, we'd have missed out on a major ministry opportunity.

You see, my very dearest, longtime friend has been battling some health issues that have left her feeling completely drained and fatigued.  I mean it.  She feels that she can offer about 2 good hours at the start of her day and then she needs to lay down.  This is not a lazy friend.  This is my friend who home schools, has a personal business, trains for races, runs the races, studies nutrition, does all the crazy juicing and beef bone broth soup sipping (she made me try it and I'm not signing up) and keeps up with her own busy family.  I visited her last week, and I tuned in.  Not because I had time to tune in, but because during my seasons of crisis, she has tuned in to me...when she didn't have time either.  She has wept with me, prayed with me, and just stood and hugged me when I had to be supported.  She taught me friendship.  When I tuned in to her last week, I saw the need for deep rest, time with her husband, and room to think.  So, I kidnapped her kids.  Kind of.  She gave me permission.  This week is Spring Break for her boys, so I picked them up on Monday and just gave them back today (Thursday).  I added her to kids to the 4 I already had at home.  I fed them home cooked meals.  I let them play hours of video games.  I took them on a crazy hike to see an amazing waterfall.  We picnicked and played in a water fountain.  We jumped at one of those nutty trampoline places.  Now, I'm not telling you any of this to brag on myself.  I'm sharing things I've learned.  Things that make me a better person.  Things that prove my love for people, through my love for Jesus.

I could have kept to my schedule for this week.  I could have washed dishes and done laundry and run to lots of lessons and practices and "kept up with the Joneses"...but what would it have mattered if my friend was at the end of her rope and just needed help?

Friends, find out where the needs are on your path of life.  If it's a need you can fill, fill it!  Don't wait for a request or for a dire situation.  Tune in and then JUMP in!  Don't overlook those friends who are right beside you dog-paddling through their lives but could really use a life preserver right now.  Proverbs 17:17 says "A friend loves at ALL times."  Tune in.

Make sure that more than your ears are available to your friend.
Make sure that more than your mouth is available to your friend.
Your friend may well need your heart and your hands.  Be ready to drop 1 thing or everything to see that you're not missing an opportunity to love those who God has placed in your life.

Today's Prayer:
Father, thank you for my friends.  Thank you for placing just the right people in my life.  Those who I need, and those who need me.  Fill my mouth with kind words and wisdom.  Fill my hands with provision for physical needs.  Fill my heart with You, so that I overflow your goodness and love to those who need more than I know how to give.  Teach me to love as you love me, to lay down my life for others, and to bring joy wherever I go.  Give me someone new to love.  I trust that you'll bring all the little pieces of my life into place as I serve you with an obedient and willing heart.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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