When are You Really Living?

I try not to write about writing, because that feels dumb. Not everyone writes or cares about writing - but we all have something. There is something you do when you know you are living to the fullest. For me, it's writing.

open skies

My daughter asked me if I have specific days I post, and I laughed because I thought her genuine question was a joke about my sporadic writing.

If you're a reader who likes to know what days certain writers post, so you can keep up and not miss out, I disappoint. I haven't been writing much lately. I've written numerous half-posts that come from half-thoughts that never really get the chance to come to life, to steep long enough to make sense, but I mostly prefer to leave half-thoughts unpublished.

I've struggled against this inconsistency and wished it were different, because that's not how you're supposed to write. Inconsistent is not how you're supposed to do anything, and if you create (as all of us should) you ought to do it regularly.

I turn it over to the Lord and then turn it back into a problem and then turn it over, back, over.

I fret about not writing or not having enough time, which is a ridiculous cliche. Did God not know what He was doing when He set the sun and the earth in motion? If Jesus was never rushed while His feet were on earth and if all things the Father had planned for Him were accomplished, who am I to think that there are more things for me to do, than time to do them?

Worrying about time never created more.

But I know that the real issue isn't time or that I'm not writing many complete sentences these days. The true problem is that I stopped listening. My friend Ashley wrote something that reminded me of that.

rest in the middle

I've been focused on completing the worst things first, like paying the bills or exercising. I try to do the housework as fast as I can, cook as easily as I can, delegate as much as I can, and I could really spend twice as much time in the school room as I do.

I want to hurry through the work, and hurry is the death of listening.

When you speed through the days, you lose perspective. You lose the balance of another person's opinions or feelings or needs, and you only see what occupies your own mind. You miss God speaking. 

I enjoy my days. I enjoy this homeschooling and homemaking life and there is no place I'd rather be. Somehow though, in the middle of all the things I love, I've stopped listening to the quietness inside and stopped observing the noise around, and vice versa.

It's the struggle to produce and the desire to have something to show for your end-of-the-day exhaustion that keeps you, keeps me,  from listening.  Listening doesn't manifest itself in meals made or bills paid, in piles of laundry, in lessons learned. Listening is slow.

But it happens in the midst of a full life.

Listening happens right smack in the middle of your full and busy life and if you squeeze the day for all it's worth, you really wring yourself out dry. We wait for a quiet time or a 3-mile run or bedtime and think then I can slow down and listen to this life, to Jesus, to my own thoughts. But it has to happen in the middle. Listening has to interrupt our day, our busy, our fervor to produce, or it's not really listening at all. 

I want to listen to the still, small voice.

To the loud ones.

To the tension rising and flashing warnings at me.

I want to listen to the season as it changes, inside and out, and know that something is passing but something is coming, too. I want to listen to Life and plug my ears to Duty, plug my ears to all the have-tos and must-dos, and listen for the needs.

I want to listen so I can observe so I can write so I can live.

What are you doing when you are really living and listening? Leave something undone if you have to, in order to slow and listen and let the days swell with the fullness of all the time we need.