Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Delight of Pauses

"The joy of the Lord is my strength."  ... Nehemiah 8:10


I so appreciated Pat's post yesterday, one called Tired of Being Tired

It was timely for me, because--as soon as the warm, kinda-humid weather sailed in this week--I became reacquainted with that ol',  "It's 2:00 in the afternoon and I feel drained" feeling. You know, when you do ten minutes' worth of sunny, outdoor work and then must spend 30 minutes (or more) inside resting-up from it.

And during those times I'd recall when I was in my  mid-30's in our other suburb house. How I'd get Tom off to work in the mornings and then I'd get dressed, feed the cats, eat breakfast, wash dishes, dust, paint two walls of a room, clean-up the paint supplies, mow the lawn, put in a load of laundry, clean out the refrigerator and then stop for lunch at noon. heh.

Ah, those were the days!  But you know? This 53-year-old woman has had to accept that those days are gone forever. Well, this side of Heaven, anyway.  I simply cannot work like that anymore--and I'm in good health, even! Ok, ok, adequate health. (If I'd always obey God when He convicts me to exercise and eat better, I'd feel better than I already usually do. Gulp.)

But it's my stamina, I'm finding, which has changed most. I just can't seem to work as steadily, as long, as I used to. I must take many breaks in order to keep going and you know? A couple years ago I realized I just had to accept that fact, and accept that--actually--it's the new wisdom for me. It is wisdom that, as a woman who's lived for more than half of a century (!), I need to accept a lifestyle of pauses.

Pause: a temporary rest, an intermission of action, a stop in order to consider, to reflect.

Oh! When you put it that way, pauses sound lovely. I usually associate the word, 'intermission' with movies and how good it sounds to take an intermission during my own life's film. To consider my actions (are they the best and wisest ones? Am I expecting more from myself than even God is?) and to reflect upon all my blessings, the sweetness of God and the abilities I still have in my 50's. The strength God still gives me and the tasks He honors me with during this decade of my life--all good things to meditate upon.

But in order to see beauty in these pauses, it has required new eyes of acceptance. Acceptance that I've stepped into a different season. And contentment with where I am today (and what I can still accomplish) along with hope and assurance that tomorrow will be a good day, also, with God, especially if I live the day in joy, for that joy is my strength. Physical, emotional, mental and otherwise.

So I'm no longer 35, but the reverse, 53... oh well! As long as I keep desiring God every moment (this is how I stay close to him 24/7: I refuse to live without Him for even 60 seconds)---all will be well. He will make it so, will complete what I cannot, as I move into these later years where--truly--I must learn to receive more and more of His strength, not mine.

And that's not such a bad way to live at all. It's actually rather marvelous, this becoming less so that He can become more.


"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."  ... Philippians 4:8


My favorite place to pause? On my own front porch where I gaze down at the shining river and watch seagulls circle lazily in the quiet afternoon sky.



Rita said...

I am 61 and find what you are saying to be true for me as well. I put out less flowers and most of them are in a few pots now. I enjoy them just as much as I did a garden of flowers. I grow some from seed now to keep the cost down. Growing from seed is working for me and a new activity for me. I do need to get my paper clutter under control and God is helping me with that. I think when my mother kept gathering things all those years she had no idea that she could not live long enough to go through it all or maybe she thought is would be like a treasure hunt for me. huh, not! So many of my days are sorting and mostly sending to Helping Hands. I am also working to only have what I use and love since I don't want to leave so much for my children to go through. Life is full enough without huge mounds of clutter. I'm finding God meets us right where we are and helps us with whatever we need. He gives me direction daily and for that I am oh so thankful.

Pat said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog, it really means a lot to me.
I went to bed last night with the prayer that I too would learn to pause and to appreciate that I can take the time needed to recharge.
Every passage in life is a new adjustment, isn't it? God gives the tools and grace to adjust to each new corner we turn in our lives, but it is up to us to use them. I'm so glad He provides caring, dear people like yoursef and others to cheer each other on!
I had a list of "to-do's" for today, but I reduced to maybe one or two, and several pauses!

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Tell me about it! In three years I'll be 70 and I do see differences. Yet life is good, is a blessing. Especially with my new knees. But I know I'll never have the stamina I did in my 30s....To everything there is a season. You're so right, Debra!
A true post.

Robin in New Jersey said...

I love Philippians 4:8!

It took me days to clean-up the yard last week. I had to do a section at a time, a day at a time. I tried to do an hour, but one day it was only 30 minutes and I was finished! I really wish I wouldn't get so tired, so easily.

Blessings to you today, Debra!

Sharon said...

I think that we are never prepared for hte physical limitations of getting older--we still want to get out there and DO!
"Pause" has a kinder sound to it than a 'nap' or a 'break.' [Although some days my 'pauses' are awfully close together!]