Sunday, November 04, 2012

Grace For Non-Whiners

"But He gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”   ... James 4:6


I only told you part of what happened yesterday.

Besides major mowing and raking (even though we chopped down those two huge trees, we're still buried in leaves), I had to sweep leaves and tiny debris from the new driveway and mini-patio (aka sidewalk) along the garage, for today Concrete Guy is coming to seal the driveway. He said we'd be responsible for hosing down any mud, and well, as I cleared two piles of wind-blown, soggy leaves from the sidewalk, I noticed they'd pretty much stained two patches.

No one told me not to let leaves blow into piles there.

Well, not liking to use the hose, I just filled my heavy-when-full watering can a few times, both with clear and soapy water, lugged it to the sidewalk repeatedly, dumped it on the leaf stains, then used a push broom over it all. The surface dirt vanished, but not the stains, so probably the sealer will seal them in for good.

Gah. After all that mowing and raking and swishing and sweeping, I stood beside the garage and thought, "I'm getting too old for this."

And there in the semi-silence (always there's the hum of bridge traffic) beneath kinda-sunny skies (thank heaven for those, anyway), I stood there and gazed over at our neighbor's house where I've never seen the mom mow the lawn or rake one tiny orange leaf. Instead, she spent the summer on their deck getting tanned.

And our two neighbors behind us are elderly women, one of which hires-out a lawn service and the other has a strong 30-something grandson who lives with her (and who's helped us with some garage and yard work, even). These ladies drive together once a week to go have their grey, wispy hair styled downtown (they're adorable).

And I thought, "I want to be a girly-girl like those 3 ladies. Yep, I'm tired of being a lawn-mowin', leaf-rakin', brick-totin', furniture-liftin' worker wife. I'm ready, at 53, to just be girly.

Sounded good, that did. Felt great to consider the possibilities.

But then God reminded me of a few things (don't you hate it when He does that? heh.). 

He reminded me that my sun-bathing neighbor has a wiry, practically motorized young husband and a teenage replica of him for a son (who spent an hour raking leaves after I did). I don't have those.

And the elderly women behind us? They've earned their girly-ness. They're in their 80's and one of them is not in the best of health (she's the one smart enough to have the hard-workin' grandson live with her).

Then God reminded me that--if I'm not receiving enough Grace for what He's called me to do--well, it's my own darn fault. 

Grace, grace and more grace.... He makes that available to people who refuse to stand beside their garages, whining like babies, wishing they were something different than what they are. God gives grace to needy people who have learned how to receive it.

He also reminded me that I've chosen to do the yard work myself. When the time arrives that I truly can't/don't want to mow and care for the yard, He'll provide funds/workers/a way to get it done. 

Well, finally I shook myself and got back to work and I also remembered the day's  date: November 3rd. Gracious, the end of months and months of putting in a whole new yard all by myself. This was the end of the Planting Season and the beginning of a resting one, so duh! No wonder I felt as I did. My head had been lost inside a whole other season.

But next Springtime? You can bet I'll be back out in the yard working with my hands in the soil and extremely thankful to be there...and watching, instead, my other women neighbors who mow their own lawns (one even got up on her roof last week with the blower for her gutter leaves!) and being inspired by them.

Respecting the seasons in our lives and living joyfully inside the current one. That's what smart people do.



Signs we may be living in the wrong season:

We're sad that our times with our adult children aren't the same as when they were small, blinding us to new joys we could be experiencing.

We're disappointed that, after 30 years of marriage, the physical passion has died way down (keeping us from recognizing other, deeper passions which have grown).

We used to travel a lot, but now are unable to... and resent it instead of just being thankful for the places we did get to. And remembering those times fondly.

We once had lots of money, but are now sour-minded about our lesser means, blinding us to what we still have--and the creativity we could be exercising.

Basically, when we keep wanting today to be like yesterday, we're trying to live inside a wrong season.

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."   ... Acts 20:24


Good news! Concrete Guy came and only sealed the driveway, not the sidewalk. Lesson #2904: Just do the best you can--and instead of sweating the small stuff--leave it with God.



Anonymous said...

Although it is harder and I am much less spry I am so happy to be outside doing anything! I see so many people who cannot do or hurt so much more than I do when they try to do things. Things some of them must yearn too be doing again. There is Plenty I can no longer do but oh how I can still do a lot! You got me thinking though on other aspects .... I will keep an ear out for any unseasonal thinking.... I am sure there is some lurking about my head... Sarah

Anonymous said...

On my computer at least, this particular entry is missing quite a bit...whole lines gone. Maybe it is just my computer, but the other entries seem fine.
Elizabeth in VA