I am having a quiet hour on my back porch. That is a rarity! I have two lovely porches and I worry and fuss over keeping them clean, but rarely do I sit down and enjoy them. I plant beautiful flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds, but I never sit down to watch them. It seems silly to invest so much time and energy into something that you don’t even use. It seems that I’ve become quite the Martha in my old(isn) age.
But, today I am enjoying my porch to the fullest. The kids are all engaged in quiet activities, and I have decided not to turn the music on so that I can enjoy the quiet. Sometimes it seems like I turn on music just to drown out the noise in my life. I am enjoying the beautiful sounds of nature. I hear katydids, birds singing, and the occasional buzz of a hummingbird. A slight breeze is blowing, causing my wind chimes to ring. Every now and then I hear the neighbor’s horses “talking to each other”. This is bliss.
As I sit here, many thoughts pass through my mind. There are worries. I worry about my youngest daughter. Last summer she was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. It has been very well controlled for quite a while, but recently the tics started back. Last night my husband counted seconds between them and figured out that she is having them every five to ten seconds. We try not draw attention to them and we don’t allow her to feel sorry for herself, but the truth is, it is painful to watch her struggle. She was pouring a glass of milk and last night, had a tic and dropped it on the floor. She apologized and then cried as she cleaned it up. In those moments, this mama’s heart absolutely breaks. It’s so hard when there is no medicine that you can give to help her or make her feel better. I just want to fix it for her, but I can’t. And so, above all else, I pray and I hug her and remind her that these things come in waves. It will get better. I also do research and I try to keep her calm and relaxed as much as possible.
And, as I sit here I rejoice. I think about my oldest daughter. She started her first “real” job this summer. When she first started, she came home talking about the conversations that her coworkers had and the music that they listened to. It was not what she was used to! I kept encouraging her to be the thermostat and not the thermometer. In other words, set the environment, don’t be swayed by it. Last night as I was driving her home, she shared with me that the environment at work has completely changed for the better. I know that a lot of that has to do with the way that she loves the Lord and loves the people around her. That has always been my prayer for her. Of course I hope that my kids are successful in life, but above all, I want them to love Jesus and love the people around them. She’s doing it! I like how she said it best. She said, “I may never change the whole world, but at least I can change my little corner of it.”
Also, as I sit here I think about the things that the Lord is teaching me and doing in my life. There are moments when I see my points of growth and all I can do is cry. My Heavenly Father is so good and kind and full of patience and grace. He has brought me so far. And yet at times I see that I still have so far to go. I’m still a mess at times. But, at least I know I’m a mess. I hope that after years of struggling, I am making the Lord’s work in me easier by not fighting against it.
Now my quiet time has come to an end! It’s time to rush out the door to family band practice. I need to catch these moments far more often than I do. I need to be like Mary, mindful of the one thing that I need most, which is time at the feet of Jesus.