dusk

My friend Retta encouraged me to join her in the Jeff Goins “Slow Down Challenge”. I gladly accepted.

I’m a couple of days behind, so I’ll combine Days 1-3 here.

Day 1 was Noticing.

One thing I noticed was a hawk just outside my office window, feet firmly pinning a small critter of unknown description to the ground beneath him. I could see movement but couldn’t see what he’d caught. I dashed for my camera, then had it poised to snap the picture through the window when he clutched his prize and took flight, too quickly for me to see what he was holding OR capture a picture. I guess some things just have to be savored in the moment and recalled in words rather than photos. We can’t always freeze the image, but we can still give it permanence in print.

Another notice was the sound of the air conditioner coming to life, blowing cool air against my neck and setting my baby hairs to dancing. I don’t often think about how grateful I am for air conditioning, but here in Florida life would be very different without it.

Since Day 1 would have been Monday and that happened to be the day I spent some leisurely time with my beautiful friend Retta, I want to mention her as one of my focused notices. There is something unique about my friendship with her that I keep trying to word, keep trying to even understand in my own mind, and every time I try to pin it down with words I come up short. I tried again on Monday and failed again. I am grateful that she doesn’t think I’m weird for my failures. No, Retta is one of the most patient and gentle souls I have ever known. Friends now for ten years, we only hugged for the first time in person a bit over two weeks ago. There is something almost ethereal about now having her living close by. I almost feel like I’m afraid to touch the trail of pixie dust, fearful it might suddenly blow away and leave nothing behind. But she and I have talked about walking together in a better direction–walking in light and hope instead of waiting for the other shoe to drop. Too many days have been wasted in both of our lives to waste even one more waiting for something awful to rob us of the beauty of this life. And if we get to share it, I want to celebrate that for the gift it is.

Day 2 was Savoring.

“Because sometimes our biggest frustrations turn into our most beautiful moments.”

In response to this challenge I sit back in my chair and listen. I don’t watch much TV in general, and to be honest my usual response to hearing the TV playing is mild annoyance at the intrusion into my hearing space. This time, though, I listen with my heart. It’s a football game tonight, and the truth is football games on TV have historically been one of my favorite things in the world. Daddy and I used to watch it together, and I’ve watched with my family all through these years of our life together, these years of my husband and me raising four boys and a daughter, all of whom totally dig football. These thoughts make me smile soul-deep and I savor the moment to the sound of NFL theme music and all the memories that flood in.

Day 3 is Addressing  the Myth of Multitasking.

First off, I’ve always thought multitasking was a good thing. You know, something the most efficient among us do with pizzazz. I mean, multitasking seems like the only way to survive this life of motherhood and wifing and home management, right? How can it not be a good thing?

In theory I can see how doing too many things at once dilutes the focus on any one of them. I suppose I do understand that each thing I set myself to doing is worth my full focus at the time. Kind of makes me wonder why I didn’t think of that before. Probably because I was doing too many things at once.

I’m pondering the task assignment for today and will work on that tomorrow since it takes a bit of pre-planning. Stay tuned for more on that in the next post.

All these thoughts of slowing down are reminding me once again of Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and how gratitude slows time down. I always love reminders of Ann’s beautiful message.

Tonight I will be doing further thinking and soul-searching in regard to things God has been whispering to my heart. Friendship is figuring prominently in my thoughts lately, so it’s likely that will be at the forefront.

“Busyness robs us of the gift right in front of us.” –Jeff Goins

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6 thoughts on “Slowing Down {Days 1-3}

  1. I’m so glad you joined me on the challenge. It’s been a blessing for me, as I learn to slow down.
    I have to say that I find it amazing you saw a hawk. I’ve heard that a hawk represents a messenger, and often appears when we need to pay attention to subtle messages. Whether it’s true or not, hawks are amazing creatures … beautiful, strong and so intense.
    You are such a blessing to me and I thank God every day, for crossing our paths and for bringing us closer … as friend & in miles. I am blessed that we are walking this journey together.
    I’m working on the savoring and the slowing down and not multitasking. It will take a bit of doing for me to get there, but the challenge is a huge help, as does looking at life through different eyes.

  2. For some reason hawks have played frequent roles in our life over the past few years. The first time I remember it happening was not long after we moved to Palm Coast. There were two red shouldered hawks that hung out in our yard, often perching on our mailbox for long periods of stillness. We named them Lucien and Henry. We’ve seen several since we moved into this house, this area being replete with a variety of nature’s beautiful critters including an owl that hoots me to sleep on occasion. Today’s hawk sat about four feet from my office window, certainly the closest I’ve ever been to such a majestic creature. It makes sense that they represent messengers, particularly since they first showed up in our lives when we stepped out in faith six years ago to plant a church. Lately, well, you know I have many unanswered questions bouncing around in my head and I am keenly awake to God’s message.

    I’m glad to walk this journey together, Lucy and Ethyl, two peas in a pod. Thank you for loving me through the hard parts, the awkwardness, the tentative hesitations, the questioning. You are a treasure.

    1. Majestic … yes. That’s a great word for hawks. I’m praying & know that God will answer your questions.
      “If you’re ever in a jam, here I am … if you’re ever in a mess, S.O.S.” Love you dearly, my friend.

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