Ponder, Procedure and Prayer

IMG_0910Derek: So, can you get a headache from thinking too many things?

Me: Well, I guess you can. I know I’ve gotten a headache when I’m thinking of a lot of stressful things.

Derek: They don’t have to be stressful. I just mean if you are learning a lot of things at once and learning them fast. Can you learn too fast and get a headache?

Me: I think that…hmmm…men and women are different in the way they think and learn things. We learned a little in our music class last spring about how men and women think differently when composing music. Men are often very focused like a laser, on whatever area they are interested and can master their talents and abilities without getting distracted. Whereas women tend to have a more global, overall thinking pattern, filling in gaps and meeting needs.

Derek: There’s a pin on Pinterest that says ‘Men build houses. Women build homes’. That seems to explain that concept well.

Me: Yes! I was reading a book recently where the author explained that God created women to conform and fill in like a liquid. What happens when we have a glass of ice and then pour liquid in the glass? The liquid fills in the spaces, right?

Derek: Yeah,this reminds me of when we were talking the other day about soil versus sand and how sand will get hot in the sun, but releases it’s heat after the sun goes down because it is like small grains or crystals and soil will hold heat because it is densely packed.

He’s 12 and we have had many conversations like this, usually while I’m driving and he’s sitting in the passenger seat looking out at the road and pondering things. It was also a fitting conclusion to a lot of pondering on my own part yesterday. Several things were going wrong in the regular course of my morning yesterday and after an intense discussion with my husband about those things and an agreement to scrap the discussion and start the day over with a happy face and a hug, words came to mind as an answer to a recent prayer “You run quickly to meet needs but are slow to obey Me.” Oh! Was this true? A week ago, I prayed ‘Show me thy ways, Lord. Teach me your paths.’ This was going to be just the first part of the answer to that prayer, learning to wait on the Lord and obey and not be in a rush to meet every need.

I’m tired tonight. It’s been a good day today, and a pretty day, weather-wise. It seems there are piles of things to do. I could start anywhere, but I’m already exhausted from running errands in the car. At times it seems there is no rest.  A long blog post like this one takes several days or weeks to write, because I write in short sittings, while I’m waiting…waiting for a doctor appointment to begin, eating a late dinner just before bed, waiting for someone to come home so we can work on something that I can’t finish alone. Things around the house get done like my blog posts, in fits and starts. My time is committed elsewhere much of the day. I plan everything around my work schedule. I work full time and everything else has to just fit in sideways and longways and upside down until my schedule looks like our overstuffed garage.

At work, we have procedures in place to answer customer requests efficiently and effectively. I would love to have set procedures for everything that needs doing here at home. I make attempts with schedules and checklists, but it’s all in the doing and not just the planning. Elisabeth Elliot used to quote the following poem and I think of it often:

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “DOE THE NEXTE THYNGE.”

Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, doe the nexte thynge.

Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, doe the nexte thynge

Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, doe the nexte thynge.


So, tomorrow we start school again. It’s time to “do” and obey and time to shake off the summer heat and settle into our home library early each morning this week. My resolve has just been encouraged by the activity at the local stores. It looks like all the summer items are on clearance and the shelves are quickly filling with school supplies. It’s a good time. God is good and all of these things are blessings. Thank you, Lord. This reminds me of a prayer I heard read by Ravi Zacharias in one of his broadcasts. It was written by French writer, Michael Quiost, and with this I will conclude this blog post:

Thank you, Lord, thank you.
Thank you for all the gifts you have given me today,
Thank you for all I have seen, heard, received.
Thank you for the water that woke me up, the soap that smells good, the toothpaste that refreshes.
Thank you for the clothes that protect me, for their color and their cut.
Thank you for the newspaper so faithfully there, for the comics (my morning smile), for the report of useful meetings, for justice done and big games won.
Thank you for the street-cleaning truck and the men who run it, for their morning shouts and all the early noises.
Thank you for my work, my tools, my efforts.
Thank you for the metal in my hands, for the whine of the steel biting into it, for the satisfied look of the supervisor and the load of finished pieces.
Thank you for Jim who lent me his file, for Danny who shared his lunch with me, for Charlie who held the door for me.
Thank you for the welcoming street that led me there, for the shop windows, for the cars, for the passers-by, for all the life that flowed swiftly between the windowed walls of the houses.

Thank you for the food that sustained me, for the glass of water that refreshed me.
Thank you for the car that meekly took me where I wanted to be, for the gas that made it go, for the wind that caressed my face and for the trees that nodded to me on the way.

Thank you for the boy I watched playing on the sidewalk opposite,
Thank you for his roller-skates and for his comical face when he fell.

Thank you for the morning greetings I received, and for all the smiles.
Thank you for the mother who welcomes me at home, for her tactful affection, for her silent presence.
Thank you for the roof that shelters me, for the lamp that lights me, for the radio that plays, for the news, for music and singing.
Thank you for the bunch of flowers, so pretty on my table.

Thank you for the tranquil night.
Thank you for the stars.
Thank you for the silence.

Thank you for the time you have given me.
Thank you for life.
Thank you for grace.

Thank you for being there, Lord.
Thank you for listening to me, for taking me seriously, for gathering my gifts in your hands to offer them to your Father.
Thank you, Lord,
Thank you.


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