7.16.2010

FFF: Celebrating Presence


People. Relationships. Time spent doing nothing measurable. Some may call it wasting time...

All too easily I get caught up in the things of life. The to-do's of life. The measurable pieces of life. Sometimes I call it wasting time...


This week turned out different. It's not that I planned it that way. It just happened.

As I look back, evaluate and consider, I can't think of any better way that I could have spent my time... Doing nothing. With people. Deepening relationships.

Celebrating the gift of presence in my life this week.

The Presence Of...

1. My children: Earlier this week found my husband in bed quite early. It took us all a few days to catch up from last weekend. With him having to work a physically demanding job in the heat every day, it was taking him a bit more time to recoup.

The children had gathered in the basement. I went down to see what they were doing, and found myself sitting between them, all gathered on one couch, instead of doing a few more tasks.

We watched silly game shows. We laughed. We played along trying to answer the questions. We got them wrong. We got them right. We won nothing.

We accomplished absolutely nothing. Except, we spent time... together.

2. My man: We welcome the idea of more traveling room. A few weeks ago we bought a van that needed some work. The work is taking longer and becoming more than we expected. My husband came home each night this week and headed straight out to the van to work. One evening I went out myself.

I held a flashlight. I turned on the air compressor when it was needed. I got spray to kill a bee that had started a nest under the hood. I sat. I watched. We didn't talk much. We didn't get the van finished. He worked steadily.

I accomplished nothing. Except, we spent time... together.

3. Friends: I met with friends for a picnic at the park. The children played. The mom's talked. We chased our children. We fed our children. As women, for those two hours, no errands were made. No tasks were completed.

We accomplished nothing. Except, we spent time... together, with each other and with our children.

4. Teenagers: I attended this week's youth group at church as the adult female leader. We sat and talked. We played games. We worshiped in song. We had a lengthy and hearty discussion about grace.

Nothing stirs and excites my heart more than when God is pursued as truth and His Word becomes the ultimate authority in lives. It was such a joy to hear the questions of these teens and the discussion that followed as they endeavor toward such things.

I accomplished nothing. Except, we spent time... together: God, a couple of adults, and a bunch of teenagers.

5. God: I've had a heavier and darker week than normal. I'm not even able to fully put it into words. However, the discipline and desperation of my soul drew me to continue to find that place of quiet each morning. I spent my time with Him... reading, talking, sitting, crying, pleading, and even in silence.

I found affirmation and comfort in many passages, but particularly in Lamentations 3. I spent some time there.

Lam. 3: 28-31 (MSG) "When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The 'worst' is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won't ever walk out and fail to return."

I accomplished nothing. Except, we spent time... together: my God, my heart, and I.

And this week a bonus favorite:

6. You: Your visits, sharing your thoughts via comments, your personal e-mails... each one of them bless me immensely!

I pray about this place. I have struggled in the past with the part this place has in my life. I ask God to help me keep it in perspective. Over the years I have been personally challenged and learned a few things about this world of blogging and what it is for me personally.

In fact, in my prayer journal next to this request, I had that I would be mindful that it is not all about numbers. That has been crossed out and then I had written that it would be used as a ministry.

Over time that mindset began leading to stressful expectations I was placing on myself. That is now also crossed out. If God chooses to use it in that way, then I invite Him to and that is an extra blessing and to Him be all the glory!

I now only have one word written in my prayer journal as it relates to this place... relationships. This place has allowed me to form some incredible friendships. For that, for each of you, I am beyond grateful.

When I sit at this computer, in this place, to write and share my heart, my life, my challenges and what I am learning... When I read the words of your heart, your life, your challenges and what you are learning...

I accomplish nothing. Except, we spend time... together.
~~~~~

People. Relationships. Time spent doing nothing measurable. Some may call it wasting time...

This week, I have been reminded to call it for what it is, the very essence of a full and rich life. I have been challenged and reminded again that it is so very worth slowing time, halting the pace, enjoying the presence of another... and celebrating.

"To be blessed is not simply to do more or to have more or to be free from pain, hunger, or fear. To be blessed is to be in relationship--first with God, then with others." --JoAnn Lyon
What are you celebrating this week?

As always, thanks to Susanne for creating a gathering place each week where we can be mindful of five favorite things in our week.

9 comments:

  1. This is a lovely post. You've reminded us of what is really important.

    The final quote you share is awesome! So true.

    The scripture you share speaks to my heart. I am going to write it out so I can read it over and over during my day. Thank you.

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  2. What a lovely post! Steps on my toes a bit, because I always want to be accomplishing something instead of just taking time to be in the presence of my God and my loved ones.

    Love that scripture passage! I'm going to write it down, too.

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  3. I read something about this not too long ago (I'm sorry I can't remember where.) - but the gist of it was that when it is all said and done it is our relationships that matter most. I think it is the time invested in others that will count for eternity. I know you have found the very best part Donnetta.
    This is so beautifully written from your heart. It spoke volumes to me.
    I pray that your days will get a bit brighter and the burden will be lifted. I so appreciate you dear one.

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  4. Love that post Donnetta,,, I think that is where we go wrong a lot of time..Spending time together.. not accomplishing a whole lot, but completely spending time with each other..Love it...
    Stop by and say Hi again some time..
    nice to have visitors..
    http://glassofsweettea.blogspot.com/
    Have a great weekend ..
    God Bless..

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  5. Wonderful post. At the end of the day, spending time together is the most important thing and what makes life worthwhile.

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  6. A brilliant post, Donnetta, highlighting the immeasurable (and irreplaceable) value of the ministry of presence.

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  7. Hey Donnetta,, Thanks for stopping by my blog..and thanks for asking about my friend..
    She is doing great.. when the doctors got in there , they found i wasn't a tumor but scar tissue from the kemo she had had before.. Praise God..but never the less they took it out and she is doing well..
    Have a great day.. and again.. thanks for stopping by. see ya soon

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  8. This whole post made me happy and shed some tears. It was so beautiful Donetta. And so true. Life is all about relationships! First with God and then family and then each other. I think I'll bookmark this and read it every once in a while when I let my to do lists overwhelm me.

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  9. This was just lovely, Donetta. I found myself saying, "Yes, yes, YES!" as I read it.

    I did much the same thing the last few weeks...spent time with God, family, and friends. And it was wonderful. Makes you wonder why we don't do it more often. Me, I let life get in the way of what's important. Thanks for reminding me.

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Thank you for taking a moment to stop and chat. I enjoy the presence of you!
~~~~~