We fill bags and marvel at how a tiny seed grows a tree and a tree, fruit and the fruit - seed again. The Creator is close when you walk with His majesty - with His masterpieces. And they're everywhere when we're out here. This is His might canvas.
When foot meets cobbled path or wooded green - hearts meet God.
The whole earth is filled with His glory.
Taking time to breathe from Facebook, Pinterest, media, and screens in general - it's an eye opening experience, friends. You quickly realize what you've been missing. Every moment I'm not engaged with these precious ones by my side - every moment I'm not living Mom-hood to the fullest, I'm wasting time. Blowing time into that crisp Autumn breeze. And it flies away, like the golden leaves.
All we really have is time. It is our greatest commodity and it isn't even our own. It is a gift. All time belongs to God and all of us belong to God. He holds it all. Apple trees, children, orchards, moments, days, decades - they are His. He decides how many days I have. I get to decide how to use them.
But how will I use what He freely gives?
The Creator God decides how many moments He will give and every moment is grace over-flowing.
People often ask me 'why' I do this.
You know, this whole home education thing.
Among the many reasons is this one - time is greatest gift I can give my children.
Time with God. Time with me. Time together. Time invested in their hearts and souls. Time in God's breath-taking creation. Time to be still and grow quietly and peacefully. Time to learn how to be a respecter of Time itself.
If we want to embrace every moment as Holy, we have to first embrace life itself. And life happens in moments. If we can't fully enter into the moments, how will we ever fully live our lives?
People also ask why we don't have a television and why we limit our kids' screen time to 15 minutes a day, if at all.
Because we desperately want to hold time as precious and Holy. How can time in front of the television ever by fully embraced? Video games? iPods? And for myself - Facebook? Twitter? Internet? Chatter and more chatter and hours adding up to days of screen time. It is empty. Empty time which leads to soul emptiness, friends.
So much screen time - it is wasted time. Forgive me if this offends, but it is truth.
And that truth has been blistering inside of me - this calling to really embrace God's gift of time here on earth. It is limited. So very, very limited. And how much of it I have is unknown. But my purpose of a follower of Christ is clear:
Make disciples by sharing the Good News of Christ Jesus.
All else, is all for not.
Time is the greatest sacrifice I can give to my Savior.
He asks us for our whole life, and that means our every moment. Our time. And yeah, it means shutting off the computer and actually tuning in to His voice. To tune into other people. To pray. To embrace long and hard those we love and leave a legacy of connection and wide awake living.
I mean, if we really, truly believe the Word of God to be true, we have to believe that all else is a waste of time. It really comes down to this - do we take the scriptures literally? Do we actually believe what we say we do? Because if we're true disciples, we should look radically different from the world.
The way we spend our time should be radically different. The question of 'am I producing fruit?' should be constantly on our hearts and minds. The question of how we are honoring these moments God has graciously given us should be burning within us. We are deserving of nothing, and yet - here we are. Holders of time.
Ann Voskamp called it a Sanctuary of Time:
"I speak it to God- I don't really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done - yesterday... in the beep and blink of the twenty-first century with its 'live in the moment' buss phrase that none of the whirl-weary seem to know how to do, who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync? To have time to grab the jacket off the hook and time to go out to all air and sky and green and time to wonder at all of them in all this light...
I just want time to do my one life well.
...this is where God is. In the present. I AM - His very name. I want to take shoes off. I AM - so full of the weight of the present, that time's river slows still... and God Himself is timeless....
When I fully enter time's swift current, enter into the moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment..." (One Thousand Gifts, A. Voskamp)
Back in the orchard, I gaze at our children counting their bountiful collection of God's fruits. The sun is a patchwork of His glory all around them and I'm tearing up again. His beauty - these moments, they are found right here. When hands meet earth and hearts meet each other and God greets us when we slow down.
Slow down long enough to turn off screens, open hearts, and get out into open air. Snuggle up close on the couch and read Squirrel Nutkin again and again and again. To run crazy in the backyard, pretending to be an Ostrich with the kids. To laugh deeply and roll in red leaves. To make Tupperware castles with a five year old. To open up His Word and sit long with a tea and breathe in what has survived the centuries. To write love notes to the God of the universe who reads them with tenderness. To call a friend. To make a pie. To stare out at the starry sky in the silence of the evening hours.
To pile apples high and bow low and thank God for His gifts. The gift of crunchy fruit, the gift of grace, the gift of spiritual fruit, and yes, the gift of time.
May we all truly be awakened to the 'sanctuary' of time before us and embrace our days and our moments with wisdom.
Lean into the One who is the Giver of all time, and pray. Still the world and enter into His awesome presence. Turn off the distractions long enough to listen. Long enough to realize how distracted we really are. God Almighty, He cares. He sees. He will draw near to us when we draw near to Him.
He will gently direct our days, our moments, our souls.
I love sharing my heart in this space, but I also want to walk in reverence of the time God has given me. Please forgive me if I don't respond quickly or post often. I'm still here, but I'm here more in spirit than I am physically.
Facebook is still up - but I'll post only every once in a while.
God willing, here's the plan:
November - A weekly study on Prayer.
December - We're reading through the book of Matthew.
Praying we will embrace our time and live it well... on the journey with you, friends.
Ann Voskamp quoted from One Thousand Gifts, "A Sanctuary of Time"