For instance, yesterday we headed to piano lesson.
As Michaela was getting out of the truck to go inside for her piano lesson ( we have the best piano teacher in the world by the way), she asked me if I was going anywhere. "I'm headed to Tractor Supply" I said, thinking I had just enough time to cram that errand in and get back to pick her up. "Oh, but I wanted to go with you, to look for bumper stickers!" she said.
In that moment, I made a decision to wait. WAIT. That's kind of a big word. And sometimes a hard one to DO! But the time spent together with her after lesson going to TS outweighed my desire to 'get it done' and save time later in order to get home quicker. I didn't NEED to get home quicker that day......! So.........I turned off the truck, and sat there looking at Mr. B's beautiful backyard, which in reality is a clearing in the middle of a forest of trees.
I got out of the truck (instead of sitting in the truck updating my list of things to do in my daytimer to see what 'progress' I'd made, or still needed to make!). And I just began to walk around the perimeter of his yard, along the tree line. I sat down at the base of a tree, and I'll admit, I DID make a phone call (!) to my oldest daughter, Rebecca. But at least I wasn't sitting in the truck!
While she and I had our conversation, catching up on life and the weekend and other things, I just walked around the back yard, then settled again at the base of the same tree.
At one point, a young spotted fawn came within a few feet of me just inside the tree line! I watched the fawn watching me, it's gaze locked with mine. It was so close, but I never would have seen it had I not been resting on the root at the base of that big tree. I drank in the graceful beauty of this creature with my eyes, appreciating again the creativity of God. I squinted and looked into the canopy of trees, noticing the various textures of light and dark, and how amazing God is to paint that pattern of light and dark on the fawn, to keep it safely hidden and camouflaged while it's mother is away......
And then, I began to look at the ground, I mean REALLY look at the ground. I picked up a stick and started playing in the dirt. At first it was just something to do with my hands. But then, as I looked at the ground, really LOOKED at it, I suddenly had a flashback to my childhood. I remember how much time I spent outside, playing hide and seek with my buddies, running all through the neighborhood or riding bikes, climbing trees, etc etc. I KNEW what the earth looked and smelled like then. I was so familiar with how the bark of each one of my favorite climbing trees felt under my fingers. I knew the smell of the trees, the grass, the sound of the wind through the leaves in summer.......even the multitudes of insects and smaller creatures that inhabited our stomping ground, even they were a regular part of my world. Then. In my childhood, when I had time to dive into the wonder of God's creation, because I spent more time there.
That is always where I have felt the closest to HIM. It still is.
As I sat there looking at the ground, I saw the artistry of God. Right there in the dirt! And I dove a little deeper, and stayed there, underneath the surface of daily life. Being still, reflecting, remembering......absorbing. How is it that such artistry can be right there, underneath our noses, within our grasp......but we rush on by so often?
There is something holy and restorative in nature. God's natural creation truly DOES declare His glory, in ways great and small. I want to be so much more attentive to the currents of God's Heart. The myriad of messages flowing forth daily, moment by moment, all around me!
Just as I caught a glimpse of the doe as she came looking for her offspring, Michaela came bounding out the door, her lesson finished. Mr. B saw me creeping along the forest wall in his backyard and flung open the window to find out what I was intrigued by. I held my finger to my lips, watched the doe dart away, and went up to the studio to share the story. He told me that he'd seen the same fawn one morning in the backyard with it's mother, practicing it's dashing and darting skills, while it's sibling hid shyly in the shade, coming out only at the last minute to explore the open clearing.
Michaela and I headed off to Tractor Supply, and wouldn't you know it? I ran into someone at TS that I hadn't seen in LONG LONG time. We caught up on one another's lives briefly. Then, she dove deeper with me and shared a trial that she is going through. A very painful deep valley. And in that moment, I was even more glad that I had waited. Had I not, then I would have missed this Divine appointment.
I was able to listen with my heart, and pray together with this beautiful but hurting sister. Right there in TS. And, I was able to put a treasure in her hands. A beautiful book that the Lord has been blessing my life with: "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp.
Surely our steps are ordered of the Lord, and I am ever learning to wait. Stop. Listen, and take the time to dive deeper below the surface of everyday life. With HIM.
You just never know what treasures await!