Plane Coffee Mom

Chatting about Mission Aviation over coffee

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Day One and Simplicity

It’s already the second week of January, and I’m still thinking it’s “Day One.” Well, I realize it is not technically Day One, but the concept keeps catching me. Matthew West’s song runs through my head, particularly the lines, “It’s Day One of the rest of my life, I’m marching on to the beat of a brand new drum”.

Day One, it’s reflective of the simplicity I am focusing on this year. To me it’s a mentality that leaves the past behind while moving on. It’s realizing that I don’t have to replay yesterday’s conversations AGAIN, that I don’t need to reevaluate my productivity AGAIN, and that I don’t need to live in regret. The past is done. If something that happened demands I offer an apology or suggests I make a change, I do that now. Then I leave the past behind and take the lessons I learned to move forward in this moment.

Day One. A brand new start, a chance to move forward in what God is calling me to right now. A chance to make new friends or connect with old friends. An opportunity to start a project or finish one. A clean slate that doesn’t demand I work around what I’ve started but allows me to write what’s on my mind. It’s freeing, living in this moment, starting from now, focusing on the one thing that’s in front of me. Day One is simple.

Day One. It’s extravagant to begin again. Frugality demands I hang on to what I have and make the most of what was instead of investing in something new. Extravagance erases the old and comes up with a brand new plan. Extravagance enjoys this moment without worrying about the one that preceded it or the one that will follow. Extravagance means I am free to be the person I have become through the lessons I’ve learned without doing penance for the past or worrying about the future.

Day One. An extravagant view of grace and mercy, freely accepting and offering forgiveness without trying to extract payment. Hope that what I’ve been promised will come to pass. Faith that investing in this moment does not demand that I keep replaying my efforts or worrying about the outcome.

Today I choose to live “Day One”, the Simple Extravagance of a new beginning that will bear good fruit.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving. One of the most American holidays ever, complete with underlying values and heavy with tradition. A day to celebrate all we have and to share a meal with family and friends. A day that nearly everyone cooks, apparently. A day that is synonymous with family and food and relaxation.

 

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope your day is full of the best parts of each of those things: that the traditions you follow bring joy, that the thankfulness you express today is a gratitude that is lived most days, and that the food you prepare is truly enjoyed.

I realized yesterday that we have no traditions for this holiday as it isn’t one we have often celebrated. Most Thanksgiving days in our lives have been spent as regular work days, with maybe a few moments set aside to read about the celebrations going on in the USA or Canada, as the case may be.

Still, as long as I can remember I’ve seen beautiful photos of a loaded Thanksgiving table with a large family gathered. I have a mental picture of what Thanksgiving could or should be, and I’ve tried hard to recreate it sometimes. The perfect turkey with delicious stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato something, and pumpkin pie with coffee to finish it off. This amazing meal followed by a time of sharing gratitude for the people around the table and the things we enjoy.

No matter how hard I try, the experience simply doesn’t meet my expectations. Usually by the time the food is on the table there have been frustrations that make me harried. We cut into a turkey that isn’t perfect, nobody really enjoys cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie isn’t a family favorite. Thanksgiving feels forced and my sons mumbled thanks feel like a reflection on my poor parenting. So, for all my effort, it’s empty. Disappointing. Discouraging.

I still hold to the thought that for many people, the pictures in their mind of a Thanksgiving celebration are based on a reality that has grown over their years of childhood and into the present. What they expect is maybe much closer to what they get. And for them, the effort they spend on Thanksgiving creates a reality that connects them to one another and to the past and their heritage. For the rest of us, it’s a different story.

This year as we celebrate Thanksgiving in the USA, I am trying to carve a new path based on reality and our history. As I ponder the things that I am truly thankful for, they are people and experiences. The people who have helped us grow and the ones we’ve been privileged to help. Our family who lives scattered by calls that are unique  but hearts that are similar. The people we have served and the ones who have served us.  The people who have prayed with us and cried with us. The places we’ve lived and the ones we’ve visited. The cultures we’ve experienced that have changed our biases and taught us new things. The places that felt like home when we arrived and the ones that became home only by a force of will. The teams that welcomed us and the ones we tried so hard to join. These are the things that make our history and define us as a family, and today I am celebrating each one of them.

In fact, in the process of blogging I’ve come up with next year’s menu: Rice, carne mechada, black beans, chipa, and a side of pancit. Leche flan with a cup of cafe con leche for dessert while we remember and give thanks.

May your Thanksgiving be filled with thanksgiving.

Today and perspective

I woke up late and tired. The sink was full of dishes and the dishwasher hadn’t run. I have places to go and things to do. The laundry finally got folded yesterday, but it’s still sitting on the couch. My to-do list is so long I quit looking at it, and that is already costing me. I forgot the company that’s arriving in a couple of days. I have no plan for lunch and I need to be out the door in 10 minutes. I didn’t work out.

I sat down and made a plan to get it all done by noon. I wish. Really, I looked around and found myself sinking into blackness. I got into the Word and asked God to renew my mind. I finished my Bible study. I tried to pray, but I kept thinking that I need a plan. Truth entered my mind, but didn’t reach my heart. I drank my coffee. I ate yogurt for breakfast and discussed all that needs done with my husband.

He headed out the door and I cleared the table and wiped the counters, piling more dishes into the sink. I tried to figure out what I could accomplish before I leave for the morning. And then I sat down to write.

img_1089I wanted to tell you about my morning, not because it’s so terrible, but because it’s so normal. Life goes like this some days. And we need a plan and we need to be realistic. But more than that, we need God. I knew that sitting down and writing out what was in my mind would help me get centered in reality. Because in the bigger picture, I need grace and clarity. I need God to speak into my life about what needs done and what needs to be left. I need His joy to carry on through the tasks. I need to disconnect from all the voices that tell me my problem is my lack of organization or my energy level or my self-imposed expectations.

You see, those are problems, but not the problem. I think the problem is that I am living from a bad place. I think it’s called independence and sin. Not because my lists or expectations are bad, but because I am trying to be someone or prove something. I am coming to see that truth and freedom do not react to life like this.

Truth stays in God, in the fact that He is enough and that He gives grace for the tasks He assigns. His burden is light and His yoke is easy. He offers rest for our souls. He has finished the work, and all the essential things are secure. In Him we are seated in the heavenlies. Seated.

And so, it was worth sitting down. And now I head out the door much more at peace with the way things are and with the assurance that everything will be ok. And more than ok, they will be good, because I intend to trust Him completely and obey immediately. I’m sure that’s the best plan of all, and that His grace is enough for that!

Where did your day start and how are you dealing with it?

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