“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1
As I sit in bed typing, my daughter is laying across the opposite end on her phone. The coffee pot, (yes, the pot) has been moved from the kitchen to my bedside table as rain mists outside the window. It is summer and nothing is planned today. Tonight we will eat with friends, but today is empty. This moment is not to be taken lightly. As I reflect on something I did last week, I’m aware that having an open day, like this one, is something to value.
Last week I broke this season’s harmony of lazy days with slower pace. It wasn’t on purpose. An accident, really.
But I did it.
I interrupted summer.
I went to Barnes and Nobel. The calendar display tempted me. (Eve blamed a snake. I blame a display.) Staring at me, fresh, untouched blank calendars waiting to be filled with dreams and opportunities. Excitement coursed through my veins.
Calendars, especially new calendars, are so intriguing to me. They lure me in with their organizational appeal and artistic design opening up my need to categorize the world into thirty to thirty-one squares per month. I think to myself, “I can do anything, as long as it fits into a square.”
Right away, I bought a calendar! (and a daily planner)
I brought my new calendar home. As I opened the months, I dared to … “What!?!” (Vinyl record scratching sound.) Agitation knocking my good mood aside.
“There are only five weeks of summer left at Thorntonville!” my heart screamed. (Yes, I’m aware that’s half of summer and I’m a glass half empty girl.)
Then the idea of dreams and opportunities turned dark. Dreams and opportunities turned to meetings and obligations. The time of year where I’d actually have to do what was written in the calendar squares. Ugh! Anxiety.
“God, help!” I cried out.
So…in Philippians 4:6-7 fashion, here is my prayer over Thorntonville’s “2015/16 Calendar”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6
“Glorious, Lord, Creator of time,
Help! Anxiety has hit as I feel the upcoming stress of teenage schedules clashing with church, family, work, extra-curricular activities, college, scholarship applications…the list goes on. I feel the “so much to do” mentality kicking in.
I pray, Lord, for your wisdom as we combine our schedules. I ask for help fitting together our family puzzle of time. We desire to do many great and awesome things. So many dreams and obligations that we want to fulfill.
First though, I want to say thanks for both the seasons of rest and business. God, you know what we need and you supply us with it. I am so very grateful for your provision.
I request you give my family courage to put you first in all that we do, including scheduling. Help us to remember the things you value like worship, family togetherness, loving our neighbors, etc. We know those areas are top priority to you. Please, help us be courageous in making them top priority to us, too.
We also know working with integrity is of upmost importance to you, so putting our work and school priorities above play is a must, as is blocking off a day for rest.
There will be times when we will have to turn down opportunities, Lord. Help us to be kind and loving as we say “no” to committees, invitations we can’t attend and friends we’d truly love to hang out with but can’t at that moment.
Lord, place on our calendar, your agenda. We know your plan is ultimately the best. Please, block anything that would hinder us from following your plan. Give us wisdom with timing in that plan; help us to meet our deadlines and schedule our appointments so their timing doesn’t conflict with your agenda or each other’s.
Help our “yes” be yes and our “no” be no as we make our commitments. But even above that, help us to show your compassion as times come where compassion must intervene in order for us to be your hands and feet, Lord.
Lord, we are your children and we are a family. Help us each be mindful of each other as we work together this coming year. Encouraging each other to be dream reachers and people blessers. Help us to do our best at all that we do, knowing this brings you honor.
With these request, please, give us peace and strength to walk daily with you into the tasks ahead.
In Christ Jesus name. Amen
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7