Our days lately have been what you would call “brisk”—cool, almost on the verge of chilly but still sunny and nice. The trees are changing colors in variant shades of green, red, gold and brown, and soon we will have mounds of their leaves on the ground. Yes, autumn is upon us and before you know it, the holiday season will be, as well. Did you know it is only five and a half weeks until Thanksgiving and ten weeks exactly until Christmas???!!! I am in no hurry to see this year end, but whether or not I like it, 2011 will soon be gone.
The pace around our house has also been brisk. Whether it is home-schooling five kids between preschool and high school ages; cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry for a family of eleven; packing and unpacking for weekly trips; crossing one church project after another off my to-do list; helping Julie with some of her projects for the Ukraine trip; or dealing with some pretty intense issues that have come up in the last few weeks, Laurie and I have felt like our heads are spinning and by eight o’clock at night we are ready to drop. We are planning to steal away for a few hours on Tuesday for our first real mother-daughter time-out since they’ve returned to the States three and a half months ago! We live in the same house, but it is sad to say that even a morning cup of coffee together or a late-night girl-talk session are very rare occurrences. I know when they return to Ecuador in January we will look back on this time with regrets that we didn’t get to have more time together just enjoying one another’s company.
This week and the coming week ahead will be even crazier. The Naranjos will be packing for a three-week trip to visit churches and other supporters in Louisiana, Alabama and Tennessee. Bob will be taking Robbie and me down to Alabama, as well, to stay with Julie and David’s children while they go to the Ukraine to visit the boy they are adopting. Our planning and packing lists are long, and by mid-week we will be tripping over a dozen or more suitcases and other paraphernalia that have to go. We were planning to leave at the same time on Friday morning and then realized that wasn’t going to work. Can you imagine two vehicles needing to be loaded with mountains of “stuff,” and this huge family all vying for the bathroom at the same time in order to be on the road by 7:00 AM? Bob and I decided instead to leave a day earlier to make it easier for the Naranjos and also possibly to give Julie and David a hand as they prepare to leave for the Ukraine on Saturday.
As crazy-busy as it is, I am still so excited to go on this trip! Robbie will be thrilled to get away from home and see his other nieces and nephews. I can see when he looks at pictures of Benjamin, Joshua and Hannah that he misses them. Having our Naranjo kiddos here with us has been so good for him and he just loves it, but you can never have too many nieces and nephews, (or grandkids!), can you?! As for me, I’m looking forward to getting away, too. I see Bob and the Naranjos and other family members traveling, and although I am content to stay home with Robbie, it will be nice to have a change of pace and a change of scenery. And at one point while we’re in Alabama the whole family will all be together for the first time in over three years! What could be better than that?!
There are a lot of things going on at our church, as well. This is Missions Month and several of the projects I have been working on have been for that. Tonight there is an international fellowship dinner before the service. Missions are very near and dear to my heart, and normally I would be so excited to be a part of it all, but I must admit, I was tempted to skip the dinner and church
tonight. I have so much to do and so little time left in which to accomplish it all. I mentioned to Bob that I was thinking about not going.
He said, “Uh-uh. The Lord comes first!” Of course. I overheard someone just this last week repeat an old phrase, “If you’re too busy for God, you’re just too busy.” Our busy-ness may not be self-centered at all. It may be for Him, and for others but when it infringes upon our time to just sit at His feet, then, like Martha, we must listen to the Master’s gentle rebuke. Luke tells the story: “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore
that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:38-42)
I don’t want to be so busy that my daughter and I don’t have the time or energy to spend quality time together. I don’t want to be so busy, even for Him, that I neglect time with Him. If I am so busy, even busy doing good, that I neglect relationships with the people I love and with my Lord, then I am just too busy.