|Photo Print by Laura Evans on Etsy|
Some encouraging -and convicting- words from the pen of Elisabeth Elliot on the Discipline of Time:
“My times are in thy hand…” has become a part of my life. When the Lord has left me in agony of waiting over some decision, these words have put me a rest. His timing is always perfect, though it seldom seems to me, for my temperament longs for previews of coming attractions.”
“There is always enough time to do the will of God. For that we can never say, “I don’t have time.” When we find ourselves frantic and frustrated, harried and harassed and “hassled,” it is a sign that we are running on our own schedule, not on God’s”
On our way too long to-do lists:
“But the lists must be reviewed daily with the Lord, asking Him to delete whatever is not on His list for us, so that before we go to bed it will be possible to say, “I have finished the work You gave me to do.””
Are you feeling frustrated and worried about your endless lists of things to accomplish and places to go? Maybe it will be a good idea to be reminded of these simple truths:
“Frustration is not the will of God. Of that we can be quite certain. There is time to do anything and everything that God wants us to do. Obedience fits smoothly into His given framework. One thing that most certainly will not fit into it is worry.”
“Direct your time and energy into worry, and you will be deficient in things like singing with grace in your heart, praying with thanksgiving, listening to a child’s account of his school day, inviting a lonely person to supper, sitting down to talk unhurriedly with wife or husband, writing a note to someone who needs it.”
“People wish they had more leisure time. The problem is not too little of it, but too much of it poorly spent.”
On our time spent with the Lord:
“Time management…begins for the Christian with time set aside for God. Other things cannot fall into a peaceful order if this is omitted.”
All these quotes come from the book, Discipline: The Glad Surrender.
I came across this short meditation by Ray Ortlund at The Gospel Coalition today and I just needed to share it with you. It ministered to me as I am -slowly- learning what it means to Live Quietly.
“In quietness and trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
The greatest power in all this world is not military or political or sexual or commercial. The greatest power, which will outlast all others (“above all earthly powers”), resides deep within the simplest believer. Quietness of heart before God, trusting in him, is our strength, and there is no greater strength.
Alec Motyer comments insightfully, “Quietness is the absence of panic and restlessness. It is the product not of refusal to face life but of insistence upon taking God into account in trust.”
This quietness is not denial but indeed its opposite. It is facing God, taking God as God fully into account, treating God as more real than everything so firmly set against us, including our own needs and sins, because he is more real.
Quietness of heart is not outwardly impressive. Which is why we sometimes get nervous, why trusting in God can feel like skating on thin ice. But it is God’s good wisdom — and there is no other — for the display of his all-sufficiency.
Quietness of heart before God is where fugitives stop running, and start resting, and become stalwarts and overcomers, because God himself is there.
Learning under His sun and by His grace,
|Peasant Family at the Dinner Table by Jozef Israëls|
What a great a read is Bed and Board: Plain talk About Marriage by Robert Farrar Capon. I am absolutely loving this book. I posted some quotes from the first four chapters here, and today I want to share with you a few more quotes from chapters 5 and 6.
“I usually say that you need only two things, two pieces of matter, to make a home: a bed and a table. It’s an oversimplification, but it’s a good one…For Bed and Board are the fundamental geographical divisions of the family; they are the chief places, and it is in them and around them that we dance the parts we are given.”
“He who perished by a tree is saved by a tree. He who died by an apple is restored by eating the flesh of his Saviour. Our lust is to be healed by being brought down to one bed, our savagery tamed by the exchanges around a lifelong table. Bed, Board, rooftree and doorway become the choice places of our healing, the delimitations of our freedom. By setting us boundaries, they hold us in; but they trammel the void as well. By confining, they keep track of us -they leave us free to be found, and to find ourselves. The vow of lifelong fidelity to one bed, one woman, becomes the wall at the edge of the cliff that leaves the children free to play a little, rather than be lost at large. Marriage gives us somewhere to be.”
“The bed is the heart of the home, the arena of love, the seedbed of life, and the one constant point of meeting. It is the place where, night by night, forgiveness and fair speech return that the sun go not down upon our wrath; where the perfunctory kiss and the entire ceremonial pat on the backside become unction and grace. It is the oldest, friendliest thing, in anybody’s marriage, the first used and the last left, and no one can praise it enough.”
“We were meant to meet, to sustain and to ease each other, and in the marriage bed we lie down to do just that. It is an island in a sea of troubles, where there is nothing else to do but rest and refresh. Yet how resourceful we are, with our turned backs and stubborns silences, or with our interminable pouts and dreadful debates about What’s Wrong With Us.”
“People admit is hard to pray. Yet they think it’s easy to make love. What nonsense. Neither is worth much when it is only the outcropping of intermittent enthusiasm. Both need to be done without ceasing…”
“The table can make us or break us. It has its own laws and will not change. Food and litter will lie upon it; fair speech and venom will pour across it; it will be the scene of manners and meanness, the place of charity or the wall of division, depending. Depending on what is done with it, at it and about it. But whatever is done, however it enters, it will allow only the possible, not the ideal. No one has ever created the Board by fiat. God himself spread his table, but Judas sat down at it. There is no use in thinking that we all have to do is wish for a certain style of family life, and wait for it to happen. The Board is a union of thing and persons; what it becomes depends on how the thing is dealt with by the persons.”
“The Board will always give birth to liturgy.”
“[I]t is precisely the absence of visible liturgy that nowadays makes the common life less obvious to common men.”
“Few of us have very many great things to care about, but we all have plenty of small ones; and that’s enough for the dance. It is precisely through the things we put on the table, and the liturgies we form around it, that the city is built; caring is more than half the work.”
Under His sun and by His grace,
“Beauty is God’s inspiration to delight in Him. Wonder and awe whisper to us that there is something beyond, something more.” Steve DeWitt, Eyes Wide Open
|Image credits: Photograph by Andrew Osokin at Peta Pixel (Amazing!)|
Make sure you go see the whole photography series of snowflakes by Andrew Osokin. It is breathtaking!
|100 Days of Books|
Today I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be sharing over at Desiring Virtue. Please, come and read…
Just as you can’t understand how quickly your little one has passed through the diaper stage, or how fast your son has grown into a young man who now has eyes to see a beautiful lady and buy flowers for her; one day you’ll come to the mirror and find an older woman’s reflection. If you are not ready, you will find yourself asking, “When did this happen?”
You may keep on reading here.