No one told me that 31 Days of Right Here was a euphemism for 31 Days of Kicking Paths Through the House and No Underwear in Your Drawer.
I suppose I should have known, though, because when I say yes to something — the next thing God gives me in this right here moment, it means saying no or not right now, wait to something else.
In middle school, I heard golden words from a wise high schooler:
“When it’s time to play, play. When it’s time to work, work. Don’t always be thinking about the other thing. Be where you are.”
As I’ve looked around at my messy house this week, the girl who heard those words (and did homework while watching TV nearly every day through high school anyway) remembered.
This week, I wrote. I pieced together floor puzzles with my girl. I helped with homework. I made dinner. I met with a friend. I talked with my husband. I eventually washed and folded many loads of laundry.
I tried to do each thing in its own time because that is a huge part of the challenge for me in living right here. To focus on this thing without letting my mind race to the next important thing, following the continual impulse that I should be doing something else.
It’s certainly not going to be perfect, and life doesn’t fit into tidy, neat compartments, but I am trying to enjoy life in its portions.
One day this week I served up my lunch as Lala sat eating hers. I placed each item on my placemat and then walked back to the kitchen to grab something for my girl. From across the room, I realized that without intending, I’d placed every item not on a plate, but in a cup.
My hot water, my leftover chicken pot pie, my applesauce — each in its own ceramic container.
Every portion just a piece of the whole.
This is Day 3 of Right Here. To find all posts in 31 Days of Right Here, click here or see the listing below.
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POSTS IN THE SERIES
An introduction: Welcome to 31 Days of Right Here
Day 1: For You, Too
Day 2: Fear’s Invitation
Day 3: My Portion
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That high school teacher was really a wise man! With my illness I had no choice but to learn the secret of carpe diem; grab just today and then; only the one moment after the other. This is the only way of truly living in Jesus.
It was actually a student (four years or so ahead of me in school) who had such wise words. I can imagine that you are living in a manna posture, Mia. Holding hands open and then, yes, grabbing hold of this moment you’re given. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom through pain. I appreciate that so much.
I can relate Ashley. I’m trying to stay focused, doing one thing at a time with careful intentionality, somedays I pull it off, but most of the time I don’t. Lots of undone all over the place waiting like globs on the floor looking for a broom.
I hear you, Shelly. Intentionality is difficult, and then I’m always trying to discern what part of this scattered-ness is going to remain part of my personality. What parts to embrace (perhaps openness to the moment?) and which to let go of (primarily those that fragment me with anxiety?). I think you and I are traveling in some similar places with this. Thanks for your presence here.
My dearest Ashley –
You have no idea how your words speak to my soul. Literally. I would think you were watching me every day but realize it is the process we all face. I, for quite some time, have felt defeated – your posts really make me feel like I am not alone in this journey – not at all.
Thank you for sharing so honestly and openly – tiffany
Oh, honey. That you feel understood and not alone when you come here…nothing could make me gladder. Friend, it is God — the One who unites hearts and knows just what each of us needs. The fact that I am ever a part of what you need humbles me to the core. I pray that right now you feel the truth that you are loved just.as.you. are. And may you know that you are not some misfit who hasn’t gotten it together to crack the code. In fact, this whole world is filled with imperfect broken and beautiful women like you — and me– doing the very best we can. I love you, Tiff.
Interesting isn’t it Ash? Something about the “cup” that speaks to portion, and containment, and maybe even enoughness. I may be carrying this too far, but i even find comfort in the cup…I think you must too. To hold a warm rounded cup in both hands seems to quietly speak that in this moment “all I need is ‘right here’ .”
I wonder who this highschooler was who said that to you about play and work. Quite a bit of truth in it…but too, what if we could play While we worked? Wouldn’t that elevate the many moments of menial in a day? (Your opening sentence conjured an image of happily kicking through piles of dry leaves as a kid.) :D
“Enoughness”? Really? “Enoughness”? Sorry Spree, not in my dictionary. Your cup seem to hath,”runneth overeth”…you always were such a Pollyanna! (Private joke! Sorry all and thank you for your momentary indulgement-YOU most of all, Sis!…I simply could not resist).
Ashley-You’re so right, it is such a simple yet profound life lesson that when we impulsively jump to the “next” moment, we rob the thunder from the now. Love this 31 days!
“Playing while we work” some of the happiest people I know do so. Good one!
Uncle Don, I do love this: when we “impulsively jump to the ‘next’ moment, we rob the thunder from the now.” How often have we all done THAT?
I agree, Mama. When Jesus was preparing to die on the cross, it was indeed his portion — and one more excruciating and ultimately life redeeming than any other. He said to his father, “If it is possible, take this cup from me.” And yes, while that cup was the cup of suffering, I do find great comfort in wrapping my hands ’round, as you say. The young man who said that was Kati’s cousin, several years ahead of us. He went on to become a doctor (not completely surprising). Mike and I have tried instilling that play while you work thing; I, as a grownup, am still trying to figure out how to do that. Some days I do better with it than others :-) xoxo
Haha! He said, “Indulgment”! Oops, try, “indulgence”. Open mouth-insert foot…
You speak right into my soul. Thank you for this. This is a tutorial of blessed authentic wisdom. its art not science. I will practice being right where I am for the rest of my life. Thank you for walking there with me. We are journeying in tandem and it is pure joy. And for providing new ways for me to look at the facets of being present.
Really I am appreciating — noticing, as you are writing about — the gift that our right here moments of writing coincide with that of the other. I love what you say, too, Elizabeth. This wisdom of present living is art, not science. How many years did I try to find the “right” way to live, which is basically believing that life can be distilled down to a science? For me, it is a moment by moment walk with art for sure. xoxo
Such a great reminder dear Ashley!
I am loving the everyday thoughts on Right Here….it is so supportive, as I try to live right here also…and know that I am not alone in the trying!
Thank you for taking the time to write everyday! Wow, really, Wow!
Thank you for nudging me to do it, for telling me I can, for opening up your life to me and allowing me to open mine to you. So grateful God’s giving me words for each day. It really feels like manna to me. Thankful to be in this right here walk with you, sister.