Back To Busy
A few weeks ago I said I was no longer using the word “busy” because busy carried the connotation of stress. Instead I had determined to use the word “full” for the life I was living because full speaks of abundance and prosperity…..Yeah…..I got back to busy today.
Today is writing day. The normal course of writing day is full….prayer-pastoral reading- Digging Deeper Devo- sermon- Prayer meeting planning- scheduling the week- prepping for staff meeting and other meetings- 5 Star Man Group. Adding to that just pushed the day from “full” to “busy” for me.
When the e-mails started rolling from the insurance company and the bank doing the HELOC for us about missing paperwork that was scanned to them last week I got just a little edgy.
A thirty minute call to our insurers…most of which I spent on hold…got the issue resolved and then a quick trip to the bank with some more necessary paperwork for the signing finished that part, and I thought the stress was over…..I was wrong.
As I got back to The Vicarage, I noted Brenda was working in the yard with the clippers. She was clipping down the Japapnese knot weed that was overhanging the sidewalk. I thought about helping, but I had a sermon to write. I had almost hit my rhythm when Brenda called m,y cell and asked me to come and help her. Did I mention I was wrong about being over my stress?
Stress is not about what is going on outside of us anymore than busy is. Busy and stress are all about what is going on inside. Shifting the interior world is what shifts busyness to fullness.
I realized it was time for more prayer.
Silencing the inner turmoil with centering prayer is an effective way to shift me from busy to full, from negative to positive.
The second step for me to shift from busy to full is to realize all that has gotten done this week…to count my many blessings so to speak.
We got the trees down around the Vicarage so the project can begin.
The paperwork is now complete for the HELOC.
Brenda’s team in the Netherlands continues to replace her furniture with deals they are finding with God’s help, and one of her Bridge M.A. Team has started a Gofund me page to help with the costs.
And I just found out that my friend Joe is coming to take another load of brush away for us on Thursday!!!!
And the final step toward shifting my mindset is to envision the possibilities before me.
Updates From Among the Trees
I really love the forest garden at The Vicarage.
But the forest has encroached on the house over the years.
As we look at our big renovation project, the first thing we have to address is the trees that are rooting at the foundations and branching into the Shingles of the house.
On windy nights the branches of one of the maples actually scratch against my window like the scritching of nails in a horror film.
Today is the day! The tree guys are coming!
The work started around 7:30 A.M.
Mom needed lots of reassurance as the men worked outside her window. It sort of let me know what we will be looking at as we head into the house construction.
It seems strange being able to see every corner of the house.
Now to the trimming and cleaning work! The yard around the house will look a lot better when the contractors come to set up their staging for the siding work.
Nitty Gritty Reality Faith
5:20 A.M. get up walk dogs.
6:20 A.M. Pray and prepare for the big day
7:20 A.M. Get mom her breakfast and medications/ Make coffee for household/ Vacuum/ move clothes drying racks/ make beds/ sweep kitchen/ clean bathrooms/ move broken pallets from stone porch to burning pile/ Gather trash for dump run/ light candles to fragrance house (I love fragrance)
9:30 A.M. Meet with contractors and sub contractors to begin getting Nitty Gritty Reality framework into place. Here is where the dream begins to take on earthly shape and all the warts and pimples begin to show. I think this stage of a project is the part that needs the most faith.
DREAMS ARE GREAT
AND WHILE JOURNEYS CAN BE BOTH DAUNTING AND EXHAUSTING THE ACTUAL GOING BUILDS MOMENTUM.
BUT THIS SPACE BETWEEN THE DREAMING AND THE JOURNEY IS THE PLACE WHERE MOST OF MY PLANS COME TO NOTHING. THE “WE’LL SEES” AND “WHAT IFS” BEGIN TO TAKE THEIR TOLL AS MAYBES BECOME NITTY GRITTY REALITIES.
For instance we discovered….Not just new shingles. We will need new windows.
And…Yep…. This old house will need some new electrics.
And before we can even think of beginning the trees must go.
We will have appointments this week with the plumber and the gutter people and get their thoughts on the job.
For me faith in this part of the project is the part that just keeps going, just keeps organizing. This is the part where I just keep telling myself it will be all right and we will handle whatever comes our way and make whatever modifications we have to to get the project done. This is the part where I guard my prayer time. It is in this season I most appreciate the place of quieting the soul.
NITTY GRITTY REALITY FAITH LOOKS LIKE…
11:00 A.M. Dump run and then reviewing the appraisal for the house. Send it off marked “done” to the bank
12:00 P.M. Lunch for me and Mom. Brenda is off to deal with the fact that her furniture in The Netherlands is all gone. Her old landlord decided to remodel and just chucked all her stuff!
1:00 P.M. Contact one of my old students about the trees (he runs a landscaping and tree service)/ Contact our insurance company to get information the bank needs sent off/ cancel haircut …it just ain’t happening/ send e-mail to personal assistant about a ministry event coming up that we need to coordinate/ field phone calls and messages from church members.
2:00 P.M. Prayer break…I really need to center down
3:00 P.M. Walk dogs/ Brenda goes to have tire fixed before she heads out for weekend of ministry in Buffalo.
4:00 P.M. Amanda starts supper/ I do daily devotional and start writing.
5:00 P.M. Supper!
And now I am heading back into prayer…
Nitty Gritty Reality Faith is the faith that keeps pace and keeps peace and keeps hope and just keeps going.
DO YOU HAVE ANOTHER NAME FOR NITTY GRITTY REALITY FAITH? WHAT IS IT?
The bank sent us the Mortgage loan commitment today! Yay!
Brenda and I signed it and sent it back!Yay!
So the Vicarage project has taken another step forward.
Friday we are meeting with the whole design team including…
Siding installer and vendor rep
We’ve been asked to make some choices on styles of kitchen that will match the new footprint. I like this one.
We’ve also been asked to think about siding or painting. A lot depends on price but if we side I think I want something like this.
Do you like shake siding or straight siding?
In the Constant…I Am Full
I have to say, this has been an amazing summer! So much has begun! So much is happening! Life is a constant! And that means much is changing….because…..
We heard back from the bank. Brenda and I have more signing to do, but we are closer to the beginning of The Great Vicarage Project!
Meanwhile the gardens continue to mark the passing of this summer season.
As I sat to pray on the front porch this afternoon I heard the crickets for the first time, the sure sign that we are moving from Midsummer to late summer.
Midsummer brings a certain little girl’s birthday.
It is so nice having the kids living near us now. The birthday party this weekend will be at their new apartment which is five minutes away. One big change their nearness has brought is Sunday Dinners after church.
I haven’t tried anything fancy yet, but I am really enjoying the opportunity to do a traditional family dinner every week.
Meanwhile things at the church are moving forward as our DLT philosophy (Doing Life Together) becomes a DLT experience. People are joining groups and we are beginning to grow together in relationship.
As I said, a lot going on…that said, I am no longer using the word busy….busy means stress to me. I am not stressed. I am full…full of life!
What does the word busy mean to you?
Notes From the Vicarage: The Face Lift
It has been a looooong time since I posted on Notes.
Originally this blog was created to highlight the lifestyle of our little Vicarage family. My other blog was going to be reserved for arts and Christian thought.
There has been so much water under the bridge since Notes began I haven’t really known how to find an on ramp back onto this highway……But now an on ramp has been provided in our new project here at the Vicarage.
Since last I wrote here, I have become the lead Pastor of Cornerstone Church. Amanda has become the youth and children’s pastor at Cornerstone. Brenda has changed missions sending agencies and is now moving forward with an artist’s/ missions group (more on that later).Mom has had a major fall, lost the ability to walk and has recovered and all the animals have gotten older and…….The Vicarage has begun talks about some major plastic surgery.
The Vicarage was built in 1901. It has aged into a stately old home surrounded by a lush forest garden.
But 50 years of neglect has left the old place in great need of repair. My new job is an answer to some financial prayers I have been praying for a few years. SO TODAY BRENDA AND I MET WITH OUR HOME REMODELERS TO DISCUSS THE SCOPE OF WORK AND THE COST. NEXT WEEK WE MEET WITH THE BANK FOR FINANCING AND SO NOW YOU SEE THE ON RAMP BACK TO NOTES FROM THE VICARAGE.
I will be using “Notes” to blog about our property overhaul and how all of that fits into our new-ish lifestyle.