This morning, I had a humbling experience. An experience that left me thinking about it for hours after the fact and with so many thoughts that I needed to write them down for a way to remind me of just how important the experience was for me. Just how much my own life gets in the way of what I value to be highly important.
There are a few things that I value greatly in my life: the people in it, the world around me and the simple things that bring me joy.
I absolutely love my family. Spending time with those closest to me is something that I cherish greatly. Family time is something that I diligently add to my everyday, because they are blessings to me, and I know how quickly life can change.
I cherish my extended family, who are 400 miles away from us. I call my parents nearly every day, because I'm sadly aware that their health is struggling and their time with us is slipping away.
I am blessed to have an amazing church family that makes attending church a joy. I look forward to their hugs, their smile and catching up on their week's events.
I feel honored to call so many people friend. Each friend has impacted my life with something that has molded my life in one way or another. Time and distant doesn't always allow for fostering so many relationships, but social media has allowed me to stay in touch and work to keep visits on the schedule as much as possible.
I adore meeting people, of all ages. Their lives always interest me, and taking time to just learn about those that cross my path is a joy of my life.
THE WORLD AROUND ME
I love spending time outdoors. (as long as I'm not getting bit all over)
My favorite time of the year is when the mornings are in the low 70's and there is a gentle breeze. I will retreat to my front porch, with my Bible in hand to enjoy sometime before my family makes our home come alive.
Next thing you know, I have my family eating breakfast with me on the porch, and my laptop joins me for a few hours of work, while listening to nature all around me.
I love to just enjoy the beautiful creation all around me. To just stop and sit is a joy that I hope I never lose.
THE SIMPLE THINGS
I adore laughter.
I love to laugh, hear my husband laugh, indulge in my children's laughter and even enjoy watch perfect strangers laugh.
You can say that I'm a laughter-holic.
To me, laughter is the simplest thing in life that can demonstrate our true enjoyment from our life.
So, knowing this about me, I'm overwhelmed by the lessons that this morning taught me.
Dear Neighbor, Forgive My Busyness
I was sitting on my porch (thankfully, dressed and not in my normal PJs, as most mornings find me), enjoying my morning routines for this time of the year, when my neighbor's vehicle drove by our home. She waves to me, as usual, as she prepares to pull into her driveway.
All week long, this has been the routine of both of our lives.
I would be on my porch in the morning, and she would be going here and there, and always greeting me with a wave and even a horn when I was slow to look up.
However, this morning, the routine changed!
After waving to my neighbor, as she was pulling into her driveway, I pulled my attention to my Bible reading again. Deep into the reading, I didn't notice that she was approaching my porch until I heard her happy voice saying, “Good morning!”
I looked up and saw her smile, and invited her to join me on my porch, and sit with me in the other rocking chair.
As she was sitting down, I closed my Bible, and placed it on the bench next to me. She immediately began apologizing for interrupting my reading, and with a smile, I replied, “I can easily pick it up where I left off, so don't worry!”
My neighbor began rocking in her chair, smiling and telling me about her busy week, and hoping that it didn't bother me, as she went back and forth on errands this week.
I assured her that she didn't.
Our conversations continued for the next 30 minutes or so, before she felt she needed to get to her home chores.
It wasn't until after my neighbor left that I realized that I owed her an apology and a deep-hearted THANK YOU!
My neighbor's impromptu visit reminded me of what I valued the most in life, yet my life wasn't a reflection of my values.
Those looking into my life are seeing the busyness that keeps me working from one project to the next.
They don't see me making my priorities… priorities.
They only way that my neighbors are going to feel invited is if they see me, and see me sitting still.
I have had a lot going on in life, and I have had good intentions to visit this neighbor, but have always found other things to keep me going.
You see, this neighbor has recently lost her mother that lived with her. She shared with me recently that she has just gotten to the place to be able to go through her things. It wasn't only a few years before that her father, who also lived with her, passed away.
She needed my empty chair this morning.
She saw me this whole week enjoying the pleasures in my life, and finally took that as an invitation into my life.
I have been so inspired to make my porch the welcoming place for my neighbors, and stop making it just a decorated place with dust.
This summer, I'm going to make my porch a place to invite, retreat, have conversations and make memories!
If you have a hard time relaxing, this post may help you – How to Relax During Summer Break…