Interruptions

It’s 7:27 am and today I’ve already milked a goat, bottle fed a baby goat, watered the garden, made four loaves of quick breads, one coffee cake, and loaded the dishwasher.

I think it’s time to take a nap!

I don’t share these things because I’m trying to make a statement of how cool it is that I’ve been productive – the reality is the dishes were left over from yesterday’s LACK of productivity and the animal and garden – well, if they don’t get tended they die, which is something I’m inherently against.

I share these items because doing all of these things in the silence of my home, before anyone else is awake, has allowed me to do some thoughtful contemplation. I’ve been able to send a few friends who are going through trials texts of prayers for them for today, I’ve been able to appreciate the beauty of of the sunrise, the way the world waits in anticipation before a day is filled with the comings and goings of the creatures who inhabit and share the space.

Usually, our family travels a lot in the the summers – well, really anytime we can we like to take a roadtrip! This summer, though, instead of traveling we ok’d our daughter getting a milk goat. As a family we talked through what it would mean to be present and available for milking every 12 hours. It’s been a lifestyle change for sure!

However, right now we don’t have soccer practices to run off to every night. Our school load is reduced significantly to just math and Latin. Yours truly isn’t managing spreadsheets or people, just contemplating the virtues in education and how we hope they’ll be revealed to our children in the coming years.

It’s liberation, defined.

It’s been so long since I’ve had this I have forgotten how it feels!

A friend reminded me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. I read his biography a few years ago and her mention has brought his story to my mind recently.

Bonhoeffer was an anti-Nazi theologian and pastor living during WWII. He was targeted for his outspoken behavior toward the Nazi regime and frustrated by church leader’s unwillingness to oppose Hitler’s anti-Semitism. He was ultimately placed in a concentration camp and hanged, though all along his life he was writing, speaking, preaching, comforting. We have a lot of writings from him that have been influential in our current cultural awareness of social justice.

One of the quotes I garnered from reading of his life story a few years ago was this:

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

This morning I thought more about how knowing of his life has influenced my own.

For example, growing up, the Bonhoeffer family would eat dinner together and the children were welcome to participate – but only if their contribution to the conversation was valuable. The description of their family inspired me that the parents were working to create leaders, even when those leaders were still cutting their adult teeth.

We’ve incorporated that philosophy into our meal times as much as possible.

This morning, in my stillness, when Bonhoeffer came to mind again, I looked up his quotes and how they might apply to my own life, to the lives of those I know who are in the midst of turmoil and seeing injustice… in the trenches of childrearing and life-living.

I was not disappointed.

“We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God.”

Isn’t it telling that when things don’t go according to our plans we tend to respond in frustration, rather than in readiness to see what new adventure God has prepared for us to experience?

My life is in a season of interruption from my grand plans right now. We aren’t doing our normal things or making preparations for our normal activities as is normal for this time of the year. And yet…. I see the hand of God all over the place! I have a peace that surpasses all understanding that, though this is painful and unusual… it is good.

In the interruption, in the waiting, do you, like me, sometimes forget that God is fully at work? Do you forget that, just like we have to wait for bread to rise in order to have an outcome that is useful, God uses the instrument of time to bring things to fruition?

When we don’t understand the entirety of the plan, that waiting can bring uneasiness. Unhappiness. Impatience. We begin to focus on the pain instead of the promise.

Not today. Today I choose to focus on the beauty.

Today, I want to lean in to the interruption. I will to lean in to the uncertainty, knowing that if I really believe God is God… He’s not uncertain at all. He knows the exact moment to move… and His purposes are always to bring people into closer relationship with Him.

“There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.”

Praying for your travel this day, and for the beauty to be evident as you journey.

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