Monday, August 26, 2013

Slow and Steady

This morning I made French press coffee.  If you like coffee this might mean something to you.  If you just drink coffee it might not.  To me, French press coffee is personal and hands on.  It's something you savor not just something you drink.  The flavor is richer.  The temperature is just right in the mug and in my mouth.  French press coffee deserves a moment to itself. 

There are many tutorials on how to make the best pot of French press coffee so I won't bore you with another.  I will say that, in my opinion, the key to a good pot of  French press coffee has to do with the pace.  French press is not instant.  Slow and steady is the pace of a French press.  It requires numerous steps.  It requires attention to detail.  It requires waiting.  There is not rushing or panic or hurry.  Making a pot of French press is not something you do in a distracted, hap hazard manner.  My prayer today is that I can find order, comfort and joy in the rest of my life as I do in my French press coffee.

I know it's in there.  The steady pace, the sure results, the order and the outcome.  Those are all a part of life.  They just aren't the part that are given the most attention.  Those aren't the parts that our society considers to be valuable.  Those parts are considered drudgery, boring, mundane.  Those are the parts we try to avoid and in our avoidance we create the stress and chaos we pretend we don't enjoy.  It's safe to sa there is a certain amount of satisfaction in complaining about house work or being snowed under with errands or undone jobs or too many commitments.  It's affirming to have a friend or spouse tell you that you take on too much or you are amazing for doing all you do.  The drama of stress and panic is much more exciting than a cleanly swept floor or an orderly day.  That drama is so enticing that we've become addicted to it.  If we aren't stressing we don't feel alive.  We don't feel purposeful.  We don't feel engaged.

One of my plans this season (and hopefully, in an habitual manner for the rest of my life) is to do things with intention and purpose.  Slow and steady.  First this, then this, with the end result being a life filled to the brim with peace.    As with all things, this won't start with me.  This transformation will start with prayer.  In Psalm 26:3 the Bible tells us;  You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.  So there is my prayer;  Lord, give my your peace.  Keep my mind steadfast as I trust in you.

The other part of my plan is to approach the important activites in my day as I do making a pot of coffee.  I know the steps I need to take.  When I skip what needs to be done the results turn out muddled and bitter.  No one is happy, least of all me.  Too often I'm lazy or undisciplined thinking that it's a quicker or easier way to the results I desire.  I know better but I don't always do better.

There are three big areas where I plan to change my approach: waking my children, household chores and putting my children to bed.   I feel that changing these areas will make the biggest impact.  Over the next few months we will see.  Slow and steady.

At my house we don't have French press coffee on a daily basis.  My husband prefers his coffee by the gallon.  There is no savoring involved.  The first cup is just a means to the next.   Sometimes life requires this of  us.  Sometimes things must be done in a timely manner or at a moments notice.  Sometimes one activity leads into the next.  I'm aware that life can move quickly and that, to a certain degree, we must keep pace.  I am anticipating by promoting a steadfast peace in my home the times of hurry will result in fewer times of panic or chaos.   I am anticipating that we will learn in deeper ways to trust God, to trust each other and to trust ourselves.  Slow and steady.

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