What I Saw When I Took the Time to See

This month I’ve learned some things are worth the stopping…

and the pausing….

and the braking and the breaking….

so I can worship the Beautiful One who made such beauty.

I read in the Our Daily Bread Devotional Bible about this botanical garden on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and a plaque there:

“Enter, friends, and view God’s pleasant handiwork, the embroidery of earth.”

So He does embroider this beauty, His handiwork: Handmade, God-stitched, beloved creation that glorifies its Creator.

I have dropped my armload of worldly goods right on the ground to take a picture of a butterfly.

butterflyingarden

I have pulled my minivan over to snap a picture of the sunset.

sunset

I have walked with eyes wide open.

walks1 walks2

I have listened to the symphony and strolled through the gardens.

purple tulips

cw gardens

I have dug in the dirt of my own little plot.

mint

And I have watched these butterflies emerge from the chrysalis and then fly free.

butterflies

Have you been on this quest for beauty, too?  And have you found what I have found?

For God is sheer beauty,
    all-generous in love,
    loyal always and ever 
(Psalm 100:5 MSG).

And have You worshiped in response and isn’t worship the only response when You’re seeking His Presence and You see these glimpses of His beauty in the beauty He has made?

I sing:

You are all my heart longs for
The treasure and the hunger
I’ve tasted and I must have more
Of Your Presence, God

You call me deeper than before
I’m falling further into You God
You are just so beautiful
I love Your Presence, God
(Presence, by Kathryn Scott)

and I sing…

The fullness of Your grace is here with me
The richness of Your beauty’s all I see
The brightness of Your glory has arrived
In Your presence God I’m completely satisfied
(Divine Romance by Phil Wickham)

I posted these pictures all month long on my Facebook page as I took breaks for beauty.  Did you miss them?  You can follow my Facebook page here so you don’t miss out again!

To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below!  Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Enjoy Beauty’?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

What to do (and what not to do) when staring at a STOP sign for more than 5 minutes

I complained about the road work.

Typically, I zip around this tiny town of mine, back and forth all day every day, transporting children.  Pick this child up.  Drop her off.  Go back and get the other child.  Drive her somewhere else.  Return to the first location to pick up one child and deposit another.

This schedule has been meticulously planned out.  I have charted the routes I travel, timed stoplights, and considered traffic flow.22859325_s

We have exactly 12 minutes to drive from one place to another and it takes exactly 12 minutes to make that drive.  No second to spare.

Then they decide to repave my main thoroughfare.

I sit for over five minutes staring at a man in an neon orange jacket holding a STOP sign.  I start out cheerful. It’s a beautiful day.  I enjoy the sun.  I even feel spiritual and pray, “Thanks, God, for this lovely morning.”

I am proud of how well I’m handling the delay.

Then I start rifling through the papers on the seat next to me.  I collect some of the trash that accumulates everywhere in a minivan when you have four kids.

Then I grow impatient.  I start sighing and tapping my fingers on the steering wheel.

When that fails, I grit my teeth and talk to the hapless man still standing there with that sign that is halting all my progress for the day, “Come on!”

Eventually, he spins that sign around from STOP to SLOW and I am finally released to normal driving, which at this point means being stuck at a stoplight behind a long line of other cars with equally frustrated drivers for another 5 minutes.

I left my house 10 minutes early because of the construction and I’m still 5 minutes late.  I’m flustered and bothered, annoyed, stressed.

So I whine to this woman, and she says to me, “That’s when I know it’s time to stop and BREATHE.  God gives me these moments so I just listen to what He has to say for a bit.”

This month, in my 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ, I’m taking breaks for beauty.  I’m seeking out the beauty of the Lord by marveling at the beauty He creates.

And still I got it wrong.  He gave me moments to rest in His presence, to enjoy the beauty of a spring day (from inside my minivan) and I fretted and fought instead.

In an hour, I will walk my four-year-old daughter, my baby girl, into a brick school filled with cheerful classrooms and hand over the papers to register her for kindergarten.

She is excited.  Every 30 minutes this morning, she asks me if it’s time to go.

I am sad.  I decide maybe we can just wait another 10 minutes.  Could she just be my baby girl 10 minutes more?  And then another 10?

Tomorrow I will place my 6-month-old son on a doctor’s scale and marvel at how he’s grown.  I’ll probably come home all proud and tell my husband how big this baby boy is, how strong, how healthy.

But really my momma heart will mourn a little because six months never went by so fast.

So when God gives me 10 extra minutes in that minivan to stop, to rest, to breathe, to listen to His voice…surely I should relax into His presence.exodus33-14

This lesson chafes hard against my driven soul.   God brings me here again and again and again.

Rest.

And I wrestle instead.

Funny how 10 minutes of inactivity can be more stressful to me than a whole day of rushing from task to task.

If I want to feel God’s presence in the going and the doing, I must willingly remain in His presence during the resting and the being.

God gave Moses this great task, leading a nation from slavery to promise, but He also gave this assurance:

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”  (Exodus 33:14 NIV)

The rest is in His presence whether that’s driving from place to place or idling in front of a STOP sign for 10 minutes.

The rest is there because His presence is there.

Today, let us enjoy the gift of time He gives, the gift of quiet moments and unexpected pauses, the blessing of His presence in the rushing and in the stillness, the beauty of His voice in the whisper and in the storm, the time with those we love because that time just rushes right along.

To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below!  Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Enjoy Beauty’?

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King