While juggling graduations, women’s retreats, surprise visitors and more, I worried. I worried about everyone. I didn’t want anyone to feel overwhelmed, overextended or anxious. So, I stepped in. In order to soften any inconveniences for anyone this week, I reworked schedules, intercepted offers for help, re-routed visitors, and tried to do it all. I tried to shoulder most of the work to protect everyone else.
It didn’t go well.
The Women’s Retreat
As I stood the coffee shop, waiting on the box of coffee that was called into the wrong location, my cell blew up with messages. Ladies being locked out of the church, generally confused about the location of the meeting room, and thinking we started at a different time. Five minutes AFTER we should have started, I asked God, “Is this REALLY what You wanted? This doesn’t make any sense to me, Lord. I have family in town, people have kids graduating, there are weddings, festivals, end-of-the-year award banquets. It’s so, busy!” Here I was scrambling to make a retreat happen that it seemed no one could attend.
Ten minutes later, I was in the room, spreading out the table with a small cloth, a candle, a flower, a statue of Our Blessed Mother, and a picture of Jesus. The coffee and tea in cups (instead of a box), and 8 women, ready to pray.
The next two hours were like heaven.
In that deep meditative prayer that we shared for those two hours on one of the busiest weekends of the year, I felt like I could hear EVERY revelation of what God was trying to impart to me.
My daughter, I didn’t ask you to do that...
I make things so much more complicated then they need to be. Hospitality is a big deal to me, but God didn’t ask me to get coffee. Had I nixed the drinks (that were hardly touched because we were all so consoled by prayer we didn’t NEED the coffee) I would have been earlier and ready and had more peace of mind. That seems like a no-brainer to all of you, but not to my temperament. (How can we do anything without coffee?)
My daughter, whenever you do something for me, you will get resistance. The harder you cut a path toward me, the more blessings I will have waiting for you.
When I finally realized that pre-event chaos was the usual trick of the enemy–make a big mess out of it all, and then they won’t try this again,,,mmmmwwaaahhaaa (evil laugh)–I smiled at the fact that this was the same old deterrent the enemy had used on me before, and usually a mark of how rewarding the efforts would be. I thought, “Man, today is going to be awesome!!” and it was.
Many family, friends and special guests are coming and going these three weeks for events, and I don’t want anyone to be inconvenienced, so I have been fussing around with corralling everyone in different directions so as to make things easier for all.
My daughter, if you would stop trying to make everything so good for everyone, they would turn to me with their needs.
So far, one situation after another, struggling to let go, only to see conversations happen, friendships form, and sacrifices made by those who could–and really had a need to–do so. I can’t go into all the details (it would take hours), but trust me when I found myself saying “ooohhhh….” a LOT this week. And its still happening…when I stop trying to be everyone’s “savior” and leave that to Jesus.
My daughter, I love your dear ones more than you do. You can entrust them to Me.
Of course you do, Lord…I was so overwhelmed with trying to make everyone ok, that I forgot to look them in the eyes and love them. I just kept doing, doing, doing. I finally stopped last night when I realized that I had (for the second time) dropped a big ball on my middle child, whose athletic banquet I had almost forgotten. All the things I festered to manage ended up getting cancelled. I found myself clearing the schedule of events I had worried over, to get my toosh over to the high school and be there for that sweet boy. As I listened to some of the people attending complain about having to be there to be recognized for their athletic efforts for the year, I thought, “Thank you, God. Thank you my good, good, Father. You love me and my family enough to let me learn that I am only here to lean on You. I love those you entrust to me, and will get out of the way so YOU can love them too. I am grateful for this happy moment. A sweet child celebrating big milestone in his life; women who want to be with you in the chaos of their lives (coffee or not) and family and friends who want to make a journey to come and be with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”