Earth Day . . . and Making it Count

Happy Earth day, loveys! How are you? I've spent much of this Earth day watching the Jeffster dig up some earth out in our backyard, along with feeding Miss Lily (who likes to eat every twenty minutes or so) and watching superhero cartoons with Lincoln. Right now, both Lily and Lincoln should be napping. Shocker--neither of them wants to cooperate. I have about a million things on my to-do list, but I decided to hop on here and talk to you guys.

It looks like rain outside, which isn't good news for yardman Jeff. He's been so determined to start working in our backyard. Honestly, I think he needed a project. Jeff likes to dive into a project (like finishing a basement or building a deck), then it wears him out and once he finishes he says he doesn't want any more projects ever; then he gets the itch to do something else. I've seen this cycle happen a time or two (or more) in the sixteen years we've been together.

I'm fine with it. Really, I'm the one who desperately needs the backyard to look like something other than a mud pit. I need a place to shoo my energetic children when they are running circles around the island in our kitchen. Earth day seems like the appropriate time for Jeff to get his hands a little dirty and work with what we have.

I really do understand that itch to dive into a project. For me, it's usually a writing project. I start to feel the urge to write, to think up characters and plots and to dream of book covers. It's who I am, I guess. But sometimes it's a house project, a scrapbooking project, or maybe just a new book I want to read. Whatever it is--you know what I mean. There's a drive to do something. Maybe we just want to make our time count. To fill up our hours and minutes with something we care about.

I had lunch with two friends this week and over chicken-salad sandwiches we talked about the fact that our time is limited and so we have to be intentional with where we spend it (the same goes for resources). For me, sometimes just sitting next to Lincoln on the couch and watching Spiderman feels very worthwhile. With his little feet tucked under my leg and the weight of him leaning against me--I could stay sitting there a long time just to feel him comfortably next to me. Or sitting quietly and feeding Lily--I know she'll never ever be this tiny again. I love holding her. Spending time with my kids is time I never regret. But once they're finally in bed, I have to admit that I savor those few minutes I have to myself or with Jeff. Even if I'm so tired I can only drop myself onto the bed and use the last few ounces of energy I have to turn on The Good Wife--that time sans kids is important too. A little time to unwind. It counts too and we need it, lovey. Maybe it's a bubble bath or a work-out session or a devotional--whatever your unwind time looks like, it helps.

I was reading the other day online about some of the atrocities happening to our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, and I felt this sense of hopelessness about it all. What can we do to help? We can pray, and I certainly do, but--I'm just being real here--it doesn't feel like enough. Maybe because it's so far away, it doesn't feel real to us. But it is real. And every life being executed for what they believe is a life that counts. I don't want to try not to think about it. I don't want to feel sad about it for just a few seconds and move on. I wish that somewhere among my hours and minutes spent doling out snacks and changing diapers--I could do something that might make a difference.

I'm not sure what the answer is, to be honest, lovey. It's an ongoing discussion in my head. Here's what I do know--stopping to pray (amid hours of doing laundry and organizing miniature superheroes and making lunches), that's a good thing. I want God to bring those issues to my mind all throughout the day, and I want to be a woman who will pause to pray and beg for his help and mercy for the Christians (and others) being persecuted. I also know that the things we do constantly for our families (like going to work or cleaning house or washing clothes) those things count too, and they are very necessary. For me, making it count starts with the kind of woman I am. Am I consumed by superficial things, or are my thoughts balanced with things that really matter?

Like I said, it's an ongoing thing. Being intentional about where I spend my time, my resources, my energy. We can only do so many things. Time spent with family. Conversations with good friends. Date nights with the husband. Even a little down time with a favorite book. All these things count and make life beautiful. I just don't want to be so wrapped up in my own beautiful life that I can't spare time and thought and resources for those suffering. I want to be a woman who's made of more than that.

I know God wants me to be that kind of woman as well. I know he wants me to make this life count. And even small ways can make a difference. It starts with who we are and we decide that. Loving the people around us. Praying for those near and far. Having a heart that hurts for those in need. Using our words to build up, rather than tear down. Those are the ways I think we can make it count every day.



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