Friday, July 28, 2017

Thoughts On The Gathered Thoughts

The house is silent; I hear the ticking of the clock - two of them, in fact. There is a large stack of dishes I should be tackling, as well as a messy floor covered with toys. There are two books from the library that will need to be returned shortly without having been read if I don't soon get started. But the house is silent and there is only me in it and it's hard to decide what I should do first? Such is the painful predicament of having a lovely sister-in-law who likes to invite my kiddos over for hotdog roasts and the like and doesn't mind me being lazy and staying home.

The truth is, I really should have assigned a dishwasher and a toy picker upper before everyone left on their jaunt but I was too busy looking forward to the quiet to care. So here I am, twiddling away my time. I am optimistically thinking I can somehow manage to do it all but choosing first to listen to the ticking clock and letting my thoughts ramble on. I'll worry about dishes and messes and supper prep later.

In the silence, I'm asking myself, "What have you learned from this advice gathering experience? Have you figured anything out?"

Thanks to a friend's suggestion, I'm enjoying this collection on my wall.

The trees you see stand strong and tall beside my in-law's house. They were my living room window view for four and a half years. It is the same trees in every picture ---

The thin blue and
 pale, new green of Spring;

The deep blue and
 lush, full green of Summer;

The azure blue and
glorious, rich orange of Autumn;

The cool grey and
majestic silhouette of Winter.

Each season the trees are beautiful and amazing in their own right. Of course, there are things about each season that aren't so nice - Spring's mud and drizzling rain showers; Summer's blazing heat and ensuing drought; Autumn's dying and stripping of leaves; Winter's cold and barren, drab landscape. Still, each picture captures a beauty and significance all it's own.

I'm sure you know where I'm going with all this. It sounds rather cliché and hardly worth mentioning: our lives are like the tree; get it?

Sometimes I think I make life more complicated than necessary. What if it is really as simple as the cliché? I think that is why I loved this simple gem of wisdom so much:
"There are two things about change:
#1. They will happen throughout your entire life.
#2. God will always be with us......I believe He will simply because He always has."

It's really that simple.

Life is full of layers. There are hard things in each season and beautiful things; there are valleys and mountaintops; rivers and deserts. In the midst of it all I desperately need solid truth to keep me on track. There is value in creative disciplines and structure that will provide guidance and tremendous encouragement can be gained through friendly tips and advice from those who have traveled the way before me.

But mostly? Mostly I need the simple gems of truth - the clichés, if you will - that I can cling to and live out of. Every season is beautiful. Every season will change but God is going to be there because He always has been. With that knowledge, I can embrace the present and the changes it may bring. I can realize the joy of whose I am and put my heart into whatever He brings me to do - today, and then tomorrow, and then the next day.

"To everything there is a
And a time to every purpose
under Heaven."
Eccl 3:1


Anonymous said...

I really really really like your collection on the wall. Beautiful pictures, comforting thoughts.

Anonymous said...

The tree pixs are AMAZING! I been wanting to do that for awile w a dogwood tree. One problem i had was remembering were I stood from one time to the next (so it wud look the same) so it never got completed. Good Job! Maybe I'll just have to buy a copy of yours. But then it wouldnt have the sentimental value.: (

Bethany Eicher said...

Thank you! I had that problem too but I'd compare with the first one and take a second (and third!) picture to get the right angle. I also tried to take the shot at a bit of a distance so I could crop them some and work with getting them close to the same. Don't give up on your project, it's worth it! I used Easy Canvas Prints (Google it) to order the canvases. They often run super sales and I am so pleased with the results!