Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lay Off the Expresso!

My Wednesday...

I work full time. And I try to write. I'm a mom, wife, daughter to awesome parents who live next door (hi mom), and I have various church committees---you get the idea--my life is like most of yours---way too busy.
So on my Wednesdays "off" I try to cram it all in--and I don't mean nail filing and bon-bons. Nope, it's the usual fare--laundry, dishes, bills, taxes, FAFSA, swift, vac, recycling, pharmacy pit stop, groceries, haircuts, oh and mail ice skates to my college daughter who texted me last night to say she needed her skates for a blind pick-a-date Friday. (essentials right? who knew...)

So I managed to get in 1044 words on the climactic scene of my nearly finished WIP by 10 a.m. and was feeling pretty good about this--dreaming of getting everything done and getting back to it later in the day. 

But my list--yes, I'm a list maker type (no surprise), was looming large over me. Blech.
I motored my van next door to mom's, inhaled a bowl of warm homemade tapioca, fixed Dad's computer, kissed their cheeks and off town I went basking in the sunshine.

All the way through the fruit and veggie section I was mentally ticking things off my list, happy I didn't have a long list and I'd already gotten the recycling done. Then I rounded the toilet paper and women's personal paper items aisle. I passed a little old lady picking out Poise incontinence pads, and I'm telling you I'm sure I heard God say--slow down, I want you to help her. But my feet kept walking, my brain kept ticking through the list in my head as I turned back to check if she really looked like she was that needy.

"Hey lady, I need some help, can you help me?" She says. <looking all around, no one else in aisle> Seriously, she didn't look like she was in peril, but I turn to help her.

Okay, she couldn't have been 90 pounds soaking wet. Last time she got the wrong size she tells me, "way too wide, way too long." Wow, poor girl, I'm thinking nothing golden about this, but my sympathy is aroused. We start looking at labels, size diagrams, etc. She seems a little confused about the width and length vs. the thickness--I try to explain about absorption (loudly due to her hardness of hearing), wondering if she should even be shopping alone.

But she's not alone said God, you are here to help her, so slow down and relax into your day with Me.

Finally, I locate the proper one and convince her this will do her just about right and she asks me how much it is, "I can't see well enough to read the price. I thought I was done with all this, but I guess at 84, you start all over again."  She smiled sweetly. Golden. 

She thanked me and I went on. Later, in my van Jesus reminded me--slow down, relax into this day with Me. Stop rushing everywhere. Breath in. Look, I've sent you some sunshine. Are you feeling your shoulders relax now? Wasn't she cute? He says. 

Yes Lord, she was cute.

That will be you some day you know, He says, so stop drinking life like an expresso and start dragging it in long and slow like you do the first sip of your morning joe, letting it swirl on your tongue and relax you as it slides down to your middle.

I smiled. Okay Lord. I got the message--lay off the expresso.

What about you? 
Have you been in the fast lane? Are you an obsessed list-maker high on a coffee bean?
Did God send you any Golden old ladies shopping for Poise incontinence pads today?
Man, He sure has a sense of humor....


  1. How beautiful of an experience! Thank You for sharing Ann! It's a sound reminder to us all to slow down a bit.

  2. Oh, Ann, how marvelous!!! I just finished my devotional for today--From "One Thousand Gifts Devotional", by Ann Voskamp--and she was talking about the exact same thing...slow down, take the time to savor a moment of life...and a moment of life with God. Here is just a portion of what she wrote:

    It is only the present moment alone that holds the possibility of coming into the presence of God. Look around, breathe deep, enter into this moment.

    Now could be an altar. This time could be a tabernacle.

    In God, there is no time, only eternity—or more simply, only now. His name is I AM. Here—wherever my feet are—is where I can love Him.

    All these multiplying moments…

    She ends the devotional with this prayer for the day:

    Lord God, forgive all running around that is merely a running away from You. Today, cause me to refuse to hurry because I don’t want to refuse You. Instead of discounting the current moment, the uncontrollable, cause me to count it—and on the God who controls it all. This present moment holds the possibility of coming into Your presence...

    My prayer today is that we all pause a moment... slow down... count our many blessings... and simply enjoy the moment we have right here, right now, with God.

    1. YES!! This is the essence, and this is confirmation of God--on the move... :) Thanks for sharing this Merrie!

  3. Ooooppsss
    That should have said, "One Thousand Gifts Devotional, Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces".

  4. What a sweet story! I'm definitely guilty of speeding through life, but my husband and I have made an effort to keep our lives as simple as we can. We both work full time and my husband travels quite a bit, so we have to work hard to make sure we're keeping our priorities first. Before making big decisions we ask ourselves, would this make our lives more complicated? Would it take time away from our family? It has really helped me slow down and not to say yes to things I shouldn't.

    1. I practice saying no regularly. But really, I try to be more discerning, not say yes or no just for its sake. Simplicity is good Julie! Being intentional--yes!

  5. Some days I'm in the espresso lane - yesterday was one of those days. Loved this post, Anne. We all need to slow down and take a look around sometimes. I love when God gets our attention by his soft whispers - those seem to be the most important.

    For some reason, I must look like I work at every store. The elderly always ask me for help when I'm shopping. I believe God puts us in places to help. There are so many people out there who are not patient, and would just keep walking - I've seen it.

    Great post.

    1. Yes Loree. If we have God's peace, it should make our schedules more--survivable, infused with His presence...


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