When Your Calling is to Notice the Details of Your Life (#wholemama & Shalom Living)

Posted By Tammy Hendricksmeyer on Jun 15, 2015 | 14 comments


I stand at the center of life. That happens to be my kitchen island as I type.

 

This is where my two boys run in and out the back door, in plain view. Where sun bounces heat off a swath of white patio, refracting its bright light onto our living room walls. From the dining room window, a male Cardinal jumps near a female on the kids’ trampoline as she moves out of reach. Ducks waddle across the Bermuda. They are in search of bugs or bird feed dumped to the ground from greedy squirrels. A wind caresses the Red Maple leaves, now cupped with droplets of summer rain.

 

I notice the details. It’s not something I have mastered.

 

Our windows are naked. Several rooms are wide open to the elements just beyond them. Exposed.

 

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I know myself well. My husband suggests blinds for every window. I resist. Window coverings mean I choose. I choose to close or open. And since I know myself, over time, I fear they will become bothersome. Too much a pain to go to each one. I fear that I’d stay closed more than open.

 

This is how I notice.

 

Just outside our window, teems life. But bigger, sometimes internal, things get my attention. They are clunky and unavoidable by their enormity or demanding-ness.

 

But then there are these simple things. Tiny pieces of life. The ones I might miss.

 

I don’t always appreciate the details of my life. But I give credit where credit is due: it’s my purposeful-ness to appreciate them that matters.  It’s the intention of connecting and living the small creases that embrace my right-now’s. Too many times, I’ve looked out there. Somewhere. For something better.

 

I never found sustaining better’s, elsewhere.

 

Instead I find it in a car driving through wooded passages and lakeside retreats, dreaming ways to enjoy these more. I find it under a fuzzy blanket watching a riveting episode of NOVA with family.  I find it when I kick up a deer with her spotted fawn. I find it over double dates with friends, sharing life experiences. I find it when talking about doubt, faith, fear, and God. I find it at the family dinner table. I find it in the quiet. I find it on our oversized bed padded with its dreamy memory-foam. I find it in contemplative reflections of gratitude.

 

I find it when the magic settles on the farm with each setting sun. Pink puffs of cloud hover over fields of green like cotton candy, many a night.

 

I find it in noticing the almost forgotten things. Things such as–lightening bugs and the twinkling of stars. Or in the subtle realities of a supportive spouse in an upside down kingdom. Or when our youngest son talks about elements and periodic tables. Or when our oldest son successfully completes his first local mission’s camp while being away for 4 whole days.

 

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I find it here. This moment. In moments.

 

With an ever-exploding world of information, there is courage in slowing down. Time to make peace with our lives. “But there’s too much happening right now!” the world exclaims. “Everything’s changing. Hurry now and get yours!” These demand our attention too. Pressure builds to be informed. They are good in their own timing. In our timing.

 

But we also have a life to live. We don’t want to miss that. Neither do we want to waste our God-given talents, either. So where’s balance in this?

 

Our faith is grounded in a vastly creative God. Is it no wonder that “Just Looking at Nature Can Help Your Brain Work Better” as this article from the Washington Post suggests? I agree. Nature is good for the brain.

 

God is an artistic force. His attributes are clearly seen. His eternal power, visible. Nature points to the Creator of it like an autographed masterpiece. Therein lies a key.

 

We need to care for the art within our souls, for the Artist. We have an Artist within us who paints our lives in many different ways. No one person is the same. Our makeup is so unique that scientist are baffled by foreign DNA they’ve recently discovered.

 

We don’t have to be scientist to know there’s more to life.

 

The natural speaks of the supernatural. It testifies. There’s a spiritual life for us to engage. Invisible places for us to explore.

 

God paints His beauty and in doing so, we see a side of Him too. Just looking on it, we inhale and exhale. We relax. Our brains “work better” when we are in tune.

 

Balance is being self-aware–aware of ways we need rest, of ways we worship and commune–aware of God’s presence and ever-present work in us. In order to pour out, we must pour in.

 

Louie Schwartzberg is a visual artist. With time-lapsed videography, he brings small movement to life. He gives subtle change a new look. Every millisecond is no longer delayed to the human eye. They unfold before us, one thing leading to another. Nothing is lost. All is part of the process. Tiny happenings. Each small step becomes part of the bigger picture.

 

Just like our lives.

 

We don’t live for grandiose things. We may dream of them. But we love our life in the moments. We are called to notice the details. To be fascinated by the little things. To be a good steward of the small (as well as the big).

 

Life is bruitiful (brutal + beautiful). A master Artisan is displayed in each layered brushstroke of our life. Every fine piece, part of a whole. Each, an invitation to survey the canvas before us.

 

He centers us in peace. And every grateful detail we notice, helps us to remember it.

 

 

 

{There’s this #wholemama thing that you should know about. It’s a group of us focused on motherhood + creativity + spirituality + life. Esther Emery started “a community challenge and invitation for moms to integrate our creative and spiritual selves in our day to day.” Also she says: “Mama friends, are you spinning in this season? Spinning tired? Or spinning rushed? Do you feel sometimes like you’re missing your own point?” If this is you, join us here and link up. }

14 Comments

  1. “Balance is being self-aware–aware of ways we need rest, of ways we worship and commune–aware of God’s presence and ever-present work in us. In order to pour out, we must pour in.” This. I love this. There is much wisdom here. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Love how you bring us right into the center with you and help us to see all of the place we can find the “sustaining betters.”

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  3. “The natural speaks of the supernatural. It testifies. There’s a spiritual life for us to engage. Invisible places for us to explore.” “He centers us in peace. And every grateful detail we notice, helps us to remember it.” I love your observations here and your photos are beautiful! Glad you joined the #WholeMama linkup!

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  4. You’re finding it in the ordinary everyday. I love that, Tammy, and am so glad you’re joining us on the #wholemama journey!

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  5. Tammy! So beautiful. I love the photos so much, and feel terrifically validated that Nature makes your brain work better. 🙂 Thanks for linking up with us!

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    • Esther, me too!! I’ve been writing about (natural) seasons and nature for a long time, hence, why I like you. 🙂

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  6. “Balance is being self-aware–aware of ways we need rest, of ways we worship and commune–aware of God’s presence and ever-present work in us. In order to pour out, we must pour in.” I love this. Wonderful post for #wholemama and Shalom! Looking forward to experiencing more.

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  7. So lovely to sit and read, slowly. So glad to have your words!
    This line might make me pause to think a little more: “With an ever-exploding world of information, there is courage in slowing down.” I want to be a little more courageous like that, too.

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