Taking My Time…

I wrote this journal entry in my personal journal a while back and always meant to write it here, but never could find time.

Today I see that this entry is more important than ever, and if you’ll hang with me in this, you’ll see why toward the bottom of today’s blog entry.

God bless you, friend.

Blanked by the drizzle of rain, I make my way to Bo Ling’s restaurant - heart pounding in misgiving.  How could I take the time to pamper myself when my family is at home…staring at a practically empty fridge with one pathetic hot dog crouching in the meat keeper? If I know them, they won’t eat at home anyway – hot dog or not.  Most likely they will be munching at the local hamburger stand down the street, without a care in the world.  They will not be thinking of the lonely hot dog, nor of Momma far away.  No – they will be eating ice cream too fast just to see who can get a ‘brain freeze’ first.

So why do I allow myself to feel so ashamed for taking “me time”?

Where is the umbrella to fend off the drenching of guilt anyway?  I mutter as I swing open the massive oak door to Bo Lings.

Greeted by a kind host, I’m ushered to a table by a bank of widows.  I look out to see rain dancing happily on various patrons heads as they scurry down the sidewalk trying to protect their newly purchased products.  Little raindrops bead up on their shiny shopping bags and gleam like little crystals.

“Excuse me, miss?” a beaming waitress intones in a soft Asian accent. “Your menu?”

She hands me a large menu filled with items I had never even heard of before, and I am instantly drawn to three words:

“Chrysanthemum Flower Tea”

Seriously? Like the real kind of flower?  Or is this some kind of metaphor?

I order it, more out of curiosity than thirst. 

A small metal pot is brought to me with a liquid that almost looks clear when I pour it.

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Perhaps the tea is not in the pot yet? I wonder.

So I lift the lid…and behold REAL crushed Chrysanthemum petals in the top of the pot – steeping in hot water.

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Holy cow.  I’m drinking a FLOWER.

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I stare at the light yellow tea and wonder what it is like to drink a flower.  I put a sugar crystal in the tea - you know - just in case the flower tastes weird.

It tastes amazing, actually.  It’s both woody and floral. And it’s aroma is heavenly! As I lift the cup to my lips, I breathe in a light fragrance of flowers.  Incredible.  I want to cry.  I never felt more feminine and alive and loved as I do right now as that warm soothing liquid warmed me – body AND soul.

Shortly after that wonderful experience,  the dish I selected beforehand is brought out: Tai Spring Chicken.

I giggle.

My salad has chop sticks.

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Have you ever eaten lettuce with chop sticks?  Let me tell you friend, it’s not easy.  I don’t care if you try to pick it up delicately or man-handle it by stabbing a leaf, it’s just not that easy to stab or delicately raise to one’s lips.  And I could not master picking up more than one leaf at a time. 

This is going to be a long, drawn-out meal I see.  I’m glad my family can’t see me now!  I think as I pick up another slippery leaf.

As I eat, my mind wanders back to my family and the writing I have yet to do.  The chore list compiles into my head and I wonder what to make the family for dinner.  Hot Dog Surprise? Hot Dog Soufflé?  Hot Dog Mac?  Hot Dog-A-La-Cart, split four-ways?

The rain comes down heavier outside and so does the rain of guilt within.

“Excuse me,” I hear my smiling waitress say.  She hands me a fortune cookie along with the check.  “Have a Nice Day!” she cheerfully waves.

How can I have a Nice Day when I can’t lay down this guilt? Will I ever have some time to just enjoy myself and not drown myself with WORRY for once??

I open up my fortune cookie, read the slip of paper and just about choked on what was left of my Chrysanthemum Tea.

There, written in black and white was a simple sentence.  And you can think what you will, but I believe God gave me a love-note folded in a cookie.

What did this love note say?

“You’ll accomplish more later if you take some time for yourself.”

(Don’t believe me?  Does this convince you?)

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Wow…GOD!  You always know how to grab my attention.

I’m going to enjoy my day.

The End.

Epilogue:  For a while, God’s been speaking to me about laying a ministry down in order to get a time of Rest to hear from Him.  As a couple of friends put it, I’ve spent a lot of time helping others seek healing…but now it’s time to seek my own healing. 

So starting this past Sunday, I laid that long time ministry aside, along with another ministry dear to my heart.  And already I can see the wisdom in why God is asking me to lay these aside for a season of His determining.

But '”Taking My Time…” is already coming with it’s own mental battles, as learning to REST in my Heavenly Father is butting up against what I define as “rest” verses what our Father defines as Rest. 

Yet, He brings back up this beautiful time with Him at Bo Lings to remind me that it’s OK to “let go” and just enjoy Him.

And so I am.

3 comments:

For His Glory said...

You brought tears to my eyes. This was a timely post for me and where I am at literally this day. So thank you for being faithful to the Lord' prompting to post. Hopefully, I will find the courage to rest.

The Hartfield Files said...

I am so glad you posted. How amazing that God can send us messages in the most unique of ways, just proves he DOES have a sense of humor :). Take some you time and convince your sister to DO THE SAME!

yogilizzy said...

Awesome! Thank you so much for this encouragement!

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Feel free to comment, and God bless you! ~ Holly

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