Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sorry, We're Closed

I’ve been remiss in writing, again.  I’ve been in somewhat of a funk the last few weeks, partly because of sickness, partly because the wacky weather.  Here in the desert we are in the middle of monsoon season.  Usually we look forward to this time of year because it brings much-needed rain – but this year we haven’t seen much of it.  Instead, we’ve been “enjoying” record-breaking high temperatures.  Yuck.

I don’t think it would affect me so badly except for the fact that I’ve become very spoiled for my lovely sunshiny days.  I shudder to think that the places I lived before coming to Arizona could sometimes count the number of sunny days in a month on one hand.  I’ve come to love the rain here (yes, us crazy desert dwellers really do go out and stand in it, my kids think it’s the best thing to play in!), but partly because it’s so rare.  This monsoon season, we’ve had a lot of cloud cover and dust storms, but not much rain to show for it.  That bugs me.  After all, if it’s going to be cloudy, it really ought to do something with it, right?

It kind of feels like the way life is right now.  My kids have started school again, soccer season begins next week, and suddenly my life seems like an unending circle of the mundane.  I know, I signed up for this – but when life gets grinding, it’s hard to see the bigger picture.

The other day on a local business, I saw a large sign: Closed for Summer.  Now, remember that we’ve had almost 30 days over 110 degrees this summer.  People don’t like to stay here when it’s that hot, and all our “tourism” happens in the winter, when it’s beautiful and non-snowy.  So lots of businesses cut down their hours and some, obviously, close altogether.  It’s kept me thinking, though.

There are so many days (weeks, months) when I wish I could hang out a “closed” sign.  Sometimes, I just want it for 5 minutes!  I am the type of person who has spent 20 years learning the hard way how to say no to people, and feeling I have to do more to be able to live up to others’ expectations.  But sometimes I wish it was so easy as to say, nope, sorry, I’m closed today.  To ditch my “responsible reflex” as a friend puts it, and go do what I want instead of what’s on the schedule.

When I am in the midst of these kind of funks like I’ve been experiencing for the last couple of weeks, I have to give myself something to look forward to.  But more importantly, I have to keep my eyes firmly fixed on Someone else besides myself.  I have been given the role I have in my own little world by the Creator Himself – who am I to ask for more, unless it is to glorify Him?  What a great privilege and responsibility to do what He has asked me, even if no one knows it but Him!

I’ll admit, sometimes I have to just keep repeating that to myself – it’s not an easy concept!  But knowing my family and responsibilities are given by Him helps me put my life in a better life, even when it’s a little rough.  And knowing He sees and knows – and more importantly, cares – gets me through a whole lot along the way.  


  1. Love it. :) Thanks for the reminder.

    And I hereby give you permission, nay instruction, to hang out that closed sign. Jesus did. He didn't heal everyone. He walked away and got alone. Even apart from his disciples.

    There are some things you can't ditch, but a lot of things can be rearranged or shifted off by a day if you do it in advance. I used to schedule one Sabbath a month -- a day that was plan free, work free and chore free. Maybe you could swap babysitting with another mom for a day like this. No chores. No errands.

    God dictated Sabbaths as a reminder of Himself. Who He is and what He does. You aren't irresponsible if God tells you to step back and take time off. I also had (have...) a hard time saying no, but it's a lot easier if I schedule that time for God. Best trump card ever! And trust that God is helping you choose THAT day for a reason, no matter who else is inconvenienced. If they can have "only day"s, so can you. Obviously, medical emergencies take precidence.

    Mine wasn't for Bible study or prayer necessarily... just time to step back and stop trying to make everything work and sometimes to just sleep... and trust that God's okay without my effort. Like how you appreciate Dom fixing things for you but LOVE just hanging out with him.

    And thanks too for the reminder that the responsibilities are from God. I definitely needed that today, when I REALLY don't want to keep unpacking/resorting/packing all those boxes.

    PS: I miss the rain here too. Same fakey clouds, same lack of water in the end. CA would die without irrigation.

  2. Thanks, Red, for the reminder for me! I have spent my whole life trying to learn to take a break - I don't think God put it into my chemical make-up! I'm grateful, though, that after some true craziness lately, I have been allowed a chance to rest and the opportunity to look forward to some true relief to come...