Adjustments: the third adjustment

My walk on this path depends on a careful balance of many things. And I’m afraid as the days wander along that the balance is in danger of being totally destroyed. Why? Because there’s only so much room and so many hours in the day. And everything that has been added to my daily walk because of the surgery takes a LOT of time (as mentioned in the other adjustments…).

So, the third adjustment? Banishment. Or, putting it simply, “NO.”

We have a friend who is getting married soon, and for a brief moment it looked like I was going to be able to play the prelude for her wedding. I was thrilled… until I looked carefully at the calendar. I already have a gig that day… Now, the idea of doing two gigs in one day is not impossible, and frequently necessary – especially when one makes part of their living from such activities. But then we looked at the specifics – the timing of the first against the timing of the second, factor in time to tear down from the first and set up the the second, consider that the first is in Lansing, the second in Grand Rapids…

And, with much muttering and gnashing of teeth, I have to say no. We might be able to *just* scoot from one and make the other, but the chances are better than average that both would suffer. And should a traffic mishap occur, the second goes down the biffy. Too tight to justify trying to make both work.

I hate it when that happens.

I love “YES”. I’d much rather say yes, because I like meeting other’s needs. I like to help. Vicki and I are both like that – Vicki much more than I. She will move heaven and earth to offer help. I never really understood the term “servant’s heart” until I met her. Now I’m pretty sure her picture should be next to that entry in the dictionary.

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A brief and W-A-A-A-Y overdue apology to my beloved…

I’m sorry. For so long, I didn’t really understand the gift that God has blessed you with – the desire and drive to help whomever, whenever, wherever. I would roll my eyes when the lost person found you at the gas station, the confused person in the store, or any of the other times when you were in the right place at the right time to offer help and shine His light into someone’s life, even for such a short glimpse. I was wrong, in so many ways.

You are blessed, my beloved. Your open spirit and caring heart shows them what loving others really means, and the way you will throw yourself into any situation or challenge to help someone else is a living picture of the words in First John: “Love one another.”

Forgive my blindness and my selfishness. I simply didn’t see or understand. But I do now. And when I see that confused-looking person standing by the gas pump, I now smile, because I know who is going to help them. And I laugh with joy – because my wife lives Kingdom life right here, every day, just by being who she is. What a blessing.

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So, we tend to throw ourselves into whatever is needed. And we say yes a lot.

The problem? We say yes… a lot.

And in the enthusiasm of helping, we find ourselves cornered with this mountain of things we have promised to do, and no way to ever get them all done. It creates frustration, bitterness, and we end up getting overwhelmed and not doing anything, because we feel like we are drowning.

(by the way – if you’re one of the many waiting for something that we are going to do, or make, or help with – sorry. We are trying to get to the things waiting by saying no to the new ones. The battle continues… slowly.)

(And Aaron – forget it. The afghan is never coming. I’ll show you where the sweater machine is – you can do it yourself. 😀 )

Now, let me turn off the “we” and get down to “me.” What these last few weeks have said to me is, “ if you’re going to get this new lifestyle right, you’ve got to pay attention. This takes more time and detail than you’ve ever paid to yourself before, but if it’s going to work as it should, you HAVE to take that time.” There HAS to be time for the details – making sure I’m getting in all medicines, vitamins, protein (which is HUGE) and exercise. The exercise hasn’t really happened yet, and I’m already suffering as a result.

(Anybody want to go for a walk? Or in my case, a shuffle and limp?)

I work in our home, and have discovered that all the clutter and chaos of our house has a direct impact on my work and my creativity. It’s hard to get excited about making music when you have to move piles of stuff to even get to the computer. It’s impossible to follow an inspiration for a jewelry piece when you can’t even see the bench. As for writing, I’m sitting at Biggby – does that answer your question? There is so much clutter and chaos that I get overwhelmed, find my chair (an uncovered oasis in a sea of stuff) and just sit. I don’t even start to try and fix it, because I honestly have no idea how to even start.

(Anybody want to spend a week helping us list stuff on eBay and Craigslist? We could really use the money to pay for the new trike that’s on order… And hey – if it sells, we’ll give you part of the profit! :-D)

So, this adjustment is Banishment. There are things that I am not going to do anymore. And when I hear of a need, I’ll consider it… for a while. If you ask me something (and feel free to do so…), don’t expect an immediate answer – I need to consider it, look at the balance of everything else, and then see if it fits. And, sadly, the answer will be “no” more often than “yes.” Or at least it feels like it will be at this point.

This is stuff most everyone already knows, but I’ve always been a slow learner. So it makes sense that learning priorities would be something I’d wait to do until my “second life.” How long will this resolve last? We’ll see. But I will say this – this is directly linked to how well I’ll do with making my new lifestyle permanent, so it’s a pretty high priority.

Time to move along… things to do. 😀

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