Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Each Step of the Way



I got impatient. With a number of outdoor tasks begging for my attention, I had grandiose ideas of tackling all of them by dinner time. First things first, I needed to wash my car. As I got started, I realized it might take a little longer than I had originally expected.

A quick lunch was followed by a trip to the garage in search of clippers for my next project. Some shrubs and jasmine were long overdue for a trim - in fact, they had begun taking over a portion of the driveway and yard. Tentative at first, I began trimming in earnest as I figured out how to thin and shape each plant.

Midway into the task, I glanced up in alarm as my husband, Steve, came around the corner of the house. He had been weed-whacking, and something had gotten into his eye. Unsure whether he had been bitten by a bug, or was dealing with a piece of debris, I followed him into the house to help him flush out his eye.

We were unable to determine what was causing the irritation. With nothing more I could do for him, I headed back outside to finish my project - although I could feel my motivation slipping away. The sun was dipping below the treetops when I was finally finished with the trimming.

Although I had made progress, I looked around the yard at all the work that remained. The impatience I had experienced earlier in the day was replaced by discouragement. With both Steve and I working on the yard, it would still take a number of weeks before it would be finished.

I encountered a lightbulb moment: rather than concentrating solely on completing the entire project, I could focus on enjoying each step of the process. The choice was mine. Our yard served as a simple example of many other areas of my life. How often had I given in to impatience, only satisfied when I was done with something. By choosing to embrace each step of the way, I could experience joy along the journey.
   
The Lord likens life to a race, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," (Hebrews 12:1; KJV). How do I avoid becoming impatient and discouraged? By focusing on the Savior, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 12:2).

Does a project have to be completed in order for you to experience joy? Will you choose to relish each of life's moments today, so you can find joy along the journey?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for reminding me that I can run the race You've given me with patience. Help me choose to look to You each step of the way so I can experience joy on my journey. In Jesus' name, Amen.



*I'm hosting over at Living by Grace today. Come join in the discussion!

12 comments:

  1. I absolutely understand this feeling, Maria. You processed right through this, though, and I love your conclusion. :)

    Rhonda Schrock
    www.rhondaschrock.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Rhonda! Appreciate your words of encouragement. Have a truly blessed week! :)

      Delete
  2. Hi Maria -

    I hope Steve's eye is okay.

    My yard is also in serious need of attention. The veggie garden needs to be cleared out soon. I picked the last of my produce on Saturday.

    Your analogy works on so many levels. As a writer, the journey often seems endless.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great to see you Susan! Steve's eye is much better - seems to have been a piece of debris that got in it. Ouch! Thanks for asking!

      Our yards hold countless lessons for us, don't they? Sounds like you had a productive garden. Now it's time for the ground to rest a while!

      Just prayed for your writing this morning, my friend. Keep it up, I know the Lord has a plan for your work! Hugs & Blessings :)

      Delete
  3. Ouch, I recognize this. Often I get satisfaction from crossing things off of my to-do-list, and I don't enjoy the process of doing them. The list remains full, so I better learn to enjoy each project I am working on. Great post Maria, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Marja!! Yes I can definitely relate! It's good to hear the Lord is blessing you with lots of projects. And I know His plan is for you to enjoy each one! Praying for you as you continue to make Him known through your writing and speaking. God bless you my friend! Hugs :)

      Delete
  4. I am learning to enjoy the process. I think it depends on what I'm doing. With writing, I love the entire process of it. With household tasks, it drives me crazy to not have things finished! Hope your husband's eye is okay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful to see you Susan! How neat to hear that you love the entire writing process. Me? I'm being challenged to embrace that attitude! Oh, and don't even get me started on household tasks - a post for another day.

      Thanks for your concern about Steve's eye - with a little Visine and a night of rest, the pesky piece of whatever got in his eye, came out! So glad he avoided a trip to the eye doctor.

      Have a fantastic week! Hugs!

      Delete
  5. I feel very behind at times on all the projects I have taken on. Recently I slipped my turtle earrings on as a reminder that slow and steady wins the race!

    Proverbs 21:5

    “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Lynn! I love your action step: putting on those turtle earrings. What a lovely reminder! Thanks for the reminder found in Proverbs 21:5 - I'm choosing diligence today! Have a great week. Hugs & Blessings! :)

      Delete
  6. What a good reminder you gave me. "Focus on enjoying each step of the process..." Enjoy your moments in your yard. Inch by inch...right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Cheryl! Working on enjoying all those outdoor projects! And yes it is - inch by inch. Have a blessed week!:)

      Delete