Exceedingly Abundantly

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Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory….
~Ephesians 3:20-21

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I am grateful for waking up in my own bed this morning, despite my internal clock that woke me up at 5:13am. Yesterday, my body finally fell asleep after 4am and hubby’s alarm went off at 5:30am. Thank you, technology, which reminded us that it was time to get up for the Early Light service at church….EXCEPT WE WERE AT CHURCH CAMP AND THERE WAS NO EARLY LIGHT SERVICE TO BE OFF TO. Let’s look at another beautiful reminder of the redwoods and take a deep, slow, reflective breath.

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Clearly, as mentioned previously, I don’t sleep too well away from home, especially the first night. Every sound, every movement wakes me up {which included Alex falling out of bed and a fan falling on me}. For a second trip in a row this month, we squeezed Drew’s pack-n-play in the bathroom to hopefully allow for better rest for us all (and yes, it worked!).

Our speaker for this weekend focused on the calling of Simon Peter found in Luke 5. There was much to be taken from his reflections and I rapidly texted/emailed notes to myself as he shared. But the piece that resonated yesterday, loud and clear, was the familiar benediction found in Ephesians 3. The promise that God can and will accomplish far more, ABUNDANTLY far more than we could ask or imagine. In one translation, the verbiage is “exceedingly, abundantly….”. Adverb overload in the best way.

As Labor Day unfolds, I am reflecting on this truth today. Do I believe and hang on this promise? That my labor, my efforts, my dreams, my hopes are just a shadow of what God has in store? That I need not live in fear or be paralyzed by doubt? Do we labor and work and plot and plan in vain, our own efforts blinding us from what lays in front of our very own eyes?

In spite of children running this way and that, this weekend was a reminder for me. A reminder to show up, to let go of my need for control (this manifested itself in various periods of time where eldest son was unattended, left to the capable hands of the community of our church—-seriously….gotta LOVE the amazingness of the junior high, senior high students and young adults who love on and watch out for our bunnies). A reminder to enjoy afternoons where we were forced to be stationary while youngest napped. Friends, former colleagues, new acquaintances spent time sitting, reflecting, catching up and talking about the current life challenges and moments. Functions that needed to be performed, such as eating, walking from one place to another, supervising playground circuits, provided opportunities for conversation and connection and community. God used the “mundane moments” to remind me that they are vessels for God’s exceeding, abundant MORE that God has to offer.

As Drew and I drove home last night, the evening light spreading over the coastal mountains along Highway 84—-CURVY Hwy 84!!!—–vista after vista opened after climbs through darkened redwood groves. Drew kept exclaiming, “WOW. WOW.” Coldplay blasted on the speakers and we enjoyed a little mama–son bonding on the drive home. We laughed over In-And-Out french fries. Soaked up some calm before our other half arrives home later today. And I spent some time in our quiet house last night, reading and thinking and praying, asking God to reveal the exceeding abundant ways that God wants to accomplish God’s purpose in our lives. The reminder that this abundance is often wrapped up in the small, here & now moments of beautiful drives and french fries, but also that God longs to open up wide vistas, unknown places and experiences we have yet to fathom.

On this Labor Day, hopefully we all get time to rest from the day-in, day-out pressures and routine long enough to soak in the things, places and people that are already living examples of God’s exceeding abundance—-and to look up long enough to see the equally grand vistas that lie in our own neighborhoods, circles and lives. Happy day of rest!

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