The other night my ambivalent cat chose to sleep as close to my lap as she’s ever come to snuggling me in the two years that I’ve asked her to be my lap cat. She slunk toward my hip stepping high through the puffy down comforter and settled herself tightly against my body within reach of my hand so I could fall asleep stroking her under her chin and around her ears, engines roaring a happy purr. I hold out hope that someday she will indeed find that my lap is a safe place to occupy. For now my lap is both a place she side steps to avoid, and bolts from when placed there by my impatience. I just long for the day she locks eyes with me, revs her purring engine, and determines to settle into my lap for a good long stroke. Part of my desire for her is the fact that she is hard to get. As I write now, my big 80 pound bulldog is in the chair with me and I can get her to sit with me any time I want, but I don’t want it as badly as I want my cat to want me. Wah. I promise her she can trust me. And the tactile pleasure of stroking my cat and causing her to purr is pure silk softness in my fingers. Nothing is as soft as my cat, and I want more of her but she pushes me away. I’m trying to understand the lesson in this.
When Craig came to our room with the lights all on, both of us asleep he told me with great surprise, “Coco was almost in your lap.” I muttered in my half sleep voice which sometimes means I will have no memory of it, “I know it was almost perfect.”
Gardening taught me patience. When I plant a seed it is weeks before there’s evidence that I ever gave the seed a home to grow. And with more patience I am able to serve the dinner plate with fruit of my patience. It’s so rewarding.
God is patient with me. I have stumbled so many times this week that I’m feeling all sorts of self doubt. The lists of frustrations that socked me hard in the eye this week is long. I’ve always been honest here and open wide I’m going to share my list so everyone knows that I haven’t got it all figured out and I’m not put together in a perfect little box…I have as much mess in my life as anyone. And I don’t get everything I want…like my cat in my lap…
Here’s my list for the third week of March: back problems again…overwhelmed with responsibility in the ministry…fighting a bad cold all week…we have a testing toddler…I engaged in the sin of gossip and had to humble myself and face the person with my apology and repent with God…that’s a load of personal disappointment…I’ve been going without enough rest…I smacked up hard against cultural differences in Uganda and failed to communicate clearly…feeling selfish and sad that I wasn’t able to be there to help find the children who will become family members in Kirabo Seeds Uganda, the trial begins in a few hours again in Uganda and I feel the tension all the way around the world…there’s a presence of darkness with this trial that unsettles me and I feel something sitting on my chest and I can hardly breathe…there has not been enough thinking time for me I am plagued with the busy that pleases the enemy…I’m feeling fragmented…seeing Donny in Waco this weekend awakened how much I miss having all of my children together…they slip away so fast…a trip to the dermatologist indicated I have basal cells again…we’ve been traveling so much we are not grounded in a church here at home and this is sinking sand…and all of this stress interferes in my family time. So what does a girl do with a list of problems like that…cry big fat tears, walk a long way with her dog, have difficult conversations with her spouse, and embrace the power of pause.
I hit the pause button on my life the past three days. I spent the time I would be blogging to commune with God, read the bible, and listen to my heart, laugh with my children, talk with my husband, sleep and cry. And what do I know from taking a pause? God comes first. If I don’t do that right, nothing will go right. Nothing. Busy is an instrument the enemy uses to separate me from the intimacy I need with God.
I have to accept that I can’t and won’t make a decision unless it is from God. He’s waiting for me to be the soft purring kitty cat that wants to climb into his lap. That’s where I went during my pause. And all the stress and burdens of life, they disappear when He makes me purr. I’m safest, smartest, and most secure in His lap. The power of a pause these three days has helped me see slow is better. Saying no when I want to say yes is going to save my sanity and my family life. Sitting in the Father’s lap has helped me realize I can’t do it all. I need to trust Him and follow his design and not be influenced by anything else. To imagine myself as the soft vulnerable kitty and submitting myself to the vulnerable position of sleeping in the Father’s lap and knowing from my own experience with Coco how much He wants me to trust him, helps me see clearly what to do next. I spent the past three days of my blogging pause to lock eyes on the Father, step through the billowy puffs of a too busy life and settle myself into His lap of security and guess what I learned I can do there…purr.