How many times over the past several months have I thought that I needed to post a blog, to send an email, to post on Facebook, you name it. But, the year slipped away with so many things undone. The person who could pull off behemoth amounts of work in corporate, could barely get a thing accomplished. So, as 2022 dawned upon us I was ready, and excited, to be productive again.
What is funny is that I give a rather popular talk about taking a Time Out with God. I always thought about time-outs as big things, like when I injured my leg and then had cancer. However, last year seemed like one little time-out after another, stringing together to be a year of time-outs. So, even as I was going around and speaking about it, I wasn’t recognizing the little time-outs as they occurred for me.
What little time-outs you might ask? Well, it probably started when my phone died and I had to figure out how to get a new one, including a new number going. I had no idea how many things were tied to that phone number! My phone was not yet up and running when my hard drive crashed and it took a few weeks for that to be repaired. If you fancy yourself an author and a speaker, it is rather difficult to do any work without a phone or a computer! My little cat Tinkerbell became quite ill and stopped eating. So, for several months, I was having to cook up her favorite food and put it under her nose about every hour. Again, I look back and think how hard it is to concentrate when I am having to get up every few minutes to check on her. Sadly we lost that little sweetheart early November.
In the summer, my Mother took a turn for the worse and I ended up traveling back and forth to Indiana to be with her and Dad many different times. There were multiple trips for multiple days each where I spent my time visiting and praying but hardly working. While Mom is sorely missed, I was blessed to be with Mom as she peacefully went up to be with God right after Thanksgiving.
During all these days with all these various time-outs, despite me trying to work, the only thing I could do consistently was pray. I like to ask God everyday what He needs me to do that day. I remember early in the year going to Mass and asking that question of Him. But, that day at Mass, I was so frustrated with God’s answer. What I heard Him say to me was “pray more”. Gosh, I argued with Him, I come to Mass everyday, I listen to the Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike Schmitz everyday, I say the rosary most days, what else do you want me to do God?
I can look back now and say I prayed more than ever last year. Not just the structured prayers that I usually did, but now the “in the moment” prayers. Walking outside into the beautiful Florida sunshine and simply thanking Him for allowing me to be there. Sitting with Mom ever so quietly and praying for her healing but also that whatever God’s will might be that it would be easy and peaceful for her. Not knowing what to do when I couldn’t write or work, I would read a faith-filled book instead or ponder a verse from the Bible.
All these days that used to be filled with doing, doing and doing were now being filled with praying, praying and praying. You know what, despite everything that happened last year, the greatest gift of all was to constantly be at peace. The corporate, intellectual Donna would never have been at peace given my year. But all my praying helped me to understand that God was in control and His plans were unfolding. As I was learning to trust even more deeply, God was laying the groundwork for the next projects. I don’t know which projects will manifest first, that is on God’s time-line. What I do know is that I will continue to pray in the moments and trust that by constantly turning to Him that I will have a radiant 2022.
Wishing each of you a blessed and radiant 2022 as well!