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what is essential?

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Today, I’m content and anxious. I have never realized how conditioned I have been to be suspicious of happiness. To expect something bad to follow something good. That I have these thoughts is not surprising to me, that I accept them as truth is.

I just gave myself “10 minutes” to draw the basket of flowers on my living room floor. I felt prompted by the Lord to do this. But, I’m supposed to be having my quiet time, which means I’m supposed to be reading my Bible and filling up my prayer journals.

But I’m learning that Jesus is a very creative teacher.

As I drew, I realized my ten minute drill revealed all kinds of thoughts I host when I put my pencil on paper. I think of artists I’d love to impress who have, by their investment in me, literally changed my whole life. Jed Dorsey. Aeron Brown. And then I thought of people I’m intimidated by. Michelle Rushworth. John Singer Sargent. (Yes, I know he’s dead, but…)

And then I felt anxious to “get it right” so that when people look at it, it will be “look at” worthy.

And then I started to actually see the pretty flowers. That’s a kind of sad progression but I won’t condemn myself for it. It’s just how I think and even that process is continually being protected and nurtured by Holy Spirit.

The treasure came as I got toward the end of my “ten minutes” (in quotes, because I never looked at the clock which was actually right behind the flowers. I just went till it felt like ten minutes. LOL.

Can you see the clock on the top shelf? ...too funny...

…and perhaps I shouldn’t use LOL because readers in the future will wonder what in the world that means, but I’m not in the future. I’m here. Right now. Can you see how my mind races to seek acceptance, rather than accept acceptance? Aargh.

Oh.. the treasure? It came so gently and was simply this: I let go and realized I just had to stay with what was essential. I couldn’t fuss over details. I just had to let it be.

It’s not gallery worthy or even Instagram impressive. But it IS rich. Jesus mentored me so gently this morning.

You see, really good things are happening for each of my family right now. Really awesome things that have been in my prayer fountain for years. I don’t need to be afraid of them.

I asked myself, “What is essential?”

For my heart? Loving well. Leaning back into the arms of Jesus and being quiet for a moment and then going WITH him rather than rushing out and trying to do things for him to bring back for my grade, hoping for a gold star. To soak in my husband’s amazing love for me and to pour it back into him. To love my family. To treasure this moment getting to know my daughter’s special guy. To soak in our 5 house guests this week who are each a work of art. To look after my sweet mama who is becoming more fragile. To draw listen to the nudges to draw just to draw rather than to produce.

To throw off comparison. To lay aside every thought that hinders the deeper Joy of knowing I’m am accepted and loved by the Lover of my very soul. To say yes to sweeter moments while my “shoulds” call like sirens waiting to drown me.

I may write about this more. But for now, I’m basking in the essential. Faith. Hope. Love. Not out there somewhere in the realm of theological conversation, but right here on my couch while smells of toasted bagels and coffee are starting to drift my way as my sweet new friends wake up.

And I’m starting to dance and splash in that fountain rather than just stand on the outside throwing my wishes in like pennies.


©2021 Lydia D Crouch

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