I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time, but I’ve been too busy trying to tackle too many things. So many tasks have been needed to be completed simultaneously and I have often lacked the knowledge of where to start.
Tonight Phil and most of the children are out at a fireworks party and for the first time in as long as I can remember I am alone for more than 5 minutes, and I know I am very unlikely to be disturbed for a good while. It’s taken a couple of hours of sweeping up, eating snacks and drinking tea, but I think I’m beginning to wind down. I’ve only got an hour left and I could choose between writing a blog or washing my hair but blogging wins as it is much easier for me to think and write when I’m on my own. Silence is my friend and one I often miss.
The last blog I wrote was weeks ago and I’m sorry I haven’t had chance to update the blog more often, but life got in the way, as it has a habit of doing. So what have we been up to, and what’s this about eating an elephant?
We’ve been living without a proper kitchen for a couple of months, which has been tough. I’ve found my day consumed with walking back and forth to the utility room with washing up. Why haven’t I made the children do the washing up you may ask? Sometimes I have, but sometimes the draw of a quiet room and a repetitive task, which doesn’t argue back, has just been too appealing 😉. It’s been worth it in terms of the beautiful kitchen we now have, but I have struggled with the noise and lack of space to take five.
With so many tradespeople in the house the noise level has been consistently high and my introverted side has been crying out for some space. Praise God for tonight’s silent offering, perhaps it’s something I need to find a way to achieve more often?
There have been so many decisions to make, all whilst listening to the background drone of drills, radios and banging along with the children’s needs ringing out in my ears. We’ve had to choose rendering colour, floor tiles for the kitchen, bathroom wall tiles, bathroom flooring, splash back designs, front door and internal door designs, carpet colours, wall paint colour, new to us (Facebook Marketplace) furniture, soft furnishings…..the list goes on. Thankfully we’ve made no really awful decisions, more by grace than anything else, as we have made all our choices at speed.
The house has been fully insulated and rendered in the last month. This involved weeks of banging, as the insulation was attached the the walls. It does look beautiful, although it is still hidden under a layer of scaffolding as we are waiting for the roofer to come and repair a section of the roof.
So back to the metaphorical elephant I’m trying to eat. I guess I’m learning that one can only take on any task bit by bit and not to look too hard at the overwhelming size of the tasks. The trouble is I’m a visionary thinker, I always see the bigger picture, it’s in my DNA. This ability is a gift from God, and in part why we are living this extraordinary life, but it’s also a weakness, unless I use the gift in the Lord’s strength.
Sometimes I see too much, I see the pain behind people’s eyes (and I want to fix it), I see the future playing out (it often doesn’t look good, apart from the Heaven part), I see the potential problems we might face and I don’t have broad enough shoulders to carry the weight. If silence has been hard to come by I find those burdens weigh me down, as my time alone with God gets harder to carve out.
Until tonight I don’t think I could pin down why I’ve been struggling of late, but in writing and silence I often discover what is buried within. My elephant’s already looking smaller, I think I might just have it in me to tackle one small task, maybe I’ll squeeze in that hair wash before the tribe descends 🙂.
‘And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.’ Mark 1:35. Even Jesus needed to be alone with his Father. If he needed it then I need it all the more. Trouble is, I don’t like mornings, I guess I’ll pray about that one and ask God to help me find my time with him.
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4 thoughts on “Eating an Elephant”
Vicki, you have written what I’d write right now, if I had your gift of writing, which I don’t. Though we’ve not had quite as much renovations going on, it’s still on going(only since July) but hoping I’ll have a kitchen in 2 or 3 wks. The space factor has challenged All of us. My household are mostly big rather than littlies, & we live in a small cottage, and we have been trapsing outside to a temporary shower & kitchen area. Decision making has been left to me which I thought would be easy! Ha, I must have dreamt I had interior design skills or something.. Just hoping it all looks okay once it’s all put in… Looking forward to being able to get back in a more normal routine & enjoy the blessings of a new kitchen. I’m certain, after it’s all over, it’ll be clearer how God was shaping us during this time.
wow, it looks amazing Vicky! 🙂 I know what you mean about the bigger picture… and carving out space (even with such a small tribe here and no builders!). I’m glad you got some tonight anyway!
Sandra J says:
Hi Vicki, what a joy it always is to receive and read your blogs. I too, have had cause to use that phrase, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is, of course, “A little bit at a time!” Like you, during those overwhelming times of frustration, busyness, struggle and tiredness, seeking solace (even if it’s only for a few minutes peace) is something so wonderful and strengthens us for the time ahead. I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like without God in my life – even at my most difficult times – to know He is there and that He cares is such a comfort and gives me strength to carry on.
You are an amazing woman Vicki and God has truly gifted and blessed you to be the person that you are. My love and prayers are with you each day. Sandra x
Leave the elephants to the Mahouts, metaphoric elephants can divert us from the will of Yahweh (God)
Are you able to devote a quiet small room (or at the very least a quiet small space) for the SOLE PURPUSE of worshiping Yahweh (God) in your home, where that room/space is used for nothing else? Yahweh (God) has given you SO MUCH with this house. Now is the time to make room for Yahweh (God), call it a private home chapel or sanctuary of the Lord. Be still, be quiet, dedicate a specific time for Yahweh (God) & allow the Holy Spirt to guide & convict you to do what is Yahweh (God’s) will, & his alone.
I find Saturdays, Yahweh (God’s) day, that he named the Sabbath, is a good day to TOTALLY devote to him & do NO WORK whatsoever, as we were all commanded.
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
The physical trappings of a nice home & kitchen will pass away
Matthew 24:35 English Standard Version says
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
Luke 21 KJV says
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
34 “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap
Vicki, Make that special room solely for the worship of God where the “cares of this life” cannot enter in like a trap.
We all need to put God FIRST in our lives & not be blinded by worldly things.
1 John 2:15-17 English Standard Version
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
May Yahweh (God) bless you & your family & all those that you come into contact with.
In the name of the Messiah Yeshua (Jesus),