Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Revel by being Present, Patient, and Grateful

This month I've learned a lot about reveling.  Actually, I posted my initial post in December, almost at a whim ... but it was an intuitive whim that this was right. Immediately, I started gathering ideas and thoughts came which confirmed my intuition (those INFJ types, we do so rely on our intuition)

Almost immediately, I was confronted with the need to be present.  That if I wanted to know my children and revel in them, if I wanted to know my husband and revel in him, I had focus.

 I've heard women joke about having multiple tabs open in their brain.  That is totally me.  I'm always thinking about several things at once.

The electronic devices and the [ack!] books in my hand are but secondary distractions, but they need to be set down more often, too. I need to be fully present and fully concentrated on the people in my life while in their presence.

We are also doing more together, being physically present.  We've done a pilates video together most days since school started back and that has made a world of difference.We've sat at the breakfast table together for our (silent) Bible reading.  I've been reading Poor Richard, one of our AmblesideOnline books at the lunch table.  Doing these things together, at the same place and time has been a wonderful way to connect with and revel in my children.

Besides being mentally and physically present, I need to be emotionally present.  I've tried so hard to not be an MBTI type F because my husband is a T (he's so far on the T scale that he says all people are shades of F to him).  No pressure from him at all, simply one way I was trying to make connections that F people seek. (crazy, yes? Yes.) I need to let my emotional side be present without letting it take over completely as a backlash to suppression. 

One doesn't change the habits of a lifetime in a month, but at least I can start *thinking* about it.  I have tried to be more present, which is hard when Jason and I have been cycling sickness between us.  I'm such a baby when I'm sick, I just want to veg in front of a screen and be left alone. Anyway, during school-time I am making a concerted effort to only use devices for school uses.  Only for reading aloud from, playing our accompaniment music, or looking up the weather (we're charting weather for Nature Study).  On the up side, I've built in some breaks where the children and I all go play with our toys :)

Our Pastor preached through Isaiah 40 in December.  They were all fantastic, but the day after I posted my word for 2015, he preached on Isaiah 40:12-31 how the Lord's holy otherness, his being outside of his creation, his everlastingness, his very supernaturality should be a comfort to us.  We question his being far away, that He is hidden away or inattentive, when He is so very present and if we wait on him, we will be strengthened and reassured.  And then, in January, he preached about glorifying God because of the relationship with Him ... the one built by waiting on Him.

And then Candace picks up the theme in her post How to Revel in God's Word.  Wasn't that a fantastic post? She was so generous to share her story with us.  I mentioned then, but I was truly struck by her patience and stick-to-it of reading Psalms even when they weren't speaking to her ... until they did.  The notion that in order to *revel* in God, I might need to be patient hadn't ever crossed my mind.  That Waiting on the Lord was actually just patiently waiting and trusting that He would work (not that I was waiting as in tables).  Every post I read on her blog, Mercy is New, drips with her love for the Word of God and its Author, she has done what my pastor preached.  No wonder it resonated with me so! 

Finally, Mystie's eCourse, Simplified Organization, I've had it since she released it and I saved it for break, then for January, because who really wants to *revel* in homemaking? But in her first step, on Gratitude, she knocked me off my feet with that quote from Milton. It's so good, I'm going to quote it again:
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
Y'all, I was so struck. I even looked to see if reverence and *revel* come from the same root (they don't, but how cool would that have been).  I glimpsed the edges, the shards, of gratitude and thankfulness in my ability to enjoy God, my family, and even homemaking in ways I'd never before seen.  (And, yes, I read Voskamp years ago)

This is what I've been learning about my word for 2015: revel.  I'm glad it is something I can plumb over the course of a year because I think it will take that long.  I'm excited about next month's guest post, Karen from living, unabridged is writing it and I know it'll be fantastic.


  1. Replies
    1. I can't wait! I'm sure it will be amazing!

  2. I enjoyed reading this, Dawn. You've given me much to think about!

    What is MBTI?

    1. Thanks, Amy. I'm so glad.

      MBTI is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator. It is a personality test which describes people in 16 different personality types. They can be eerily accurate. You can find free tests online. I was mistyped as an INFP and only recently found INFJ which description makes soooo much more sense. Brandy @ posted about typing your children just today. It can be a fascinating exercise.

  3. Encouraging post, Dawn. I copied that Milton quote in the front of my bullet journal. :)

    1. Thanks, Anna. I just love that quote, I'm glad you like it too. I was trying not to pry, but liked the look of your bullet journal, too :)

  4. This is a beautiful post, Dawn! Thank you.

    One thing I am trying to be aware of is letting my F children (I have at least 3) be Fs and feel valued being F, though my husband and I are both Ts. I think that's really fueled a lot of my research into it - finding ways to describe and think about F that don't have shades of derision underneath. It's been very good for me to learn how to value the characteristics of F types, and then very difficult to learn how to express that value in ways they will feel.

    1. Thanks, Mystie.

      I want to emphasize that my trying to be more T was entirely because of me and none because of my husband. Unconsciously, I wanted to be more like him to connect on a deeper level with him. Plus, I've always admired T thinking - so incomprehensible to me yet so appealing.

      It doesn't help that our culture values T over F so highly when raising F children. Or that even some Fs - like me - wish we were Ts. I've told you before that I think that is why our reading meshes so well. We have similar taste and so when I love a book you can explain to me why.


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