Walking in the cool of the day
I am not sure if you agree with me on this, but the last 2 years have felt like time has been accelerated. I have been exhausted these last two years as I embarked on taking on a full time job and running Touching His Hem. My capacity reached its limits and I felt on many days that I had nothing left to give.
We are faced with a choice in these moments of our lives - we trust HaShem in these moments and allow Him to direct our steps or we keep trying to do things in our strength.
To be honest, I realise that I did many things in my own strength in the last two years and yet, even as I forged forward, HaShem showed me incredible mercy. Somehow, with the incredible demands of work and the busyness of running a business I have managed to remain standing.
My greatest lesson has been to walk in the cool of the day.
When I was completing the 4th It's Time Calendar, there was more than enough time and the plan that I set in motion seemed to be flowing with ease. I was confident we would produce an even more beautiful calendar than before as now I had learned so many lessons and I felt far more prepared than previous years. As we came closer to the deadline more and more little delays started to crop up. My graphic designer's children started getting sick one after the other and then she fell ill too, I was travelling every month and my printer had his own life realities and made a few commitments to me that he didn't keep. We did so many checks and edits back and forth and the pressure began to build and with start of the Biblical year in sight I needed to get the calendar printed for all those who had pre-ordered and were waiting in anticipation. I was determined not to let them down!
We finally got the last tweaks done on the calendar (or so I thought) and my printer assured me he would get the proofs to me on the weekend. I needed these urgently on the weekend as Monday I was flying to Durban, KZN for 2 days. Sadly, the proofs did not materialise and I received them an hour before I was about to leave for the airport. I needed to get these approved and so in the heat of the moment I made a decision - I would give the copy a once over, after all, we had checked them so many times throughout the process and then I passed them on to my graphic designer to finalise colour. "Please Abba", I remember praying, "Let everything be in order."
A week later, with the printing of 300 calendars underway, myself sick in bed (travel plus stress equalled me catching a horrible flu) I was going through the dates on my computer and I discovered an enormous error. The dates for the last month of the calendar were completely out - I had to rush to get the print stopped and the error fixed. All the pages had already been printed and now a double sided full colour print to replace the error meant a very costly error, we had not picked this up with all the edits and checks - how did this happen?
It was stressful to say the least but I had to move on and swallow the additional costs, the printed calendars were just beautiful and I praised Abba for allowing me get them out to our customers on time.
Fast forward to this month... This time I will be even more prepared, I will cross every t and dot every I and so I have begun work on Volume 5 and as I am preparing each template I discover 5 more errors...
I wanted to curl into a ball and cry! And there is absolutely nothing I could do, the calendars are hanging on walls all around the world, people have trusted me to give them a flawless product and I could not do anything to change this - all I could do was reflect and apologise.
In the midst of my disappointment at myself, I heard the words, "In the cool of the day Michelle."
Earlier last year a dear friend of mine gave me this sound advice when facing a decision. She reminded me of the blessing we walk in when we walk with HaShem in the cool of the day - to where Adam and Chava should have remained with Him when they were still in the Garden. In the cool of the day is shalom, clarity and a sound mind, your path is lit and you are not being led by your emotions.
If I had waited for the "cool of the day" I may have avoided all the mistakes - from the reprinted page to the mistakes discovered over the last few weeks and I would not be writing this blog today. Most importantly I would have a calendar I could be happy about in the hands of over 300 people...that being my most devastating outcome.
The question is, what is the larger and weightier lesson I can glean from this?
We are living in world where pressure is building with rapid succession. Things are mounting and although right now things seem calm, the storms are building with wars and rumours of wars, food shortages in countries, in South Africa a national electricity crisis, crime and more and how are we responding?
When you find yourself at odds with other people who have shown you no respoct or have made their own mistakes - how are we responding?
When we need to make a decisions and others or situations are pressurising us for an answer, how are we responding?
With haste in the heat of the moment?
Are we pausing, stepping back and leaning into the Ruach HaKodesh for a heavenly response?
I want to be doing this in this year - I want to be choosing to push down my nafesh (soulish responses) and I want to respond with wisdom, shalom and a sound mind.
Does this remove the mistakes from my printed calendar?
I do hope that all those who have bought my calendar will forgive me and most of all trust me enough purchase the next one. I will commit to walking in the cool of the day with Abba on this one and have it ready months before the Biblical year begins so that I do not find myself in a hot sticky mess of mistakes.
Thank you, to all those who bought the calendar, who have messaged me and shared with me how using this resource has blessed them deeply. I pray you can look beyond my human errors and continue to be blessed by HaShem's beautiful timing and that as you dance with Him, that the rhythm of His heartbeat will beat with yours!
A gift: I have decided to make the e-calendar (the digital version for download) free to everyone because of all these errors. Please feel free to download the corrected version to use alongside the printed calendar.
Most importantly I pray that you will walk with Abba Father ever closer in the next few months, that you will allow your steps to be directed by Him and that you too will walk in the cool of the day with Him.
Download this blog image as a free screensaver.
The 5 mistakes in the calendar are highlighted below:
Month of Tevet: Chanukah 8th Candle and Chanukah 8th day should move up to the 1st and 2nd of Tevet
Month of Nisan: the Gregorian months in the image should be March/April not April/ May
Lag B'Omer should be on the 33rd day not on the 34th day of the Omer
Month of Iyar: the Gregorian months in the image should be April/May not May/June
The month of Elul: Rosh Hashana should not be on the 1st of Elul - this should be the 1st of Tishrei (the following month)