linger just a little bit longer

So before I get into today’s post, I have to share a little story. My grandparents read my blog (so cool…and my grandma is taking my phone photography course!). Anyway, my grandma called me last night after reading my blog to tell me the house they lived in in Texas was located a few miles from the Mercy Ships headquarters. I remember being a little girl running around the construction site when they built that house. I remember hours playing in my grandpa’s woodshop out back. Well, my grandparents moved from that Texas house to Oklahoma a little over 10 years ago. They heard that Mercy Ships had bought their house and it is now used as temporary housing for volunteers. I have so many childhood memories from that house, so amazing that it is a Mercy Ships home now. Small world. Cool story.

flourish

Linger.

According to Webster it means “to stay somewhere beyond the usual or expected time.”

I’ve been wrestling with that word for about a year now. I hear it in my head when I want to move one to the next thing on my ‘to-do’ list.

I hear it when a child is curled up next to me and we finish a book linger here, stay here, soak this in

When plates are cleared but family is still at the table linger here, do the dishes in a few minutes, breathe deeper here

I hear it when Chris wraps me up in his arms linger here, stay

Lingering. Staying just a bit longer is so hard for me. I’m am a get’er done girl. There is the temptation for me to believe that lingering is wasting my time. There is the lie that tells me that to stay longer means I won’t get the important stuff done. In the last year, I have been learning that that is quite simply not true. There is often no better use of my time than to linger.

The sweetest moments of my days happen in the linger.

I asked my sister to write it on my chalkboard, just as I am writing it on my heart. There are major perks to having an artist as a sister.

My sister has been adding so many new prints to her shop. I’m so thankful I could convince her to come share her talents at my house. After all the work she did creating my chalkboard, she created a print of the same design for her shop. I am so proud of her. She is an incredibly talented artist and it has been exciting for our whole family to watch her business grow and thrive. You can check out her shop at:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/recipeforcrazyrecipeforcrazy

This weekend, I’m going to be lingering. Lingering just a little bit longer.

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  • Mary - I love this! I couldn’t agree with you more!! I also struggle with ‘lingering’, but I’m working on it. I’m making a very conscious effort to be a better listener, recognize the beauty around me, enjoy the moment! I’m finding that there is more peace and contentment in my life when I linger!!

  • Lisa | Winter Heights - Goodness Ashley, you keep speaking things that cut right through me! Thank you.

  • Sandra Cole - Thank you for this post! I sometimes have to mentally force myself to sit on the floor and play/watch my son and let the laundry wait! I can see him puff up with pride when I focus on him. I need to cherish these fleeting moments . Spiritually, this post reminds me of the message in Luke 10:38-42.

  • Jessica Johnson - As a fellow never-sit-stiller, I resonate with this. I also now have that Cranberries song stuck in my head. And I want your sister’s haircut. And I know Kim told you yesterday via IG, but my friend Betsy just disembarked after a six month stint aboard Mercy Ships. It is an amazing organization. Thank you for supporting it. xxoo

  • Heather - Thank you for this-something I need to remember too. I get too caught up in checking things off my to-do list sometimes.

  • Angela A - I looked at the first picture of the chalkboard and thought “how in the world do these chalkboard artist do that with chalk?” and then laughed when I scrolled down to the next pictures. Thanks for sharing bits of your life with us. My other thought was that this blog is probably excellent motivation to thoroughly clean bits of your house as you share it with us! With two creative, active kids of my own I’m sure it is a constant effort even with their help. I do love your studio and all that you are doing with it.

  • crystal - Thank you for this reminder. I have been trying to linger longer and enjoy special moments instead of always thinking of what needs to be done next. With baby #4 being my last, I’m soaking up all the little moments that will soon slip away. A nap in the arms is not preventing me from getting work done, it is giving me a chance to linger and enjoy this stage of life that is flying by so quickly.

  • the inadvertent farmer - Such a hard lesson to learn. Laundry screams, dishes yell, the vacuum whispers from the closet…and I can’t even describe the sound the toilets make when all 4 boys are home, eeeck!

    If you listen to all these ‘must do’ things you will miss the sound of your kids laughing together, recalling family vacations together, or just sitting and visiting about there hopes and dreams.

    I have found the important things are making a more subtle sound, the kinds of sounds you only hear if your heart is listening. Ashley I’m glad you are learning to listen and linger! Love Kim

  • kimberly oyler - can’t wait for her to teach me all her ways when i visit. πŸ˜‰

  • Sarah crosby - Love this. Next weekend there is a “linger conference” in Dallas. It’s all about lingering in the presence of The Lord longer. John piper, Shane & Shane, Phil whickham etc… Will be there πŸ™‚ this made me think of that!

  • RachelC - You are speaking my language. It may be because I’m getting ready to go back to work after being on maternity leave, but I have been soaking in the slow pace, the baby smell, the sibling hugs and kisses…..lingering. Resting. It has been so good for my soul.

    Also, is the now “mercy ship” house the house where we dyed our hair? We were so rebellious. πŸ™‚

    Also, Lesley is an amazing talent. Such beauty in her work.

  • Paige - I just love this. I’m especially guilty when my man is trying to give me a hug while I have something bubbling on the stove. I’m so quick to lean in quickly and move away. I’m going to remember to linger just a bit longer. Great post! And such talent in your family!

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - Thank you.
    My mind, and heart, are already savoring this word and all the wonderful connotations.
    ah…. that’s nice~

  • danielle - Such a beautiful statement. She does wonderful work.

  • Lynn - Love the message you shared in your post today. Also, enjoyed the pictures showing glimpses of your sister working on the chalkboard. It is wonderful and she is very talented!!!

  • Cathy - We have more snow approaching this weekend and this is such a good reminder to spend this weekend lingering with my family, not just using the time stuck indoors on the never ending ‘to-dos’. Also, you’re an artist too!!! My sister and I sometimes forget to remember our own talents when we see the beauty the other can create! πŸ™‚

  • Ruth@GraceLaced - I get this more than you know. And, I so look forward to talkin’ art and chalking with Lesley at Be Crafty. You two are blessings to me. Have a great day, friend.

  • Abigail C - Thank you for the reminder. I think the dishes one was the hardest to get a hold of when I got married. Such little Marthas that classic American worth ethic makes…

  • christina larsen - I think that as a mom, allowing yourself to Linger, is one of the hardest things. At least, it is for me. I try, but my head gets in the way and tells me to get stuff done. Dad’s seem to have it easier in that department. But, maybe I am assuming and getting that wrong. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Emily - I always think of the story of Martha and Mary. Martha was so worried about doing, doing, doing, she missed an intimate and important moment visiting with the Savior. I tend to be a Martha too. Not that it underplays the importance of serving, but we shouldn’t worry about getting things done OVER cultivating relationships!
    Your sister is amazing! How could I choose 1 print… they are all beautiful.

  • Jenni - Oh Ashley! You have a God-given way of making a spiritual truth understandable and accessible to others. This idea of Linger has so many applications in so many areas of life. I am always amazed by what happens inside of me and how God tends to use those lingering moments to bless others and me. the chalkboard art is amazing too;)

  • Sara Lazio - I really really love this. Thank you so much for sharing this. Xxxx

  • Kristin S - It’s so fun to see Lesley “doing” her art. The process is beautiful.

  • Courtney Connelly - I have one of Lesley’s prints hanging in my classroom and I just love it! So very talented no doubt. πŸ™‚

  • mandy - Thanks for the great reminder! Needed that this week! πŸ™‚ Btw Les, LOVE your hair!

  • Kimberly | Turning It Home - Thank you for such an encouraging post! I, too, am trying to linger a little bit longer. The other day we were at a craft store when my toddler noticed a hopscotch on the floor in the teacher’s section. Usually I would rush her but that day I just let her do her thing; it was so worth it. That day, once I threw away my expectations of having to always be on time or always rush to the next task, the tasks themselves became easier and more enjoyable – for both my daughters and me.

  • Diana - LOVE this reminder. I am also a do-er, not so good at just sitting around but I know my little one (10 months) won’t be little forever. Thank you for the reminder!

  • angie - Ashley. Thank you for these thoughts! I fall in the ‘get er done’ category as well. What a tragedy to cross off items on a to do list but miss the moments that matter! Your words reminded me of verse that says to, “linger in His presence.” Sometimes I come to God with a to do list as well. Once I’ve checked every prayer/request off the list I leave. But some of my sweetest memories are just being, just lingering, with no agenda in the brightness of His face. Oh, may we learn to linger! Humanly and spiritually!

  • Katie - Beautiful! Do you have any restrictions about your children touching this? You are so good, I think, about letting them express their creativity (draw their own little pictures on your board) and seeing the positive side of things like little finger print smudges in the chalk–really I gain so much inspiration from you on this! But is there a time limit when it really is “hands-off, please”? I have “my” chalkboard and “their” chalkboards so that I don’t get work up. Trying to gain insight about “not sweating the small stuff”! Thanks!!!

  • Dana at Happy Little Lovelies - Oooh…this is timely. I hear that whisper too and my moments where I listen are always the sweetest of my day. I just wish I listened more often. Maybe that print will help me do that? πŸ™‚

  • Maegan - With a never ending to do list, lingering is so hard for me as well! I’m so happy that you live close enough to your sister that she can come create such beautiful artwork for you -what a blessing!

  • amanda - I have been thinking of this phrase so often too! my daughter’s girl scout troop has a song they sing “oooh, i want to linger, ooh a little longer…i want to linger here with you…” and it has been playing in my head over and over. such a good reminder to take time for all the little things that matter most.

  • Olivia - She does beautiful work, I love this.

    And for me linger=mediate.

    I mediate daily, and also throughout the day I practice mindfulness. When I’m in the shower, I smell the body wash, feel the warm water fall down my back and over my head, it’s so relaxing.

    And at night when I read to my boys, I get into the story, I relax and enjoy the time with them… I am mindful to not let my mind wonder to the next step or what I need to do as soon as I leave the room, and if it does wonder I gentlely redirect myself back to the present moment.

    In the end, being mindful and mediating make a happier life πŸ™‚ Or lingering!

  • erin - i love your words, your heart, sweet friend.
    you inspire me to be a better mother, a better wife, a better person–that’s something that i value highly in a friend.
    thank you for that.
    xxx

  • Kristin - OH MY GOODNESS DO I LOVE THIS POST! This post says so much about the beauty of life and time. So often we try to wish away time, always wanting to head towards the next “thing.” But this post challenges us to just “be.” I now have a new appreciation for the word “LINGER” and thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts!

  • jenny - what beautiful work!! you are both so very lucky πŸ™‚ what a talented family.

  • Brenda - I love your message about Lingering Longer. This is so relevant at every stage of parenting. My husband and I are soon to be Empty Nesters. So I am trying to Linger Longer with my kids, 22 & 25. I try to take a moment to just “Be” with them. Whether it’s at the dinner table or driving to Target to pick out things for their new homes. whether your little ones are 4 or 14 or 24 you need to take the time to linger whenever possible because they will soon move on to a new stage of their lives. Thanks for all the goodness you bring everyone thru your Blog.

  • Emily - That is so cool about Mercy Ships and your grandparents old house! I also have loved your sister’s prints for a while now – I just went and added some to my wishlist πŸ™‚

  • jackie - Love the chalkboard. What a talented sister you have.

  • Mary b - I had to buy this. Your sister is so creative, and so are you!
    Thanks!

  • Bekah Decker - I just love your home. So fresh and clean looking but very cozy at the same time. Also, Lesley is so amazing at lettering. Maybe one of my sisters is secretly gifted at this so I can take advantage of it?

  • Raeanne - Totally needed this today. Thank you!
    I too just want to plow through and accomplish much, but I need to pause and linger a little bit longer, especially at the dinner table!!

  • Kristin Corbin - That looks awesome! Your sister is extremely talented. Just went a favorited her shop on Etsy =)

  • melanee - i love this! there is actually a conference this weekend in dallas called linger. there are several really great christian speakers and artists featured. thanks again for this post!

  • michelle W - both you and lesley have incredible talent. this room and her artwork is great!

  • Diane Riegert - Is there a place to buy this chalkboard,with the saying on it?

  • Five on Friday – Links I love (oh, the randomness that is me) | Jerusalem Greer - […] Β Encouragement to Linger from AshleyΒ (I covet her sister’s chalkboard artistry!) […]