Today, I pick and eat fresh home-grown strawberries, collect a few dwarf green beans, dig nails into soil, bend knees, stoop low to ground to tug dead leaves off living green.
And despite the debilitating stiffness and pain pervading my body as it resists these exertions, it feels right and good to be alive, sitting close to earth with its juice running down my chin.
Lounging in the garden, book propped open, birds chirruping and insects buzzing. Senses alert to loveliness surrounding me, scents assailing with their sweet freshness.
I breathe deep and easy, relaxed in sun's inviting warmth, a soft breeze playing with my hair, no worries, no cares.
Noises sound from afar as children raise voices and adults admonish and comfort in turn.
Resting, yet strangely more alive and alert inside than I've felt for a long while, it seems like holy ground as I touch base, touch reality, touch the healing hem of His garment spread to ground, and revel in sights and sounds to soothe the soul.
Lift my eyes, tilt face and enjoy a gift of grace.
Here is normality I crave with all the yearning of an addict desperate for their next fix. An afternoon where I am well enough to spend a few minutes outside and pretend that this is what I usually do, when the reality is very different.
Much of my life is lived behind closed doors, housebound, confined and constrained, circumscribed with pain.
In listening to my life there is a continual background refrain, a hissed whisper of pressure to perform, to be as 'busy' as continual low energy and profound fatigue will allow, to be 'out there', to be seen and heard.
People approval issues still haunt my days with all their persuasive ways, but I am resisting it all....for now.
I'm just too exhausted to expend precious energy in that direction. Too weary to worry and so much in need of a rest that I can resist the call to action.
My mind is on a break from listening to those messages and it's taking a vacation to soak in grace, become revived and restored by God's peace, listen more deeply to His voice.
There is an increased desire in hot, sultry weather to seek leisure and a change from the norm. Our bodies and souls crave it and we desperately need a slowing down of pace.
Normality is subjective and will vary greatly for each one of us, depending on age, occupation, situation, health and routine.
Now, as I come to the end of my break I am seeing a shift change.
My new normality is starting to shape itself like this:
- Making a gradual return to social media/blogging and resisting the lure of joining in everything all at once.
- Viewing daytime rest/naps/sleep as sacrosanct, a vital and healing necessity rather than a waste of precious time.
- Pacing, pacing and more pacing, because boring as it is it's preferable to the 'rush/crash/burn/collapse' cycle I was in before.
- Saving valuable energy and 'spoons' to spend on engaging with family, friends and the outside world.
- Seeking more sacred pauses and spiritual whitespace in the everyday.
- Having a weekly social media sabbatical/fast in order to unplug from the virtual and touch base more with the actual.
- Praying continually so that conversation with God becomes as natural as breathing.
- Listening more attentively to my body, my life, Holy Spirit's voice.
- Delving deeper into God's word, good books and uplifting music to soothe my soul.
I hope some of this has struck a chord with you too.
Maybe God is calling you to press pause on the busyness that swamps you?
Maybe it's time to re-evaluate how your precious time is spent?
Maybe our heavenly Father simply yearns for you to lavish attention on Him or to be more available for Him to pour out His Presence on you?
Maybe this is an opportunity to celebrate how God pre-approves of you just as you are, with no worries over performance or people-pleasing?
This summer may be just the right time to rest, reach out, touch His greater reality and taste how sweet it is.
I would love to hear from you, so feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
And I could really do with an 'accountability partner' or two to keep me on the new straight and narrow. Any offers? All gratefully accepted!
**Note** ~ It's great to be back to blogging, but I apologise for the rather bitty nature of this post. It was written in snippets as energy and inspiration allowed.Thank you for your grace.. :)