It was a morning when everything would go smoothly and at my pace! I have completed almost all of my requirements and commitments. Whew! Summer has just begun as Brian and I retreated for our 22nd wedding anniversary weekend and the end of school and programming is a mere memory! Hallelujah!
I gaze into the early morning, step confidently into it, and take a breath.
Ah, finally! A slow morning…sipping strong Italian roasted coffee on the veranda from my favorite thin-lipped bone china mug…the sound and sight of aqua-marine, translucent liquid and sand-dollar white sea foam waves crash in on the bronzing and bubbling shore…morning sun rays, yellow and softly stroked, displayed against a coral pink canvas, vastly stretched overhead and as far as the eye can see…just enough breeze to make me wipe the strands of long loosely graying locks from my eyes, from across my face, and from coffee moistened lips ...an ever so slight roar races by the dangling artisan metal hanging from my earlobes and makes its way into the open canal of sound waves, sensitive to my surroundings…seagulls chanting their melodious freedom squawks as they soar overhead with each downy grey feather tailored for flight! I take in the salty air, slowly, yet strongly and deep through my nostrils and hold! As I exhale, my shoulders lower, my brow and jaw relax. The tension my body has held for months finally dissipates and relieves my frame from tightly infused muscles. My soul has found space beneath my closed eyelids as they exhibit a black velvet curtain while UV rays reflect from the darkened lens that rest atop my nose and cheekbones. Nature. The shore. It’s the place where it seems everyone wants to escape to rejuvenate. There, is where you find time …take time…to rest and breathe. A peaceful place. A peaceful moment.
Abruptly, my eyes open. I rouse from this “if only” dream! It was a place I wish I had been but instead, I have been sitting at dining room table working on my laptop for hours, with shoulders slumped and the right leg tingling with sleep. Cords are tangled and plugged in from every angle. The colored “spinning wheel of waiting” displays again and again trying to convince me that waiting is a fun playful game. I feel it’s a game of patience. But I cannot wait! Command, option, escape…Force quit! And for the fifth or sixth time! I will loose what I have begun if not saved…it’s a chance I will take….again…and again! I stop and laugh. I laugh aloud in an empty house and ask myself, “How many times will I restart my laptop?!” In fact, waiting throughout the entire day (scratch that…it’s been a week now!) I’ve “re-” many things! That’s how it began to grab my attention. The world of “re-” flooded my thoughts and activity. I had to re-boot technology and re-start what I was working on. I made an appointment to the chiropractor to re-align my spine and hip, only to have to re-schedule it. My cup was empty and I needed to re-fill it. The project I was working on had to be re-worked and I had to re-consider options. I was playing phone tag with a friend and of course, they had to be re-called. I had to re-fuel my car. Re-wash clothes. Re-everything! Throughout the week, re- words kept appearing. The more they re-showed their face, the more I laughed. How could this possibly be happening? Surely God was getting my attention. Even when I re-opened my email, A Holy Experience blog from Ann Voskamp stared me in the face... “how can you do a reset in the middle of the year: June’s the new January.” I nearly fell on the floor! I had just re-committed myself to starting over in June.
Now, I’ve heard that you can really tell what is important to someone because it continues to pop up in conversations or actions become a habit. I apologize that I have already written about pushing the Reset Button and It’s a New Day! This theme is so ever present in my life. My mode of life seems to be placed on looping! Come to think of it, it was in David’s life, too! Many of the Old Testament patriarchs (and women) of faith struggled with the same thing. And what about Paul? The good that he wanted to do, he didn’t; and that which he did, he didn’t want to do. Often that’s me! Are you tracking with me?! Why, just this weekend I heard another comment from someone who was blowing their plan…again. “Oh well! There’s always tomorrow!” We all have been guilty of moving forward… even in sin…knowingly…but also thinking that tomorrow we can start afresh. We say, “Grace covers a multitude of sin” and…there IS something to be said for grace, but let’s not abuse it for liberty and an occasion for the flesh. (Galatians 5) Let’s remember our heart attitude and come before Jesus with a true repentant spirit. Repenting is turning completely around and going the opposite direction! We need to get the idea of “Oh well!” out of our minds and start pursuing diligence. I’m preaching to myself, here! [ok, off of my soapbox, I’m sure we’ve gotten the message!]
We all want our life to look a certain way. We dream of what could be. We want our time spent well, our relationships meaningful and running smoothly, and all of our bills paid…ahead of time! We dream for well-behaved children, family members keeping their opinions to themselves, jobs free of stress and that are fulfilling. We wish we could memorize scripture with ease, love without hurting, and engage in conversations that are rich and uplifting. We want to weigh less… or weigh more. We see ourselves investing into the lives of others but we find that we are more comfortable with our own click and are not eager to remove ourselves from our comfort zone. We want rest and a place for our soul to breathe, but we take on one more thing! We want bodies that are healthy, in shape, and free of pain. We look at Facebook see all of the pics of happy families, travel, and vacations of leisure filled days on the beach! Our soul burns with envy. I’ve seen your posts! We are all seeking, and at the core of everything, what we truly seek is peace. Sweet friends, peace is not found in re-setting, re-starting, or re-dedicating. Peace is not found in trying to better ourselves. Peace is not a setting on our emotional dial or the empty square on our calendar. Peace can only be found in Jesus, the Prince of Peace himself. (Is. 9:6) He is our peace. (Eph. 2:14) His peace He left for us. His peace He gives to us. (John 14:27)
Emily Freeman states, “Sometimes the start of a new season brings fresh perspective. But other times, the bursting forth of newness around us serves only as a painful reminder of dryness within us.”
Restoration is needed when something is overly used, misused, broken and tired out. June always seems to be a month that I cry out for restoration and newness! I have spent much time giving to others and get so wrapped up (tied up) that I neglect the importance of re-filling. I KNOW the importance and the benefit, but I always choose to neglect it. It’s a stronghold that runs deep. This is something that you can join me in praying over.
I can’t believe that the first week of June is already here! If I’m not careful, I could quickly sink into a panic of summer is already here and I haven’t done anything yet! Or…I have so much to do to get ready for August! Time is too short!
Yes, I keep reminding myself to stop. Breathe. Relax. Re-generate. With God’s help and your prayers, I will honestly try. And in doing so, I will seek peace only in Jesus. I will receive the peace He gives. I will embrace the peace He has left me. I will seek it eagerly. I will look for peaceful and still moments for my soul to breathe and the Father time to speak words of life and rest into my weary mind and depleted spirit.
"Let him search for peace…and seek it eagerly.
[Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God,
with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!]"
1 Peter 3:11 Amp.
“Pursue” is a pretty strong word that calls us to action. I pursue a lot of things but honestly, pursuing Peace always seems to fall toward the bottom of my list. So for June, I will put one “re-“ word at the forefront of my thinking. REGENERATE! Which defined means to bring into a new existence. My heart desires to renew and enrich my journey with Jesus. One day long ago, He pursued me relentlessly. He gave me new life! He is bigger than the heavens. He’s the lover of my soul! I am but a speck, but He has chosen to call me His very own. When I think about His wondrous love, I am humbled. I am moved. I am convicted over my lack of pursuing Him as my first love.
And the question runs deep: Do you love to love me?
Within this love a sure trust is found...
....And therein is peace.
We all love a quiet place of beauty, whether it's the beach, a winding mountain trail, a field of flowers, or a simple place on our porch. Finding a place of peace satisfies only momentarily. When we yearn for these places of rest, we begin to actively seek out an atmosphere that helps to usher in our only true peace, Jesus. Sometimes, we just need to close our eyes and use our imagination like my opening paragraph! Jesus speaks in a soft voice. Our job is to diligently pause and listen for His words. Ahh! Peace.
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