rest a little while…

I am catching on to pacing myself and learning to rest again these past few days.

I have learned the following about myself:

I sometimes forget God is present with me when i am home alone late at night. This leaves me unrested.

Sleep is only one aspect of rest.

Giving over worries and casting out fears rest our mind & soul.

Soaking in His presence, worshipping in song, and/or reading His Word are equally restful for us all.

Taking time to just be helps put me at ease, another kind of rest.

Trusting in God when i cannot see the way is rest for my soul.

process

I find some days to be exhilarating from the get go.  Others so hard to even lift one foot out of bed.

A great deal of my mood in the morning used to be  based on how I physically feel. As I have a body that has had many health issues over the years, this made my days a variable crap shoot as to how I would wake up. Very random, with no discernible pattern.

I grasp that healing is a process, a great deal because of my physical pain over the years.

Starting your day based on how you feel is not healthy.  Yet neither is denying your feelings.

I choose to start the day with initially engaging my mind. Reading a devotional while still in bed. Setting my mind on Someone other than me first.  This gives me hope, as Jesus is eternal.  As I know and feel full well some mornings, I am not.

I then get up.  Usually my mind has kicked into gear enough that I surprisingly don’t feel as achy after the first few steps.

Emotionally, we are the same. We all have have a fear or two, a looming situation you are unsure you can handle, a grief you are struggling to cope with.   Taking it to Jesus when they come to mind doesn’t mean you are unable to deal with it. It confirms that we are no on our own, and asks for healing from the One who is.  Let me give you a very real example from my life.

At the age of three, my father died in a car accident. Not long afterwards, I fell out of the passenger door, freaking both my mom and I out, right after leaving the hospital where my tonsils had just been removed.  Somehow, i connected extreme fear to driving at that time.

Between the age of 16 & 19, I had three car accidents as a passenger where I ended up with mild to medium whiplash each time.  Between the second and third, i got my driver’s permit. The third really shook me to my core (rear ended in a stopped vehicle where I was sitting in the middle of the back seat with no head rest, hit by a drunk driver who thankfully wasn’t driving too fast), so I didn’t follow through and finalize my license at that time. At 21, as I got behind the wheel of a car to try it again (in a strange neighborhood, not knowing I needed glasses, in the rain one evening while driving my boyfriend’s car) I hit a tree by overshooting a turn.  Apparently in that neighborhood, that was a regular occurrence fro the locals, but that was just enough to heighten my fear to full blown panic attack status. I stopped driving. Two years later, six weeks before my wedding and two weeks before final exams, my mother and I were rear ended while stopped at a red light by a bigger vehicle going full speed.  It is only grace that I didn’t have to wear a neck brace to my own wedding.

This was my the fifth and most serious whiplash. My neck and shoulders now have permanent tightness and by the end of most days, are tighter and painful.

But not having resolved that fear would have been even more debilitating.

I was all set, after some intense counseling to free me of the fears and car traumas, to learn to drive again at 25 when i became pregnant.  I then decided to wait until my youngest was in kindergarten before taking private lessons. Why? I waited until I got six hours or more of sleep per night, so I would be physically rested enough for the mental challenge ahead. I was blunt with my instructor, who appreciated my sharing my accident history and then proceeded to challenge me in a kind way with each lesson. My mother loaned me her car and helped with the one glitch I had ,  making consistent left hand turns. As a result of the left side of my body having been the most injured in the car accidents,  this was a harder skill for me to master than for the average driver.

I am proud to say that I have been driving now for 8 years.  Occasionally when driving, one of my fears pops up to try and re-frighten me, but I tell it to get out of my mind as I am a trained experienced driver and God is with me.  I couldn’t have made it without proper instruction, support and knowing that I did not have to be a prisoner to past fears any longer.

I have other fears that I am tacking with support and wise counsel.  I do know that I still have a way to go to get to where I want to be, but I am not where I was when I started the process either.

it turns out that fall from the car was the basis for my supposed fear of heights. I can say i have been up the CN tower, zip lined and para-sailed after facing and defeating that fear. Three things I never could have imagined myself doing before the process of finding freedom.

Fear limits; freedom allows us to explore who we were designed to be.

Don’t fear the process along the way.

eyes in pencils and in pens

It is so true that a picture can tell a thousand words.

It is also true that a well written sentence can speak volumes in a story: 

The first sentence of Pride & Prejudice.  

One line in your favorite song.

The line that leaps out at you when you receive a reply to a job offer or school application.

Signing your new name for the very first time.

Somehow, we are able to capture a mood, an image, a possibility, a place- all in one sentence.

We are indeed very wonderfully intricately designed to be able to have one line jump start our imagination and emotions. We don’t fully understand how, but I for one am very thankful for that ability.

There have been times where a good book has been as a friend to me, taking me back to a favorite place with familiar characters…almost the same as rerunning your number one go to movie.  I sometimes prefer the book over the movie, as I feel sometimes my imagination is more full than the director’s view of the same book.

Crafting words into emotions. Capturing character, conflict, conversation into words.

Eyes indeed.

 

 

 

hope

My theme word for many years now has been the word HOPE.

There have been many days where hope has kept me going, when the day head seemed more than I can handle or cope with in the moment.

Not my cat Hope, although she was aptly named, as in ‘I hope you will feed me’!

Not an earthly based hope, because I am quite aware as that people cannot help but wound and hurt those we love, putting our hope in a person isn’t the wisest of decisions.

Not a hope in stuff, either. Money, treasures and power are all fleeting, as is life itself. One day you can be on top of the world, the next day will see you losing it.

My hope is in the One who never changes.
Always loves me, no matter what.
Wants the best for me, every single time.
Died for me, so we can be together, not just here on earth, but forever.
Moment by moment, with me and in me and around me.
I am never alone, unwanted, abandoned.
He provides for my needs, inner and outer.
He whispers my true name, sings over me, wraps me in His strong safe arms.

My hope is Jesus.
My hope is secure, no matter what.