Ever notice how, sometimes, your best intentions get thwarted right out of the gate? Uh huh, yeah … I don’t think that’s an accident.
The day after we rolled back into Dallas after our amazing time of R&R in Oklahoma, I went to bed with a sore throat. This was after a day when just re-engaging with life left both Phil and me feeling unsettled and rattled by the speed of the pace, interruptions and input coming from all sides. I woke up feeling tired and sick, not at all how what I wanted just three days into our new year/new mindset.
While at the cabin, I spent a couple hours making prayer cards. Simple index cards I decorated with washi tape and colored pencils then hole-punched and tied together with a tassel snagged from an old bookmark. I filled them with verses and quotes God used to guide my thinking toward what this “year of cultivating quiet” could be, and I’m so glad I had them nearby.
As I sat propped up in bed, I flipped through the cards one by one and realized that, actually, I could do all the things God put on my heart, even if I felt under the weather. My goal is to cultivate a quiet life, and here I was tempted to resent a quiet day God was sending me. I realized then that God was helping me connect with His new direction, albeit in a way I hadn’t expected. (Anyone else ever feel like God answers your prayers in ways you hadn’t anticipated?!)
Since I had the time, I grabbed the next book on my reading list: Rhythms of Rest by Shelly Miller. Trust me, the content delivers exactly what the title implies … a way to help you sway to a slower beat and be okay with it.
By afternoon I felt well enough to move to the couch and load one of my favorite movies into the DVD player. For some reason, the remake of Sabrina with Harrison Ford, Julia Ormond, and Greg Kinnear has always resonated with me. I enjoy the humor and the romance, but that afternoon I was most drawn to the tension Ford’s character Linus feels between the life he felt forced to live and the one he wanted to live. One free of the Wall Street rat race, with room for love, play, and fun. In short … room to live, not just work.
After that I soaked in a detox bath (Epson salts and essential oils for the win!) and read a novel. I read Francine Rivers’ Voice in the Wind trilogy at least once a year, and that day I was struck by the ordinary days and much-slower pace of life in the first century AD. The characters’ lives were simple and achingly slow in comparison with modern times. Yet, God fulfilled His purposes … all things working together for good for those He loves. The same yesterday, today, and forever.
At the close of the day I was struck by its loveliness, slow pace and all. And, though my energy wasn’t at 100%, the sore throat was gone. Funny how that works, yes?