Make Room for You, for God and Rest

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop Ovid

Everyone has a story.

All of us were once little boys and girls. We all have memories. 

Some happy. Some not.

Some we share. Yet, many more lay hidden in the secret pages of our heart.

So that we can be strong. So that we can be happy.  So that we can be free.

That’s what I thought, until one day, I stood at the cusp of a childhood dream about to come true.

I was going to write a book.

But as my pen hit the paper to capture those moments, they all came alive.

My memories were no longer stories I once told myself.

And I began reliving them.

Unexpected. Painful memories.

Trauma.

Anxiety.

Just a Visit

I was seven years tall.

I didn’t want to be afraid. It was supposed to be simple. Just a visit.

On the weekends, my father would come see my sister and me.  After the divorce.

I was supposed to climb into the car with the cracking vinyl seats, into the car with the peeling rooftop — of my daddy’s olive green Nova.  It smelled like old, dirty ashtrays, as I slid in the back.  It smelled sad and lonely.  But, I didn’t say anything.

I kept quiet as my little sister with chubby wrists and cherub-rose cheeks toddled in to sit beside me. I felt small and awkward, my hands on my lap and shoulders hunched over as my daddy turned around and smiled a little too widely, his eyes begging for me to smile back.

But, I didn’t know what to do. Because my momma said nothing about this visit.  Other than I better not take anything from him.  I better not come home with anything, other than what I left with that morning.

Which was nothing.

As we rode across town, across the train tracks, up and over the metal buildings and smokestacks of the old Del Monte cannery in Sunnyvale, everything stood eerily silent.  It was Saturday morning and everyone and everything was still in bed.  The streets rolled by empty, as I looked out the window and wondered where we were heading.

I still remember how big the Kay Bee toy store looked as my father tried to hold my hand walking through the parking lot. The square letters spelling K-a-y-B-e-e were suspended kid-tousled happy on the signage way up high.

Even though my little sister couldn’t read, she didn’t need to.  She was getting excited, her little feet hurrying ahead.

But, I knew better. Nothing ever came simple for me.

That day at the toy store ended up just as I had feared.  Not simple.

Who I Could Be

The journey of rest has been the same.  Not simple.

How do you rest when life is less than perfect — with stress marring the daily journey?

I’ve tried to find rest by making a safe place for myself, by putting myself to the side.

By problem solving.

By being strong.

By doing.

I wrestle my anxieties into action plans and check lists to shield myself from vulnerability. I was thankful, sincerely trusting God in what I could do — but missing out on who I could be — by trusting Him to rest.

Here I was, all grown up, mom of two beautiful boys, married to a loving husband.  Yet, I somehow came to believe  incorrectly that if I had faith in God, stress, doubt and pain couldn’t touch me.

Awaken Your Heart

It’s so much easier to take care of everyone, to tend to problems and everything else. It’s easier to be strong and not need or feel.

This is how I’ve lived my life. Fine and functioning.

Surviving.

But, deep inside, where no one knew — where I seldom ventured myself — I was weary. I longed for rest.

Soul rest.

Sometimes the deeper journey of faith is found by following your heart to rest.

Putting our hearts first — letting Jesus love us — is a deep, intimate journey of resting with him.

Make room for you.

Feed your soul.

Slow down.

Breathe.

As much as I longed for all this, I didn’t know how. Until Jesus took me on a  journey of faith to awaken my heart. To be real. To be known. To rest.

I didn’t know it at the time, but the day at the toy store would be our last visit together. My daddy and I.

Something New

As I journeyed through stories long forgotten, God was using all my broken pieces to make something beautiful.

Something new.

God transformed my brokenness into a story of discovery.

A story of rest. To find the things I somehow lost along the way.

Quiet.

Stillness.

Intimacy with God.

In that secret place where I dream dreams. Where I can just be me.

In my search for answers, I made an important discovery:  we all need spiritual whitespace.

Spiritual Whitespace

White space is used in art and design. It’s the space on a page left unmarked.

It’s not blank – it breathes beauty. It gives the eye a place to rest.

Without it, clutter takes over the page.

Just as beautiful art needs white space, our souls need spiritiual whitespace.  We need rest.

God, after all, is an Artist and we are his work of art.

My story is really everyone’s story. Everyone long to find a place to breathe –

to dream dreams,

to slow down,

feed their soul,

and be free.

To feel more deeply connected to God. And others.

Make Room For Your Story

Learning to make room for yourself to rest requires risk. It’s vulnerable to say, I can’t do it all. I need rest.

I eventually went on to complete writing my book about my journey to find rest.

As I uncovered my story, I am finding kindreds on this journey of rest. I realize I’m not so alone anymore.  

I think of Jesus. How He made room for you and me.

By living a beautiful, broken story of love. He told this story. By living it.

Sometimes the hardest stories to tell are the most beautiful.

Our stories are the greatest, most beautiful gifts we can offer: ourselves.

Take the journey of spiritual whitespace.

Uncover the stories deep in our souls, to create space in our hearts and in our schedules.

For beauty. For rest. For God.

So we can live a better story.

Today.

Today’s post was written by Bonnie Gray and is shared from the following website : https://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/bonnie-gray/make-room-for-your-story-for-god-and-for-rest.html

 

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Adversity and Hardship…There is Help

Hardships often Prepare Ordinary People for an Extraordinary Destiny   C.S. LewisWe all have a story to tell and we all will experience Hardship and Adversity – not just once but many times. It is the stuff that life is made of.

Life has a habit of trying to teach us what we are made of. It is not a matter of if we will experience adversity and hardships – it is a matter of when. And…when we do, we can be prepared!

We can’t always know the life situations we will face but there are daily life habits we can adopt that will help us through good and bad – thick and thin.

When my spirit returned to my body, after my near-death experience, my pain and difficulties did not magically go away. However, the best helper in the world, my divine mentor and creator was there to help me.

Prayer, meditation, prayer, scripture study, prayer and an open heart were key components in my recovery. Most important of all has been my relationship with God.

Have you ever been on hold for an exorbitant amount of time? If so, you might know how the angels who handle my prayers might feel. Most days it seems like I have a constant prayer to God in my heart – my angels probably wonder if I am ever going to hang up. Yet, knowing what I know of heaven and what they know of heaven, I’m pretty sure they don’t mind. 🙂

I know that prayer, scripture study, meditation and being at peace with your conscience are key elements to handling any and all situations that life throws at us. We need each piece. Prayer keeps us in contact with God and his answers, scripture study provides a strength that I cannot quantify, meditation (quiet time) allows God to provide us with answers and being at peace with our conscience allows our soul to be at peace and teachable.

Today, I am sharing a few inspiring stories of individuals who have made the most of their Adversities and Hardships. I hope you will enjoy!

Kris Carr turned her cancer into a business of hope and healing.

In 2003, Karr was a 32-year-old New Yorker just enjoying life. But then, a regular checkup at her doctor’s office resulted in a diagnosis of a rare and incurable Stage IV cancer called epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, existing in her liver and lungs.

Instead of succumbing to the disease, Carr decided to challenge her diagnosis head on. She attacked her cancer with a brand new nutritional lifestyle, and turned her experience into a series of successful self-help books and documentaries. Eventually, she launched her own wellness website, which is followed by over 40,000 people. Today, Karr is celebrating a decade of “thriving with cancer,” and is now revered as one of the most prominent experts on healthy living.

Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC, twice.

You read that right. One of the most prolific filmmakers of all time, the man who brought us “Shindler’s List,” “Jaws,” “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” couldn’t get into the film school of his choice. Maybe, just sometimes, education can be a little overrated. In the end, Spielberg would get the last laugh, when USC awarded him an honorary degree in 1994. Two years later, he became a trustee of the university.

Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the light bulb.

Although the exact number of tries has been debated, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 attempts, it’s safe to say Edison tried and failed a whole lot before he successfully created his beacon of light. His response to his repeated failures? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Today’s stories were shared from the following website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/successful-people-obstacles_n_3964459.html

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Stillness…A Time to Reflect

Do you take time for meditation? Do you allow some stillness to be a part of each day? Do you take time to reflect and design your life?

I have found that quiet time – that time to reflect and to enjoy stillness to be very important in my life. It is during those times that I can most easily feel God with me. Feeling God with me enables me to be receptive to truth and wisdom whatever source it comes from

I hope you will take time to find the divinity within you – the peace it brings is priceless!

Enjoy today’s story!:

Thoughts While Alone

I met an old friend today that I’ve known since my earliest remembrances, and we took a drive. I could immediately discern that he was very wealthy. I don’t mean wealth by economic standards, but I could see an aura about him that reflected the joy, the happiness, the comfort, and peace that filled his very being. He didn’t have much to say, but I could tell he was in deep thought and this silence told me volumes. He told me about the many things that he no longer took for granted. He shared with me how fortunate he was to recognize what he had that he never questioned before.

I wasn’t surprised, as I continued to listen to him. After all, he had so much and he had taken his station in life simply as his reward for being good. He told me how thankful he was to have had Christian parents, who nurtured him, fed him, clothed him, and unconditionally loved him through his formative years. He told me about his Father who had died shortly after retirement and of his Mother and how she had lived a long and fruitful life.

He spoke of his family and how proud he was of his wife, his children, and his grandchildren. He spoke of the greater love of the entire family and how they all enjoyed gatherings for birthdays and holidays. He had great appreciation for the accomplishments of his family.

His wife had designed and built their home. His children had families and jobs they enjoyed going to each day. There was love and harmony in each family. He advised of his need to minister to others in this difficult world. He explained how his service was rewarded by God and His people. He reminisced about his church and his retirement. He became overwhelmed with emotion as he discussed the cancer, which had followed him since 1982, and how God told him all would be well. He told me of the joy he found in music and in writing. He had taken so much for granted, but today, he recognized and shared of his riches.

I listened to him all the way home and was so happy that he’d recognized his blessings and wanted to express thanks for his wealth. As I got out of the driver’s seat, I thanked God for this time to be myself and, as importantly, that this lifelong friend was and will always be me.

Copyright © 2013 Bob Stoess
Bob Stoess is a Retired CEO, prolific writer and wonderful mentor.
Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivateus.com/stories/thoughts-while-alone.htm

 

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