Monday, December 1

A Day To Be Still

A Journal Entry from November 13, 2008:

As I write this, I am sitting on a cushy, queen-sized bed in a Bed & Breakfast during my two day vacation. I already feel like two days just isn't enough. Last night, I left from work and arrived at the Bed & Breakfast around 7 p.m. I took a nice hot bath including a spearmint eucalyptus sugar scrub I've owned for years and brought with me. By 8:45, I was in a bed that I can lay in without some portion of my body hanging off of (and for someone who has problems getting comfortable because of her back you can imagine how delighted I was about that). I listened to my iPod for the first time in over a year and read a chapter in a book that has been sitting on my shelf for two years.

This morning I awoke to breakfast prepared by my hostess--breakfast consisted of hot tea and a pecan belgium waffle with strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream. Yum! Then I was able to get online to check my e-mail and download some new praise music from iTunes. About lunchtime, I decided to explore downtown a little even though it's rainy outside (let's not ponder why all of my vacations are waterlogged, okay?) I found a cute thrift shop, a homemade jewelry store, an independently owned bookstore, and an old-fashioned soda shoppe--this is where I had lunch. I love old places. The S&T Soda Shoppe was outfitted from the 1940s complete with wrought iron tables, huge mirrors, old ads, and very real Coke with cherry syrup and crushed ice. I am not sure why I love a soda fountain Cherry Coke as much as I do, but this one I'm nursing now is fantastic. Savorable.

After doing some writing this afternoon, I'm going to head across the street to a coffeeshop/cafe that has live jazz on Thursday nights. How I love locally owned cafes. I absolutely wish that I didn't have to head back to Raleigh tomorrow. I could spend another 3 days here... easy. With someone else to enjoy it with, a week.

By this point, you might be asking yourself, "Why the play-by-play?" Especially because this is unlike most of the other entries I've posted. Well, hang on, there is a purpose.

I realized that some of these activities (the pampering bath supplies, the iPod, the book) I have had in my possession for YEARS now. Why has it taken me this long to take advantage of them? I think partially it's because at home I'm so caught up in my routine I don't make the time for them. I often forget just how much I love to curl up with a good book or listen to my own music or spend 15 extra minutes getting ready in the morning until I do it.

Most everyone I know is busy. All the time. We wonder when it's going to slow down, and I honestly believe it won't unless we purposefully MAKE it slow down (if only for 15 minutes a day). Now I'm not advocating leaving an activity of serving or a responsibility so you can soak in your garden tub for 45 minutes each day.

However, I would ask--when was the last time you made life slow down? You took a morning, a day, a weekend to relax, to be refreshed, to be still and aware of your many blessings. I have stopped often in the last 12 hours and thanked God for soft sheets, hot tea, and silence. When was the last time you took the time to stop and be alone with your Creator and study the Word. I mean really be alone and study Him (this activity takes time). Before this weekend, I honestly could not remember. I realize not everyone can take two days and leave town to be still, but I would encourage you to find a morning or afternoon to stop the craziness, be refreshed, and come into His presence knowing you don't have to rush right back out again in a certain number of minutes.

I also wonder, "If I am so caught up in my day to day routine that I don't even take a moment to read a chapter in a book that I like, am I hearing my Savior's 'still small voice' in the midst of my routine?"
  • Am I truly aware of when He would ask me to step out of it and come away with Him?
  • Do I hear him call me to encourage someone that I haven't "scheduled" into my daytimer? And do I obey gladly or do I view this opportunity as an interruption, an unneeded and unwanted aberration?
  • Can I even hear him telling me how I am to be obedient in that routine? Or am I simply going through the motions?

These are the questions I ponder.

May I never stop seeking His rest. May I strive against getting caught up in my own plans and schedule so that I can be avidly listening for His voice and ready to obey for His glory. I pray the same for you.

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