We are now a full week in to this shiny New Year.
Maybe you, like me, got caught up in a bit of the bossy return of all the things... all those To Do Lists pushing you around and making you feel like you are behind already.
Maybe you, like me, felt all those hopeful, wonder-filled New Dreams and Goals and Wishful Longings start to lose their sheen... Just a little.
Maybe we were both fighting off a bit of cynicism and trying to remember to take every defeated,-nothing-ever-changes thought -- every I-have-GOT-to-learn-the-lesson-this-time-around-the-mountain thought captive!
We had some great days... you and me. But then maybe we had some not so on track days, too. Even if we pushed through and stuck with it all, the joy in the journey was at least fading a bit, for sure!
Thus comes the unfolding of the real brand New Year! Right?
Here's my deal... I have this thing:
When I start to feel that I am merely going through the motions of something, it just makes me want to quit. Maybe eat some chocolate... marathon something mindless on Netflix... or push through and prove (mostly) myself wrong! I feel this call to be real and authentic and present in all I do. I am who I am and one of the glorious gifts of being in my 40s is I have learned to not really care if that is alright with everyone or not. With me, you get what you see. So when I feel like I am just sort of calling it in... well, no thank you Ma'am! (And yes, I was listening to Boo Mama's podcast this morning. Why do you ask?)
Instead of quitting all together, or turning on the TV,
I tuned my heart to His Voice and I asked Him,
"What would like to show me today, Lord?
What do you want me to look for?"Immediately, He answered! (That is not always the case, by the way!)
I sensed His Presence rush in and it was like His Grace was crashing into me... I felt a pulling of my soul like the tide rolling in and heading back out... and I knew God was reminding me of my OneWord... awakening me to Wonder!
I had barely finished my sentence when I heard Him whisper,
"Things are not always as they seem.
Look Deeper... Slower... Really SEE!"He went on to say, "Just as you awoke to Snow, and yet - there is no snow, --there seems to be no evidence of snow, but you know that it was there! You had eyes to see it, even if just for a moment!"
"See beyond the surface... find Me hiding, shifting, working beneath what can be seen on the outside! Awaken to Wonder!"
It was like He was saying,
"For real... Speak Life. Be Love. and Shine On."
I wrote about it last week, how lately as we talk about Welcome, we have felt a pull to not just invite others in, but to also take this Welcoming spirit out and about as we go.
So that became my prayer... Lord, awaken me to Wonder and help me to be a carrier of your Welcoming spirit wherever I go. Give me eyes to see - to really see... For eyes of understanding tend to spill out 'love' and 'home', often times without even speaking a word.
I open up my Bible, still searching out Wonder and I stumbled upon Psalm 65 in The Message. I read it again slow and close my eyes...
I picture myself standing at water's edge, as a gentle warm breeze blows ocean air up and around and it swirls all over me.
I can't see Him, but oh how I see Him!
"Earth Tamer, Ocean Pourer.
Mountain Maker, Hill Dresser..."I feel Him all around and I breathe Him in!
The temptation is to hold my breath...
to keep Him in...
To fill my lungs and try to push Him down...
To swallow Gulps of God.
But Always, He was meant to be let out!
A Glorious Exhale... adding to the Wind of the Spirit already at work... letting Him go, He swirls all around. I can feel Him in the breeze, brushing through my hair, caressing my hands and feet...
The water laps at my toes, and I can feel the invitation to join in the dance... to come and worship!
Ah yes, this! Can you feel it?
This invitation to join the dance... to really see what is happening not just on the surface, but to look for how He is working underneath and all around, without the pressure of always having to LEARN something or DO something! It's an invitation to see His hand... to search out His heart!
As I was mid-way through this post, I read THIS by Emily Freeman... The Spiritual Discipline of Learning Nothing. In it, she says:
"Today I’ll practice walking into the great mystery of God. I will practice encountering Jesus as a person and not a character. I will live this day as a daughter first and allow the student to tag along behind.
Today I’ll grieve the losses, laugh at the jokes, sit in the silence, and move through the routines. I’ll keep my eyes open for Christ’s presence rather than trying to figure out his plan."
Yes... this is the invitation!
I'm in... how about you?
Linking up with these lovely ladies:
The Community over at Unforced Rhythms...
Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday
Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp