Finding Something In Nothing

This is the second part of a blog series on the promised new Earth to come.  Read the intro to the series here.

To begin my adventure on discovering what is worthy of the label ‘eternal’, in this promised new Earth Jesus speaks of, I think the best place to start is to hallow out some space.  In order to know what fits, and what doesn’t belong, we must give ourselves the time to decide such things.

As long as I can remember I have desired to honor a Sabbath day.  If there are working parents out there who are able to do this, I applaud you, but for me taking a continuous 24 hour period to do nothing other than “be” simply doesn’t work.  So each time I would dream about the possibility I would end it with a defeated feeling, a shrug of my shoulders, and the thought ‘Someday, maybe’.  When I started to dig into what aspects of our Earth fit into this coming ‘Earth 2.0’ I came to the realization that, in regards to setting reflection time aside, something is better than nothing.  So my plan is to dedicate just one full hour each day to free my soul.

For each person this hour, or Sabbath, will look different, but I believe some of the substance can be universal.  I envision Sabbath as a time where we allow God to pour into us the validity of who we are in Him, by completely ridding ourselves of the notion that we are capable of anything apart from Him.  It is a time to spend with your family, with yourself, and with God.  It is a time you don’t clean, don’t fold laundry, don’t cook, and don’t look (or even think) about your to-do list.  It is a time to reflect on His grace and take time to enjoy His love.  An hour a day with your phone off, without emails, or texts.  An hour that you don’t write, create, or produce anything.  An hour that you don’t waste with convenient fillers, but rather with the TV off, the radio down, and your book closed.  An hour that is truly just about you being alive in this moment.

This time we give over to our Creator, as fully immersed in life and still completely emptied of ourselves, could be the key to seeing what we need to on our journey.  This will not be easy for me, I imagine it won’t be easy for you either.  To spend a full hour without any of my day-to-day, minute-to-minute picking up, getting done, and ‘wishing to do more’ will be a challenge.  I hope it will be worth it.

I would love to hear if you already spend time in self-reflection each day, or for a longer period on a weekly basis.  If creating this space/time was difficult, and if it continues to push you outside your comfort zone?  Does it gives you direction, a renewed sense of being, or peace?  What has worked, and what hasn’t?

How To Still A Dizzy Heart

I’ve battled with anxiety my whole life. It sprouts up from time to time in a most disgusting and volatile way. I rarely see it coming. I usually can’t idenify a concrete reason for its arrival. And I’m always unhappy to have it around. Recently, it has come to visit. I suppose it showed up after Christmas; sometime after the tree was taken down, and the holiday was finally at a close.

And so, as of this morning, I feel like I’m being chased in circles. Like someone is whispering that I have more to do than I can ever get done. A whisper that has a taunting nature; telling me I should stay out of the way of the people who love me. A whisper that has the power to evoke old feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

Although it’s very hard to recall with any certainty, I don’t think I have felt the true weight of this anxiety since before Matt’s death. Sure I have been anxious from time to time, but never a constant nagging on my stomach to attain the unattainable. I feel like I’m running in a race which not only I won’t win, but likely not even finish. None of these inner mutterings are truth. I can affirm that I do what I can, when I can, in the best manner I can.  I have faith God is ever loving, gentle, and that I am in His care.  I know that I am doing things to move forward.  But those anxieties that are laying waste to my inner self still surface.  I know they are wrong, and yet they still appear.

Part of the anxiety lies in my fear of the unknown. Fear of what this last year of grief, moving, and life changes has done in me. What these changes will bring me to – or worse – what they won’t. I want to DO something. I have grown so unfamiliar to normalcy, and the return of that brings a sort of angst to me. Normalcy is scary. After seeing what I have seen, losing all I have lost, you would understand that to go back to the place that I came from is nothing more than complacent and foolish. To avoid this feeling I want to move. I want things to keep happening at the rate at which they have been happening. Moving forward, getting things done.

Keeping up …. Keeping up … Keeping up

I want to be the reason for my surviving (and at times thriving) through this journey … and there in lies my problem.  I am not the reason for any of this.  His grace given to me … for the glory of Him who was sent to save.  I am being told to wait. God has brought me to a place in which endurance is needed. Suffering can feel easy at times compared to patience. A person must be still in patience. Being still, especially after a time of such massive movement, can seem beyond daunting.

It’s that feeling you get when you stand in one spot and spin. Even after you stop spinning your legs wobble, your eyes can’t focus, and your head is still dizzy. You want to be able to see where your spinning has taken you, but you can’t control yourself enough to stop moving and look. You want to be able to walk, without veering to one side or the other, but it is hopeless. From all outside appearances nothing is causing you dizziness; after all, at this point you are just standing in one spot. And yet, you feel out of control. And the only way to overcome it  … is patience.

I have learned in the last year that I am in control of nothing. I have learned that God’s provisions for me have always been greater than my expectations. I know that surrender of my dizzy little heart must be a daily request.  And so I must breathe.  I must enjoy what is in this moment.  And I must take each day as it comes.

It’s time for a little patience.  It’s time for a little stillness.  It’s time for a little endurance.