Hello, again! (more than just a Neil Diamond song!)

It’s been a week–a whole week–since I’ve posted and I have to tell you that I really needed it.  Sometimes there are just too many words inside my head and it’s a good idea to step back and just be quiet.

Quiet.  It seems that I’ve become a bit obsessed with this word here of late.  There are worse things to become obsessed with, I’d guess.  I think it is because our whole society has become so loud that I’ve been made more aware of the need for the discipline of deliberate quiet in my life.

In my week of self-imposed silence here, I’ve traveled almost 800 miles, spent days with relatives, pretty much ignored Facebook (oh, my!), responded only to the most critical of emails, caught up on the tremendous pile of magazines that had gone unread, cleaned out even more closet space, rearranged my pantry a bit, collected a tremendous pile for donation and moved the furniture around to within an inch of its inanimate life.  I’ve scoured distant antique shops for items to be “re-imagined” in our business offerings, wandered through bookstores (luxury!), read online articles that challenged and entertained me, sent only 7 texts and, mainly, spoken only with those I’ve been related to by blood or marriage.

I’ve had time for some introspection—some of which I took the time to do and some of which I ignored in favor of just silence.  Mental, spiritual, emotional silence.

It’s been as close to a vacation as I think I’ll get this year.

I needed it.

It wasn’t about the travel or even the time with relatives so much as just the needed unplugging from the routine.

It may not sound super-spiritual, but I tell you that it definitely helped me.  And who said everything we needed to do was supposed to be “super-spiritual” anyway?  (grin)  Because I’m aware that there is no space between the sacred and the secular in the life of one who loves God, I’m a firm believer that there are times when the commonplace must take precedence in the schedule in order to allow the hallowed aspects of just breathing in and out to become more apparent.  Failure to do this grants equal footing to both the trivial and the essential… and when that happens, the truly valuable things can’t be given their proper acknowledgement.

I cannot say that I am more balanced or centered as a result of this past week.  I’m not entirely certain I was un-balanced before it began.  (Others may differ with me here!–smile)  However, I can tell you that I more aware of my own need for rest and I intend to pursue a schedule that will allow me to have some time of mental rest on a more regular basis.  If nothing else, this is a vital change for me.

I am more determined than ever to utilize the “no” in order to be available to say the “yes” when it is necessary.  I am further resolved that the determination of when something is necessary will not be dependent on the heat of the moment, but rather on what God has to say about the matter—and what He’s already had to say about what is supposed to be my focus in this life.  Imagine it with me:  the pursuit of what God says is important for me (and you!) to do with the one life we’ve been given.  I think I’d lost sight of that for awhile.   While there are definitely areas of commonality in our respective missions, we’ve each been given gifts—and instructions!–that are just for us.  These are the gifts and instructions that are given with the intent of enriching our own individual lives…and by extension, the lives of those who love us and share this time and place with us.

Oh, the things you find when you aren’t really looking for them…

(and now, I’m off to do some of those things…and I’ll be trying not to sing like Neil Diamond in my head as I go…)

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