Wednesday, June 4, 2014

An Invitation

This post is part of the  “Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour” which I am a part of, along with a group of soulful, journeying kindreds. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!  

Finding Spiritual Whitespace


“When we make room for whitespace… We uncover layers of ourselves we had to put to the side in order to deal with the stress at hand.” - Bonnie Gray, Finding Spiritual Whitespace

I have been burying sorrows (and even happiness) during the past 9 years or so “in order to deal with the stress at hand”. Seasons of a husband travelling all the time, raising daughters, dads dying of cancer, training for races, taking care of the home, building friendships… Life quickly has a way of pushing everything else aside as it demands our focus. There’s no time to sort through emotions, feelings, thoughts, problems, or even celebrations. Each day is faced by putting one foot in front of the other because we have to. For the first time in a long time, I feel free to explore the past. Life’s storm clouds have lifted just enough to take pause and breathe and just be.

More than anything, I have been learning to nurture my soul. God has been whispering to my heart the importance of guarding moments of rest. And I really believed I was responding well to His promptings. In reading the new book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace Awakening your Soul to Rest, by (in)courage contributor, Bonnie Gray, I was surprised at how much louder the importance of His message would become.

The early morning hours are mine. These are the moments no one else makes demands of my schedule. It’s a short period in the day rarely disrupted. Outside of this protected time, life feels defined by interruptions. If I can successfully tip toe down the stairs quietly, there is a peaceful calm that greets me. Any little noise, however, could cause my 5-year-old to bolt out of bed so as not to miss any moment of the day. Should my morning start with the greeting of a tired little girl, my time will never be easily recovered. I must be swift and intentional but I am learning even a few moments of rest are worth fighting for. Rest is now a daily rendezvous with quiet where God invites me to hear His voice that I long for more and more.

It’s me and silence (if I can quiet the thoughts in my head). This has not always been a comfortable place to rest. I have thought “rest” was emptying my mind or even replacing the noise in my head with the blare of the television. Now I am realizing that “rest” is found in giving everything on my mind to God. I cast my cares on Him by giving Him each thought and allowing Him to free me from the bondage I often create in my head. In pursuing rest, I am finding peace and freedom… and I want it more and more.

I used to utilize every possible moment to sleep in. Raising tiny children will invoke that desire in a person. When one cannot get a decent night’s rest, the mind is easily convinced to pursue every moment of shut eye it can get. Sleep still entices me as my body and mind are exhausted most of the day. It feels as though I can never truly get enough sleep but I’m learning that rest for my body can never bring rest for my soul.

There have been other seasons of my life where I used the early morning hours for exercise. Rolling out of bed, I would immediately dress myself for a run and get the miles in. It felt a bit robotic but it got me the physical utopia I was hoping for. It is still tempting to start my days that way especially because my body is not the epitome of healthiness it could be. Yet physical health can never cure an unhealthy soul.

Today I woke up early, remaining dressed for sleep but inviting my soul to awaken with God. I sit with my Bible and notebook along with my favorite current read and open my heart and mind to a Voice greater than the ones scrolling through my brain. Here I find the rest I am longing for. This allows me to seek health for my whole person. It begins right here in the quiet place of rest alone with God.

As long as I bury life under the layers, I will never find the good health I am working for. I want a quality life more than I want the quantity of years. This is where I start. I invite Him in. Are you willing to invite Him in?

“He’s calling us to find a new place of rest that goes beyond our ability to create it.” – Bonnie Gray

“You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.” – Psalm 51:6 (AMP)


BookArt9_invite

Bonnie Gray is the writer behind Faith Barista.com who wrote a book about her inspiring, heart-breaking journey to find rest, which garnered Publisher’s Weekly starred review. I’m taking the journey to find rest through this guidebook and invite you to read it too.  You can get a copy HERE.

(NOTE: I know that a good night's sleep and exercise are important. This is not to diminish their importance. It is just a warning that even good things can get in the way of soul rest.)

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your words......they hit home for me!

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    1. What a wonderful opportunity you have taken to draw closer to God, to listen to His voice, because you CHOOSE to put Him first, to make His desires your desires, to be who He wants you to be. My own "whitespace" came, not by my own choose, but when I could no longer put one foot in front of the other. I think I spent 3 1/2 years with nothing but "whitespace", buried in my unfinished room in the basement, often under the covers, until "He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:2-3a) NLT. It continues "many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord." That is our prayer. I pray that is why He still has me here.

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