• Patti

Beauty Whispered & Less


It was one of those mornings where I longed to feel joy or even normalcy, but mostly what I felt was just numb. Was it fatigue? Was it overwhelm? Was it the rush of busyness that had taken its toll? Was it the over-commitments and being stretched too thin? Or was it any number of other things that felt like huge icebergs, treacherously close to sinking what I thought was unsinkable?


Regardless, I knew I was exhausted and weary, yet still needing to muster the energy for my workday. I needed to go out and be Christ to my corner of the world. No pressure, though, right?!? {wink}


I read God’s word, I read a devotional or two, I wrote in my journal… and yet I still felt flat. I still felt hollow. For a person who is a “feeler” by nature, feeling nothing or feeling detached can be extremely uncomfortable. As I sat in my discomfort, I prayed. I prayed for the things on my list, the concerns, the worries, the people I love. I prayed for peace, and wisdom, and help to make it through my day. I confessed to God that all these commitments made me feel as if I was barely treading water and on the verge of “giving out” from exhaustion. I prayed about what to do. The internal silence of my emotions and lack of clarity or vision from God, left me immobile. I whispered, “God, I just need You!”


These demands, this push, the over-commitments... they take a toll on you and exact a heavy price.

I had come to the point in my life where I been going through the motions but starting to realize I had offered up myself, my wholeness, and even my God-given joy in the name of “serving” or “doing” (many times for others or for financial security). The problem is that it came at far too great a cost… I stopped caring for myself and my own needs. The continual 4:30am mornings, working through lunch (sometimes literally, and sometimes on other business), the rushing directly from work to evening commitments, the late nights, followed by another 4:30am morning… {wash, rinse, repeat}. I felt lifeless, fatigued, spent… and like I could spend a week in bed under the covers and still not get enough rest to find myself again.

I was failing miserably at healthy balance, and my own needs and care were being sacrificed. Anyone been there… done that?!? I know you have! We say so many yeses, with far too little time (or none at all) to rest and refresh and regain our footing. Some of my current commitments had an expiration date (so to speak), so I was literally holding my breath and longing desperately for that end-date to come. Oh, yes… actually, I’m still waiting! It will be well into April before I get my first bit of relief. All of this speaks to my word for the year… God gave it to me like a lightning bolt on my drive home one day… “LESS”. Yep… less! Typically, it is well into the new year before I discover my word, but this one He gave me well in advance… and I have clung to it desperately, like life-giving treasure.


These demands, this push, the over-commitments… they take a toll on you and exact a heavy price. Your price may be different than mine but make no mistake it will still cost you something. In my case, I have decided the cost was too high. It may be a tough year of growth, but I want to learn how to revel in the joy of a properly and godly prioritized life, which means getting very comfortable with and celebrating the peace and freedom of “no”. The right no frees me for yes, to the most important things in my life.


Drifting back to that weary morning - at the close of my quiet time I felt like God whispered the word “beauty” to me. It reminded me that when I feel flat and lifeless, seeing something beautiful always refreshes my soul, fuels joy, and makes me smile. I prayed that God would show me “beautiful” that day. I got ready for work anchored to a hopeful expectation of what that might be. I got in my car and headed toward the freeway. As I entered the decline of the freeway on-ramp, there it was… stretched before me… a crystal clarity above and below… a peaceful, soulful misty fog perfectly suspended mid-air… piercing through tree-line along the river valley ahead. I smiled {tears in my eyes}. I thanked God for answering my prayer, and so quickly. I thanked God for beauty... a gift that never ceases to refresh me… perfectly timed and sweetly delivered.


God is for us. He grows us through our challenges and longs to have us learn a better way. God meets us where we are… right in the midst of the fallout and follow-through of our choices, to offer us hope and encouragement and grace in every day. Giving us the opportunity to make ourselves and today, a little better than yesterday.


Patti


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