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I find myself navigating the road back to “Normal” after an extended season of side-trips, shortcuts and bunny trails. While away, I succumbed to the ease of clutter and the ever-expanding piles of “stuff to take back.”
Finally, I’ve returned to the dwelling I fashioned. The walls are laced with pictures of captured memories…faces of smiling kids and shared family moments. It’s a place that reflects my style and personality; where every item has a home.
I’m also sleeping much better since returning to my firm mattress sans the pillow top or stuffed duvet. I can’t for the life of me figure out the allure of heavy duvets in warm climates; yet, every single hotel bed was decked with one…leg out, leg in ALL NIGHT LONG!
And, what has happened to the traditional inner spring mattress? Are my husband and I really the only two Americans left who prefer to sleep “on” the bed, rather than “in” it?
Sometimes, it’s these seemingly little things, that become bigger things when you’re away from home. Now, these minor inconveniences drift into the background only to resurface when I once again open the door to another hotel room. It’s only now, that the housekeeping is finished and the bags are unpacked that I seek to reestablish my routine, to get back to normal, without the hustle and bustle.
What Is Back To Normal?
It feels strange. What is normal? I wrack my brain to recall…
I left for the US following an extremely packed winter and spring in which I scurried from one event to the next. Then, I moved straight to planning a shower, teaching a seminar, doing a wedding and participating in another large conference packing in a smattering of fun, summer exploits here and there.
Now, I sit in my chair with actual time to peck these few words on a keyboard and wonder, “Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?” Surely, something else should be clamoring for my time and attention!
Admittedly, I miss the adrenaline and urgency of the next deadline. I recently heard someone describe this feeling so aptly. She said, “A friend of mine recently asked, ‘Is this what rest feels like or am I depressed?’” I wouldn’t say I feel depressed, but I definitely feel like something is missing.
We can grow so accustomed to running on hyper-drive that we forget what normal feels like…how it feels to experience rest and sufficiency in the moment. Actually, I believe this is the “normal” Jesus was talking about when He asked His listeners to come to Him.
“…Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Sure, we all have seasons of stress and responsibilities. During these seasons, we often cry out for help and He’s always there to walk us and talk us through.
We pray for rest and resolution…if things could just get…back-to-normal again.
But, when normal is finally restored and I find myself looking for the next project; I’m ready to jump right back into the rush. Still, He longs to be an integral part of my normal, nothing-really-to-speak-of, days. It’s in these days that I find the luxury of time. Time to walk with Him…time to consider the awesome ways He’s blessed and provided for me. And, time to actually enjoy His company without the constant pressure of the unfinished task.
Maybe, these are the unforced rhythms of grace that He’s talking about. Now, if I can just accept His grace in the moment and embrace a routine that’s
a little A LOT more laid back than I’m used to.
Because, He longs for me to live freely and lightly. And, this is best done in the normal of everyday life.
So, for now, I’ll just sit here, have a nice, sweaty glass of tea and recognize that a still moment and a few extra, unplanned minutes, this back-to-normal, is really God’s gift for today.