Are you looking for a bit of break in this harried, hurry scurry busy life? Me, too, friend. Me too.
I have a new favorite walk. I set out one day craving a change-up to my usual walk….
What I needed was a walk that breathed some life into me, far from the busy city streets (which is not very easy for a suburb girl!) I found myself wandering down past from my house into the green field of a park. Yes, here my lungs felt like they could breathe deeper and my eyes had places to wander and settle on. Not so much hurry scurry here. I soaked it in and continued on….
until I found myself on this (still somewhat busy city-like) stretch of country road with an old farmstead on the side.
Instantly my heart relaxed… the tightness that had been wound tightly inside…. Began to unravel and release.
Maybe it was the the smell of fresh growing farm grass, or perhaps it was the feel of open air, or the melody of the birds? Or maybe it was the bray of horses or the feel of sidewalk beneath my feet softening as it becomes dirt— complete with little outcrops of dandelions, and crabgrass.
Yes, I believe it is all these things combined. My five senses realized the difference of the surroundings around here and instantly, my soul feels grounded ( To see more about how I wrote about the five senses, and how it can help us in moments of trauma, see my blog link. (https://melanietalevski.com/2021/03/13/safe-secure-and-held/). But more than any physical thing… it was the fact that mindfulness was added to my day… or that SPACE from my schedule was made through this simple walk.
Have you found yourself in a situation like this? Perhaps it was beach side, on a mountain hike, sitting in the backyard or wandering down a neighborhood path… no matter where you find it… it always feel the same…. A deep release. A deep sigh of our souls. A release of all that heaviness that has somehow crawled onto our world weary hearts without us being completely aware. It feels like we can breathe again. Our eyes, which have been so focused and centered on the tasks before us— now get a break and we find ourselves truly SEEING the things around us. We are able to stop just surviving and (existing) and are now present… mindful of what is going on around us. And in this process, our system relaxes…. Right is restored.
This, my friend, is God’s deep restoration. He has a variety of ways to minister to our world weary minds, bodies, souls. I find often that He does this deep ministering for me when I get out from my normal habitat and walk around in His nature where I hear, see, smell, feel… anew. We are so good at every day going through the motions and doing what is supposed to be done. But friends, we were created to be human beings— living, interacting, feeling. God did not create us to be machines…. But rather His friends. Human beings who see, feel, taste, touch….
I, like you, crave relief on a daily basis. Yes, coffee breaks, watching silly youtube videos, and laughing with friends (or reading a chapter of a latest fiction book) offers a break, but often it is just a reprieve.
Reprieve (relief) is summarized as:
“a feeling of reassurance and relaxation following release from anxiety or distress.”(dictionary.com)
“to receive back more than has been lost to the point where the final state is greater than the original condition”.
Oh wow, that is so much deeper than just temporary relief! Did you know God has that deep restoration for you and me today? And every day? It is not withheld… often we just don’t take a break from our list of tasks to tap into it or we think it is beyond reach… when really it can be found in a simple moment on the back porch, a silent walk, or a deep breath after the kids sleep and we purposefully become mindful, present, and breathe. We often need to TURN OFF LIFE for a moment to see, hear, and be present to open the door to deep restoration.
This is what God says about the situation:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It is funny to think that this coming to God, slowing down, simplifying is a “skill” we all need to be taught to remember, but in the fast pace of this world, it really is a treasure to be guarded, practiced, and remembered. It is way too easy to keep busy, entertained— our mind a constant swirl with thoughts, ideas, motions.
I know that as a mom, I am responsible for helping my kids enter these slow moments and have them as a part of life. The more I can teach them now to seek out and embrace quiet moments, still moments… the more they are going to know how to do that as teens and adults. It is really an important skill. This resting, stopping, pausing.
Let me tell you though, that more often that not, MY KIDS teach me mindfulness. We are driving to a practice… my mind is on the thoughts— “will we get there on time? What about so and so… etc.” Then I hear a voice from the back seat, “Look at the sunset! Wow!” Or “Did you see that silly dog, mom?” Moments that bring my focus back to the here and now. My youngest is especially good at this. Just today she went with me on my morning walk. As I passed the side streets, ready for the beautiful country lane part of the walk, she stopped to climb a tree. “Mom look at me!” She called, causing me to stall my walk. I stopped, watched her, and smiled. When did her limbs get so long that she was able to hoist herself into the tree un assisted? We walked a few more steps and she laughed at the birds balancing on the phone line… causing me to look up and laugh too. Friends, this is a depth of life that we all must strive to remember. We used to live like this, and I believe by having a few more of these moments in each day, our lives become deeper.
Perhaps this is a bit of what Jesus meant when He said,
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Kids are amazing— they are able to stay focused on the single thing before them. They are aware, in awe, and observant— not to mention: trusting, joyful, and believing.
How can I become like a child in some of my ways of relating to God? Trusting Him completely. Believing He will do what He says He will do. Stop maneuvering, manufacturing my own way and trust Him and His way.
How can I become more like a child in my day to day living? Take a moment to feel the grass, climb the tree 😉 , and laugh at innocent, simple things. God has been teaching me a lot the last few years about being present (see my blog all about this: https://melanietalevski.com/2021/02/26/fully-present/ ) and being mindful. The more we practice and treasure this ability, the stronger we will feel the effects.
We can start slow….and recognize and appreciate every moment of progress we make. I believe it has a type of snowball effect… the more we encourage ourselves to live in the moment, do it, realize it, open our eyes in awareness towards it… the more it will grow.
Other ideas we can do this week: (I’d like to hear yours too!)
- We can mindfully read the word. Maybe instead of just “getting through the chapter for the day” we can try slowing down and reading until a verse catches our attention. Then we can sit with that verse, dwell on it…. Try not to hurry and scurry from it. Perhaps we’ll just place a bookmark there and (gasp) not get through our chapter for the day. That’s okay. We are on God’s schedule now.
- We can take “five senses” pauses in the day. We can take breaks to see what truly see what is around us. Maybe while at the coffee shop… we can stop scrolling for a minute and look around… what is there to see? Or when the call, “Mom, mom!” comes we can challenge ourselves to take a moment to truly look into our kids eyes. I know it sounds basic but at the pace of life we are living in this world, even little things like this can be lost. Just recapturing them and treasuring these moments can lead us to deeper and fuller lives.
- And like I said before… getting into nature automatically ushers me into a place of restoration. Whether it is sitting on the porch, taking a walk, even looking at a favorite nature picture (maybe a favorite beach or mountain scenery) all these things can lead to a heart “break”: a moment for us to truly just BE. And breathe.
It is often in these moments… the space that is made… that we can finally see and hear God. He’s been here all along, but often our urgent to-do-lists, social connections and life situations cause us to put Him on hold— when really it would majorly benefit us to learn the skill of putting life on hold for our connection with the Lord.
So, my dear friend, my prayer for you this week is:
May you see, feel and experience the true presence of God through deep restoration. I pray for moments of relief in your day to day life but even so much better than that— moments of restoration. May God meet you in a deeper way in the pauses you allow for Him this week. May you follow the tug of His spirit when you are prompted to slow down, rest, or even just make space for Him. May our perspective be retrained…. May we become like children in our faith and in mindfulness in the midst of our days. May the busyness of this world be replaced by a love for the Lord, a trust in our Father God. May you find moments of deep restoration as you yield and release your life, situations, worries and schedule to the Lord. May He lead you in a deeper and fuller way of living.
Until next time,
PS. John Eldredge (Christian author) has a whole app ( https://www.pauseapp.com ) to help cultivate pauses in our days— to invite Jesus into our situations, unify with him… release worries to him. Check it out (it’s free)! It seriously only takes one minute and I have found that it brings a peace into my life and more mindfulness daily.
PPS. I LOVE this song and often find myself singing the chorus again and again.
“YOU RESTORE MY SOUL” sung by Sarah Pearsons