Monday, April 11, 2005

Observations from my vacation

I recently spent a week in Florida on Spring Break. So, I was sitting here this morning, reflecting on that week and some of the thoughts I had while on vacation. It was like I kinda had permission to slow down, and just let thoughts and ideas form, and let God speak to me. It actually was pretty cool, some of the things that occurred to me that in my busy-ness I hadn't realized. I went to Florida very tired and overwhelmed and greatly in need of a break. These are a few of the things I thought about as I took time to relax.

Easter Sunday:
In sitting and meditating today, it struck me how very much I like Easter. I think it's my favorite "holiday". So full of joy and above all hope! Easter lilies, greening grass, budding trees, sunrise services, joyous, vibrant music, sun streaming through stained glass windows. Spring, renewal, asparagus :) New beginnings. Greatful heart. Faith. Peace. I am filled with such a sense of joy and wonder and hope. He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! And so too shall I live. How can I not celebrate and feel so wondrously happy, joyful, alive and thankful from the deepest part of my soul?

Observations on my trip:
I observed changes in myself as a result of who I am becoming. It is interesting to me, the small but significant changes that are occurring. Usually I keep pretty much to myself. I'm pretty introverted and afraid of interacting with others. I'm pretty much afraid they won't like me. But yet on this trip I realized something, I want to talk to people! I suddenly really desire to interact with others. Just to be their friend. To connect. Not to witness, or share Jesus, but to share part of me with them. And in some small way, as a result, may they sense Jesus in me as I freely share my story.
Another change for example, was that in the unbelievable crowds at DisneyWorld I found myself being less impatient, more tolerant of people, - mom's with little kids, dad's trying to keep it all together, teens in a hurry to get it all done, older slow walkers in front of me. I was more patient in lines, taking time to look around, be mellow, wonder about other people's stories, listen to God, just be. Hmmmm.
And when rude people did cut, or force past, and I began to feel frustrated, I felt God hitting me upside the head in rebuke of my attitude. After all I don't know all their stories, why they are the way they are. What is another few minutes of waiting in the grand scheme of things" Why get angry? Why not try to understand their need? Hmmmm.
Small changes yes, but pretty significant to me.

As I stood in an attraction today that was very dark, and therefore very scary for kids, I heard a small child cry. Then I heard a calm, gentle voice comfort the frightened child. "It's all right, daddy's got you." What a simple phrase, and yet it really spoke to my heart. No matter what the situation, the fear, the sorrow, the uncertainty, God holds me tight in His arms, and it's all right - Daddy's got me. And just the fact that at that time, in that place this even spoke to my heart showed me how very much God is always with us, even in routine living, if we are willing to listen.

I'm healing :) I love being in Florida. The salty breeze, the warm air, the healing sun, the beautiful flowers, the sea birds. I'm slowing, relaxing, being freed. The ocean, the waves, the sand, the motion - Rx for my soul!

Thoughts on arriving home:
Last week was so very good for me. It got me back to a more healthy way of living. I didn't obsess over the next book I needed to read, or get mad at myself for enjoying fun and trivial things. I didn't feel driven all the time. Now, back home I seem to be finding a balance. All my free time isn't guided by my crazy thirst for knowledge and help and total immersion in this new life I find myself living. I hopefully am settling in beyond conversion mentality with all it's excitement and highs, to living this new life in a balanced way. My only fear, and probably what is driving me is that I'll stop going forward, stall again, fall into old patterns. But maybe not. I think so differently now. Frenzy over? Hopefully. Fervor? Hopefully not. Give me the balance I need to live, to shine, to bless.

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