Have you ever had one of those days where you know what you need to do, but you can’t seem to find the way to do it? It may not even be anything that’s actually difficult, but somehow the task feels insurmountable.
That’s been me today.
I did manage to get the floor mopped, and usually, when I actually mop my floor, I’m filled with an unshakeable sense of accomplishment for at least 24 hours.
Today, I’d told myself first thing, will be a writing day. I wanted to start writing a series on how I’m learning to more intentionally connect. I did write, but not well and not enough. When my time was up this morning, I stepped away from my desk and told myself I was only getting started. Rough drafts have to come first. Surely I’d finish later.
My husband and I went through our normal morning routine. He asked if I was okay. I told him I just had a lot of thoughts swimming around in my head.
Yet somewhere between breakfast and getting the kids ready to go to the park, anxiety started to slink in and sllllloooowly settle down on my chest, like my cat does when she thinks she’s being sneaky.
I was so determined to actually create some content today, but my thoughts were muddled. I felt almost frantic inside. Never a good sign, nor a good place from which to do creative work.
I knew I needed to pause, to breathe, to reconnect.
I made lunch for my boys and put them down for naps. As I sat down to eat my own lunch, I turned on a podcast, one that I knew would lead into a time of silence. It was based on Psalm 139:23-24, and it was, indeed, just what I needed to hear.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
That pause and the accompanying reminder helped me exhale. They pointed me back to a familiar place by a not-entirely-familiar path.
Yet I still felt a bit muddled inside, unsure of what I had to share.
Fast forward to tonight.
I set up my laptop on the table at IKEA. It was acting wonky after updating. As I rebooted it, I suddenly remembered: oh yeah, I was going to read first.
I picked up where I left off—maybe a month ago?—in Emily P. Freeman’s beautiful book, A Million Little Ways. The Holy Spirit spoke to my soul through Emily’s words and through the clouds floating above the cityscape beyond the IKEA window. He spoke rest and reassurance and a reminder of why I’m doing this in the first place.
And I realized that this is why I need to make space to reconnect with Jesus each day. Instead of merely writing about it from a detached “I should” perspective, I’d been given the gift of experiencing that need in a more-pronounced-than-usual way.
I don’t have an outline of three simple steps guaranteed to quiet your soul. But I want to encourage you to make space for silence and rest in your life, even if you're not a follower of Jesus. Maybe that looks like getting up a little earlier than everyone else in your house. Maybe it’s taking a walk in the woods or around the block. Try a few different things; see what works best for you.
However you do it, take time to connect with your Source.
The Next Right Thing is my very favorite podcast. It’s uncanny how often each week’s episode touches directly on something I’ve been processing through. The episode I mentioned above is Number 43: Receive Silence.
I haven't yet finished A Million Little Ways: Uncovering the Art You Were Made to Live by Emily P. Freeman, but I've read enough to heartily recommend it.
Finally, Psalm 62:5-8 came to mind as I was writing this post. I first learned verse 5 as “Find rest, oh my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.” Another translation says, “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him.”