Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Unscrewing My Big Toe

My friend used that descriptor once to explain what she and her husband did when they spent their week in Vail each fall.  Her words were, “sometimes I have to unscrew my big toe and let it all flow out”. 

I need to do that too.

In 2003 I wrote in one of my journals, “I need to be more intentional about quiet and solitude”.  Life is busy.  The needs of people are always present.  I love visiting our GRANDS.  I’m an extrovert by design so I love to show up for everything.  But my physical, emotional and spiritual batteries run low and I need to recharge.  That starts with unscrewing my big toe.

Sometimes I call it “sitting and staring”.  I just allow myself to be.  I’m not reading; I’m not writing; I’m not praying.  I don’t think I’m necessarily even waiting, I just am.  I’ve discovered this is good. 

Beyond that I’m also discovering that for me to recharge, five ingredients are necessary:  beauty, quiet, reviewing and listening, reading and sometimes writing.

For Christmas last year Bill gave me a deck heater.  Our deck is surrounded by old evergreens.  I love the beauty that is out there and the deck heater allows me to extend the days I can meet with God outside.  When the weather is too cold even for the deck heater my favorite place to meet with God is from an overstuffed chair in our bedroom that faces a sliding glass door that looks out to our deck.  These are places of beauty for me.  There are others, but these are my regulars.

I do enjoy music.  But to recharge, I’ve learned I prefer quiet.  I love listening to the “Sounds of Silence”. I know, that dates me.  The sounds that God has created, like the wind through the trees or water flowing from a nearby creek … or even the small fountain next to our deck are gifts from God to me. 

Paul says in Philippians 3:1, “…to write the same things to you again is no trouble for me and is safe for you”.  Reviewing is a safety net for me.  I have favorite scriptures that God has impressed on my heart that I often (sometimes daily) go back to and review, think about and pray over.  There are certain quotes that speak deeply to my heart that I need to hear again and again.  And as I review, I listen.  What might God be saying to me in these circumstances?  David Martin Lloyd Jones has said, “Most of our unhappiness in life is due to the fact that we are listening to self”.  I’ve added and talking to God.  I need to listen to God!  Listening sometimes is even more important than praying.

A big way I listen to God is through reading.  Reading my Bible for sure.  But also reading my journals and reading favorite authors.  I hear God through what He has whispered to me in the past and realize the truth is still true.  I hear God through the writings of others.  My current favorite is Sally Breedlove and her book, Choosing Rest.

Finally sometimes writing helps me to unscrew my big toe.  As I listen to myself through my pen I hear the affirming or the directional or the calming voice of God.  I leave with new perspective and my big toe back in place. 

“The Lord is my shepherd …He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul…”  Psalm 23:1,2,3

1 comment:

  1. Oh did I need to hear this today! I, like you, need silence, "beauty, quiet, reviewing and listening, reading and sometimes writing" to recharge. (And am i ever in need of some recharging - especially before our Thanksgiving company arrives tomorrow!) But you know, I don't think I would've thought through what I needed to do on my own. But when I read what you wrote it clicked! So as soon as I'm free today I am heading out to do this! Thanks friend! :0)