Saturday, April 2, 2016

The Gratitude Project Week 13

\ˈgra-tə-ˌtüd, -ˌtyüd\

The quality of being thankful:  readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. 

In the last few months I haven’t felt like myself.  I don’t think I could have put a finger on it, even if I would have recognized it.  I suppose I sort of fell into a place where I got a little lost.  I started a new ministry role and felt the pressure of wanting to get it all right (I’m wired that way, and too often it’s not a good place).  I didn’t want to disappoint anyone, felt the pull of the responsibilities of home and work, pressures from many sides and my own limitations and failings, and along the way I lost the joy.  I managed ok day to day, but the spark of really living in fullness was so sparse that I found myself full of disappointment, and underlying frustration.  But it was sort of a vague thing buzzing in the back of my head and I just kept plodding through.  

This year I chose as my word for the year “vibrant”.  I want to live a life that’s full of vibrance.  I want my life to shine in a way that’s tangible to others.  I want to be walking this life I’ve been given with a deep sense of purpose.  One of the reasons I really like the word vibrant is because of one of the definitions, “strong or resonating”.  I love that word - resonating.  When I am living in the center of how I’m made to be, I feel like life resonates.  Despite my wanting that kind of year, I have felt like the first 3 months have fallen far short of that hope.  It’s been dull and flat and very non-resonating.  

Over Spring Break some friends graciously allowed us to stay in their home on Vancouver Island.  We’ve been there before and it’s an absolutely beautiful place.  We were in great need of the time away.  

You know on your computer when your screen gets stuck or something stops loading and you have to hit the refresh button?  It rights everything back to how it’s supposed to be and restores it anew.    That’s how I feel like these past 9 days have been for me.  

I think in the time away it allowed me to see some things that I haven’t been seeing.  To be very restored by creation and to have time away to get some perspective that I’ve been lacking.  

I’m not quite there yet,  and frankly, who ever really is?  I’m ok with that.  But I hope to be heading in a more resonating direction.  As a result, I’m asking myself a lot of questions.  If I want my life to be vibrant what does that mean?  What needs pruning?  What needs attention?  What have I been neglecting?  Who am I really trying to please?  And let’s be really honest....why?  What am I feeding myself with - emotionally, spiritually, physically?  Is there something I’m running after that is actually something counterfeit?   How am I being restored on this merry-go-round that I seem to have jumped on?  Isn’t it maybe time to get off for a while?   Our lives need a good examining on a regular basis I find.  

It’s not hard to get lost sometimes.  We all try really diligently to keep the juggling balls buoyant in the air, but far too often we pick up way too many extra ones to throw in the mix that really aren’t ours to handle.   It’s time to put them down.   I hear your argument, “I can’t because...._____”, and you can fill in the blank.  I think that a lot of times that’s a way we lie to ourselves.  Strip it all away and there’s something else driving it.  I watched the sunset sitting on a rock one night on the beach and had some honest time to look at how things were really going and in that little quiet space to have a heart to heart with the Lord.  

So, I’m in a stage of God led self-discovery again.  I’m longing for some of that real joy that doesn’t fade due to circumstances.  I know that God has it for me, I just don’t think I’ve been looking in the right places.  

I’ll going back to some basics in my pursuit of the vibrant life I long for this year.  I’m very hopeful and optimistically at peace for the first time in many weeks.  I don’t have to have all the answers, but I do want to be asking good questions that are worth pursuing.  We may not find all the answers, but what you learn in the pursuit is always worth it.

And as the relentless, wild, beautiful sea reflects the pursuant steadyness and truth of a Saviour who also made each of us completely unique, and with absolute love and purpose;  I’m grateful to keep coming back to this place in my heart to refresh.  


April Story said...

Your pictures are GORGEOUS. I especially like the trees with the sun beaming down in black and white - breathtaking. And I know how you feel. It's like you need to reorganize your life every once in a while - just like you do the craft room. And maybe do small clean ups every other week or so. :-) I wish you luck on your journey that you may find the path that God wants you to take.

Lynn said...

I know that God gives us what we need when we need it and your words were exactly what I needed today - even though I didn't know it until I read them. Thank you for your honesty in your sharing.

BJ Searcy said...

I so much enjoy your beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing!

StampinLouie said...

Thanks for sharing your story today and the beautiful photos . As I type this I'm sitting in oncology waiting room with pretty certain disgnoses of cancer diagnoses for my husband. Dr thinks it is very treatable kind(PTL) and hopes to outlive cancer and die from something else. Things like this do out a different perspective on life. Again thanks for shsring❤️

Conniecrafter said...

So glad you were able to get away and get your thoughts in check, we do need that from time to time. Our ladies bible study group is reading a book right now about having simplicity in God in our lives.

Lena Misquitta said...

Amazing pictures Christine ! So beautiful ! Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you do feel refreshed and want to live a fuller life. Keep the nature pics coming. Hugs Lena

Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing these fantastic pictures and your searching. I can totally relate to what you are saying and on taking on too many things for the right reason, but it still being too much, and how hard it is to step back or say no, especially when it is a church ministry. You have a great perspective, and thanks for sharing your thoughts and awesome photos. Take care.