Every Spring, come what may, my heart grows restless. I journal, so I can look back and see that this happens. At one point in my walk with the LORD, at the misguidance of others, these seasons had me asking “what is the LORD trying to show me?” This question is always followed up by the self-effort introspection that leads us away from Him and further out of His ancient paths, the only paths to peace and joy. Now, as this restlessness hits, I lean into Him, without demanding an answer to each of my “Why, Lord…How come…ugh…” questions. I seek Him, and I wait.
…my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:6
I’ve realized the value of stories, did you mistakenly think stories were for children? Stories can help us admit how we are feeling, and actually turn to the LORD for the strength to endure in our odd seasons of life. The Lord of the Rings helped me through one such season. Enchanted April helped me through one such Spring. Wind in the Willows was one year’s story. Parnassus on Wheels, another. Narnia helps every year. What stories have helped you, allowed you to venture forth in the strength of the LORD despite seasonal restlessness or angst or despair?
But beloved, we do not end with stories. And though we all know by now that time in nature, in His creation, refreshes us, we do not end with time outdoors. Our favorite hike is not enough.
He uses all sorts of means to encourage us. But the LORD never works in us apart from His Word. In these seasons though I feel busy, I know that my deepest need is to intentionally take extra time to meditate, to muse, to pray through His Word; to listen to Him in the Way He reveals Himself. You will make time for what you love, for who you love. It will look different in varying seasons of life. It looked different for me in college, while pursuing my Masters, while married and juggling a new job, while first becoming a mama, while trying to homeschool… It will look different for you and me, but it will be intentional, in the Spirit, and ultimately refreshing.
One of the seasonal spiritual disciplines that refreshes my soul is planning a personal retreat. I offer you here a 20 page download to help you get started, or to encourage you to once again, join Jesus in this habit (find the download button below):