Soul Space

Do you leave space for your soul?

Room for rest?

A little “margin for me”?

A sliver of time to savor the Savior?

In our jam-packed, fast-paced whirlwind of an existence we call ‘life’, I’m afraid very few of us do.

I’m gonna be straight up with you girlfriends. Today is  my 14th day of being sick.

The first week brought high fever, aches, chills, a cough, chest congestion, a splitting headache and a general feeling of crumminess that rendered me ineffective at life. I could hardly walk without feeling like I was going to faint.

Once the fever broke, the coughing kicked into high gear. Any breath deeper that a shallow pant sent me into a coughing fit.

After two weeks, I’m still coughing.

Although the symptoms of this flu are bothersome, what aggravated me more was the loss of time they produced; time I wanted to spend getting things done; being productive; accomplishing tasks.

However, for the first five entire days, I could do nothing. I mean NOTHING!

I laid on the couch or my bed, let the boys fend for themselves (they were fine and rose to the occasion) and checked out of life almost completely.

Truthfully?

It stunk.

And then?

It was wonderful.

Seriously.

I could only do two activities.

Pray and read.

Even the television being on bothered my tender brain.

It became clear to me that this little ol’e bout with the flu was God’s gentle nudge saying….

“SLOW DOWN!!!!!!!”

Although I try to build in time each day to read the Bible,; to pray; to jot a note to someone; to be intentional to really connect with my family or a friend, sometimes those items become nothing more than another task on my “to do” list.

Last week, (after the first two days which were horrid and I did nothing but sleep and cough!) I spent more time reading my Bible and praying for my family and friends than I have in ages.

Then, once I felt a little better, I watched a movie with my kids.

WITHOUT folding laundry, sorting coupons or writing bills at the same time.

Those who know me know that is a major miracle!

But those first few days when all I did was read and pray, although I was at my sickest, were in a sense, quiet bliss.

It wasn’t rushed.

No reason to whip through it fast. I had no where to go!

It wasn’t out of duty.

I actually grew to cherish the opportunity for the unhurried focus.

And–hear me now— a part of me misses being that sick!

Oh I still have an annoying, residual cough, but I’m able, for the most part, to be back “up and at em”! (I’d better be. Spencer’s 13th birthday bowling and pizza party is today which ends at my house with oodles of hungry teenage boys!)

But I miss the alone time with God and the feeling of utter dependence I feel when I’m really sick.

Why does it take sickness to slow us down sometimes?

Why do we fear the world will surely end if we are outta commission for a while? (Note to self: it did not!)

Why, as a mom, do I seldom pause to rest?

Those are some questions I’m pondering this weekend.

This weekend when my agenda says “organize tax papers for accountant” and “sort through the basement storage room in a weeding-out-the-junk quest” and “write a devotion for Proverbs 31 and a drama for my churches worship service”…

Well, you might just find me doing those things…

AFTER….I’ve slowed down and savored for a while.

And before I take me a good long nap on both days!

Pause.

Rest.

Recoup.

Do it now, friends, before it takes the flu-fever-coughin’ crud to get you to a quiet place where you finally find space for your soul!

Slow-down-and-savor Blessings,

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10 Comments

  1. So, so, so, so Very true. Ugh, why do we wait until we are sick and dependent to get our priorities straight. Thank you for the reminder. Hope Spencer’s party was a blast!!

  2. A great reminder (as someone else said). One that I have had to experience about a month ago… should have learned my lesson… working on learning it… but…. work to be at, papers to write (school- going after my doctorate), sick widowed mother and sick widowed mother-in-law to attend to, mother who is house bound (has had 3 surgeries in the past month)…. does it end? Yet, I know God is with me through it all!

    Now, if we will both just take care!

  3. I can so relate to this, Karen! I got sick with upper respiratory illness on January 1st and I am still not fully recovered.

    As a wife and relatively “new” Mom my life has literally revolved around my husband and 14 month son since the day he was born. During these 14 months I have gone through bouts of illness, realizing that God needed to slow me down somehow because I wasn’t doing it on my own.

    I also expect too much from myself in terms of taking care of things. If the house isn’t clean for a few days I start to panic and measure my worthiness as a wife, husband, “Proverbs 31 woman”; same goes for if laundry isn’t done, dishes are in the sink etc. A mentality that I definitely need deliverance from as I know that condemnation is not from Christ.

    Thanks for the reminder to take time out to rest and especially to rest in Him. It’s so important for us to be able to function in all our other roles and responsibilies.

    Love and blessings!

  4. Yes the quiet time for myself, my savior, my family. I need to be reminded to enjoy each moment. Enter into it and be thankful for every moment. It isn’t easy, but it is soul satisfying.

  5. Thanks Karen….sometimes us “super” moms need to hear this!

    I am learning this year, though, to take some time to spend with kids….instead of cooking, cleaning, etc…..They will be grown and gone before I know it!

    I refer to this time in my life as the MOM season of life….my house will NOT be clean, I will not get to do everything that I think needs to be done, my kids will someday understand why we can’t do it all,….it’s important time to be a mom.

    But I also remember that we don’t need to be any busier. It’s OK to miss some things in life. Mom needs rest and quiet too!

  6. When I was a little girl, my maternal grandmother used to say that sickness was one way that God used to get our attention when we needed to slow down and focus on Him. I will say that it’s true, that when we are sick, it does take things to a level of severe simplification, and leaves us with an inability to do most things besides talk to Him and listen to what He has to say to us.
    I got sick yesterday – fever, body aches, sore throat and headache. I have to work this weekend – gone 16 hours a day; and if I call in sick, I lose that income for our family – so I’m seriously hoping to be well enough to go to work. I am lessy achy today, but I also feel sick to my stomach, which is a new symptom. My family has gone to visit a family out of town and do some skiing with the long holiday weekend, so here I am alone with God, praying to get better enough to function at work this weekend, and praying for safety for my husband and girls. Thanks for checking in with us.

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