There and Back Again ~ A Quigley Journey

After 28 days of travel, 7,312 miles,  43 state license plates, 237 punch-buggy sightings and 14 different sleeping locations, we are home again and settling in.

I left you all with the last post of Practicing Grace and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

It’s crazy stuff packing for a 28 day journey.  We were filling holes for our ministry;  lining-up house-sitters, dog-sitters and plant water-ers.  Yet on August 4th, with our minivan loaded with suitcases, bags, blankets and family, we headed out and left all the busyness of life behind.

girls at petrified forest

For 28 days, we had no real agenda, no schedule and no calendar.  I didn’t keep track of time by minutes, hours or days but rather by pages read, rows knitted, pools and lakes jumped into and meals shared with people we love.

There were many days I would write and others days when the pen laid quiet.

Looking back through my journal, this was one day’s account:

In our world of keeping time and appointments, it’s strange to be held by neither.  I have no real urgent place to be or task to be completed.  I’m just alone with my thoughts and my pen in hand.  It’s not often I allow myself time to be this way…nothing on the agenda.  It’s strange and eerie but I hear His quiet whisper of encouragement.  “Breathe slow and deep.  Breathe in the moments of solitude.  Moments hidden away to simply be quiet and still.”

I’ve learned something over these days of quiet.

I don’t have to live busy, haggard, and worn-out. 

Many things on my agenda are there by my own doing, my own choosing — saying “yes” to people, events, agenda’s and demands.

I actually didn’t realize how tired I was until 3 weeks into this journey and my mind was finally resting.  I wasn’t loaded down with to-do’s but instead I was paying attention to the people and moments right there in front of me.

I was learning to breathe slow and deep.

running children

These 28 days of rest have slowed me down.  I’m slowing my tempo and slowing my life.  I’m re-evaluating agenda’s, demands and to-do’s so I can hear the whisper of life happening all around me.  I’m learning to slow down, breathe deep and listen.  I’m learning to take time out to run with those God has placed right here in my life all around me.

group hug

I’m now home with demands of days biting at my heels, and to-do’s wanting attention yet I’m learning to slow my life and quiet the noise around me.  I’m trying to listen well to what is important and life-giving.

Now for one who loves checking off lists and tearing up the task list, this is going to take some discipline and strategy.  It’s not going to be easy and I’m not going to be perfect but it’s this practice of listening for the whisper I’m wanting to keep.

sunset

I’m heading out a new journey —  a journey of listening.  I’m not sure where He will lead or where this will take me but my ears are open and my heart is still.

It’s good to be back.  I’ve missed this space and all of you!

(More stories and pics from this Quigley journey will follow soon!)

12 thoughts on “There and Back Again ~ A Quigley Journey

  1. Rachel, I missed you and the family also. It is funny to look at things from another perspective. I moved here from NYC in 2009 and I thought life here was so much slower, even when I have had a busy schedule. It seems different, less hurried, more quiet. When I read this post it made me think of how different things seem through others eyes. Once I moved here I found the peace and quiet just in living life here, seeing this through your eyes makes me realize even more how we are all so very different yet equally loved by Him and given His grace to follow the path He chooses. I will never forget the first book I read in Sunday School at Asbury Church because I lived it, “If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve to Get out of the Boat,” by John Ortberg. I am so glad I did and ended up part of the Asbury family.

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  2. It was good to have you and the family stop for a visit on your way home. I can relate to what you are saying about slowing down and regrouping. I sure have had to change my routine since this back surgery and I too am going to have to learn to say NO more often. Love you all.

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    • Yes! This times was a true gift from an amazing church. I didn’t know in the beginning if we would be able to pull off being away that long from the church but 2 years ago we did a big trip of 20 days which was refreshing also. The church handled it well for us to be away that long before and this time it was another great blessing!

      As you know, as ministers, we pour continually into others lives without always getting the refreshing we need and a time away. I wish more ministers were able to get away and be refreshed. It truly is a blessing and a life sustainer!

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