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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)