Slow Down

When was the last time you actually took the time?

Time to simply slow down, enjoy the day

Time to allow your inner child to come out and play

Time to be idle; observe the cycle of nature

Time to witness the miracles of our Maker

God has been returning me to my roots. It began through a reconnection with my first BFF: my childhood friend and neighbor. Resurrected memories burst forth of so much life, play, simplicity, wonder. I realized how much of my life had been spent in the woods. I longed for the simple, quiet, rhythms of life.

God had this in mind and paved the path for this process. It began with a stay at Sts. Peter & Paul Retreat Center. The weather could not have been more perfect. A simple walk in the woods burst forth reminders everywhere:

This is where I began. This was my escape to never-never land.

The woods: my childhood playhouse with endless wonder and possibilities! Oh how I had missed: The Woods!

I was in awe of how God had clothed a fallen log with beautiful ruffles upon ruffles, and was reminded of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:

Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? …If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you?

Just a rotting tree covered with fungus…yet, so beautiful!

Ruffled wood 2014 CStiverson

The smells alone were life itself. Breathing in, breathing out with my surroundings, my appetite was insatiable. I wanted more, but I wondered: how does one who lives in the city have time and opportunity?

The very next day, my prayer partner made a date. Two days later, we met for lunch, prayer, and a walk…in the woods! How amazing: an answered prayer! We hiked through trails and paths for 3-4 hours. We sat in the grass in a small clearing as children. Surrounded by trees, grasses towering above our heads, and endless wildflowers, we talked and prayed to the God who had created it all. An unexplainable oneness. Another most perfect of days.

Butterfly Feast 2014CStiverson

Ten days later, I drove to the mountains of North Carolina for time with my BFF Kim Dent. In a cottage…in the mountains…in the woods. The driveway was barely visible; a path through an alcove of overgrown pines. What a glorious five days!

Peace and serenity were the passwords. Sleep came so naturally. Joy accompanied us as a friend. Sabbath was the result.

The roads were more like driveways to homes of the adventurous. A hike up the mountain and I became an explorer. The evolution of the oak tree: sprouting it’s root from an acorn, popping the tiny helmet that attached it to it’s mother tree, now nestled among leaves of neighboring trees. Evolution of the Oak Tree 2014CStiverson

A walk along the river introduced us to a hungry caterpillar, inching her way up a tiny stick through a hole in a leaf.  She stretched as far as she could reach. Then she stopped. She was munching her way to becoming a butterfly, as she dangled from that treacherous spot.

Perhaps that’s the advice of nature. Follow a whim. Go out on a limb. Slow down. Let the metamorphosis begin!

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. (Matthew 11)

The Hungry Caterpillar 2014Stiverson

 

By | 2016-12-15T15:38:09+00:00 October 16th, 2014|Life Lessons, Notes from the Nook, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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