Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Visiting Myself


"Once in a while you have to take a break
and visit yourself ." - Audrey Giorgi

When I first saw this quote I thought that visiting myself implies I went somewhere. Where did I go? Would I return? And then I thought maybe that visiting myself would be like visiting someone after a long absence like visiting my Grandma or an old friend.

As a mother of young children, this would have been a good reminder. I was always very busy with MOPS, BSF, writing Bible Studies and driving my kids to school and to various activities and I never had a lot of "down time," time for "visiting" myself. Now, as a mom of older kids, they don't need me as much, they have their own things to do and so I'm left to do other things. But now, I'm busy with my blogs and my Blogging Chicks blogroll, helping women with their templates, Bible study (writing them), seminary and housework (occasionally :-), that I don't have time to visit myself. Life is so short, why slow down when there is so much to do and so little time to do it in?

But I can see the wisdom in the quote because in all the busyness of my day, I lose myself and just do the next task put in front of me. I have to stop and ask myself sometimes, why am I doing this? Why not take a break and read, why not take a break and go to the movies? But then these things become just one more thing to do. Why not just sit and visit and remember who I am? Ok, I’m not going to get all existential on ya, I promise but sometimes I am not even thinking about me, I’m thinking about doing. I’ve become a doing machine and it wasn’t until I started to think about this quote that I realized it. Maybe now would be a good time to visit with myself and catch up on old times, remembering the good old days, remembering the fun and laughter, tears and disappointments.

Maybe as I visit I can think about how far I’ve come from those days, how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve changed. How God came into my life and turned it upside down and made me rethink my goals, my priorities, the very essence of who I am and what I’m here for, all of that changed and looking back on my life I’m shocked by how different I am now.

I guess visiting myself now means visiting with God. Thinking of me leads me to thinking of Him. I’m reminded of Calvin’s words:
For what man is not disposed to rest in himself? Who, in fact, does not thus rest, so long as he is unknown to himself; that is, so long as he is contented with his own endowments, and unconscious or unmindful of his misery? Every person, therefore, on coming to the knowledge of himself, is not only urged to seek God, but is also led as by the hand to find him.
As I sit here visiting with myself, visiting with God, I keep thinking of this verse:
Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"
It brings peace to my heart, a calmness. A desire to sit for a spell and watch the world go by while I contemplate the infinite, while I sit and realize that I know God. That He has made Himself known to me. Wow, that’s truly amazing and cause for wonder and really something to think about…. How about pulling up a chair and joining me?

8 Comments:

  1. Mike Y said...
    Michele,

    Great thought. I often tell my wife that I actually need a vacation from being me.

    When I'm on my bike, it's one of the best times for me to meditate on God's word and the works he's done. This is usually a great time of reflection and prayer for me as my rides can last several hours.

    However, my normal day can get quite intense. And this typically occurs day in and day out. As an evangelist of both God's word and technology, I find myself typically very serious as I make reasoned and passionate arguments on both subject matters. And at times it makes me not a lot of fun to be around-- not because of grouchiness, but because of the constant seriousness.

    Anyway, today is one of those little vacations from myself. Taking the wife and sister-in-law out is one of those things I really look forward to. It helps me for numerous reasons, including relaxing. But it also helps me to look at things from their perspective. Of course they have come up with little rules, which I abide by so as to avoid cramping their day.

    While some may think this is insane, I find it makes me gentler, more patient and more compassionate towards those I come into contact with.

    -Mike
    michele said...
    Thanks Mike! I'm spending the day doing something I haven't had time for recently, socializing. Out for lunch and dinner with friends. And out in the sunshine, as well! Oh, no! Will I survive?
    Mike Y said...
    Should be fun!
    Loni said...
    I love how you related to this. Life as a mom certainly can be busy and make us be so repetitive that we forget many of our purposes for being here. I enjoyed both writing for this and reading the wonderful thoughts on this too. :)
    michele said...
    Thanks Loni! I enjoyed doing it as well. It was a good exercise.
    Sissy B. said...
    I am so glad you are participating in this...otherwise I would never have found your blog out here in the vast expanse of the blogosphere!! I can relate to your post on soooo many levels. My daughter turned eleven in March and it has set me on a path of discovery...no longer am I wrapped up 24/7 in her life. Now it is only when she needs/wants me to be. Now there is time to explore other possiblities....Your quotes and scripture references were very inspiring. I will be back :)
    michele said...
    Thank you! I hope you do return. There is a lot more freedom for women who have older kids.
    Robin said...
    Hey Michele~Honestly, even with your kids the ages they are, I don't see how you find the time to do all you do. I sooo appreciate your generosity in helping your sis-tahs in the blogosphere.

    I can remember my just-out-of-college years, prior to marriage. It was then that I learned to enjoy my own company. As a very social, relational woman, "alone" wasn't in my vocabulary. But slowly, I LEARNED how to "just be", for me it wasn't quite natural. Solitude is quite different from being alone, I guess it's a matter of perspective. Oh, yeah, and focus. I used to think tons of self-examination was good, helped you deal with your "stuff". I guess to some degree I see its merit, but I eventually discovered that too much becomes idolatrous, a kind of worship of self.

    Last night, as I struggled through a bout of insomnia, I had an epiphany (lol), the kind you have at 3 in the morning. I was thinking about the omnipresence of God; this, following a time of prayer and intercession for others, and my comfort in knowing I was praying to a God who was wide awake, who heard me. You know what hit me? That His ever presence is possible through His spirit indwelling me, incarnating Himself in me. Perhaps this is a thought you've considered long before now, but somehow, it hit me as a new thought (and I'm probably doing a miserable job of expressing myself now...remember, I'm on about four hours sleep ;) ).

    Anyway...ANYWAY...in those times alone with God, as I savor His presence, I am thankful that He always impresses upon me to stop striving, and simply KNOW Him, love Him. And that, is enough.

    Wow, your post has me on a roll. I'm on the road again (to care for my dad a few days), but this time I'll have computer access. Hope to get something to you on the BC Dream theme.

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