We all do whitespace differently. How do you enjoy spending time with God?
We have been talking about soul rest this month. The central place I retreat to receive this rest is interior, where I meet with Jesus.
To close out our series, I’d like to share a photo journal of my time in whitespace.
When I was single, whitespace happened weekly. I’d sit in front of the ocean, hike a trail or drive to the city to get lost exploring.
Now that I’m married with young children, whitespace takes up just one Saturday morning a month. I sip it like a rendezvous you’d dream for Paris. The memory lasts the entire month.
No laptop. Just a pen, journal, Bible and a camera. The goal is to simply be at rest mentally by unplugging from doing anything “productive” and spend time with God. I start super early before the rest of Saturday wakes up. And it’s very quiet.
Last weekend, it was raining, so I slipped into Starbuck’s. I’ve been enjoying their 40 year special blend Tribute. I read some Scripture and journaled some thoughts — in between bites of blueberry muffin. I carry ear plugs with me. So, it’s very quiet in my little corner of the cafe.
To pray, I get into my parked car for some privacy. The sprinkling of rain adds a soothing blanket of intimacy. I love looking up at the sky as I whisper my burdens and spill out tangled thoughts.
If it isn’t raining, I drive out to the mountains and go for a leisurely hike.
I don’t mind the cold. Fall and winter here in Norther California is actually the perfect time to be out because very few people are around. I get the place to myself.
Before I start, I turn to a passage of Scripture that’s been on my mind during the week. I read it in the car and say a prayer to warm up my spirit.
God. I’m all yours. I’m listening. I grab my backpack and step out.
I don’t study the Scriptures when I’m out doing whitespace . I use my weekdays to do that. I like to just take my soul out for walk and practice enjoying the moment with God, rather than trying to accomplish something out of my time with Him.
Depending on my mood, I might hike up to the end of the trail and take in the view.
Sometimes, I forget about the trail and get lost looking at nature up close, capturing it with my camera. I love seeing God take such care in details we don’t even notice. It reminds me when I feel weary, God is still meticulously at work nurturing something beautiful in my soul, just like He does in nature.
On days I’m figuring out a problem or facing a tough decision, I like to hike into the part of the trail where the Redwood trees stand. I find a place off the trail to sit down. I like feeling the earth around me. I open up my Bible and meditate on one verse. Then, I close my eyes and sit as quiet as I can, for as long as I can.
Regardless of an answer or not, I journal a prayer to God in that moment.
When I first practiced spending time in whitespace, I felt nervous, wondering why I didn’t “hear” anything. As I continued in my practice, I learned silence is God’s way of being in the moment with me.
The more time I spent in solitude and silence, the more I began to understand whitespace is about surrendering to God in the moment. It’s the good kind of surrender — like the way a woman allows a man to kiss her — or when a little girl dares to dive off a rock in the summer to splash into the wild water beneath her.
Whitespace is where I relearn to be a child again with my Abba Father, curious and transparent with what my heart wants, even if I can’t have it. Giving up control of what happens during whitespace leads me to a wonderful place to receive.
I have gained so much from doing “nothing” regularly with God, I see it carrying over to my social time with friends and strangers. I can be more comfortable with listening rather than talking, enjoying their company rather than trying to get my point across or wanting someone to know me.
I find that the more room I give to whitespace, the more generous I am with joy. I can fully be present with others more readily because everything that unsettled me has found a place in safety, spoken audibly with Jesus in private.
I have found this focus cultivates a rich soil, from which creativity, adventure and community can take root. I enjoy being productive, but the beauty of whitespace free my soul to do what’s in front of me, because I am free to be as I am, transparent with God and with others.
“I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places, so that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.” ~ Isaiah 45:3
How do you enjoy spending time with God in whitespace?
*Today’s post is the finale to March’s series — Whitespace: Restoring Rest. Check out our topic for today and next week’s new topic!
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
Faith Barista Jam Thursdays — I serve up a topic of faith, you write the post. Let’s encourage each other. Add your voice. Swap our stories.
Today’s Topic 3/31:
Share how you do “Whitespace” — How do you spend time with God and experience spiritual rest?
Share your post by clicking on the blue button below “Add Your Link” or just comment directly.
Next Thursday’s Topic 4/7:
Share how you experience JOY?
Approach it any way you feel inspired! Only required ingredient: keep it real. Thanks for serving your personal brews!
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