You know, something very deep inside happens when we take time to feed our souls. To do the things we really long to enjoy, that gives us a sense of rest. To have some space to just be still. And get in touch with the child in each of us.
That child in each of us carries stories, thoughts, needs and feelings even though we have everyday responsibilities in our world as moms, working women, wife, daughter and friend. Sometimes those stories come alive as we take a walk, sit with a soulful book, sing, paint, journal, take a bath — or they come alive when we bake, craft, work with our hands in the garden, or hold a warm cup of tea.
It’s the first step of soul intimacy in any relationship —
giving yourself permission to open your soft — desire-laden — rest-craving self to the other person.
Show up in a pocket of quiet.
The first step of intimacy begins by making choices — to make room for you.
So, God can come meet with you.
Rather than thinking of how you can meet with God — show up — vulnerable and bare — caught in the act of enjoying something that feeds your soul.
Then, listen for God’s gentle whispers as He joins you —
I want to be here.
Do you remember a first intimate moment with someone you liked — who became someone you loved?
Those soul-shaping moments happened because you let that person into your world. Maybe hand in hand strolling? Were you laughing yourself silly, enjoying something yummy in a new restaurant?
Or were you sitting across each other at a cafe, as you shared a vignette of a story that you never told anyone before. And maybe he shared one with you too?
All of a sudden, that pregnant moment birthed a new world that made you breathe differently. Move differently. Even your shoulders seemed to exhale. You spoke softer. You laughed. Maybe you even cried.
You stepped outside of being functional and stepped into being simply you.
You became known.
You became loved.
Take the time to remember what once fed your soul.
Take the time to be inconvenienced — so you can rest and show up…in whitespace.
This desire for soul intimacy might seem to complicate your life. You’ll have to make changes.
But, the beautiful simple, truth is this: you were made to be life fully alive. Vibrant. Refreshed.
God’s given you a heart that appreciates the smallest of things that give you the deepest sense of rightness about yourself.
Do you have one of those small moments of rest that refreshes you so deeply?
Share your whitespace story. Share your journey.
I wrote Finding Spiritual Whitespace with the passionate hope you’ll be inspired to make room in your life for you. Your story. For rest.
Thank you for sharing how this book has been speaking to you and inspiring you to create whitespace — by linking up in our weekly blog link up: Whitespace Thursdays. Your blog posts are soul beautiful. I can’t keep them to myself.
Today, I’m spotlighting a #SpiritualWhitespace Story from fellow kindred Janine Crum.
I’m sharing Janine’s Whitespace Story below. But first, she has a special gift for us.
Janine created a beautiful Whitespace-inspired watercolor print to inspire the journey of rest. She’s gifting it to us as a FREE PRINTABLE.
Click on the image below to download this Whitespace Printable.
Enjoy it — frame it, put it up on your fridge or at your desk — to remind you the first step to intimacy with God is rest.
May this Whitespace Printable be a soul prompt for you to find rest for your soul.
FREE WHITESPACE PRINTABLE
Find Rest For Your Soul by Janine Crum
I didn’t know I needed it – I honestly didn’t even know what it was.
When I heard Bonnie tell her story one Sunday morning at church, I was moved to tears. She stood there raw, crying — trying to choke out the words on the page in her hand.
Oh, how I’ve been there! I did the same thing a couple of years ago. Standing in front of a room full of people telling my story. A story I carried with me that needed to be released, shared, exposed to light.
After the service was over and the room started to clear out, I found Bonnie. I had to cry with her. I had to tell her that I “get it”. Although our stories weren’t exactly the same, I too had carried a heavy load and I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone — she was brave and courageous for sharing.
I was brave and courageous.
Or so I thought.
It Was Time
When Bonnie finished writing her book, I was excited for her — a dream come true! I stood with her one evening, right before the cover art for her book had been finalized, and listened to her share the journey the writing of this book led her on.
It kept coming up.
As an artist, I knew I should get it. I sort of did. I have an understanding of the importance of “negative space” in a piece of art. A painting, a photograph, a design layout. The space that allows your eye to rest so you can focus on the subject matter of the piece. The area that the artist feels is most important.
But, what did that have to do with me — as a person?
As she continued to speak, I heard the excitement rise up in her voice and saw an undeniable sparkle in her eye. I needed to find out. I needed to know what was written in those pages — the pages that she had pored over for three years so she could share her story.
I needed to know what this whitespace was.
I opened up her book and began to read:
“Spiritual whitespace makes room — room in our hearts for a deeper, more intimate relationship with God, room in our lives for rest, room in our souls for rejuvenation.
This hunger for beauty, for space for the soul to breathe, resides within each of us.
My story is really every woman’s story. Because every woman has felt burned out and tired. Every woman longs to dream, to feed her soul and rest.
Everyone longs to move beyond coping and surviving.
Yet we often put ourselves to the side, numbing the stillness by doing rather than by becoming vulnerable and real.” (pg. 21)
And that’s when I realized I was not brave and courageous like I thought I had been.
Yes, I had shared my story to that room full of people years ago, but, simply put, I was numb – busying myself so I didn’t have to think about the past anymore.
I thought I had brought everything to the light. What more could there be?
I was beginning to realize it was time for me to move beyond numbness by making room. Room for spiritual whitespace.
“When we make room for spiritual whitespace, we step into the beautiful journey of letting go to discover what’s really worth holding onto.” (pg. 21-22)
It was time for me to begin my journey of letting go. It was time to become vulnerable and real.
How can you nurture soul intimacy?
Pull up a chair. Click to comment. Let’s enjoy a quiet conversation here.
Last Day To Enter & Win a Custom Watercolor Painting of Your Home
How would you like a custom watercolor painting of your home? Click to enter the Janine Crum Home Portrait Giveaway (Wednesday 7/30/14 midnight is the deadline).