There are places you go when you need to feel right with yourself again.
Sometimes, I drive to my favorite coffee shop, order my coffee black with a shot of hazelnut. I’d brush away the crumbs leftover from the last occupant at the table next to the window, plug in my laptop, and let my thoughts flow out into the keys.
Then, there are other times, when even the cafe is too crowded for over-packed thoughts. I like to go where it chills. I escape to the mountains that make shadows, walk where the ground crunches and the bottom of my jeans get damp from stepping through the grass.
I go to my favorite outdoor retreat. Just a short drive, with the road rolling beneath me, I’m already halfway there, zoning out.
It is there, from the time I step out of the car, I anticipate. I expect to find and return to an internal Eden.
When you think of the Garden of Eden, what do you see?
Quick. Tell me.
For me, the Garden of Eden is where everything is as it should be. Where I am free to be, as I was originally designed.
I see myself smiling, laughing, free to eat whatever is around me. I am focused on everything God has placed within my reach. There is companionship and good company.
This past month, as I’m sifting through my thoughts on what God might have me focus on, He has impressed Eden on my heart.
Eden floated into my thoughts, as I walked through a favorite hike a few weeks ago, during my New Year whitespace.
I did a brain dump with God, unloading anything and everything collected from the previous year. I realized the wide set of wishes and desires collided with a finite amount of time and energy. There was no way I’d be able to pursue everything I wanted, and still have enough space to veg and feel the air breathe.
How was I going to figure out how much to give?
Return To Eden
Walking through nature’s garden, I knew the answer.
I will choose whatever, and as much of it, that will help me return to Eden — where I am, as God had made me to be.
Before the fall of insecurities… I will attempt new beginnings, confident as one favored by God.
Before the fear entered… I am charting a new course, trusting the results are the You-ordained.
Before the distance separated… I choose people over productivity, whenever I meet that fork of two choices.
I breathe in Eden.
Walking through January bareness, I visibly see the things I want to guide me on my journey this year: beauty, quiet, and rest in tranquility.
I want these more than my dreams.
With aspirations hanging in mid-air and the pace of life, ready to speed up like a fast action camera, we can retreat to God’s Kingdom, within the garden of our souls.
The world we live in wants to fool us into the curse of not-enough.
But, we have a Voice of One who designed us. And we have the power to make the choice to journey to Eden — or not — today.
Our lives will never be truly perfect this side of heaven. But, God has created a piece of Eden — which in Hebrew, means “pleasure” — in each of us.
Like a homing device, the echos of beauty and belonging point our feet to return to Him. Each time we believe this and allow Him to change us, we experience heaven.
What does Eden mean to you?
What does heaven-in-you spell for you today?
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Bonnie – You have such a way of deeply inspiring the reader. This makes me think of my trips alone to the Adirondack Mountains, where I retreat each year alone for a few days. It’s a very special time for me, where I enjoy that feeling of beauty, tranquility and authenticity. To capture that Eden every day is a challenge, but I understand the tension you speak of – the tension between achieving and just being. I don’t think it ever goes away completely. But you have made a good choice – To find enough in our being through God’s grace. For me it is found through daily meditation and reading (thanks for that new Mosaic Bible!!) – a few moments of quiet before the day starts. I also have a prayer that I say throughout the day at work, a prayer of surrender.
Thanks for sharing your journey.
Eden everyday – prayer of surrender. We often think of surrender as anything, but that. The process is anti-intuitive, but it is so worth it.
What a timely post for me! Thank you so much for putting words to things which mostly have wings. This is a time in my life, after about 3 years of extreme stress, grief, and loss, when I am embarking on a journey of recuperation, physically, and mostly, for my soul. Last night, my husband gave me the gift of time. I am to take weeks or months, or maybe even a year, to slow down, to allow God to mend my soul, to breathe… to not get caught up in the insanity of today’s fast-paced life. I am just starting this journey, and your post was the perfect, PERFECT way to begin my reconnection. THANK YOU!
Stacey! Go hug that husband of your RIGHT NOW! Blessings and may everything you hope for and more be there in your soul rest.
Eden for me is: a place of ‘rest’ from the business of this world.
Sometimes a location, a stealing away from the choas where I can bring my thoughts and heart back to Christ and His infinte goodness/ love for me.
Sometimes it’s just the Christ-bent thoughts that invade my mind through the hours of my life.
Heaven for me would be a day in which I lived every second between the opening and closing of my eyes in the inheritance Christ has won for me. Let me tell ya…. i’m certainly trying because life lived less than that inheritance is …. defeated. No thank you! That is not the life for me.
Great post today!
It’s in the “trying”, that we are really living. Rest from business is resting in the relationship you share here so beautifully.
Eden for me starts with place, always outdoors by water, and completes when I feel like the best beloved.
Refreshing to be close to waters .. and being beloved.
Eden is . . . a place of and for and with soul.
(I’ve just listened to a talk about the soul. I’m going to introduce that talk next week on my blog.)
I’ll stop by to check it out.
Beauty pierces the heart deeper than words. It’s a kind of light, a true voice. Even in acute pain, we turn towards it — involuntarily, like a heart beat, like a breath.
We are made for it. We will long for it. We will ache for it. We cannot help ourselves.
Nothing destroys our craving for it. Like the sun set in the sky, rising and falling, our souls reach for the heaven, the Eden, for which we were designed.
Cassandra, this is beautiful.
“Beauty pierces the heart deeper than words. It’s a kind of light, a true voice. Even in acute pain, we turn towards it — involuntarily, like a heart beat, like a breath.”
Beauty and pain — it’s true.
I believe you’re right! There is a place where I am completely restored to the original vision and purpose that God created me for before it was all marred by sin. It’s in my God. He’s spiritual Eden and He’s everything I need. Thanks Bonnie.
I can tell you are familiar with Eden. That is a blessing that will flow to others your life blesses.
A lot of times my view of Eden is me alone somewhere in nature, just me and God. But I’ve just come to realize, Adam and Eve were together in Eden. They experienced perfect communion with God and each other. I know I forget about the interpersonal relationships when I think of Eden, but it was not good for man to be alone. Thanks for the thought provoking post Bonnie!
Communion in relationship is a wonderful rest. Paradise.
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I love the Eden analogy. I’ve been trying to breathe deeper in my own open spaces this week. Your post helps. Thank you.
I love your post on open spaces, Lisa. Wonderful.
I’m amazed at your writing. It’s so beautiful! I think returning to Eden for me is to totally yield myself to the Lord. Not my desires but His desires. Allowing Him to have His way in me. I struggle too much with control. But those moments when I relinquish my rights and give Him access to all of me, I feel like that’s Eden.
Thank you for the opportunity to consider that question about Eden. It was good for me to consider.
You have a way of sharing that return through your words.
I just discovered your blog. This is beautiful, Bonnie. I will keep coming back for more.
Hi Helen… all the way from Hong Kong! Blessings!
I’m new to your blog, but I’m already in the habbit of checking it everyday. 🙂
“Finding Your Eden”, What a concept. I am very much that way- on stressful, bad, or just weird days I have to go to my “Eden”. Like you I LOVE coffee shops and the outdoors. I connect to the Father the best when I’m with His creation, normally with a coffee in my hand.
Thanks for your post. It was what I needed.
Thanks for checking in! It’s a blessing to share some cyberspace together with other faith baristas. It sounds like we have a similar way of reconnecting and unplugging, to remember Eden, with the scent of coffee fresh. 😉
For me, Eden is spending time in the presence of the Lord. It can be in the middle of a crowded room with noise clamoring all around me or in the quiet of our family room early in the morning. The place is not important to me, but rather, it’s about being with the One who loves me and who is my best friend.
This would a wonderful practice I hope to grow in more and more – engaging with God’s presence even amidst noise.
I shouldn’t be surprised. After all, we have the same Father.
I’ve been brewing a blog about this: “Chores are done. Kids are hugged, kissed, read to, prayed with and tucked in. Gentle breeze on back porch sings a lullaby in the painted sky. God arrives to take a walk in the cool of the day. He still loves to do that you know. He redeemed us from the curse so we could return to Eden.”
Well, now I’ll have to think of something else.:-)
Doug! Your faith brew on Eden tastes great — Finish pouring it on your blog post… 🙂