Sometimes I wish vacation was just around the corner.
There is something special that happens when you know vacation is coming. As you go about your day, you breathe deeper.
You know you can make it.
Rest is coming.
Vacations are great, but honestly, they are few and far between.
What are we left to do in the mean time?
Sometimes, the everyday demands of life can leave a fray on our souls. Add on top of that, the stress of a less than perfect job, relationship, health — or an extended period of waiting — and our souls can easily start to grow calloused.
It’s like a natural defense mechanism kicks in. We don’t want to feel so much. We turn to “auto-pilot” mode. We unconsciously move into a survival mentality and focus on the tasks at hand.
We become invisible, even though we go through the motions.
Our souls were never designed to merely live functional lives.
God’s original habitat for us — from the very beginning — included three gifts:
a garden (beauty)
1-1 friendship with Him (intimacy)
The Garden of Eden was perfect because it afforded an uninterrupted time away from life-draining work.
We may not have a physical Eden any more.
But, God has provided a better way: a true escape within us. Himself.
We often feel guilty for not drawing close to God enough, but the truth is this: God can find us even in the most desolate places.
Sarah’s mistress Hagar could not see a way out of her miserable situation.
She ran to the desert.
It was there that the Lord spoke to her.
“You are the God who sees me,”
for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”
~ Genesis 16:7-14
God is the living One who sees me.
This is how Hagar found the strength to return to less than favorable living arrangement.
I don’t know if you’re in the desert starting this week off. I’m not saying your life has to be full of troubles or hardship.
The soul’s desert places exist within.
When our souls long for escape — from someone or something — we have an answer.
It isn’t guilt.
It isn’t try harder.
The answer is The God who sees me.
Wherever you find yourself this week, you are never so far that He cannot find you.
God will speak.
Which of the three Eden gifts are you hungering to escape to find —
– a garden (beauty)?
– relationship (community)?
– 1-1 friendship with Him (intimacy)?
Pull up a chair. I love company and enjoy hearing your thoughts. Click to share a comment.
** Don’t miss! ** If you are new to Faith Barista, I’d like to invite you to join me on my journey this month — 31 Days to Feed Your Soul. Click to subscribe by email and get each post in this series served up hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.
Photo courtesy of aimansewell via Photobucket.
To catch up and read all the posts in this series —
I crave to find more beauty in my every day life, improving my relationships in an effort to embrace that concept of community, and always praying for a more intimate relationship with God. But I think if you have an intimate relation with God, everything else will fall into place.
Wise words, Maria. 😉 What a fitting name for your blog.
“You are the God who sees me.”
He did……and He does. He proved His point on this very line just two days ago. And I love Him for showing up for me, even in the midst of my swirling doubts and lack of faith. He is incredibly generous and unspeakably patient. I deserve death and instead He offers LIFE. And it causes me to reach towards Him and long to trust Him with all of me…..
Julie, that makes me so happy to hear! I know it’s been rough for you, friend!
I crave the 1-1 relationship with Jesus. I feel like I am always so busy and then when I actually have time to rest, I do something mind-numbing instead of giving it all over to Jesus. I carry so much guilt for not doing more or being more.
Teresa, Jesus is with you, even as you do that mind-numbing thing. Breathe as you decompress and whisper His name. True resting is letting go of guilt, trusting He understands and loves you AS IS.
I never heard it quite put this way before. This is a great thought about the three gifts. love it. I think I crave most is to grow in community. I withdraw too easily ( writers can do that) and need to work on developing my relationship better with others. Thanks for helping me verbalize that. Great post
Yes, us writers can easily pull down the curtains and just read, write and sleep. 🙂 LOL.
I agree! I will remember the 3 gifts and will share it. Lovely. 😉
Thanks Bonnie, for the challenge!!
For me…(I posted my blog here, for some reason my link is not working…)
OH – a GARDEN – literally – not “just beauty”.
Two things that draw me into intimacy with God…
1. WATER (i.e.: ocean, lake, river, creek, rain, fountain, bathtub..)
2. GARDEN (i.e.: rich dark dirt, laden with worms, flowers, trees, privacy, or anything in the process of…)
I KNOW where the water is, and where it’s not. My local sources are the Ohio River, the pond at Audubon State Park, the fountain in my back yard (soon to be drained because of freezing temperatures), and my bathtub. I grew up near, and LOVE the Pacific Ocean, and I know where it resides – but it’s reserved for very special days. My hubby treated me to a few days on the Gulf Coast last winter – a real splurge, and God has gone over and above all my expectations when a service trip scheduled to serve and assist our Global Workers in North Africa recently disclosed that (gasp) we’ll be staying on the Mediterranean! CRAZY!! Again, a time that I thought that I was going to bless others will end up blessing and filling me!! Gosh, I love how He works that out!!
And then there’s the GARDEN. My back yard is full of …nothing. Soil – well, if you want to call it that….it’s really tricky that way. It looks like clay, but when it gets wet, it becomes quicksand! SERIOUSLY!! I’ve had my foot stuck in it, and it sucked my shoe right off my foot!! Grass (that my Jack Russell Terrier, Abbey the Wonderdog, loves to dig in), which also hides the puddles – because, much to our dismay, the neighborhoods’ water runs down the hill into our backyard, and across the back of it – it is worn down like a riverbed, and across the side fence – where the gate is, of course – and it becomes a small lake. Not the kind of lake that acts as a water feature and soothes the spirit. sigh.
When we bought the house we saw the floor plan we loved, and a backyard full of opportunities. We thought of the qualifiers, “You can’t change the footprint of the house or the neighborhood”, and failed to see that all the neighbors in back of us can see directly into our yard (they sit uphill from us), and that the few things growing were dangerous or prolific – as in they take over the growing spaces and hold them hostage. We’re making baby steps, as I dutifully pull out the wild things, donate them to others with bare-er yards than I, and Dear Hubby tears out the shrubs that are placed in weird places, as if they were a security system, blocking windows and doors.
at least our canoe is not there any more! 🙂
Slowly, but surely, my vision for a private garden draws me in. I’m learning the nuances of the sun cycles and what likes to grow where….like the hostas along the house REALLY don’t like to grow there in late summer, when heat is at it’s peak and everything else overtakes them, but the newly planted redbud tree loves it’s new location where I imagine I’ll be able to watch its changes in season and monitor the birds as they build nests in it’s branches in spring. The arbor vitae along the back fence is taking root, now topping the fence by height, and although we couldn’t convince the building dept. to allow a permit for us to put up a storage shed in one corner (water run off and under the power line), we plan to landscape in more trees, and turn the water ditch into a dry bed…mimicking a creek with our occasional heavy rains. We don’t have a plan settled on for the side run off, but we continue to pray and study it each time we get stuck in the mud.
one ugly yard! this will be a dry bed someday!
Notice the lack of privacy
morning glories on the fence
OH, and the flowers are growing!! The iris I planted when we first moved in (in the wrong season, and the wrong places I found out later), are getting moved this fall (right time AND to the right places). We continue to clean out areas of ugly shrubs, and plant much appreciated grass (that hubby loves to not have to mow around!). We’ll keep enough flat yard space to allow a swingset or play area, but I’m looking forward to the day that I walk out the back door and see nothing but flowers. AH. I can imagine it in my mind’s eye. Quiet times with God on the back patio, coffee in hand, morning glories going crazy (already growing from a friend’s shared seeds on an impromptu fence we put up), water running through the jar fountain that runs there, wind chimes from the neighbor’s house…
I hope that it turns into another place to practice hospitality…guys enjoying the sights as we BBQ…kids chasing butterflies that come to visit, all of us enjoying God’s creation within the confines of our yard.
Yes, I seek the garden….
Thanks for sharing it here, Marina!
I long for more intimacy with God- to know “the God who sees me” 🙂 Hagar has become a friend recently, in that I’m struck by her, except I feel like I”m missing something important in her story. It’s a God-thing that you have used her incounter with God in today’s post. *hugs*
Wow, thanks for letting me know, Jennifer!
Craving Community…. and intimacy with Jesus!!
God continues to break my walls around me that I put up and helps me find community with some prodding. I am learning to trust God and others.
He did that again this past week.
Yay, Katie! 🙂
Community and more intimacy. Both are increasing in my life and I feel the difference that it makes. The funny thing is ( and I believe God designed it this way) that the more I have of these the more I desire them. It’s a beautiful place to be, and I’m getting there.
I am blessed to be just under two weeks away from an escape to the beach with my husband and kids. The ocean is my Eden here on earth. It is where His creation speaks of His love loudest to me… I can’t wait!
Thank you for your encouraging words, Bonnie!
Enjoy, drink in, savor… and fill up, friend. What a wonderful treat God has waiting for you and your family! May you continue to pour out lifegiving words on your wonderful blog, Jenny!
I am craving the 1 on 1 time…My mind is so busy that I find it do hard to be able to quiet my mind enough to be able to focus on prayer. I end up giving up because it is so frustrating to try and quiet my thoughts going a million miles a minute. My latest efforts have been to try and quiet for 5 mins, just let my thougths run their course as I try and focus on my breath…then work on actual prayer. Thanks for the reminder that God is not far away and I can find Him anywhere!
Becca, it’s beautiful to hear you are giving those 5 minutes because you’re giving your heart.
This reminds me of Psalm 139! He knows when I wake, he knows when I sleep, where I go and when I stay.
I crave a garden and I crave intimacy. Together. I love to get out in God’s creation and just absorb all thats around me. The sounds, the smells, the sights!
We have a song we are going to sing soon in our choir. I don’t know the name of it or all the words but the best part is “God will meet you there”…….YES He will!
I love how those songs linger in our minds. Thanks for sharing it with us here, Lisa!
Thank you for sharing the part about how our soul can feel like it is in the desert, even without a bunch of hardships. I am struggling to find peace today, and to breathe normally, yet there is a multitude of awesome things happening. I leave in 3 days to work with a team alongside a missionary in Thailand who will be opening the doors to share with Burmese refuges and a couple of restoration homes for girls rescued from Sex Trafficking and also the chance to meet and encourage the local Pastors wives. Yet, today…I am struggling to calm my pulse and trust in Him. I know He is with me. I know He will find me. Thank you for the verse! He sees me.
Any time I think about calling someone or something I need to tell someone, I make sure I have had a talk or consulted with Him. When I get a little attitude (bad one) about not hearing from my supposedly (whatever he is), I think about how God longs to hear from me and to spend time with me. It’s easy to forget how available He is. (for me it is) I want that. I want that Enoch type of relationship. I want to walk with Him and fellowship closely …. I mean, what’s stopping me.
I’m in the desert this week.
I’m trying to take the higher road and the climb has become quite arduous.
Praying for you friend!
I want to share this with you. I was dropping my granddaughter off at school this morning. As I waited behind a line of cars with parents dropping off their kids, I looked up at the sky and thought “I’m looking into the universe. I’m sitting on top of a planet, looking into the vastness of space.” Then this thought came to me. “The sun is so powerful it changes the color of the universe around our planetto blue, which is not its natural color.” (Yes, I know it is the sun’s light reacting with our atmosphere.) But as I was looking up at the sky my perspective changed. When I got home to write it in my journal, these words came to me: “The Son is so powerful He can change the color of my universe.” I need to look UP more often.
I am so thankful that “He is the God who sees me”. I crave intimacy with God. Even as I write about “abiding”, I am finding that most days it’s alot of work to get there. The demands on my time are sometimes overwhelming. But I think I make meeting with Him too hard. Something else I crave is this beauty, that I know I will finally be able to see when I spend more time with Him.
My heart longs for community…true community…within the church. It is so hard to find, and I am having a trying time understanding why this is so. With so many Christians and churches in the area I live…sincerely, what does it take for finding true community within the church?
My heart is very ailed over this, as I shared a couple of days ago here…and it is only compounded by the ailing my heart is feeling today due to my very own parents forsaking me months ago, and continuing to let me know that they are today through one worded emails that are so sterile and lacking emotion. My hearts deep desire to just be cherished within the embrace of others who declare they love in community. We weren’t created to be hermits and just rely on our husbands and children for support and love. Yes, lean into God at all times…for His embrace is above all others…but He created us to feel embraced. To be touched in a physical hug as well as an emotional and spiritual one. That is what community is supposed to be there for…and it hurts when I can barely even feel their embrace. I just deeply desire to stop feeling so rejected by those who say they embrace everyone.
I want to escape to the beauty of Tahiti. Did you know that only good things happen in Tahiti. Grass hut. Ocean beach. Sunshine. Waves that sing. 😀
I need to be more open to the 1:1 friendship.
I know he’s there, but I haven’t made the intentional time.
Now that I realize it, I can change it.
Permission to not have to “try” harder. My refreshing today. I’ll sit at El Roi’s feet and just be. Thank you Bonnie.
Definitely intimacy with Him. I long to bask in His presence every moment. I wish there were nothing else right now. That is the praise of the valley I am in. I am reminded now of the old days when tanning wasn’t bad for you. I would crawl into the tanning bed and the warmth of the light would surround you. I want to glow like Moses, and I don’t want to wear a veil!
Bonnie, I have to tell you how great it was to stumble upon you (and this entry) again today, as i first did when i read your “6 keys to overcome dead ends and discouragement”….on the crosswalk website…
I am always amazed at His perfect timing, and even though that concept is sometimes hard to swallow(coming from a recent grad who’s been hopelessly trying to get her career rolling for the last couple years), those specific blog entries found me right when I needed them…
I just wanted to take the time to thank you for the grounding and inspirational read! I just caught up and have also subscribed to your 31 day challenge; what a great concept! your words seem to be perfectly matched to my thoughts. “Grace for the Good Girl” was another excellent find; I hope to purchase that soon!
[…] response to a favorite blogger’s challenge – Faith Barista Bonnie Gray – has given, I’m going to post here daily, in addition to whatever else God leads me to […]
[…] response to a favorite blogger’s challenge – Faith Barista Bonnie Gray – has given, I’m going to post here daily, in addition to whatever else God leads me to […]