Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Sound of Silence

Not sure what to write. I've been less and less committed to this idea of sharing my thoughts for the world to see. I've been journaling a lot* and I find it so rewarding. I mean, I've kept a journal since I was eight years old** yet, despite the fact that I have five journals filled with my life, I always feel it should be more. I'm so undisciplined when it comes to maintaining a journal. For instance, the one I'm writing in now I started in July of last year, wrote one page, the next entry is dated in September, then it skips to February where it actually becomes consistant.

Why do I do this? I am a huge advocate of keeping a personal journal even if it's for the sole purpose of therapy, e.g. writing your thoughts on paper and considering them before acting on emotion. However, even more important for me is being able to go back and re-read my life story as I saw it at the time and remember the lessons learned, the mistakes made, the feelings, the emotions, the dreams I forgot about long ago.

My new thing is to write at least two pages a day and I've been faithful to that for the past three days...actually writing more than two pages a day. I've felt so much more relaxed, more peaceful. I've also been adopting this whole concept of silence in my life such as not listening to the radio while I'm driving, not turning the TV on the instant I get home from work, not feeling the need to fill time with others with useless conversation. It's incredibly freeing and, might I say, zen. Is it ok to say that if I'm not a Buddhist? Speaking of which, Buddhism is not the only religion where silence and self-denial are necessary aspects to life. I've been meditating a lot on the whole concept of, "Be still and know that I am God." What does it mean to truly be still?

In our fast-paced American life-style, I think the only definition of being still that we have is sleep...or death. The whole, "I won't stop 'till I'm dead" mentality is so pervasive and it's hard to not buy into it. Why do we feel like the busier we are, the more clout we have? As if somehow the number of things we're involved in defines our success? I am no different. I've never really successfully learned how to live a life with margins. True, I go through my seasons when I'm not as busy as others, but for the most part, I feel that if I'm not doing anything, I'm wasting time. Yet, just sitting in the beautiful Spring-like weather we've been having and reflecting on the changing of is this wasting time?

I've been reading a book by Doug Fields, Refuel: An Uncomplicated Guide to Connecting with God, that is totally inspiring me. The whole concept is to learn how to stop and seek silence, to spend time focusing on the Lord. It doesn't have to be for 2 hours every morning, heck, it doesn't even have to be for 20 minutes in the morning, it can be as easy as taking a minute in one's car before starting the commute to work. I've been totally embracing this type of lifestyle, just being more aware of what I'm doing and checking in with myself to see if I'm really being productive and alert or just going through the motions in an attempt to get through the day. Because truly, that's the real time-waster...rushing through tasks just to complete them. How much do we miss when we forget to see, to feel, to enjoy life?

I spent the first five minutes of my commute in complete silence, observing the beauty of creation and taking joy in my Creator. And you know what? I had no road rage whatsoever. Who woulda thunk?

*like, REAL a book with blank pages to be filled with the dreams of the author
**or, as I called it back then, a diary. To be completely honest, I called it Danai after the mother of Perseus in Greek mythology because I thought it was wicked cool to name my diary...or as I used to spell it, "Dairy." Yeah, I was skilled.....

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Cornucopia of Thoughts

Closing weekend of the musical. The usual bittersweet feelings are going through me. This musical is definitely ready to be put to bed, but on the other hand, it's always a bummer not seeing everyone every weekend and having a pleasant diversion from a normally monotonous week. However, I must say with the warmer weather and longer days it will be nice to start going for jogs in the evening when I get home from work and not have to worry about rushing off to the theater. Or perhaps I can actually start running in the morning before heading into work now that I can go to bed earlier. Plus, with my Friday nights free again that means I'll be heading back to youth group and hanging out with the kids in my church which is always rewarding.

I've missed the girls a lot. Looking back on when I was in middle and high school it's hard to remember if I was as great as these girls are. I think I was...haha. More and more I'm starting to see how God is revealing more of my calling to me, especially in the way of youth ministry. I never considered that to be my calling or my forte in the least, but the more I'm able to invest in these kids' lives, the more in love with it I become.

Nothing makes that more clear to me than some of the relationships I've been able to build in the theater during the show. One in particular has just warmed my heart and I'm so excited to see what beautiful things God will bring of it.

In other news, I'm feeling pretty amazing lately. What with all the weight loss, totally changing my diet, and being able to get out and run again, it's no wonder my body is totally loving me. I don't even miss the sugar or the meat either. I used to say I could never become a vegetarian, much less a vegan, because I loved meat too much. Now, it's a little on the unappetizing side.

I could go on and on about diet and health, but I digress for now. Back to work!