Friday, April 1, 2011

Spiritual "White Space"

Thanks to Bonnie Gray at FaithBarista for her topic for today. It's been a while since I've treated myself to some "time out" with God...and it's got me thinking again...dreaming about time beyond the walls of my house but still alone with Him.

It's sometimes difficult to transition to different phases of life. When I was a new Christian, in my early 20's and on-fire with my new-found faith, my White Space was spent sitting on the sand in Seal Beach, watching the Pacific roll in and out, and feeling the ocean's spray on my skin. It was easy to draw near to Him, my new, TRUE, love.

As a newlywed in my mid-20's my walk with God had tempered a bit with learning to share my heart with my earthly husband. White Space was sort of out of the picture then, and I missed it, but I was learning to come under the authority of Mark's leadership, learning to be a wife and a mother.

Once my kids were born, and moving from one state to another and away from family and friends, White Space was non-existent. 3 kids within 3 years, and a husband that traveled around the world, I was the sole parent on the scene. This is where my walk suffered the most - undoubtedly from the stresses and strains of NOT having White Space...I let my responsibilities run me weary, and chose to walk from my faith. I never stopped believing, but stepped on the outside edges of that belief...walking as far from God as I thought possible. I was angry with God, my husband, myself, and I struggled. I chose to take on that bondage to sin through attitude and actions instead of clinging to God, believing a lie (or many lies) and entangling myself in things of the world.

A thousand miles later and a few years, I humbly prayed a prayer that changed my life - asking for forgiveness, repenting from sin (again) and asking God to cause me to fall in love again - with Jesus, with my husband, ultimately with myself. What a change took place!! With that came the need for that time to allow the Holy Spirit to woo me...setting aside time for me and Him to be alone - that "White Space" again became a part of my life with God. It was wonderful to live close to so much beautiful land - open fields with huge bales of hay, a lovely State Park with streams and wildlife, or just to look at the sunshine glistening on the lake - all were places that I could see the beauty of His creation and feel Him breathing newness into my soul. Somehow, if He could create order in all of this, He could restore my soul...and He did.

Now, years later, I find my solace much the same way Bonnie does - in nature, camera in hand, trying to capture the loveliness in a digital masterpiece, or in words on paper - but i allow myself a keyboard too - or to just sit and meditate - yes - stillness before God - repeating a mantra of (breathe in) More of You Lord Jesus....(breathe out) LESS of me... and waiting on Him to move. Waiting for that still, small, voice to stir in my soul. Asking to be that meek and gentle spirit in all circumstances. Practicing my spiritual disciplines...just looking for Him to move.

I love it. I love HIM. I love being on this journey with Him, growing to love Him more and waiting on Him; learning to serve Him in new ways - often through serving my husband - or others - and praying for others needs.

Prayer has become key in my life...not having yet mastered the "flat on my face for hours" stance, yet in His own way "praying in all things" throughout the day, and learning to intentionally draw near to Him for specifics...not poetically praying lovely words...but honestly and broken in spirit making my requests known to Him....and in all things asking for my heart to be changed to desire His will for my life.

That is the White Board element that makes it restoring time - prayer. Through camera lens and prayers of thanksgiving, or through window pane and tear smeared eyes, seeking Him with my all in all and desiring to see Him move,      just      a      little     bit     closer    .....