Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Daily Sanctuary

Earlier this year, I mentioned that I began implementing a daily walk into my routine. I have consistently continued this renewal habit of walking two miles every day.  What started out as a simple way to "get moving" has turned into a daily retreat of contemplation and prayer. God always seems to use the ordinary moments of our lives to speak.

When my walking habit began, it was simply a time that I used to become less frazzled. A space for emotional breathing. Mamas need those spaces of not being interrupted and demanded of. Then came a time when I used this quiet for podcasts or audio books...a way to multi-task gaining knowledge coupled with exercise. That practice became too "noisy" for my mind so I began listening to music and zoning out for 45 minutes.

About a month ago this time shifted as I began to feel so many burdens on my spirit...relationships, goals, church, my children...concerns that couldn't be prayed over and thought about in the midst of the dailiness in my home. These were too heavy to contemplate as I taught my children or completed chores...situations that begged for silence and solitude. My daily walk became my sanctuary to pour out my heart to the Lord. This was truly quiet time that was required for sifting and sorting my thoughts and crying out to Him. At times I wept as I walked.  Other days have been joy-filled worship of all that He is doing. Comfort has been poured out. Clarity was given. Hope renewed.

I never could have guessed how precious and life-giving this habit would become.  We takes small steps of obedience to what we believe is good and right for our lives and have faith that the fruit will come. Sometimes we don't stick with a practice long enough to see those results...the pain or monotony or sacrifice doesn't seem worth it.  I have always enjoyed trying to begin new habits but never seem to stick with them very long.  This time though...this time I have stuck with it! The fruit has been far sweeter than I anticipated and worth the effort it has taken to make it a priority.

What has been a fruitful habit that you have begun in 2013? One that has blessed you beyond what you first thought? Where has He unexpectedly spoken in simplicity and dailiness?


tonia said...

beautiful. I cherish my walks too...right now I have a companion and those are our talking times, but when I'm alone, I pray. It's a wonderful way to get alone with God.

I'm so glad you have kept this up and it has brought you a sanctuary. Much love to you!

sweetsurrenderblog said...

It is always so nice when you have a chance to post. I sincerely enjoy your words!
I can't think of a 2013 habit, but about a year ago, a friend and myself became accountability partners for memorizing scripture. It has been such a blessing! We both were inspired by a Revive our Hearts podcast that I believe was entitled "The Joy of Memorizing Scripture" (I believe it was aired in the spring of 2012 if anyone reads this and is interested in finding the archive).
Your habit of pouring out your heart and sorting things out with God during your walk is inspiring. It makes me want to give up the headphones while I run. And reflecting on my runs over the past year, the two that I felt most connected with the Lord's voice were when I didn't listen to anything. Interesting! Thanks for bringing that up for me!

Sandi from Faraway said...

This was really wonderful!

Rachel at Stitched in Color said...

I am so looking forward to seeing you this week, Aimee. You have such wisdom to share!

A healthful habit I've added this year - I dropped ballet. Having 1 less night away from home has been restorative to my marriage and my peace. I also notice I've let myself relax more at nights in general. Rest is worthwhile!

Jennifer said...

Like you, I've started walking regularly-up to 3 miles! Most nights my husband goes with me because our kids are old enough to stay home for that hour. It's a good way to talk through what's going on with him, the kids, me, whatever. It's a little freer than when we are at home with kids, dogs, and computers distracting us. I will remember that when he can't be with me that God could be my companion.

It's always good to see a post from you.

Sara said...

I've been doing the same thing over the past several months. I really enjoy the "silence" & it's a blessing to have that uninterrupted time of listening & praying. Thanks for sharing.

debbie bailey said...

Smart mama! There's nothing like the cadence of a walk to get your creativity flowing or your body back in sync with itself. I use it as a time to just let my mind go all over the place. I'm always amazed by how productive the time is. I also pray during a walk. If I can't think of anything else, I'll pray, "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me" in rhythm to my steps. I go through the whole family praying that way just inserting their names in place of mine.

I haven't tried to form any new habits this year, although I'd like to form a regular time to be creative on new projects. I have regular times of worship and exercise in the mornings that are set in concrete. I started them over thirty years ago as our children were being born, and I've kept them up ever since. Some habits are just too good to stop!