By: Susan Browning

There is this narrative in our conversations, I know you’ve heard it, in fact you probably know it all too well: we simply can’t find time to be still. We look forward to the holidays we work so hard to take, we’re too busy to have time to ourselves, we’re onto the next thing before this thing has begun, we’re living in our future ideal.

We’ve forgotten how to stop

We’re relied upon by our family/spouse/friends/boss/kids to grant our wrecked souls permission to refuel and we marvel at how fast a year is passing us by. We find ourselves reflecting with sighs of exhaustion rather than breaths of gratitude. Or we’re running so fast we’ve forgotten how to stop or perhaps even to notice the little things bringing us joy in our day to day. All the more building into a foundation of disconnect which wreaks havoc in our contentment and breaks down our relationship with God as we hurry through life.

Listen to the soft, gentle voice

I keep coming back to the whisper of the secret place. This constant underlying current calling out to me in this soft, gentle voice. Calling me to settle in, lean in sweet one, come here. Come to the place where motion takes a reprieve, the place where the things of this world are truly muted and I am found deeply grounded by an all consuming grace.

As I enter into His rest fully I see Him there readied with open arms receiving my burdens; my heart’s reality, my frailty, my weariness, my striving hustle… He’s waiting to receive me – entirely. In return He gives me an interlude of joy, a movement of peace, a breath of release. I meet Him in the most beautiful and refreshing of ways.

Time to really let go

He is just waiting for me gifting me this time together to call into my mind the greatness of Him in comparison to the mountains of my busy. He fixes my gaze upon His ability and draws out of me a thankfulness for this gorgeous life He has given but only when I allow Him to really connect. Only when I really let go. Only when I worship Him alone, will my heart no longer be fastened upon my world but on what He has done and is doing, here and now.

When I begin to see the beauty found in my every day, in the mundane, I begin to see just how I can enjoy life more fully. My heart is made glad. My joy balloons larger than I ever imagined. When I began to document my thank-yous to God I started to see a pattern.

Choosing to be grateful

I actually love so much of my life. There’s so much more going on than I realised. So much I could be grateful for.

So I started writing and my heart kept composing as I walked through each season:

  • Thank you for these sweet, luscious moments when my first born dozes with me on the lounge – even though he is sick.
  • Thank you for the delicious scent of the jasmine drifting past me as I run to the bus stop.
  • Thank you for the rain, the blanket, the tea and a chapter all to myself.
  • Thank you for my pillow at the end of a tragic day.
  • Thank you for a hot coffee while my minis show off their jumping skills on the trampoline.
  • Thank you for the breakthrough in my client’s gradual development.
  • Thank you for the unprompted kiss from my toddler in the grocery aisle.
  • Thank you for the inspiring word my friend gave (and she didn’t even know it!).
  • Thank you for the smell of a freshly cut lawn or the freshly ground coffee beans.
  • Thank you for closing the door to a job I loved, but opening one to something I adore all the more.

Thank you for… Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Opportunities to find joy

These opportunities to find joy in our busy only arise when we find the place of rest. Just like when we sleep, our bodies give in to shutting down and repairing. We lean into it after a huge day. It’s an unstoppable force, no matter how teasing Netflix’s next episode might be, our body is designed with rest in mind.

It’s the same with our hearts; when we give into resting in His presence we shut down the noise and begin repairing, restoring within the recollection of His blessings. When we carve out room for Him we get to ask those deeper questions, you know those uncomfortable ones we run fast from because they are so evidently deafening in our silence. But that is where true joy is found – in His presence alone. Devoted and complete.

Take a breath and enjoy life

So sweet one, it’s time to check in and ask yourself: Where can I make room for taking a breath to enjoy my life? Or am I running so fast I forget to find the pace of pause? Do I celebrate life? Or do I rush through those moments for the sake of something or someone else? Am I happy… like truly content, do I have a deep rooted joy for the treasured gift life is?

Darling He is calling you to come and sit a while in His presence. He knows you’ve got lots to do but His treasures are found when we learn to be. When you find real rest you are met with real joy, it overflows and spills into every part of your life.

Article supplied with thanks to Susan Browning.

About the Author: Susan is a worship leader, vocal coach and mentor encouraging you to be all you can be in fulfilling your purpose.