SheLoves: Tuning In

Once again, it’s the last Saturday of the month and I’m joining the amazing crew at SheLoves Magazine. This month, we’re writing about listening. I took a very personal slant on that idea this time around . . .

I took a short walk at the beach today, the first time since early June. I was slow, my stride was short, my right hip hurts, my left heel hurts, but . . . I took a walk at the beach today. You have no idea how much freedom is contained in that short sentence.

I took a walk at the beach today.

I’m sitting in the shade this afternoon, enjoying the clarity of the water, the light fuzziness of the skyline, the crowds of local people, enjoying the beauty of the beach. It’s very nice to be back in the school routine, not the tourist routine. There is parking!

There is room for me once again.”

These are journaling words from mid-September, written about 48 hours after being released from a heavy boot and the restrictions of a walker. I was finally able to wear TWO shoes after a long stretch (almost 14 weeks) of one-footed-ness while in various stages of recovery from foot surgery in early June.

It was that day that I knew I had turned a corner. Why? Because something about being near the ocean invites me to listen differently. To listen to the scene around me — the rhythm of the water against the shore, the call of the gulls, the splash and squeal of children getting wet, the gentle conversations of friends and family in different configurations along the water line.  And to listen to the sweet voice of God, reminding me that I am seen, I am loved. All of it was welcome, familiar, comforting, a reminder that there is a bigger world than the confines of my bedroom. There is a bigger God than the one I had been imagining while confined!

When you are ill, or in the midst of a long recovery of some kind, listening well becomes problematic and strangely difficult.  There is solitude to be found, that is most certainly true! But it’s a strange kind of solitude, not intentional, but enforced by circumstances beyond your control. And sometimes that enforced solitude can mean turning inward in ways that are not always healthy.

I am discovering that there is a difference between turning inward to hear from the gentle voice of the Spirit and turning inward to be assaulted by the anxieties and struggles of my own sick self. Finding my way through that particular thicket has not always been easy during this stretch of time.

 Please follow the link on over there, won’t you?

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  1. Heartfelt words spoken from personal trial ring true! Thank you.

    I can see you bravely walking on beautiful Butterfly Beach!

    • I don’t know how brave it was – and I didn’t even attempt walking on the beach itself. I walk on the sidewalk just above it!!

  2. Yes yes to all of the above. While my time if rehab was much shorter that yours has been — During my rehab from knee replacement the one thing that centered me was referencing visual scripture photos I had printed out ahead of time and put in a flip album (also w pics of my family). For the first few weeks referencing those visuals was all I could manage. I get it.

    • Yes, yes – and I’m glad your rehab was shorter and I hope you’re doing well. That flip book sounds ideal – what a great idea!!