I've felt a bit like I'm floaty lately, unmoored. This happens periodically, typically when I fill up my days—for weeks on end—with busyness and distraction. Too much media and not enough things that fill me up in a lasting way. I've hear it said that relationships are like houses in that they need love and maintenance, or you end up with a rotten foundation and a leaky roof. I feel the same way about my heart: untended, it gets a bit messy. I find myself more impatient, less content, more focused on what I don't have or why the timing of _____ (x, y, z, etc.) isn't exactly how I thought it would be. My heart bears toward hardness if I'm not giving it the proper upkeep it requires.
So, when this happens, I try to return to things that make me feel anchored, things that help my heart re-soften, as part of regular maintenance. First, I try to notice the little things around me that help me to daily find joy:
honest journaling about what I'm feeling/thinking, which thoughts aren't true, which are true and wanting more of those // Aeropress coffee, on mellow mornings and in the afternoon for fika // the words of Charles Spurgeon // new book beginnings // getting out of a rut on a knitting project // time reading God's word // healthy suppers, made slowly // freshly cut hair // the sky on a breezy night in the middle of Austin // verde tacos for lunch // a new non-stick pan // a twill jacket that I want to wear every day // the shiny, crackly top on homemade dark chocolate chip blondies + Nicholas insisting we call them "cookie bars" // amber-scented soy candles // our nightly routine of watching a few episodes of The Office together
And then, apart from the little things, I'm mulling the bigger things. Prayerfully approaching the question:
"Am I actually listening to you, Lord, or am I just hoping you'll give me the answer I want?"
If I strive to hear my words more than the Lord's, my heart will harden ever faster. Even if I try to convince myself otherwise, I want to want what He wants more than I want what I want. I'm praying for my desires to align with His desires, and my will to align with His will for my life.
And that's a source of true joy, the best kind of heart maintenance.
P.S.— On another note, there are a few related posts that I've written in the last few years that I still reference whenever I need some healthy reminders:
- On rest and balance
- What is my song?, about how praise of Him outshines the gloom.
- This is the day, about finding our home in Christ's joy, even when life looks a little ugly
- And a post about The weight of emotions, and why processing them is vital to avoiding a hard heart