Soak It In

SunsetTwo years ago, my husband got me a new car – my dream car – a convertible! We had been dreaming of it together for years. And it’s been one of my happy places. I don’t really like driving, but this car has changed that for me. I already have many fond memories of soaking up the sun and scenery in it.

It’s an interesting mix though for me of days that I want to savor every moment I’m in it, and other days, where I really use the 3.0 Liter engine. I don’t really know what that means, I just know my husband, a car guy, made sure the engine was the fastest for this model we could get. So you have to use it, right? Within limitations because I live in a community with an active police force, you don’t speed where I live or you will be pulled over at some point.

I have to admit that there are days when I take off really fast – pedal to the floor (safely of course), and I can’t help but grin and laugh. The power, the speed, it’s an amazing sensation. And I can’t wait to get to the next stop, so I can take off again and feel my gut squeeze in expectation.

Then at times, I find myself admiring how much better I can see all the blooming trees or horse farms because my view is not obstructed. I take the long route home or to my destination just to soak it all in a little longer. I sometimes make up an excuse to drive longer or just to be in my car enjoying nature and the wind on my face – a forgotten errand or a quick trip to the grocery store.

I love that I can enjoy both sides to having a convertible – the fast and furious side and the slow and peaceful side.

It’s similar to what God has been teaching me over the years. My nickname growing up was Busy Lizzy – cute as a child – but not as an adult. Because, it means for me some unhealthy habits in my life. I haven’t always taken time for relaxation (a Sabbath) and have relished in the busyness of my life. Seeing how fast I can race at the word GO only to look for the next stop where I can take off again. You get basically no where because the racing is never ending, if you let it be.

It’s a frantic pace, one that limits relationships (especially the most important ones like God and my husband). It limits my creativity and did for years.

For many years, I never did take the long route or just soak it in. These days, I find myself when I do slow down (which is more than it’s ever been in the past), able to enjoy the moments, relishing the simplicity of it. It’s nothing earth shattering, it may be a moment on my deck with my dogs, or dinner with my husband, or a book I’m reading. But there is such a contentment and peace in those moments, it makes me want to figure out the right balance and how to stick with it. To make more time for those types of days and moments, to say no more often. How to be in the moment instead of always looking for what comes next.

It makes me wonder if I could live in those moments all the time. Ha – I made myself laugh at that one. I don’t think so – I do have some wiring that I also need to appreciate. It’s about balance. Experiencing the thrill of something different, where a moment is more powerful than you can imagine and it makes your soul squeeze in anticipation.

I think the journey in life is much like my times in my convertible, I love both sides of life. I’m so glad to have an appreciation for both, the moments life seems fast and the moments I sit and soak it in. I think of segments of Psalm 23 I memorized early on as a child.

He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths

Stay with me for a moment longer soaking in THIS moment…
Picture with me an orange glow in the middle of a beautiful light blue with some dark gray shadows and a hint of green when the headlights hit the grass and trees as your driving by. Feel the just slightly cool night air, listen to the peaceful country sounds. Experience it, soak it in, sigh in amazement. Calming. Peaceful. Strengthened.

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