It’s not uncommon to have seasons of life where we want to run away from home and find a nice quiet place to hermitize and escape from the “out of controllness” of life, the “unknowness,” and the frustration over the lack of clear direction.
My family has heard me say more than once, “I’m ready to buy my private island now and that I’ll see you later!”
Ever felt that way?
Thankfully I don’t feel that way all the time. Mostly it’s on the days where I’m extra tired, overwhelmed, and not sure what my next step should be.
And, thankfully, these are the moments when God steps in to remind me of a few things.
I’m Not In Control. He is.
This one is hard because I like knowing what comes next. I like knowing that I am making the right decisions and headed in the right direction. I like knowing that there is a plan laid out, and I understand the expectations.
The reality is, left to my own devices, my life would be even messier. I have such a limited view of life, and I do not see what is on the road ahead of me. But God does. His plans are way better than mine, I need to surrender control and my idea of what needs to happen.
Lara Casey of LaraCasey.com has said many times, “Embrace the mess.” Embrace the awkward, lean into God and all that He is doing in your life.
But, I don’t like messy!
How many times, however, have we looked back as we come out the other side of a season of messy and see the amazing work He has done. Changes and lessons learned usually come as a result of an incredibly messy and hard time of our lives.
Your discomfort awakens you from the slumber of routine and reminds you that I am in charge of your life.
It also presents you with an important choice; you can lash out at your circumstances – resenting My ways with you – or you can draw closer to me.
~Sarah Young, Jesus Today
Now that is a show-stopper, isn’t it? This idea had me immediately checking my thoughts, my plans, my efforts, my complaining, and more. I do have a choice; I do have an opportunity to learn and grow and draw closer to Him.
Then I also get hit with this from my niece on Instagram:
I know this life is hard. I know that your emotions and thoughts and yearnings and doubt threaten to capsize your mind and leave you to drown. I know that sometimes fear is all you know.
But I also know that fighting is worth it; that every ragged breath we draw in takes us closer to being whole, being free.
Cling to life, cling to hope, to being passionate, to loving people well, to caring for yourself, to enthusiasm and positivity. I know you can make it little fighter.
Notice how neither one of these talks about running away? They both talk about embracing messy.
How to Embrace the Mess
I got great advice from my sister recently. She told me that now, more than ever, you need to step up even further and be deliberate in practicing what I write about on the blog. Things like:
- Creating clear boundaries
- Spending time outdoors
- Schedule time for creating
- Finding Be Still Moments
3 Ways to Find Be Still Moments In the Midst of Messy
My morning walks with Bailey are essential. The fresh air helps clear out the mental cobwebs and stretches my legs. As I start to wake up, I can take the time to look and see, to be quiet, and listen. I know when I have not taken the time to do this in the morning, my day is different and usually not for the better!!
Most of the photography you see on Instagram are from these morning walks. It’s also where I find many of my #bestillmoments.
Devotions and Quiet Time
I need reminders that God is in control, and I’m not. That he loves me enough to send His only Son. That life in the here and now is not all there is. That life is not just about me. These reminders come when I spend time reading my Bible, journaling, and praying.
Here are a few of my go-to verses on the anxious, overwhelmed, and messy days.
- I Peter 5:7
- Matthew 28:20b
- Philippians 4:6
- Lamentations 3:23
- Psalm 46:10
- Jeremiah 29:11
For me, self-care starts with my daily walks with Bailey, but it also means:
- Time spent in prayer and reading my Bible.
- Scheduling time to write, to think, and to create.
- Taking care that my introverted side is taken care of and that I give myself time to recharge and refill.
- Getting outside regularly to hike, explore, and seek beauty.
Being in the middle of messy, finding stillness in the midst of life is possible, it takes deliberate action, it takes actively pursuing it and not just saying, “Someday.” We each find stillness in different ways, how do you find stillness when life feels extra messy?
Marta Goertzen is an entrepreneur, writer and nature photographer. She daily explores the trails and beaches of the South Central Oregon Coast with her buddy Bailey. You can follow along on their adventures on Instagram. She is also the author of several books including her newest, “Choosing Gratitude: A Daily Quiet Time Journal”.