Days 18 and 19: Finding Spiritual Whitespace—You Are Not Forgotten

Even if they don’t know what it means, everyone needs spiritual whitespace. If only we all clearly recognized this need in ourselves or in our loved ones, especially those who struggle with depression or some form of PTSD. Maybe we would be able to save them … save ourselves … from reaching that anguished breaking point where the only source of peace and solace available seems to be death.

On August 12th, Bonnie Gray, author of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest wrote a tribute to Robin Williams and shared a letter she had written to her younger self. This is some of what she shared:

I wish I had a chance to talk with Robin in that dark moment he decided to take his life. I wish I could say something to bring him some hope, some comfort — the same way he brought a measure of it into my life through his art.

I’m telling you. I shed some tears. For my yesterday. For Robin.

For we are all soul-starved and hungry.

Soul-loneliness is our sad modern epidemic.

I wish I could tell you, Robin.

There is rest apart from death. There is hope in your hurt.

You can find home. God can meet you in your sorrow.

There Is Hope

From her letter to her younger self, these are the words I believe we can all benefit from:

Be broken. Don’t run from it. Feel your need and dare to follow your dreams.

And when you feel you’ve been too broken and cannot stand the pain of being alone one breath longer — break your silence.

Tell someone. Anyone. Everyone. …

When you give yourself permission to need — to touch the place of empty, the place of wanting – that ache of unrequited desire will lead you to fulfill God-sized dreams imprinted in you before you were even named. …

Your need entwines you to Christ.

Brokenness is beauty to Him.

You are not forgotten.

You're Not Alone

In today’s post, Bonnie shares how the journey of telling her story prompted her recent invitation to lead a Spiritual Whitespace Retreat for Wounded Warriors from Fort Campbell, Kentucky in Nashville this weekend. Bonnie asks for prayer for herself and those who attend the event:

Pray for me, as I’ll be sharing my personal journey through non-combat PTSD, anxiety and panic attacks to active duty military leaders along with their spouses.

This will be a three-day retreat to guide soldiers on a journey of Spiritual Whitespace and experience spiritual refreshment through storytelling, journaling, prayer and meditation.

Pray that the brave men and women who serve our country will experience unexpected soul rest — and get a taste of what feeds their soul. That they will be known and rejuvenated from the experience.

Sacred Idleness

Speaking of events for those who have served our country, we are having a local event here in Shelbyville, KY to honor our veterans and remind them that we appreciate them and are here for them.

Veterans Supper

One of the young ladies who used to work (maybe still does part-time) at Shelburne Pet Center (where Bella goes for doggy day care and boarding) came up with the concept for this First Annual Veteran’s Supper and she has been spearheading/organizing the entire event. “This event will honor veterans of the Shelby County, Kentucky area with an afternoon of delicious potluck food, fun local music entertainment, community business basket raffles, and commemoration to the sacrifices they have made for our community.”

I pray that this rejuvenates the spirits of our veterans and their families. Thank you to Molly Carter for not only caring about your hometown, but for being an integral part of making it a better place to live for all of us. I wish you much success, and I’ll see you up there on Saturday. 🙂

In closing, here are just a few of my favorite veterans and VFW members, which I recently shared on my Facebook page:

My Aunt Mary and My Grandma Jo

My Aunt Mary and My Grandma Jo

My Grandfather - Dan Lee

My Grandfather – Dan Lee (with my grandmother)

My Uncle - KC Lee

My Uncle – KC Lee

I have other family members and many friends who have also served or are still serving – thank you all for what you have done and what you continue to do. I hope you never feel alone or forgotten. If you do, call me!

“God has said,
‘Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.’

So we say with confidence,
‘The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?'”
(Hebrews 13:5-6)

 

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Her Spirit Soars

After the discovery of cancer in her brain in June of this year, my friend Denise Enos passed away on August 11th. I’m writing today’s post more for myself than anyone else. Just a way to say goodbye and to honor her memory. It’s scary when someone close to your own age dies, especially when it is so quick and unexpected. A good reminder that the choices we make, the focus we take, the lives we touch … every moment matters.

These are some of my memories of Denise:

New Life

Denise Enos adored her family and was strengthened by her faith.

She was bold, determined, and passionate about her beliefs.

She built strong relationships and treasured her friendships.

She appreciated beauty in nature as well as in man-made designs.

She savored good food and enjoyed great wine.

She believed in the power of possibility.

She was consistent and detail-oriented,
yet creative, adventurous, and fun.

In her work, she was a perfectionist,
so she could be hard on herself,
yet she offered others such grace.

Full of ideas, and always thinking,
Denise constantly sought improvement
in herself and in the workplace.

Because she cared so much about so many things,
she would sometimes get a little overwhelmed.
But venting with trusted friends and laughing
together over the craziness of our industry
helped keep us sane and fortified us to
go back another day and do it all over again.

We shared a love of family, faith, friends, imagery, words, language,
writing, consistency (especially the series comma), organization,
a positive attitude, and many other things.

Today, my heart is heavy,
acknowledging the fact that my friend is really gone.
She left quite a legacy and some very strong memories behind.
These memories allow the rest of us to taste small sips of comfort.

Although we pray that she rests in peace,
knowing Denise, her faith, and her living testimony,
I don’t think she’s resting at all …
I believe, today, she soars!

She soars!

I think Denise would want us to remember and focus on the good times we enjoyed with her. I found some “Getting to Know You” questions and answers on her Facebook page. Reading through her answers made me smile. So, I thought I would share them here:

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?

It is completely, embarrassingly illegible.

 DO YOU HAVE KIDS?

My wonderful and amazing Marshall and Charlotte–I am so blessed.

 IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?

Oh, sure; I’m big fun.

 DO YOU USE SARCASM?

See above.

BEST DAY OF THE YEAR?

Any holiday when I have my whole family together.

 HOW DID YOU MEET YOUR SPOUSE/SIGNIFICANT OTHER?

Through mutual friends–I am in their debt forever.

 WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO IN LIFE?

“Love one another.” and “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?

They’re not really a possession, but I’d say my family.

 WHAT CARTOON CHARACTER BEST DESCRIBES YOU?

The pig in Pearls Before Swine. I am ridiculously naive and optimistic–
thank God for my friends who “reality check” me on a regular basis!

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.
… It has no survival value;

rather, it is one of those things that
give value to survival.” —C.S. Lewis

My Soul Has Been Freed

Slowing Down in a World of Rush

In case you have begun to think that the only thing I write about on this blog is Bonnie Gray’s book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace, I wanted to assure you that I am nearing the end of my focus on this particular book. When Bonnie decided she was going to do a “21 Days of Rest” blog tour, I was in no way obligated to join her, but I felt like there were so many good bits of wisdom in the pages that I wanted to continue sharing right along with her. When she realized that all the opportunities opening up for her would not allow her to blog for 21 straight days, Bonnie explained that she would spread the 21 days out as time allowed. This helped me as well, as I had begun to feel overwhelmed myself.

Which brings me to a new book of interest. This one is by Lysa TerKeurst. “She is the New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave and Unglued. She isn’t shy about admitting what a mess she can be. But in the midst of everyday ‘growth opportunities,’ she’s been learning God’s lessons and sharing them on her blog (www.LysaTerKeurst.com) and in her books.”

I enjoyed this book.


I follow Lysa’s blog and her Instagram posts, and I have read other books of hers (like Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl). She’s got a great sense of humor and a wonderful way of connecting with her readers.

I am looking forward to reading Lysa’s current book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. I think it connects well to the idea of trying to find spiritual whitespace, as well as attempting to simplify our lives by making changes to our cluttered homes and cluttered schedules.

slowtherush

Here’s a brief description of Lysa’s new book.

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your Best Yes today.

That’s all I’m going to share for now, but look for more on this book, more on what the right “yes” could mean for you, and more of my photos and thoughts.

Thanks for being here with me.

Stop and Smell the Flowers