A Place of Rest

Growing up in Bolivia, I spent most of my vacations visiting my parents in La Laja. La Laja is a small village, isolated on top of a mountain. The first year we lived there, there was no electricity and no running water. Everywhere you looked, you saw mountains and valleys. The view was breathtaking. I remember looking out our backyard, across the mountains, and the clouds would be under us. At night, we would go for a walk and the path would be lightened by the thousands and thousands of stars. Since there was no electricity to ruin the beauty of the stars, parts of the sky seemed to just be painted white. Those moments meant everything to me. The mountains and the stars filled me with so much peace and at the same time made me feel so immensely small. The wonderous views made me feel strong and re-energized because I knew there is Someone who is holding all of that in His hands.

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When it was time to go back to school again, I often struggled with feelings of homesickness. When things got rough, I was longing go to back to La Laja, even if it was just for a day, because being there gave me strength and courage. For all you Gone with the Wind lovers out there, you could say that La Laja was my Tara.

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Sadly, being back in Holland, the distance to visit my Tara for the pure necessity of rest, comfort and strength is a bit too far. And let’s not forget the cost of a trip! I still find myself longing to go back though, when my heart is restless or my head is full. Don’t we all long for a place of peace, a place to escape to when we aren’t sure how to deal with the daily tasks and problems? Or when life just seems to overwhelming?

I talked about this with a good friend of mine. We are longing for rest, yet spend most of our energy filling up our time with things that leave us empty. At the end of the day, we still feel restless and unsatisfied. There is an unsatisfied hunger in our hearts, but instead of filling that with the right kind of food, we stuff our hearts with our cravings. I tend to get focused too much on social media or just sitting around waiting for something to happen. When I am unsatisfied on the inside, however, it gives room for all the negativity to grow. Things like crankyness or jealousy or bitterness or even the feelings of exhaustion. Why is it then that we give in so easily to cravings when deep down inside we know where we need to go for real solid food? I think it is because we are afraid. At least, I am. I am afraid to give my whole heart and time to something (Someone) that really matters. Filling up the empty holes with cravings is easy and fun. I am the one in control then. When I try to look deeper into my heart and try to respond to the real hunger calling, I feel like I am losing grip and that scares me. I am scared to be vulnerable. Mostly, though, I am scared to give my whole heart to something. That is when my friend said something that I haven’t stopped thinking about. She said that we tend to give our hearts in pieces, always holding on to the biggest part so that we can feel like we are in control. But are we? Does being in control even make us happy? If I look at my own life, it temporarily makes me feel strong and powerful, but eventually I feel empty and restless. My challenge the coming weeks is to try and let myself truly rest. No distractions, but really learn to let go and give my heart. For me, this is learning to invest my time wisely and in the right things, things that will renew my mind and my body and give me new energy and strength.

What are some things you need to rearrange in your life to truly feel at rest?
Have a great day!

nan4

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