Nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another strange land grew especially strong in spring.~Vladimir Nabokov
There are so many reminders. Spring. That time of the year when hints of another Kingdom surround me. All the senses on overload. But I'd blocked out the beauty with my obsession on getting things done--my incessant lists. Obligations. I could feel the panic rising--how would I ever prepare to leave work to go on vacation? Wasn't annual leave supposed to be something to look forward to? My desk was stacked. How would I ever plough through it all? A row of blooming azaleas in all their frothy pinkness interrupted the anxiety. Why wasn't I noticing the beauty all around me? Why was I fretting during this resplendent season?
I realized that I needed to create a landscape of peace in my mind. I reminded myself that I can always choose to do this--just as I can choose to appreciate and be aware of the scent of jasmine at dusk. I recently copied this quote from Graham Cooke in my journal:
Stress is not caused by people, events or circumstances; it is caused primarily by how you think about those situations. Stress is always an inside job. When you are committed to rest and peace as a way of life, that peace guards your heart and life. Resting in God is something you practice every day. It is a way of seeing, thinking, believing, speaking and acting that arises out of a response to God, not a reaction to life situations. 'Work' at remaining peaceful or you will be 'working' against becoming anxious or fearful Enjoy the 'work' of being at peace; it is a joy to practice this fruit of the spirit.
I adjusted my thinking. I would expect God's ability to guard my heart and mind. I would expect God's favor, kindness and abundance as I considered the stack of work on my desk. I would enjoy each day and the beauty around me. I would smile and laugh and rejoice that I had a life to manage, that I could plan a trip to Europe with my darling husband.
An Easter morning walk took me once again to the tidal creek, the air just slightly chilled. Invigorating. I stood on the banks, my heart and mind landscaped in peace. Rays of sunlight danced on the creek's flowing current. Kingdom choreography. He is risen.