My writing in a public forum like this blog has taken a serious downturn this year. Part of it is poor time management, part has to do with a change of priorities, throw in a smidgen of self-doubt, and a heaping cup over thinking, and you have the perfect recipe for never typing another post. But here I am, giving it one more go.
In truth, I quit writing when the enormity of my “Word” hit me. You know that word I so carefully chose this past winter and decided to make my own in 2019, yeah, that one. Mindfulness. Seemed like a good word when I choose it that solemn winter day in December, but then I started trying to be “Mindful” in all situations. Try mindfully tying your shoes in the morning, or mindfully chewing your food when your eating. Or mindfully washing the dishes while you blissfully stare into bubbles and contemplate the meaning of life. Well, if you are like me, you accidentally tie your shoes together trying to be overly cognizant of the feel of the laces while you choke on your cheerios and realize the meaning of life is better found in the Bible than bubbles.
There was also that song, one of the million that is the soundtrack running in the background of my life. So Will I came out over two years ago, but the lyrics are still just as powerful to me today as the first time I heard it. “If the wind goes where you send it, so will I” Gets me everytime. I want to be that open to God’s will in my life, that willing to be blown wherever, whenever by our God that knows best. But the line that disrupted my stream of consciousness writing that has bemused my slim fan base for the past three years was “God of your promise, You don’t speak in vain, No syllable empty or void…” He doesn’t utter a syllable in vain. He doesn’t do small talk.
Time to cue up Ursula the Sea Witch from The Little Mermaid singing to Ariel “and afterall dear, what is idle babble for?” Throw in the “Pathetic” from a few lines earlier and you have the newest music mashup. Hillsong and Disney, stranger things have happened.
Even one of Disney’s greatest villains recognized that mindless chatter wasn’t a good thing. And we are back to mindfulness.
God has been speaking to me, stretching me, shaping me; and through all of it I have come to one conclusion: writing to write isn’t enough anymore. Not a dot or a tittle that put in my blog needs to be filler. I need to be mindful of the things I put into the atmosphere around me.
Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” “Basically, mindfulness means being aware of and controlling your experience.”
When my focus shifted to the experience, I lost sight of the big picture. I had a reverse forest versus trees scenario going on. Of course, too big picture isn’t the answer either. If only I had a guide I could be mindful of that would direct my steps and my taps on the keyboard...Oh wait!
That’s it! I need to be mindful of God. Not just in His big brush strokes of my life, but in the details. Physically present, eternally minded.
It’s amazing, the calm, clear thoughts that I can think of when I am practicing mindfulness with God at the center. The distractions, the constant stream of songs that fight to be heard, all quiet down. In their place, a sweet peace is transforming my soul into a symphony that sings true even in the battle. The constant din of racing thoughts is gone, and the persistent, pleasant power of God remains.
Psalms 8:4 asks an important question, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of [earthborn] man that You care for him?” God is mindful of each of us, maybe should focus more of our time on HIm.
Around March, I was second guessing my 2019 word choice, but now I am embracing it. I am no longer trying to be mindful in the moment because its a moment; I’m trying to be mindful of the God that gave me the moment. The natural bent I have towards selfishness has shifted to a slightly more godly one. Each moment spent in mindfulness starts and ends with God.
I may not have the voice of the lead from Hillsong (or Ursula the sea witch for that matter), but I have a keyboard to convey the truths he lays in my heart. So I will make one more return to the world of online blogging, but this time I will be more mindful of the meaning in the words.
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, and a part-time basket case who wants to be a full time writer.