Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A day at the beach. (a word about anxiety)

Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you wanted to hide? 

I was having some pretty terrible anxiety recently. In trying to explain it to Shaun, all I could say was that it was like a storm inside of me that I couldn't calm down. Eventually, after praying and talking it through, Shaun and I recognized that a huge part of my stress was simply due to lack of rest. 

I went from China to New York, to then come home & engage in some pretty emotionally strenuous activities- like planning 2 events, helping a loved one through the loss of her husband, and welcoming my second God-daughter into the world. Not to mention the return of my Calling All Skaters family from China... and their graduation, and departure from Youth With a Mission this past weekend. 

There has been A LOT going on. 
(This would explain why I've been lacking in the blog department!) 

Soooo... the obvous answer to my dilemma was to rest. 
And that's exactly what I did on Sunday. 

I woke up Sunday morning and drove to Manhattan Beach, where a sweet friend of mine allowed me to make use of her apartment while she was out of town. 

My schedule looked something like this:
(1 rule- no facebook or instagram)

Long walk on the beach
Eat yummy food at the apartment
Take a nap
Lay on the beach & read a book (I picked a book by a great Christian psychologist.. haha looking for better ways to take care of myself... so I don't die on overload) 
Walk to a cafe 
Drink a honey latte & read my Bible
Drive to Hermosa Beach to watch the sunset on the pier
Drive back to the apartment to make dinner & enjoy a glass of wine
Pray & shower
Drive home refreshed

It's amazing how refreshed I really felt. I was praying all throughout the day and could really feel the Lord reminding me that He is enough for me. I felt Him showing me the need to slow down and soak up the gifts of life- like my relationships with others. As I allowed my mind & body to slow down, the "storm" in me was calmed. My anxiety dissolved & my stress seemed to melt away. 

At the end of the night I watched the sunset on the Hermosa Beach pier. Aside from being breathtakingly beautiful- it was so fun to see people literally running down the pier to catch a glimpse of the sun going down. Its amazing how much we, as humans, love sunsets. It doesn't matter if we believe in God or not- we are all struck by the glory of the sun-setting. The beauty & wonder of it all causes people to stand shivering over the cold ocean waiting for the moment when the gorgeous light disappears beneath the water. 

It was a great picture to me of what happens when we allow God to make beautiful things out of our lives. It will always draw people. Whether they recognize Him in it or not, they will naturally be drawn to the glory that is revealed by His work. 

That's what I am praying for as we venture forward into Fashion Week LA. I pray that the glory of Christ is revealed through us as we allow Him to be King of our time backstage. 

So beauties, if any of you are feeling "stormy" in your heart, be encouraged that Jesus, the Prince of Peace, has authority to calm any storms you may encounter. It may just require you to rest:

(From Mark chapter 4, in the Bible.) 
35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 
36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 
37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 
38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?”
39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 
40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”
41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

1 comment:

Abby Talsma said...

Jessica, we met a couple of years ago at the Word in Motion dance festival, and although we haven't kept in touch, I want you to know that I regularly read your blog. And am consistently encouraged and refreshed by your words. Thanks for writing :)