It was a day of quiet, a party tailor made for introverts, our own idea of best-day-ever. The kids were with my parents, and so I had hours all to myself. I forget how much I need it, the time. The quiet. The space.

I don’t know how it is with you, but with me it is like this: I put a lot of pressure on alone. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time craving it, and so when it comes, I try to suck the life right out of it. I fail to let it breathe, when breathing is the very thing I need. I thought of the coming year, how it’s always the same but so different. I had planned to spend the time planning and praying about what lies ahead, about things that have me twisted up and anxious and unfree.

Finally, I surrendered to the quiet. Instead of planning and dealing with issues, I spent some time reading. I read Colossians, and a post by my friend who is pregnant and waiting, and a little bit of The War of Art. I read some Seth, some Edie, and a bit of my own book that hasn’t come out yet. And before I knew it, I was pulling my coat on over my sweatshirt and heading out into the woods near our house.And in what my husband called a beautiful waste of time, I walked. And listened. And captured the day happening around me. God stands on his head, you know. Just when I think I finally have time to figure things out, he quiets me instead. Just when I think it’s my chance to pour out, I realize I have nothing I need to say. There can be fear in that place, fear that the time you finally have is spilling through your fingers without a single minute counting because you haven’t written a goal, haven’t solved a problem, haven’t strung one word into two. But there is comfort in knowing that as I walk, He walks with me. He reminds me that it isn’t about my dealing with my problems, it is about remembering that he has already dealt with them. It’s about the knowing and the believing and the receiving of truth.As this year quietly blends into the next this weekend, I pray that we would find permission to be with our Creator. Not necessarily for hours on end, but for time enough to push through the shame of inactivity that threatens to overwhelm when we let ourselves be still. And in that place of quiet existence, I pray for you to be overwhelmed with a sense of your own belovedness. Thank you for chatting with me here in this space for yet another year. May the new year bring more beautiful conversation, and may the Lord provide you a spacious place for your soul to breathe.