This post is inspired by an email a good friend sent to me yesterday with the following excerpt from Streams in the Desert, a devotional book by Charles E. Cowman (and Lettie B. Cowman).
He went out to the field one evening to meditate. Genesis 24:63
We would be better Christians if we spent more time alone, and we would actually accomplish more if we attempted less and spent more time in isolation and quiet waiting upon God. The world has become too much a part of us, and we are afflicted with the idea that we are not accomplishing anything unless we are always busily running back and forth. We no longer believe in the importance of a calm retreat where we sit silently in the shade. As the people of God, we have become entirely too practical. We believe in having “all our irons in the fire” and that all the time we spend away from the anvil or fire is wasted time. Yet our time is never more profitably spent than when we set aside time for quiet mediation, talking with God, and looking up to heaven. We can never have too many of these open spaces in life – hours set aside when our soul is completely open and accessible to any heavenly thought or influence that God may be pleased to send our way.
Someone once said, “Meditation is the Sunday of the mind.” In these hectic days, we should often give our mind a “Sunday,” a time in which it will do no work but instead will simply be still, look heavenward, and spread itself before the Lord like Gideon’s fleece, allowing itself to be soaked with the moisture of the dew of heaven. We should have intervals of time when we do nothing, think nothing, and plan nothing but simply lie on the green lap of nature and “rest a while” (Mark 6:31).
Time spent in this way is not lost time. A fisherman does not say he is losing time when he is mending his nets, nor does a gardener feel he has wasted his time by taking a few minutes to sharpen the blades on his mower. And people living in cities today would do well to follow the example of Isaac and as often as possible visit the fields of the countryside, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. After having grown weary from the heat and noise of the city, communion with nature is very refreshing and will bring a calming, healing influence. A walk through a field, a stroll by a seashore, or a hike across a meadow sprinkled with daisies will purge you of the impurities of life and will cause your heart to beat with new joy and hope.
The little cares that worried me,
I lost them yesterday,
Out in the fields with God.
I almost leapt out of joy and gratitude when I finished the passage. Oh my goodness.
I have never felt more unproductive or lazy as I have these last 14 months (to the day since Owen's birth). I tried going back to work after my maternity leave. I lasted all of one week. If that.
Sitting at my desk, reliving the last kicks I can remember Owen's little feet kicking. Replaying the events that transpired over the next few days. I couldn't get it out of my head, all the things I had tried to put away. I couldn't get away from those memories and the what ifs. What if I had gone to hospital straight away? What if I had KNOWN those were Owen's goodbye kicks?
It was insanely toxic.
So, what have I been doing since February of last year? What are my days filled with?
I spend a lot of the day in peaceful and sometimes not so peaceful quiet time. I'm alone most of the day, if you don't count cats...you don't? Well, then I am alone.
I read, I watch movies sometimes, I clean (did you know how catharetic cleaning can be? I didn't), and sometimes, especially at the beginning of my grief journey, I just laid on the couch or in bed, crying, praying, thinking about Owen, day dreaming about the life we almost had, crying out to God or really, sometimes I just laid there, thinking nothing, doing nothing.
Time passes by, amazingly enough. I also spent a lot of time on the MISS Foundation website. The ladies on the forums are just amazing. The second I logged on (you must be a part of this undesirable group of bereaved mommies/daddies/grandparents/siblings/family members to join the website and view the discussion boards) I knew I belonged. We cry, struggle, rejoice, comfort, and mourn with each other.
My good friend sent me this excerpt to encourage me, because she is also a bereaved mommy and feels very unproductive sometimes as well. She's told me from the very beginning of our friendship that right now, my job is to be still. To mourn and grieve. Nothing more than that.
BIG sigh of relief today. I will be still. I will rest.