What a difference one week can make. Seven days ago I had a stomach (stress?) flu, was exhausted, dragging, and  a bit burnt out. Since, I have slowed down,checked in with my doc, amped up my spiritual life, played in my garden, visited my son in Denver, celebrated my 59th birthday, and visited the Denver Botanic Garden, a favorite place. That may not sound like slowing down but these are the things that help me heal and recharge.

My list may not work for everyone but underneath the specifics are the essentials for recharging: being with special people, enjoying hobbies, getting away, slowing down, checking with your team (like doc, minister, counselor), and last but not least, spending time with God.  Our spiritual lives are just as important as the mental and physical and it is impossible to heal without tending to the spirit.

On Sunday I shared with our congregation my favorite  reading when I need to find may way back to God. It is called Come to the Garden. The first part is the voice of a person calling out, and the second part is the voice of God answering.

Come To The Garden

 Lord, I feel fragmented, like a broken pot of clay.
I’ve lost my focus, I’ve lost my way.
I’ve poured myself out
I’m drained, I’m dry;
I sense a discontent
I can’t identify.

I feel rootless
Like a rolling tumbleweed,
Moving, moving, moving,
Dizzy from the speed.

I feel like quitting,
I feel self-doubt,
I’m tired Lord
I’m worn out
How can I integrate
My scattered thoughts
My dreams?
How can I find balance?
Freedom from extremes?

How can I slow down?
How can I release?
There are so many pressures,
How can I find peace?

Quiet, quiet, quiet,
My child be still
Listen to your feelings,
Discipline your will.

Come to the Garden
The secret place we share,
My essence is in the Garden,
Come to me in prayer.

Transcend worldly cares
Seek the kingdom first
Peace lies within
It is for me you thirst.
Accept your limitations,
Embrace humility
Here lies the path to wisdom
And to maturity.

Come to the Garden
The soul’s sweet bouquet
The flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today.

Together we will weed
Together we will sow
Together we will water
Together we will grow.

(JoAnna O’Keefe)

botanic grden stairs

So it is not a coincidence that I wanted to go to Denver Botanic Garden for my birthday! The beauty and calm there seeps into my heart and works its good from the inside out. However, burnout does not disappear overnight so I will continue to care for myself and recharge. This weekend I will head out for a camping trip with my son and his girlfriend’s family. Perfect timing!

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2 thoughts on “Alive Again!

  1. Thank you, Jane, for sharing JoAnna O’Keefe’s work. Currently struggling with assimilating back into my American life (from Mongolia) and seeking much too urgently to fill my plate with new goals. I need to “discipline my will.”

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