It’s more than a little ironic that this week I was supposed to write a piece on the idea of “sanctuary” as part of conversation hosted by the Patheos Book Club about the book, “ Sweet Sanctuary“, by Sheila Walsh and Cindy Martinusen Coloma.
It’s a lovely story about spiritual healing and forgiveness and … there’s a party … and … argh. If I could clear my head I could tell you more.
But my work to-to list has tripled in length in the last 72 hours. The cat is rolling around on my laptop keyboard (he’s already removed the “t”, “F3” and “alt” keys and sent an email I didn’t write). The dogs are barking non stop at the neighbor trimming his hedges, and the puppy is shredding yet another couch cushion.
Excuse me while I scream.
It’s not been a bad week, although it might sound like it from that little snapshot. I’ve gotten some paying work (yay!) and all of the dogs are healthy (yay!) and Bandit and I are planning a trip in a couple of weeks to go to a pet blogging conference (woof!).
But sometimes, even an overload of good things can be too much. Add in some wet dogs and pillow stuffing strewn around the living room and, well, let’s just say, Mommy needs a nap.
And there, dear reader, is where I find my sanctuary.
I know, I know. If I was a good Christian I’d be telling you that I ran to my Bible, where I had already used colored tabs to mark every verse on peace and rest, and with head bent over a cup of herbal tea, prayed for an hour and felt better.
But I know that lying is a sin.
What I did was call “Sleepy nap time!” a command the dogs know well. It signals the time when Bandit heads upstairs to the landing, Scout curls up behind the recliner, the cat finds his basket and Bailey and I stretch out on the couch.
Sleepy nap time = sanctuary.
It’s not that I need to sleep in the middle of the day. Although trust me, an hour nap can make almost everything all better. What I need is quiet and calm. Time to just close my eyes and not think. Time for my brain to rest and make sense this information racing around in my head. Time, if I’m lucky, to maybe manage a few creative thoughts.
There was a time when my “I want to be the perfect Christian” self would have done scenario one, and struggled with feeling too scatterbrained to understand the verse “Jesus wept” let alone pray for an hour. I would have felt worse for not living up to my expectations.
Now, I try not to be a poser before God. Instead, I lie on the couch, take a deep breath, close my eyes, and feel the warm puppy snuggled next to me, and my head, heart and spirit are relaxed. With a quiet mind, I can ask God to help me weed out the unimportant things, find ways to take care of the important things, and keep my day in perspective.
Trust me, God speaks in dreams. Even dreams dreamt in the middle of the afternoon.
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You can join other bloggers in a discussion about the idea of “sanctuary” on the Patheos.com Book Club.