I try to be really intentional about giving my self space to be me. Being a Wife, Mom and business owner, I find it really important that I step away to connect with God where distractions can't find me... well, not the usual distractions anyway, like, laundry, dishes, personalities, emails, schedules, etc.
A typical self care day for me looks like browsing my favorite antique shops, grabbing some lunch at a quiet cafe, treating myself to a mani/pedi or taking a long drive to get lost for a little while. It isn't always easy, but I know my mind and heart need it.
The other day, I was looking at my planner and saw that my Saturday was going to be wide open. Everyone in the family had plans, except me. I didn't really trust that it would stay that way yet, I began to protect that Saturday from filling up with anything that might interfere with a self care day. I woke up early Saturday morning and got myself ready for a day of adventure, I decided to head for the beach.
As I set out on my two hour drive to the coast, I struggled with lots of emotions. Guilt for leaving my family to fend for themselves. A little fear crept in about being alone and having an unknown agenda. I questioned my plan to head out instead of staying home to work on projects for the Codex Planner. The sink was loaded with dishes and of course, the never-ending battle against laundry tried to convince me to stay home. It took me a good 45-60 minutes into my drive to shake all those feels and settle into my adventure day with God.
I won't go into every detail of my day because that would be a lot of reading for you so, I'll tell you my biggest lesson from the day and a really cool story about a bridge.
I have to be more intentional about stepping away for some one-on-one time with God. Just me and Him. About halfway through the morning, I stopped trying to create a plan and allowed God to lead me. As in, I actually kept driving until I felt a nudge to turn the car. Each time I obeyed the nudge, I was led to a special treasure set apart just for me. Twice, I found myself sitting on a quiet beach to enjoy a warm, summer Saturday with very few people in sight. There was delicious food eaten, perfect parking spaces, and enjoyable conversations with strangers and an old friend. I felt God's presence throughout my day and it was nothing less than magical. It filled up my soul in ways I haven't found in other self care moments.
The Story of a Bridge
On my drive to the beach, I saw a small sign that said, "Driftwood Covered Bridge Next Left". I immediately thought, "How cool would that be to see a bridge covered in driftwood!" I kept driving, not fully engaged in the "adventure" part of my day yet.
As I was heading home later that afternoon, I remembered that bridge, but I had no idea where I had seen it. I wrote it off that I wasn't meant to see the bridge and continued my drive home. Five minutes down the road, I saw it! The sign said to turn right so, I turned down this road that can only be described as a country backroad.
I kept driving as I locked my doors and allowed fear to creep up on me. All I kept thinking was, I am going to end up on the evening news... "Portland Woman goes missing on the Oregon Coast, news at 5". After cruising down this country road for a bit, I decided to turn around. Guess what the next turnaround was? The bridge.
I pull into what was actually a driveway. The bridge, in fact, was not covered in drift wood. My eyes had deceived me and it was actually called "The Drift Creek Bridge". Another theory I have is that if it was just any old bridge, I may not have been too interested and passed on the blessing God was about to share.
There was no way I should have gotten out of my car, yet I did. As another car pulled up beside me (more bridge seekers), I took a picture of the bridge turned to get back in my car. That nudge I had been listening to all day, prompted me, "Walk through the bridge." You bet I asked God if that was a good idea because on the other side of that bridge was someone's home, the bridge was actually over their driveway... where have you brought me, God!?
Obedient to the nudge that had revealed treasures to me all day long, I walked to the end of the bridge. I look up and I see the words, "Faith Can Build A Bridge". It took a split second for tears to well in my eyes as I strolled back to my car.
All day long I had trusted God to guide me through the day with turns and prompts and whispers to my heart. My faith grew in Him that day. I'm not exactly sure where my faith bridge will lead too, but that is just the kind of adventure I want to be on.