In the stillness of the morning, I meet with God – here at the Sunflower Inn in Yoder, Kansas.
Two friends join me for this weekend away, this girlfriend time that also counts as my sabbatical from ministry.
No flipping on the TV, no computer screen bleeping messages from cyberspace. Just my friends, God and me.
Birds sing morning allelujahs and I wait for something – that cacophony of sound that usually assaults me when I open my eyes.
But here in this quiet place, I do not hear it and feel blessed by its absence.
Traffic. The roar of engines and the hurry-to-work-revving is not present in this place.
I discover the secret solace of Yoder, Kansas. Amish buggies move silently except for the clopping of horses’ hooves on the pavement – a subtle sound that speaks of contented life without the scurry of automation.
Sunflowers decorate my room, a reminder of Kansas and of vibrant life that promises to burst forth as soon as winter gives way to spring.
And I am reminded of my own personal mantra that I share in speaking venues – when life unravels, take a break.
My soul, so grieved with the hurts I hear and see each day – needs this respite. My family is thick into the caregiving of our mother who struggles through Alzheimer’s. I need this time away.
Although brief, it is like a gulp of air to a woman who is drowning in the cares of life. The reminder that life is to be lived, and I have a purpose. Yet I do not need in this quiet place to even think on that purpose or to meet the needs of anyone besides myself.
And that is okay. It is not selfish to take time for self-care.
So I listen blissfully to the stereo of Yoder sounds: the trill of the birds and the mew of a kitten, the bellow of a cow begging to be milked and in the distance – the putt-putt of a tractor on its way to the fields.
Sounds of contented life in Amish country. Sounds I miss in the city life I lead. Sounds I need to hear on this sabbatical weekend.
Should God allow my timeline to continue, He will enable and equip me to meet others’ needs again. He will pour through me the abundance of His Spirit.
But for now, he bids me rest.
He whispers to me in this early morning hour from Psalm 54:4, “God is my helper, the Lord is the upholder of my life.”
Uphold me even today, Lord. Cup your hands around my face and pour into me your healing spirit. Bless me too, my Father, with your love in this quiet place.
I cannot tell you how much I needed to hear what you wrote today. Thank you for your willingness to be transparent with what you are going through…it is refreshing and encouraging. Your writing reminds to keep my focus on what is important and that my wisdom and direction in life always comes from our Lord. I love reading your posts and want to encourage you to keep it up…it is a blessing in my life…thank you!
Thank you so much, Jaye, for the encouragement and for being who you are! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Take a trip to Yoder sometime. Miss you, too!
Loved this post. Thank you. Just so you know, there are lots of “Yoder” spots all around us. We have to create them.
Thanks for the reminder, Ray, about the Yoder spots all around us. Sometimes we just need to have that extra impetus to find them.
What a beautiful account! I became refreshed in spirit just reading about your sabbatical experience in a lovely place. Your use of Scripture and the closing prayer will touch many people.
Thank you, Charlotte. I hope you’ll have a chance to visit Yoder someday.