My oldest daughter came to visit for a few days with her adorable, but very-busy-as-a-bee four-year-old.
One morning, she asked a simple question, "Mom, can you watch him just for 30 minutes while I go outside to catch my breath and maybe even read my book without interruption."
"Of course," I answered, remembering back to that time in my own life when kids ran around incessantly at my feet, clamoring for attention, and busy-as-bees themselves. "Take your time."
Our modest house is at the top of a mountain in the woods and is surrounded by perennial gardens with a small koi pond and a waterfall. It's been a dream come true for us after being in a cookie-cutter home in suburbia with a lawn raising our family. (*we were very thankful for it at the time...it served us well*)
After I'm not sure how long, she came back inside and after her very profuse thank you, she said, "It's like being in an OASIS out there."
Her word usage struck me.
Life can be so busy. As busy as a rambunctious four-year-old unable to stop for even a minute.
Life is often hard. As hard as it gets. Complicated. Sad. Angering. Unpleasant. Dangerous.
Life is sometimes brittle. Parched. Our souls are dry and we feel withered up inside.
We desperately need an OASIS.
A place of RELIEF, where we can kick our shoes off, take a long, slow, deep breath and experience that all-is-well feeling, even if just or a moment or two.
A place of REFUGE, where the hard is held tenderly, we feel safe both inside and out, and our soul is free to just be.
A place of REFRESHMENT, where we drink in beauty or rest, laughter or quiet, where our spirits are quenched and our hearts come back to life.
We often don't give ourselves permission to ask for 30 minutes of reading without interruption, or for whatever would be an OASIS for our particular busy, hard, brittle life.
Instead, we get busier. And life gets harder. And our soul ends up brittle, cracking around us.
I've known that all too well in my life.
Even this morning.
I'm exhausted from the past few weeks of busy, busy, busy.
I'm wiped out from all the hard of life, the pain, what seems like a never-ending struggle.
I'm dried up inside and out, even my chapped lips reminding me to take a drink. To rest. To recover.
I desperately need an OASIS.
I feel God beckoning me into one.
It's right outside my door after all.
Where is yours?
Go figure it out.
Go find it.
Go go go.
And then stop, stop, stop.