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The First of Many Wonders

The past few months have taught me a lot about myself—for one thing, that I spend way, way too much time in my own head.

Novel-writing is my passion, but it can be an all-consuming one, and once it reaches that point, I usually start to feel it. It's the same with any task, any undertaking. As long as my physical goals are kept in perspective and balanced with my spiritual life, things feel manageable. I have God's peace with me, His Presence beside me, and they keep my goals in check. But as I start to dedicate more and more of myself to productivity, leaving God only the scraps of my time, the result is a gradual accumulation of stress until—whoosh—I'm lost in a whirlwind.

Sometimes I don't even feel myself slipping onto that trajectory—just a distant impression of unease, a steady, persistent drizzle of stress that grows if I let it, becoming, before I know it, a torrential downpour of overwhelmed uncertainty that leaves me frenzied and drowning and wondering how on earth did I get here?

Vacation is a great time to confront that kind of question, and my first few days at Sauble Beach have been a blessing. I've taken a break from writing, and realized that I've been shoving God onto the back-burner, trying to go it alone, and condemning myself to stress as a result. Not only that, but in sealing myself within my own mind, I miss out on so much. Gorgeous sunsets, beautiful moments of stillness, quality time with family—all because I can't afford to sacrifice a single moment of productivity.

God didn't design us to operate that way. We are not machines, and if we allow productivity to become our god, we sacrifice the peace and assurance and perspective that comes from a focus on Jesus. Every time I slip into that trap, I learn more and more what crowding out Christ means for my mental health and my life. I don't want to miss out on the blessings Jesus offers—I don't want to miss out on blessings, period.

Yesterday, my niece spotted a rainbow over Sauble Beach: a symbol of God's promise, His faithfulness. With His help, that rainbow will be the first of many wonders that I will take the time to truly enjoy, the first of many blessings that will free me from the storm in my own mind, and rescue me into the peace that is Jesus.

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