“For the Lord is God, and he created the heavens and earth and put everything in place. He made the world to be lived in not to be a place of empty chaos. “I am the Lord,” he says, “and there is no other.” Isaiah 45:18 NLT

My heart broke as I received some disappointing news. Our spring is in full swing with a full schedule, so adding in a stressful disappointment went straight to the not in my neck. Ouch! “I want a vacation,” I thought to myself, knowing that wasn’t a reality. A break would certainly be great though.

This morning as I dropped the carpool off at Jr. High, I realized I could take a break. It would be short, but worth it. Instead of going home and doing the dishes and starting another load of laundry before my first appointment, I drove on down to my meeting place, parked and went for a walk. A couple of blocks down my favorite bakery had just slowed from its morning bustle. Grabbing a bagel and cup of coffee I settled into the outdoor garden area to eat and be still for a moment. I heard birds chattering in the trees behind the bakery and in the distance were cars driving by, but for that brief moment I enjoyed heavenly solitude with fresh air and a yummy breakfast.

I love our downtown area in the spring. Some shops that have garden space plant flowers along the storefront and scatter potted plants. It’s beautiful.

After finishing my mini-retreat I walked a block further to Farmer’s Market around the Square. The market was small, but the vendors were friendly. I stopped to purchase basil and a sage plant asking for planting advice which was graciously and patiently given, despite my many questions. Next, a couple of vendors down I spotted the mom of one of my son’s friends who was selling strawberries. We chatted a bit about senior year and senioritis as I picked out two baskets of strawberries (one for me and one for a friend).

As I was walking back towards my car I gave thanksgiving to God for the amazing gift I had just been given.  Right there in the middle of busy was a forty-five minute respite. An unrushed beautiful moment that refreshed, restored and renewed my spirit. An opportunity to breathe in hope and exhale worry. The knot in my neck even seemed to loosen.

What are some things you do for a short break during seasons of stress?


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