Sunday Sketchbook - Quiet Waters

I sat on the cotton-threaded couch, toes wiggling in my shoes, my hands nervously rubbing my pant legs.  

"So, how does this work?" I asked. "What will we be talking about first?  Will there be homework assignments and self-help books to read?  Are there things that I can check off a list?  How will I know that I am making progress?"

These were the very first words that flew out of my mouth during my first session with my therapist.

She looked at me and smiled with kindness and knowing eyes.  "No, that's not how this works."

I shared this conversation with my sister.  I told her that I realized for the first time in my life that I might have some anxiety and control issues.  She laughed and kidded, "You didn't know?" 

I shared it with my husband too.  He said the same thing.  Apparently everybody knew this about me except for me.

I deal with a lot of anxiety.  It *might* have something to do with all of the coffee that I drink, but it probably has more to do with having a big imagination and a ton of empathy feelings.  I notice and feel everything.  I am a highly functioning person with anxiety.  

I love that God creates people with different wiring.  Some, like Paul, are great debaters.  Some, like Peter, are headstrong and bold leaders.  Some, like Barnabas, are naturally gifted with making friends.  Others, like Luke the doctor, are whip-smart and analytical.  And some, like myself, are big-time feeling, compassionate people who like to check things off their checklists because accomplishments and checklists make them feel good and in control in a very uncertain world.

But sometimes checklists can't fix big problems and big heartaches because that's not how life works. 

"That's not how this works."

One thing this wise sage of a woman helped me to learn is just to *be* instead of *do*.

Really, to breathe.

Watercolor journal pages by Jennifer Frith - Quiet Waters

I love that God offers stillness and quietness to people of all different types of wiring, including those who are wound up tighter than a corkscrew... like me.

Quiet Waters come when I take time out of my day to meet with Him during my early morning routine.  When I come to Him with my burdens and anxious thoughts, I'm reminded that a life of peace often first comes by being, not doing. That's when all is calm in my heart, and all is in His control.  It's from there that I can tackle my to-do list (which I fondly call my "accomplishment list"), not the other way around.  Then I can face the world and all of its uncertainties from a place of health and peace.

Watercolor journal pages by Jennifer Frith - Quiet Waters
Watercolor Journal Pages by Jennifer Frith

How are you wired?

What do quiet waters look like to you?

Sunday sketches in my hardbound journal, with Schmincke watercolors.  Inspired by my fish, Chuck.