Because everything comes around to Facebook, I mentioned my dizziness (in the literal sense) on my status. A friend of mine sent me a message suggesting perhaps the cause was dehydration, and she mentioned a few symptoms to look for. Well, as all good adoptive moms, I have had my share of CPR and first aid classes in my day and so I did the pinch your hand test (I'm not sure that's the official name of the test, but I digress) and sure enough, instead of my skin springing back to shape it slowly slid out of the pinch. I don't remember much about those classes, but I do remember that is THE sign of dehydration.
I'm guessing I was dehydrated at the beach yesterday too, which is sort of interesting. My friend thought maybe I was dehydrated today because of the beach yesterday, which would make sense if it was hot and I had been running around playing frisbee or swimming. But it was cold and overcast, and I spent the day snuggled on the blanket with my kids reading. Of course my odd symptoms at the Beach sort of indicate maybe I was already dehydrated when I got there, but that doesn't really make sense either. I have not been keeping with my workouts, so not much sweating going on. I haven't been sick, no vomiting or anything. So for the life of me, I cannot tell you why I was dehydrated, there is just no logical explanation for it.
Looking at it in hindsight, I don't know how long I have been a little dehydrated, but the evidence of it is something I can now see. I've been tired and lacked energy. I haven't been working out because I wake up most mornings with a headache and planning my nap for the day. The dizzy spells have been off and on for several weeks, and I am beginning to think maybe this whole dehydration issue may be at the core. So, the only logical explanation is that the whole thing just sort of snuck up on me. It was nothing profound, I didn't have a flu bug, I didn't bake all day in the sun without drinking water, I didn't do anything dramatic to cause the issue, I must have just slowly stopped doing the things that prevent it. A little less intake, a little less self-care, and slowly my body started to feel the effects.
So as I was taking inventory of my physical symptoms of my physical dehydration, and it made me think about my last couple of blog posts here and my sense of spiritual dryness, and I am having to come face to face with the fact that maybe I am dehydrated spiritually too, and maybe just like I slowly slipped into the physical "dryness" maybe I made the same kind of mistakes spiritually as well. It wasn't anything profound or drastic, just little by little, I was no longer drinking in enough for my needs, and before I knew it, I was feeling weak, weary, unmotivated and out of sorts. I didn't run in the direction of the desert, I just slowly wandered there.
Yesterday when we were at the beach Jake and I were lounging on the sand while Ethan and Victoria were playing out in the water. Jake and I took turns being the one responsible for watching them out in the water. My younger two are adventurous and brave and love to frolic in the surf. When they were little I wouldn't let them go near the water unless their dad or I were right by their sides. But as they've gotten older and stronger, better swimmers, we let them have a little more freedom and we step back and let them play, but we never, never take our eyes off of them on purpose.
There are a couple of rules that come with their freedom, first of all we expect them to stay together. If one of them should fall or get into any trouble, there is safety in numbers. Secondly, they have to stay within the boundaries we set for them, we tell them how deep they can wade and we give them a firm reminder about their responsibility to look back on sand for us to make sure they haven't drifted too far down shore as is likely to happen.
It happened repeatedly actually. Jake and I sat and watched as the kids played in the waves, and over and over again, they drifted down the shore. We'd try to call out to them, but they couldn't hear us over the wind and the waves. I'm known for my loud voice, I speak clearly and audibly, and my children are able to hear me and respond in almost any venue, but not at the beach. Even when I stand and give out my best bellow, it's as though the wind blows my voice right back to me, and the waves drown it out. Everything around my kids intereferes with them hearing me.
So instead of calling out to them when they began to wander too far away I would stand, and I would try to make myself as "large" as possible and gain their visual attention. I would stand and wave until I caught one of their eyes, and then I would clearly motion to them to return within the boundaries I'd set for them, and each time they would comply. If they looked at me, they would be able to see they were not where they belonged, but as soon as they got me in focus, they knew where to go and they would move right back to where they should be.
So it occurs to me, that maybe my spiritual dehydration at its core was caused by the equivalent of my own "drifting" because so caught up in the wind and surf, I lost my focus and slipped down the shore, out of the boundaries set for me. No matter how the Lord might call out to me, His voice would be drown out by everything going on around me. And suddenly I would find I wasn't taking in what I needed because the resources weren't there. The resources, the antidote for my thirst wasn't in the waves, but rather waiting in a "cooler" of sorts up at the blanket with Dad.
Now mind you, my kids weren't ever in extreme danger, they were constantly under a watching eye, but still the further they wandered, the less safe and secure they were. And me too, I may not have been out of reach of the Lord, but instead of having my eyes fixed, and being mindful of staying where I needed to be, I let myself get distracted, and I haven't been as safe as I ought to be, and I haven't had the resources necessary for the spiritual health and strength God wills for me.
Spiritually weak and worn, spiritually dry because I have let "life" distract me from Truth. What's a girl to do? Paul gives some excellent advice to the Corinthians, that I think I should take for myself.
Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Bottom line, I have got to get my eyes back on the Lord up on the shore. I didn't intentionally stop focusing on Him, it just sort of happened, the stresses of life and family? A little too much Facebook? It wasn't one thing, and yet it was everything. And it has made life complicated, and yet the solution is simple, but also a challenge. I have to look right at the Lord, "up on the shore." Paul speaks about being "renewed day by day." I think that is the solution to my dehydration, just as much as the focus is the solution to my drifting. How am I to be renewed? How do I deal with the spiritual "dehydration?" Paul has the advice for that too.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Just like I needed to drink in lots of cool water today to tend to my physical needs, I need to drink in the Word to satiate my spiritual thirst. It's so simple, yet so profound.
I remember when I was little playing in the surf like my little ones, and after a time would pass I would look back up to the shore to try and find my family. I remember times when having drifted, I was disoriented, and the panic that would begin to settle in. I would look desperately for some familiar marker that would direct me to where my father could be found. I also remember the rush of relief that would wash over me when my dad would stand up and make himself big enough for me to see, waving his arms so I could find him, and know where to move back to. Today, I am grateful for the waving arms of my heavenly Father, Who's now calling me back from the place I have drifted to where my thirst threatens dehydration, and though never out of His sight, I am pushing the boundaries of His best for me.
I see You Lord, Your hands waving for me, and I am not only going to fix my eyes, but I am going to come back from the wind and waves so they will no longer drown out your voice. I think in fact, I will draw out of the water, and come back up the beach and sit at Your feet and drink Your Water. I think I will stay here a while, until I am strong again, and until the dehydration passes. And maybe when you think I'm ready, I may go back out into the waves. But I pray I will not drift down the shore unknowingly again. But I am thankful that even if I do, You are ever watching me, always ready to catch my eye and draw me back to Yourself.