I suppose you can tell by now that getting settled here can leave one's nerves somewhat raw, displaced, or, okay, overwhelmed.
One of my favorite things about living here are the mornings when I pad out to sit on our porch in my PJ's. On the best mornings, I bring a warm cup ofcarefully-rationed Starbucks Via that some adoptive parent blissfully, blessedly left behind for those less privileged. I walk out to witness that green, fully-flowering quiet that is our backyard: roses, bougainvillea, impatiens, and curious-looking plants I can't even name yet. More than once, there has been this staggering tangerine sunrise that neither John nor I can capture with our camera lens. The birds, and even the monkeys next door (not talking about neighbor kids! Real monkeys!) seem to love chittering and laughing with each other in the morning. And there's something about the birds here: I can hear their wings beating from my wooden chair on the porch as they lift into flight. There are even some African eagles that I watch dip and coast on their hunt for breakfast.
But even in that damp, captivating square of creation, settling down to talk with God can feel...distracted. Sometimes with all of the noise inside of my head and out, not to mention my emotions during such a mind-boggling little strip of life, I have to keep a little notepad nearby so I can save to-do list thoughts for later.
It got me to start a list: What practical things can I do if my brain just doesn't seem ready to be still and know? I even posed the question on Facebook. Of course, so many lists just look like little baby blog posts to me waiting to find their way in the world. So I did it. I posted it: 28 Ways to Connect with God When Your Brain Won't Quiet Down. And may someone benefit from my struggles for spiritual discipline.