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No choir anthems. No banks of Easter lilies with their intoxicating scent. No new clothes. No colored eggs.

Today is the first time in I can’t tell you how long that I have not gone to church on Easter Sunday. I am as much a believer as I’ve ever been, but this seems to be the year for me to have a private, quiet observance of the Resurrection. And I’m pretty sure God understands.

In fact, one of the first things I heard this morning was Third Day’s song, “Slow Down”: “Tell me to slow down if you know that I’m going too fast for my own good. ….I don’t want to let go of all the things that I know are keeping me away from my life. Oh, I don’t want to slow down. No, I don’t want to look around. But I can’t seem to work it out, so help me God.”

Help me, God. I can’t seem to work it out. Actually, I suspect it’s true that I find reasons not to slow down because it’s hard to look around, look in.  I became a widow over two years ago, after 39 years of marriage. Now it’s clear that I lost myself in that marriage. When Art died, I had to hit the ground running to keep my life afloat financially. In the process I found a career I love and I’ve learned new things about myself, grown, blossomed — but it’s a type of work that is never done, and now I struggle not to lose myself in it. Right now I’m worn thin. I want resurrection life to flow through me. That’s what God intends, and if I’m not present, it can’t.

I’m reading A Weekend to Change Your Life, by Joan Anderson. She writes about taking a sabbatical or extended retreat. Even a weekend away, and how valuable that can be “after a lifetime of being all things to all people.” So that’s why I decided to stay home from church today. No, this weekend isn’t a fullblown retreat. I can’t go to a beach cottage. I’m at my own house, still doing laundry, picking up sticks in my yard, making a bank deposit. But I need alone time, and I’m taking it where I can get it.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

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