Last night I decided to take a bath. As I went looking for some good-smelling bubble bath (or bath foam, as it’s now called with some brands), the only thing I could come up with was Caroline’s Tinkerbell bubble bath—which was extremely sweet smelling and made my headache even worse when I opened the top to smell it.
As I pondered what to do—was it really worth it to take a bath in JUST water?—I started feeling sad. I can’t remember the last time I took a bath. Before you start to gag, I take a shower pretty much every morning (jammie days excluded), but that’s to get clean. Taking a bath is to relax. There’s some washing that happens in there, but, for me, it’s really just to unwind and soak.
When I was pregnant with Hope, I used to take a bath 5-6 times a week. When I was single, I took one 3-4 times a week. But , as I started my water last night, I couldn’t remember the last time I took a bath. The thing is, I’m a mom and a wife now. My tub doesn’t get cleaned as often as it used to. I work all day, come home and either cook dinner or clean up (or sometimes both), help with homework, engage with my girls and hubby in conversation and when they are finally in bed, I want to just sit. The thought of cleaning out the tub so I can relax is not worth it.
Another thing about taking a bath that is hard for me is that it forces me to do nothing. Now that I have a Kindle and iPhone, I don’t have many paper books anymore, and if I do, they are borrowed from the library or a friend. My iPhone has had a couple of baths and the outcome has not been good, so I keep my electronics—and borrowed items--as far from water as possible. So, a bath—for me—means that I just sit and soak. This is not something I do well. I’m a “do-er” and when I sit, I think about all the things I should be doing, which causes me to stress that I’m not doing them at that very minute and the “relaxation” time turns into wasted time.
But God calls us to be still.
And I don’t think He begrudges us taking care of ourselves, either. I think back to Elijah. In 1 Kings 19, we see some incredible things God does because of Elijah’s faith in asking for them. Then we see God take care of Elijah through ravens. And we see Him speak to Elijah—not in a powerful wind, not in an earthquake, not in a fire, but in a gentle whisper.
This story tells me 2 things: #1—No matter how much I “do” for God (or others), He still wants me to take care of myself. I still need to eat and rest. #2—I can’t hear His whisper if I’m not still. This one really hits me with my hearing loss—I don’t hear whispers very often and in order for me to do so, I have to get rid of all the white noise around me first.
So, last night, as I was soaking in my tub, listening to my Nora Jones Pandora mix, enjoying the scent of my new mango bodywash I used as my bubble bath, I got still. And I don’t think God spoke any great thing to me. What I do know is that I was weary when I got in the tub. When I got out, I was still tired, but renewed. Hard to describe. I got in my jammies, put on my new aloe-infused socks, and climbed into bed with a book about leading people that I haven’t picked up in a few weeks.
As I am writing this morning and reflecting back to last night, I think God did whisper to me. I don’t know that I was still enough to hear it at the time.
I guess I’ll be taking another bath tonight. Maybe I’ll go to the store and get some real bubble bath this time.
Is it hard for you to "be still and know that He is God?" What things to you do to block out the white noise in your life? Do you own any bubble bath?