A Return to Eden Lifestyle

A Return to the Garden of Eden

By: Susan Schiller.

I discovered this lifestyle of intimacy with God and with each other as an ordinary mom putting her kids to bed at night.

I loved our bedtime rituals of baths, stories, and singing our favorite songs, but to be honest, my second favorite time of the day was that first tentative whisper, more like a yearning, as I listened for Papa God's voice in the few precious minutes of evening solitude.

My husband and I had married right out of college and we were soon young parents with stair-step babies, all 18-months apart. My husband stayed out each evening until well after bedtime, so it was usually just the kids and me. I was so very tired by the end of each day but I couldn't help but let our bedtime rituals draw on for 2-3 hours every evening.

This is where I discovered the joy of intimacy… breastfeeding, diapering, baths, stories, and songs! Intimacy is what we are created for… to love and to be loved. It's in giving away our lives that more Life – abundant life – is given to us.

We must always remember to be childlike. The veil is very thin between Heaven and Earth, when children are around! Acting goofy is not silly – it's a necessity for sanity!

There is one such evening I will always remember. I don't know how it happened, but I found myself no longer sitting on my sofa, but on a beautifully wrought iron bench in a garden that could not have been less gorgeous than the Garden of Eden itself. My Bridegroom had arrived and was sitting with me, and all the trees and bushes rejoiced with us. It seemed even the flowers bowed their heads in our presence and the wind in the trees whispered its pleasure to witness this night.

We simply sat, hand-in-hand. The intimacy of the moment was so rich and full that words were not needed. We communicated heart-to-heart. If I could share with you just one thing about Him, it would be that in His presence I felt no spot or stain of sin at all upon me. I felt clean, safe, and cherished… desired and desireable!

In a single moment all the aching loneliness of being an unloved wife entirely vanished! It wasn't just my husband, but my religion taught me to fear God because I was a "sinner". I could never be or do anything good on my own. My husband and my religion told me I was not good enough. Worthy of the death penalty. After many years of wearing me down, my husband warned me he was going to mutilate my body and take my life. 

I will tell you that my Beloved, gazing deep into my eyes, did not hint at any of those things. My beloved loves me wildly! He loves you wildly. Like a man swooning over his new bride is our God! I never felt so cherished in my whole life.

What you focus on, magnifies. Focusing on all the spots, stains, and wrinkles will usually get you more of the same. When I focus on His face I feel cherished, forgiven, and joyful.

As a child I learned that God loves to spend time with us.  Papa's voice was always gentle and quiet with me. He didn't tell me what to do or what to believe. He made suggestions, asking me to try things… to sample… to taste and see that He was good. He didn't demand my service; instead He bent down and washed MY feet. He told me over and over again how much He loved caring and providing for me!

I felt like a child again – so joyful and free. I recalled the day when I was 5-years old and none of the adults in my life could answer my question, "Can God see me in the dark?" That was when I first began talking to God myself. He was not bossy or condemning of me in my ignorance. He spoke to me with suggestions. In whispers that hinted, "Come and play with Me!"

As an adult now, I can understand that He was teaching me to think for myself, instead of just telling me what to think and what to do. One of His suggestions, for example, was "Try thinking of things to be thankful for!"

It became a game! Thanksgiving and praise form the doorway to His presence! And I discovered that Papa God enjoyed my questions because it simply gave us time together.

None of the adults in my life could understand what I was trying to tell them… that God loves us so much more than we know. He's wild about us! He doesn't think of us as dirty, shameful sinners. He's got an amazing sense of humor and He loves to belly laugh! He's not bossy. When He teaches, He wants us to discover truth on our own. He's not dismayed when we fall down and He doesn't give up on us when we stray.

Religion can be a lot like an abusive husband.

I believe God wants us to smooth out all the wrinkles and cleanse the spots and stains of His Bride, but not by focusing on our sins and heaping shame upon each other. Father wants us to cherish each other! There are 38 "one another" commands in the Bible pointing us to the life-transforming power of Love.

Just as much as I enjoyed the bedtime rituals (and all the daytime rituals, too!) with my three children, so our Papa God wants to indulge Himself in our pleasures. He adores us. We respond to His adoration by adoring Him. And you can't sin very well when you are being adored and adoring one another!

Just as He eagerly anticipated walking and talking with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening, so He's wild about being with us. My children often drew me in for "one more" song or "one more" bedtime story and I gladly indulged them. I knew they were facing fears of the dark and that they had questions in their little minds. All the "why's" and "why not's" seemed to pile out on top of each other at bedtime.

My love for my children is just a dusty image of our Father's incredible, wild love for us… and yet, what would happen if we ALL became childlike and drew upon our Father's love and walked and talked with Him in the evening, as Adam and Eve did?

The veil between Heaven and Earth is very thin when you're around children.

Maybe that's why Jesus said we must become childlike to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. They don't think it's strange to have visions and dreams and to believe they are real.

My children are grown and having their own children now, and the one thing I hope they will always remember is that God loves our family rituals. It might be a morning sunrise, a slow cup of tea, or an evening of solitude and song.

He wants to fill the aching holes in our heart as we gaze into His face.

Do you have a story that defines your faith, your values, and how you grew to love your God? I hope you write about it and include it in your life story book!

 

My Full Story     What I Believe    Contact Me

With all my love,

Sue

Susan Schiller knows how it feels to lose everything: marriage and family, church and reputation, finances and businesses, and more. Susan's upcoming, interactive memoir, "On the Way Home," tells the story of how she came to be known as "the most abused woman" her counselors had yet met and how she learned to navigate to freedom and fullness.  

Today Susan helps people write their life stories, unearthing the treasures of their past and sowing them into their future, creating new family legacies.

Copyright © 2010 to 2016 Team Family Online, All rights reserved.   For reprint permission or for any private or commercial use, in any form of media, please contact Susan Schiller

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Keri Kight September 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm

This is so beautiful Sharon.  When I was growing up, going to a Baptist church, I felt that God hated me.  I was a dirty sinner, and I felt like I could do nothing right.  I eventually gave up on religion because I felt like I would never be good enough for God.  

For almost ten years, I loathed Christians, all because of my one little church.  I assumed all Christians were the same, and that they hated people like me.  

I'm not sure if you believe in psychics or not, but I went to talk to one a few years ago, and it changed my life.  She was so kind, loving, and truthful.  She told me that I had angels around me always, and that my creator loves me.  She was the beginning of a new relationship with my creator.  

I realized that my creator does love me, and life isn't supposed to be about fear, sins, and hate.  Life is about love, growth, acceptance, learning and so much more! 

Reply

Susan Schiller September 5, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Hi Keri,

We’ve shared many of the same experiences, and I’m glad you met someone who broke off some of that religious smear. I believe there are believers who are hidden in the dark places of the world because it’s the dark places that need the Light to shine. A lot of times up is down and down is up, because the Kingdom of Heaven is so much different than our human experience in the world’s systems. Sometimes God has to offend our minds to get to our hearts.

When I decided to trust God with my whole life I ended up meeting people from many different cultures and backgrounds – people that as a Christian I probably would never have associated with, or even been in a place to meet. They have been some of the most loving people in my life and they helped keep me from losing my faith.

I went to college in the Bible Belt and since I graduated over 30 years ago I’ve had to unlearn a lot, unbuckling my Christianity, so to speak in order to breathe the air of freedom. Not freedom to sin… but freedom, period. There is so much less sin in my life since I began to unassociate myself with Christians, in general. I don’t blame these people for anything… but I’ve seen so much witchcraft inside the churches… so much more than outside the church. Hatred. Rage. Malice. Murder. Sexual perversions.

I’m so sorry you spent 10-years in pain, Keri. You’re like a rose bloom that blossomed among the thorns!

I really enjoy reading what you’ve learned and I’m excited that you’re sharing in order to help other women escape to freedom! 🙂

 

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