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Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 21 of 31-Rest


so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
Genesis 2:2[b] (NIV)

Seventh days will always be for resting…

Beginning in January, I’m only publishing when He gives me something to say. I realized I’d been putting pressure on myself to produce (stupid ego, I guess). Just a couple weeks ago, I offered a sincere prayer of apology for my hubris, and made an affirmative declaration.

I am “practicing the presence of God…”
thanking Him that he is in control,
that I am so abundantly blessed, and that even in the midst of my
most pressing struggles,
my cup overflows.

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A few months ago, I decided that I should write and publish daily. My intention was to establish good writing habits. I can establish good writing habits by writing every day. A writer writes all the time. Production should be secondary. The flower doesn't dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes...However, I take seriously the notion of putting my best efforts on the blog, and sometimes the pressure to create something good is more pressure than I want. It may compromise what I’m supposed to put here. It’s not the way I started, and it’s not the way I desire to move forward. I started writing because I believe there are things the Lord pours into me that I’m supposed to share, and truthfully, that may not happen daily. I apologize, Lord, for attempting to put You on my schedule. I haven’t yet fully surrendered, but I am on that path. Learning, I no long need to fall so hard before I am able to get up, and with greater discernment, take the next step. My intentions were good, but Isaiah 55:8-9 helped put me back in check…

Seventh days will always be for resting. That means slowing down before I get stopped. Here’s some advice I gave myself courtesy of the 23rd psalms….
“…He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” STOP! It’s not about you.  It never was (about you, or me, or anyone else.)   We are led for His Name’s sake. So stop being cranky.  Rest if you’re tired.  Would you rather be cared for by someone who delights in what they’re doing (please take the time to re-read the 23rd Psalm), or be hustled around by a burnt-out, overworked, overwrought, under-appreciated, resentful, guilty version of yourself? 

Seventh days will always be for resting. I first considered this notion when reading Michele-Lyn Ault who blogs at A Life Surrendered. Rest is a good thing; a way to preserve the temple, arguably an act of worshipful reverence (as we are made in His image). If the way you treat yourself is not a way you’d honor God, don’t do it. Michele-Lyn references Margin as a way of explaining the sacred act of being at rest…
  
Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating… Margin grants freedom and permits rest. It nourishes both relationship and service. Spiritually, it allows availability for the purpose of God.
–Richard A. Swenson MD, Author of Margin

So, it’s my seventh day, and I rest. I am going prayerfully quiet, making myself available for the purpose of God. As Anne Lamott would write it, I am “practicing the presence of God…” thanking Him that he is in control, that I am so abundantly blessed, and that even in the midst of my most pressing struggles, my cup overflows, and He Treats Me to a Feast.



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