Day 13: Work, in its proper place….

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My alarm goes off, my feet hit the floor and I’m off.  Usually at the speed of run and catch-up.  There are days where I’m pretty sure I meet myself coming and going.

As a mom, even one who “only” works part time, I’m busy.  There is always, always work to be done.  A friend may ask if I’ve finished all my work for the day and I laugh.

Because every mom knows the work never ends in a busy household.  There’s never going to be a day in which the laundry is caught up completely, no one needs any more food, all the supplies are 100% stocked, the piano is fully practiced, the cats are fed and cleaned up after, the homework is complete, the papers are signed, the cars have gas and I’ve peacefully spent enough time in my Savior’s presence.

Perfect doesn’t exist and work must be done.  It has it’s place and in this life, it’s reality.

But work can steal from us if we’re not careful.  It influences how we spend our time, our attitudes and even our finances.  If I’m not careful I can find my attitude towards my responsibilities becoming increasingly negative.

Even my work for the Lord.

Ouch.  But it’s true.  We can get to that place, can’t we?  It might mean we’re overcommitted with things at church; things that are all very good and truly important but perhaps not ALL things we need to take on as individuals.  And in our own personal walk, there are times when our quiet times are noisy due to the speed of life and our scripture reading ends up being one more block of time checked off our already overwhelmed to-do list.

Oswald Chambers says it this way:

“The greatest competitor of true devotion to Jesus is the service we do for him.  It is easier to serve than to pour out our lives completely for Him.”

These words are powerful, largely because they are ridiculously true.  It’s a whole lot easier for me to sign up for many responsibilities within our church than it is for me to get quiet, prioritize my time and get gut-level honest with Jesus.  I dislike admitting that, but there are seasons where I recognize how true it is.

When my to-do list is as long as my arm with work and chores that threaten to undo me, it’s a sure sign that my work/life balance is out of whack.  And when I’m feeling overwhelmed and out of sorts, the best place to go is to the foot of the cross.  And then, in that space of quiet moments spent with my Savior, I find rest.

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This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.

Day 12: Rest. Just rest.

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It’s been some day.  It started around midnight when I realized I had left my iPad in the shopping cart at Hobby Lobby.  What I wanted to do was purchase yarn to make a dress for my niece.  Instead, I left my iPad behind for the next lucky user of my shopping cart.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and stared at the ceiling for hours, falling asleep roughly around 6:45.

My alarm went off at 6:50.

My girls fought the entire way to church.

Thank goodness for worship.

My girls noisily sang the entire way home from church.

I thought I had all the ingredients I needed to host guests for dinner but I didn’t.

I’ve been all out of sorts for weeks.  New job.  New co-workers.  New church family.  New choir.  New friends.  And even in all the good things, even in following God’s call in our lives, there’s a cost.  And that’s not always easy.  The cost is what can keep us from doing those things God would have us do.  Because the cost can be painful.  It is usually hard.

The cost of doing what is right can, at times, not seem worthwhile.

And so today, on this Sabbath, I needed to make a decision.  Rest our burn out.

This week, as I listened to a Proverbs31 Online Bible Study conference call, author and life coach Lisa J. Allen said something that really resonated with me.

“Sometimes,” she said, “the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap.”

I had all I could deal with today, after weeks of emotional upheaval and the daily grind of life.  I needed to reset my heart.  So I put aside the fact that I had family visiting in a short time and just gave myself grace and took a nap.  An honest to goodness hour there I closed my door, shut out even my family and just rested.

And I thought on this.  This morning in worship, Pastor Doug shared something that really spoke to my heart.  He suggested that there are times in our lives when we feel like escaping.  And when those times come, there are many paths we can choose. But rather than acting rashly, what if we choose to be still?  Just be still and rest for a moment.  And then what if we were to imagine Jesus–yoked to us; beside us?  What we if were to chose to lay our burdens down and to not only learn FROM Him but to learn OF Him?

What if?  What if we rested in those moments of overwhelm?  And rather than trying to solve our own hurt and pain and loneliness and disappointment, what if we gave it over and rested in knowing he took it, and handled it and brought us peace. What if we just came to Him, messy as we are, and just rested in His presence?  What if we did?

This post is written in conjunction with the #Write31days Challenge and linked up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday crew here and Nester Smith’s friends here.