Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Recently at the conference Jeremiah and I attended with the other Creek staff, I was hit smack in the face with a very important spiritual discipline I have been sadly neglecting.
Aka: observing a Sabbath.
As a ministry family Sundays are not days of rest for us. And while Jeremiah was taking Fridays as his "day off" we realized that was not really good planning for our family and our schedule. He is gearing up for the weekend ahead and finalizing little details for Sundays service. And I was using that day to catch up on running errands (without 4 little ones in tow) or grocery shopping or cleaning house or...
Our phones were always answered on these supposed days off. Nothing was set apart or sacred...time for reconnecting as husband and wife, family time, or time for renewing our intimacy with God.
There was no time in the week where people were made small and God was made big.
This lack of margin in my life makes me tend to respond with anger rather than patience. Having no white space makes me choose frustration over creating teaching moments with my kids. It trends towards co-habitating with my husband rather than an intimate relationship. Anxiousness trumps peace. Cultivating friendships and relationships are relegated to a line item on my to do list. And most sad of all, my relationship with God grows stale.
We knew that we needed to change this and for us that meant rearranging our schedules to make Mondays our new days off. To set limits on answering work calls and texts and running errands.
And for me I knew I needed to make small changes in my daily life. To carve out time where I make myself sit on the couch with a cup of tea and read a book...even if for only five minutes. To go for a walk (without my cell phone!) and breathe deep. Not to try and be productive, not work on something on my list, and not even to talk with my husband or play with my kids.
I am amazed at the difference this is making in my attitude.
(God actually knows what he is talking about...go figure!)
I love this paragraph that Craig Groeschel wrote in his book Weird, I think it describes perfectly the way I feel when I have taken the time to rest:
"My soul felt like it was thawing.
My mind became quiet.
My senses heightened and I noticed the incredible work of God.
Instead of overwhelming me, the noise of my Children brought a deep sense of joy.
I felt at peace with God. He was in control.
I felt like myself.
Full aware of God's goodness."