Tuesday, April 10, 2012

REST: From Sarah's Heart


I close my eyes and I ponder the significance of that word for me.  I sigh and take a deep breath taking comfort in the word alone.  I desire rest more than most things right now.  But I have no time for it.  Or maybe it's that I don't make the time for it.

Our family has an almost 6 year old daughter with multiple special needs.  She is also medically fragile.  She receives home nursing care of about forty hours a week.  There are 168 hours in a week.  That means for 128 hours a week, her care is on me.  I do it willingly, but I would be less than honest if I didn't say it was hard work and that it has consumed me to the point of exhaustion.  Yet I do this willingly and without complaint because she is my child.  God has entrusted me with her care, for however long that may be.  Even in the forty hours where I receive assistance, I am usually busy.  There's still housework to do and an 8 year old daughter to care for.  I find myself becoming pre-occupied with other things during this time.  I don't use it to my advantage well.

I feel the Lord is calling me to look deep within myself and to examine how I am using the time that He has given me to rest and recover.  I know I need rest.  I know that I have a family to care for.  I know I need to be at my best in order to serve them well.  I need to be able to serve HIM well.
I believe He is teaching me right now about how to rest.  Recently, our modem at home stopped working effectively.  We ordered a replacement, but when we received it a few days later it just plain didn't work.  So we reverted back to the original while we awaited the new new modem.  It failed altogether.  There was a good chunk of time where I was forced into a technological period of rest.  You know what?  I survived!  I made it through.

Right in the middle of this time of tech rest, I attended a conference at which Ann Voskamp was the speaker.  She authored One Thousand Gifts.  If you haven't heard of this book, I highly recommend it.  Over the Friday evening and Saturday morning sessions, I listened to her speak about thanksgiving and about trust.  Her message is still buzzing through my mind.  I truly felt like God was speaking to me through her.  Through her, I felt Him calling me to a place of peace...of rest.  So I have decided that I need to make some changes to my daily routine.

I realize that while I do spend time thanking God for his blessings, I need to be more pro-active about how I thank Him.  I have a weekly link up called Thankful Thursdays, which is my weekly opportunity to list the ways in which He has blessed me.  But I need to do something more.  I feel like God is trying to call me out of this season of mental "busyness" and take some time to just rest in Him.

I am going to try to be more purposeful about how I observe the Sabbath.  I want to honor God at all times, but I want to show my gratitude by resting in Him.  He is my strength.  I am learning that His strength isn't just about asking for Him to lead me through a challenging situation.  I am learning that His strength comes to me by resting in Him.  Removing myself from the distractions of life so that I can be more observant of Him and the gifts and blessings He is showering upon us.  When we rest in Him, our strength is renewed.
As I try to process what I learned at that conference, I am trying to plan out my days so that I am more present for my family when I need to be and less distracted by the things that keep me from seeing His goodness and mercy.  I will be doing my best as I move forward to make sure that, in addition to daily reflection time, that I have created a proper Sabbath time to honor Him.

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Isn't she amazing? Go visit Sarah's blog and say hi.