Tag Archive | rest

Rest in Your Story….

“So my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving

and some coming home, some summer and some winter.”

 Donald Millerwk13_heart_mission-270x200

This morning I felt rather weepy, not sure exactly why. Was it hormones? Was it being in the midst of uncertainty? Was it the feeling of aloneness? Fear? Anxiety?

Was it one thing, or all of them? When I permitted myself a moment to dig a bit deeper, allowing myself to sit with my pain and face the fears, I heard His voice calling….I sensed Him walking towards me….and instead of running from all the uncertainty and unanswered questions which exposed the discomfort, it was in that moment when I chose to move towards them.

And then I checked my emails. What a gift when I received this post from one of my favorite authors, Bonnie Grey….she is a woman who speaks my language, who shares from an honest heart, a place where few dare to go. Her book, Finding Spiritual Whitespace helped to me to heal and learn how to take time to rest.

I am sharing a link at the bottom of this post, I hope you take the time to read it….let it encourage your heart today as it did mine.

As Bonnie says: “Our stories can rest in the open with him. Jesus doesn’t tell us to fix it. Get over it. He accepts our pain. He honors our brokenness. He says—

I want that. What nobody else wants. What nobody values.

Your story.

I love the real you.

I have called you by name. You are mine (Isa. 43:1).

I will carry you (46:4).

different from the voices that have hurt and deserted us.”

writing

To know that our stories are safe with Him…that He wants to hear them…. and that He accepts us just as we are, brings peace, comfort and even joy amidst the pain of our story.

http://www.faithbarista.com/2015/04/let-go-of-your-script-follow-gods-voice-instead/

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My Facebook Sabbatical Comes to a Close.

As you may, or may not have known, I went on a Sabbatical from FB for awhile. And yes, I was so disappointed I had missed umpteen opportunities to find out which Disney Princess I am or which decade I should have been born in!! (insert sarcasm here!!) lol

In all honesty though, it was not as tough as I thought it was going to be. Yes, the first day was hard, and the second day I had almost uncontrollable urges to log into Facebook but I’ll have you know I stood strong in the face of temptation.

As with the breaking of any habit, the first week was the hardest. Ignoring the notifications that were demanding my attention felt like a sacrilege. I also couldn’t quite shake the feeling that I was missing something, without being able to give voice precisely to what.FB

I also admit that I missed interacting with everyone on FB….interacting with living, breathing people….although you have to wonder if some might be using false identities. Hahahahaaa!

And now that I have come back to FB there are countless requests to play Pet Rescue Saga, Candy Crush Saga, Bejeweled Blitz, and of course,Farmville among countless others. Yes, I had to go through each of those requests and turn them off because I don’t do Facebook games. Period. Sorry friends.

In taking a sabbatical I came to realize that my life is busy and I’m easily distracted and then it’s easy to feel overburdened and overwhelmed.

I had to be honest and admit that often what causes me anxiety is electronic entertainment/media. Whether it be pinterest, linkedin, tumbler, twitter, texting or email….when I feel available all the time it sometimes becomes too much.

I have come to learn that there is something deeply spiritual about honoring the limitations of my existence as a human being—physical being in a world of time and space.  There is a peace that descends upon my life when I accept what is real rather than always pushing beyond my limits and boundless joy that comes from delighting in God and God’s good gifts

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There is just something about being gracious and accepting and gentle with myself at least one day a week (Sabbath) or for a period of time that enables me to be gracious and accepting and gentle with others.

I have definitely found there is a freedom that comes from being who I am in Christ and resting in Him that eventually enables me to bring something truer to the world than all of my doing. It is when I allow myself to be human in the presence of my Lord and Creator, that I touch something more real in myself and others than all that I am able to produce or make happen.

pause and rest If I think about the time I spend (daily) watching tv, texting, emailing, Facebook, work, family etc, it’s no wonder too often I limp around spiritually, emotionally and physically unhealthy….I haven’t had time to rest!!

I don’t take the time to be renewed….to even have the mental resources and capacity to choose life. The busyness of our lives affects my decisions and my decisions in turn affects those around me. There is something freeing about understanding our limits…..choosing times of rest and proving to ourselves that we can actually live without social media for a time.

As my Facebook-free month started coming to a close, my resolve did waver a bit. I will admit to checking my Facebook notifications more than once, I even “liked” a couple of status’s!! But I no longer feel as though FB takes up so much of my time-a definite win. From my sabbatical, I also learned that Facebook does have positive aspects for me, maybe more than negative.

 

I realized that I just need to change the way I use it, but other than that, it will continue to be a social media tool for me. I will continue choosing to use Facebook to post constructive, positive, and inspirational things, and hopefully through that, I can influence others to be more loving, more giving, more compassionate.

And the main thing that this sabbatical did for me was to give me the time to write on my blog….it gave me time to read, to pray and seek my Heavenly Father…..and I did hear from Him.

Through writing, listening prayer, and taking time to care for myself, I feel a lightness in my spirit, a peace in my soul and a new freedom in my heart. I took time to get some Myofascial release massage and allowed myself some time to sit and talk with my spiritual counselor….all these things were good for my soul and much needed.rest2 I had gone for a long time not writing, and I missed it….and whether anyone reads it or not, blogging is good for my soul, it helps to keep my thoughts directed upward.

Now that my self-imposed sabbatical is over, I will definitely go back to sharing my life on FB, but I hope to do so in a way that is definitely more mindful.

It’s time for a change….

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 It’s time for a change….and not just in the design of my blog….but in the design and rhythm of my life.

Have you ever said “I quit”? I have. I have said it quietly while in tears, I’ve shouted it from a place of absolute frustration, I said it in desperate resignation….and I’ve meant it every time…..and yet, too often I find myself right back to the very place where the words buried in my heart once make their way once to the surface.
I quit, it doesn’t sound very Christian does it? But the quitting I am talking about isn’t about weakness and giving up in despair. It’s about strength and choosing to live in truth. It will require the death of illusions….no longer pretending….quitting for me is about choosing.
It involves quitting those things that are damaging to my soul, or to the souls of others, it then frees me to choose other ways of being and relating that are rooted in love and lead to life.
Things like:
-quit fearing what others think and choose freedom
-quit faulty thinking and choose to live in reality
and there are more that I desire to unpack as I begin this new journey.

Author Bonnie Gray, in her book: Finding Spiritual Whitespace says the following:
“I believed my faith buried my hurt in the past, but I was using faith to hide from the past . . . What’s worked for me since I was a child – staying strong, reading more Scripture, praying more fervently, exerting more self-discipline, applying greater optimism – isn’t going to solve this problem. Jesus has been whispering one phrase into my heart – follow the current downstream. I’ve rowed my boat upstream for so long, I didn’t know if I could stop.”

Whitespace….I like that word.

Finding spiritual whitespace isn’t about carving out an hour of time to escape the things that stress us. It’s the opposite. It’s getting away from everything we do to distract ourselves from all the hidden pieces — in order to nurture our soul.
For the last year I found myself in a place where I ran out of words. I no longer had anything to say and God felt so far away. I gave up reading….both books and the Word to a degree.
Even though I knew I ought to pray, praying felt like another check box that left me feeling guilty.
Life is complicated isn’t it?

This past year I have looked at my everyday life, both at work and home, and I have felt overwhelmed with dilemmas, conflicting desires and needs, which left me feeling discouraged.

Ironically, when we’re most stressed, we often deprive ourselves of what we need most: God’s goodness.
Somehow, we’ve learned we deserve to rest only after we solve our problems…..

But the truth is that it is just the opposite.
We need God’s tender, loving care and we need to give ourselves permission to receive and enjoy it.
Unconditionally.

My friends, in this day and age, rest is radical.

It takes the walls down; allowing us to become real, authentic, human, and spiritual.

Bonnie Gray again says:
“We become real, vulnerable, open with our weaknesses, not just our strengths.
Rest brings us closer to each other, to strangers who become friends and to God because our hearts are tender and vulnerable.
I want to bring this message of rest with my whole heart,so I’m letting go of expectations. Saying the harder “no” to expectations, performing, dysfunctional relationships –and saying “yes” to finding spiritual whitespace.”

I am finding myself stressed, overwhelmed and feeling lonely among the chaos of life in our digitized, fast-paced world of wonderful technology — which I love and enjoy –but I know I need a shot of soul rest.

I need slowing down.

I want to write to the rhythm of rest. I want to write out of a heart fully alive, engaged.

You are welcome to journey with me….Let’s see what God will speak to us and through us during this time….

 

 

Finding rest and freedom in following my Father’s leading…..

Continuing on from the previous post, Coloring inside the lines  regarding the topic of mask wearing, of hiding and of striving, God is choosing to minister to this “recovering perfectionist” through an intimate women’s study that I am involved in. We are reading the book: Grace for the Good Girl; letting go of the try hard life, by Emily P. Freeman.

  Following is something Carolyn, one of the women from our group, shared during one of our bible study times….it is shared from the heart of a woman who is also on a journey, a beautiful sister in Christ and a cherished friend, whose heart our heavenly Father is pursuing….she is getting a taste of the freedom He offers and what it means to walk in the confidence of God’s grace, and I am so thankful that I am on this journey with her…..And as I share it with you today it will give you a glimpse into not only her heart, but also a glimpse of our Father’s heart, His heart for you….

These are her words:

I’m currently studying a book with a few ladies, “Grace for the Good Girl” by Emily P. Freeman. In it she talks about being free of the need/drive to do and say the things we believe will please others. She speaks about taking off the masks that we so carefully put on before we step outside our door every day because we are afraid of people seeing the “real” us. She talks about being free of striving to be the person we believe others are expecting us to be. As I take the information in and mull it around I struggle with knowing how to do that? What will people think of me? Will people still like me? What would that look like? Won’t people think I’m rude, lazy, a failure? How do I balance out this letting go of perfection?

Dec 10th – 3am.

The Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me and very lovingly and gently addressed my questions. He spoke to me about balance. I was struggling to figure out how to find balance between the perfectionist/good girl and who I would be if I were free from the need to try and please others. My question of “what would that look like” was based on my fear of what others would think of me if I was not always pleasant, happy, agreeable, and available to help.

But God showed me I need to change the center “pivotal point” of my balance scale. I should not be focused on trying to please people. My focus needs to be my Father.

When Jesus was on earth was he always smiling? I’m sure he was not. Did he always answer people that he was fine? Again, not. Did he heal everyone? No. Was he kind to every person he met? No. There were those he rebuked. Was he always pleasant? No. Did he always do the things others though he should be doing? Absolutely NOT! So to sum it up he was unpleasant at times, unhappy, angry. He left some people dissatisfied (according to their worldly wants/desires)……yet he was doing the will of his Father. YES!

That is how my focus has to change. As Emily mentions so many times in her book I need to follow my Father. Then do not feel guilty that I am not pleasing people.

I was created to worship God and I am here at this time to draw close to Him and do the things that please him.
If that does not please “man” that is where the word “fine” fits.

And as I give myself permission to stop trying to please “man” and desire to please God I know that also frees me from judging others. I can allow them to be free to do the Father’s will in their lives and not require them to do what I think God’s will might be for them.

I need to change the fulcrum in my scale from man to God. When I do that I no longer need to know what it will look like. I will be free in following my Father’s leading.