"Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."
Responsibility can often pile high this time of year. Combined with tragic national news, an exceedingly busy lifestyle, constant demands from children, bills, mamas can start to grumble and stew and spew, placing a lot of energy, worry and fear into the constantly demanding issues of our lives. And then we fret. Often grumpiness and harshness overcomes our souls as a byproduct of the days we are living.
Fear. Fretting. Darkness. These can plague our inner hearts if we do not watch over our hearts.
The last thing that seems productive when life is busy and overwhelming is to rest. Yet, rest may very well be the most strategic thing to do if we have a busy, full and demanding life.
When I was younger, there were times I thought life was so overwhelming and it seemed as I couldn't make it as a mom and tears were close to my eyes. But I remember that a sweet friend of mine said, "Don't think about it today. I am going to pick up your children and have them spend the night with me. You need to eat chocolate, watch a great, romantic movie, sleep for at least 10 hours, spend tomorrow at leisure--and housework is not allowed. Then do the same thing for one more day and come back when the weekend is over. We will talk about how you are feeling."
A miracle happened. Sleep was what I most needed. I felt so much better about my life, loved my children anew and found hope--all because I just needed a little break.
Without giving ourselves time to rest, we can end up with serious illness, exhaustion, bad attitudes and fist shaking faith aimed heavenly--and then fretting about our lives.
As I have said before, "Fretting leads only to evil doing."
God put Sabbath Rest into the weeks of our lives with a purpose. I have found that when I believe and engage my heart in the goodness of God's character, and put out of my mind, after praying, all that I am carrying and just seek to be still and find joy, I see the miracles bubbling up slowly, surely, as He, my Father, delights to provide.
However, a Martha heart is often wont to see the miracles, as she is so busy living in the whirlwind of her own meek provisions, she loses all hope and becomes a wretched nag.
The more exhausted I am with life, the more tense, grumpy and tight I become and it spills all over everyone else.
Finding myself at a juncture of exhaustion from giving all that I had the last few weeks, I find that somehow when I try to figure out all of the responsibilities of the next few months, which are huge, I am tempted to be overwhelmed.
Yet, from so many times like this in the past, I have learned a secret. My Prince Jesus comes to me at just the right time, but like the story of Sleeping Beauty, the prince comes, not when she is searching the horizon, pounding her fists, running the floor, but when she is doing nothing but resting.
Resting in Him, choosing peace and putting off responsibilities and recreating is sometimes such grand medicine for my soul, that after choosing to rest and to invest in fun and love and ease of life, my strength is renewed and all issues are able to be faced with grace. I know busyness is coming, but I will face it with courage later if I rest today.
And so today, my plan is to go back to bed, to pace leisurely through the pathway of the next few days, to sip and really taste my coffee and my tea!--And, to just sit and listen to my sweet ones at home, and focus on the beauty of their light filled eyes, to stay in comfy clothes all day, to read and pray, and then maybe to rest again, because I know that while I am resting, my Prince is already coming to my rescue.
Peace, be still, the Lord is near.