July 7, 2015

Open for 2015 {Week 25}

Last week’s energy and time for blogging were swallowed up by the first week of Summer’s Best Two Weeks Junior Camp, our church’s version of Vacation Bible School.  I have the fun privilege of teaching the rising Kindergarteners their Bible lessons and spending the rest of morning moving with them to and from their other activities.  We sing; we snack; we craft; we recreate!  I have three dynamite classroom assistants who do all this along with us.  The mornings have been flying by smoothly and I cannot have asked for a better time.

But, I tell ya, by the time we dismiss the children, straighten the room, and I gather up my own little ones, I am beat!  I guess I’m not as young as I used to be.  Well, I know that!  Nevertheless, I want to be able to leave camp and carry on for the rest of the day like I’m the energizer bunny, rather than a mom in her mid-thirties who just wore herself out getting her family to the church early in the morning, followed by three hours of “on”-time with fifteen kindergarteners.

I get tired!

As such, being OPEN for week twenty-five of 2015 meant being willing to embrace my need for rest, and take it.

The first couple of days of camp, I was not willing to embrace this need.  The idols of pride and productivity won the hour.  By the end of those days though, heck, by the middle of those afternoons, I was snippy, unpleasant, self-indulgent, and generally blech.  I hate to have a great time talking about the Lord and being involved in mission at church, only to come home and spew gunk all over my family.  The foolishness of going to bed to late and not resting after lunch needed to be dismissed, posthaste!

The remainder of the week, I made sure to nap or read, or both, while the kids had their rest time.  Once I sat, I was always so glad that I did, but any direction I faced in our house always presented the temptation of another task: dinner to prep, clothes to wash, counters to clear, floors to pick up.  I know those are not fun temptations, but when there is space in the day that could be “productive” it is tempting to prioritize the task over my body’s more urgent needs.

Being OPEN last week, then, meant taking the nap and leaving dishes in the sink for thirty minutes longer.  As usual, I was struck by how much a short break energizes me for the rest of the afternoon.  The tasks got done faster and the kids and I even sneaked in some fun!  I think this self-care is even enabling blogging to happen this week.

Friends, rest is wise.  Our culture in enslaved to productivity and busyness.  We run ourselves ragged, even in the name of service, creating a heart-environment of discontentment, bitterness, and impatience.  Not to mention what it does to us physically!

Our Lord rested.  Countless times Jesus pulled away from the crowds to be with His Father, to pray and be filled up.  We cannot pour out of emptiness.  We need to rest and recharge.  Certain seasons or events require that we do this more intentionally than others.

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Mark 6:30-31

Time to take action:
Let me invite you to take stock today.  Are you worn and weary?  Is it because you are trying to be infinite when you are finite?  We all fall in to this at one time or another.  Take at least fifteen minutes today to do something that seems indulgent, but is actually wise: take a walk or a nap, read a book, pray, eat something delicious, write a letter, etc.  Then do the same tomorrow, and the next day, and the next.

We need rest and refreshment
to carry on in the work God has placed before us.
Honor Him with some rest!

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