I jot down my schedule in the margin of my journal. It is an enormous to do list. How will I accomplish it all? Why does summer seem to be busier than any time of year? Aren’t we supposed to slow down?
I dig into the book of Nehemiah again. I love this book!
The people of Jerusalem were rebuilding the wall around the city after being granted permission by King Artaxerxes under the direction of Nehemiah.
I love the book of Nehemiah because the same commands, skeletal system of government that applied to the nation of Israel applies to families.
Every family has a system of government.
The nation of Israel had been in captivity in Babylon for seventy years. A family can be held captive by habits, disease, circumstances or __________.
Israel’s capital city lay in ruins, unprotected. Our families sometimes lie in ruins, unprotected from the world. Sometimes for a day, a month, or a year. We don’t need anyone to tell us that families are subjected to stress or we need protection. We know it.
Artaxeres granted Nehemiah permission to go rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. We must stop what we are doing and rebuild the wall around our families. Nehemiah had each family rebuild the wall in front of their own home.
We all have enemies. Sometimes these enemies attack from outside the home. Work stress. Natural disasters. Sometimes they occur in the home. Habits. Sometimes we bring them inside the home.TV, games, books, movies. Many times, as in the case of my summer to-do lists, we are our own worst enemies.
Nehemiah says something powerful to his enemies,
“ And I sent messengers to them, saying, I am doing a great work and cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave to come down to you?” Nehemiah 6:3
I’m sending a message to myself- I have a great work to do and it is not on my to-do list.
When I read the Words of Nehemiah, I was convicted, just as the Israelites were when the Book of the Law was read (Nehemiah 8:8) And the people wept. Ezra responded,
Then [Ezra] told them, Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet drink, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. And be not grieved and depressed, for the joy of the Lord is your strength and stronghold.- Nehemiah 8:10
In other words, enjoy your life. Enjoy your work.Eat the good stuff. Drink the sweet.
I get convicted by the Word and sometimes, I get stuck in the weeping. Remorse apart from repentance tears down the walls around my family, the guilt, the conviction with no action.
I looked [them over] and rose up and said to the nobles and officials and the other people, Do not be afraid of the enemy; [earnestly] remember the Lord and imprint Him [on your minds], great and terrible, and [take from Him courage to] fight for your brethren, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.- Nehemiah 4:14
This summer, I am fighting with the joy of the Lord for my family. I’m building some walls of schedule and consistency in my son Rafal’s life. We are using Our Effin’ Summer Plan (it’s not what you think….) adapted from Stooping for Manna. Rafal is also on a swim team and practices every week day and participates in swimmeets twice a week.
My goal this summer is to balance schedule with a healthy amount of fat and sweet (fun, celebration).
Husband Jerry and I were both raised to be worker bees. We are both focusing on some plain old being this summer.
- being outside and playing catch
- being by the pool and in it (without getting up to work on something)
- being on the back deck just conversating
- being at weddings, celebrating
- being at baby showers celebrating new life
- being at church and laughing out loud during the sermon
- being by the campfire and eating a fat, sweet S’more
Linking up with Kristin Hill Taylor and Three Word Wednesday! Join us!