Wisdom for Wednesday- Rest

Wisdom for Wednesday

    Grab a cup of coffee and sit with me for a few minutes.  Are you weary?  Heavy laden?  Do you labor and desire rest?  I do.  I desire rest, deep -relax the muscles of my mind and body rest.  In January, I took the challenge from friend and fellow blogger, Selena Campbell and chose a word for the year.  My word?  Rest.  

    The year is winding down.  The trees have shed the glory of autumn, winter knocks at the door and  I am finally studying scriptures on rest, not that God hasn’t been plunking down it in front of me every direction I turn. Whew!  It feels good to confess that I haven’t done my part.  For the whole year, this scripture keeps coming up over and over.  Has that ever happened to you?  You hear something on the radio in a song? You open the devotional you left in the family room and there that something is again?  You read a blog and BAM, there it is again?  On to the Scripture!
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [a]ease and relieve and [b]refresh [c]your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ([d]relief and ease and refreshment and [e]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.(A)
30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, [f]good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.- Matthew 11: 28-30

    After this scripture crossed my path a few hundred times, I copied it by hand and studied it. I underlined key words and made a chart.

My Action
1. Come
2. Learn of Jesus
3. Take His yoke on me
His Action
1. Cause me to rest
2. Ease, relieve, refresh, my soul

Outcome:  I will find rest, relief, ease, refreshment, recreation, and blessed quiet for my soul (mind, will and emotions)

His attributes:
Gentle (meek) in heart
Humble (lowly) in heart
Yoke is….
Wholesome (useful, good)
Comfortable, gracious, pleasant
light, easy to be borne

What a relief.  My job?  To take the comfortable, gracious, pleasant, easy to be borne, yoke.  Learn of Him.  He is gentle. Humble.  He is not harsh, hard sharp or pressing.  He will carry the heavy side of the yoke.  I am the weak oxen,  He knows.  Rest.  Relief.  Refreshment.  Recreation.  Blessed quiet for my soul.

*Series on Thankfulness in Adoption back on Friday!

Wisdom for Wednesday

This past weekend, I attended a Beth Moore conference with my Irish-twin sister to celebrate her birthday.   You know how we women are.  We come home from a conference like that flying with angelic spiritual wings – that is until we walk in our red front door.  The flesh is tired and it wants what it wants.  Sometimes the wisdom written in journals flies off the page with the rush of the opening the front door.  Home- where the real battle begins.

As I sat down Sunday afternoon to review my notes, my brain fogged over as I read the verses in Romans over and over.  Okay, Lord, I’m gonna need some help here.  Help me put on paper what I learned.  Help me apply it to my life.  Beth spoke the words from Romans – for we have been crucified with Christ

We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we may no longr be the slaves of sin.- Romans 6:6

– so why do we keep carrying around rotting corpse of our old selves?  We baby it, watch tv with it, let it drive and throw it at our spouses in a heated argument.   Thanks, Beth, I will always have the melodramatic visual of you flinging your old dead self-dummy all over the stage!  A lesson I will not forget!

This week as I returned to my Ann Kroeker study,  I asked myself, how does the lesson of this weekend’s conference “No Longer” apply to my current study?  What do I need to say no longer to in my life?  What part of my old dead self do I try to revive when I hurry?  In a flurry of hurry, I tend to be short fused, barking orders at my children.

“When we over plan or over demand of ourselves, we get grumpy, irritable, and view everyone as an enemy of our to-do list.”- Aimee Kollmansberger

Out comes my old self and I fling her red- headed Irish attitude at my children.   Or I carry my old dead corpse on my back and wear the ‘woe is me’ attitude.  I have so much to do and nobody cares.  Or worse, I carry all the little unregenerated,  fleshy- responsive bodies of my children on my back.  Picture it.  A pile of bodies on my back, weighing me down, a heavy burden too much for anyone to bear.This is too hard.  I can’t.  A child says, “No, I won’t” and I pick up the burden trying to change the child, I respond in my zombie- form and the child does the same.  A zombie war.  Hurling bodies.  A child makes a choice that causes me to institute a consequence I have to follow through with.  Gosh.  Gotta carry his little body again.

What is the answer?  Where do I draw the line?  When do I bury our old self and not have a grave robbing party in the middle of the day?

Aimee Kollmansberger (via Not so Fast)  suggests we can only do two or three things well in a day.  The Lord will usually only speak one verse to us a day.  Daily manna.

My verse for today?

Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue-lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them].  For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing  [from God -that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection].”-  I Peter 3:9

No room for the flesh here.  No room at this Inn for the dead flesh.  No room for evil or insults, scolding or berating.  When we walk in the Spirit, he gives us a soft nudge.  Pray for their welfare.  Sometimes I am tempted to pray for my peace, a selfish peace, but lately I am more aware that my personal peace should not be my goal.  My children’s welfare does not necessarily mean that they do everything right, but is is for their benefit that I slow down.  I pray.  I give them choices and do not dread following up with logical consequences so they can learn to listen to the nudge of the Holy Spirit themselves when the time comes.  I slow down so I can listen and not jump on the instant berating wagon.  I slow down so I can see siblings helping siblings because I got out of the way.  I slow down, take the child off my back.  I can’t carry him, but Jesus can.  He already knows that there is a future for him.  My carrying him around worrying if he will choose the right path only gives me more grey hairs.  When I slow down and worship the life-changer, soul-saver and wait- He can work.

Slow down.  REST in Him.  Leave some margins.  Bury that old self and say, “NO longer!”

“Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].- Hebrews 4:16

Slow Down- What’s the hurry?- Wisdom for Wednesday

“Did you get any rest today?”  Jerry asked me Labor day evening.
“Not really, I should have.”
My body had hit the proverbial brick wall.  Too many week day and weekend activities had clobbered me and my reeked havoc on my immune system.

 I’d been reading Not So Fast: Slow-Down Solutions for Frenzied Families by Ann Kroeker, but I seemed to be speeding up, not slowing down.  What’s up with that?

I tried several times to write this post today and it just wasn’t happening.  I didn’t have time or I sounded to preachy.  Too hypocritical.  How could I tell you how to apply the lofty wisdom I dispensed (as handed to me by Ann, of course) if I couldn’t apply one iota of it myself.

As I sat here henpecking my post, it dawned on me like a clear summer morn, I couldn’t apply by my flesh what I am learning in the Spirit.  My mind is being renewed.  I had to chew, meditate, hunker down and think on the words, the thoughts, the ideas.  Here are some questions I am asking myself-

  • What’s the hurry?
  • What are you racing towards?
  • Are you run BY your schedule?
Ann Kroeker says:
“But, maybe we’re getting nowhere-trapped on treadmills, like proverbial hamsters scrambling inside their wheels?”  
Sometimes I feel like a hamster.  How about you?  It takes brain power to slow down, jump off the treadmill and watch.  Settle into the moment.  Breathe.  Think.  When is there time to think in our harried hectic schedule?
What do you think?  If you are reading along with me, what are your thoughts?  
My posty-note this week?
What’s the hurry?

I am going to keep asking myself that over and over.  I will record my answer and share it with you in a later post.  Will you share with me?

Wisdom for Wednesday

Wisdom for Wednesday

Get out your posty- notes!  Wisdom for Wednesday is back!  
I woke to a hazy, slate dawn.  I rolled over and thought, Why do I have to get up?  My throat burned raw and sore, my muscles throbbed.   Oh yeah, school.

The lazy, hazy days of summer seem a humid memory.  All of the long summer days, sitting at swim meets, family reunions, cook-outs, hiking, it seemed such a busy season.  I wondered, how will I ever homeschool again?  My plate is full. 
I think many homeschool Moms get caught in the summer trap.  Other kinds of activities eat up the day. Gardening, Play dates. Vacations. Company. Outdoor work and sports.   
The first day.
The first day back to school rocks.  Kids examine new books and notebooks.  I give a stunning overview of our future academic endeavors.  Smiles.   Energy.  I dress in my- where-are-you-going-mom clothing.  The second day has a few glitches.
Day three.
Oh yeah, school, is my first thought.  It’s not that I am no longer excited about school or my plans.  I don’t have the I-want-to-quit-mentality.  I just forgot how taxing on the brain, body and emotions schooling is.  As soon as the thought entered my mind, I lassoed the thought, captured that thought like a first rate cowboy. Slung the little-calf half-thought to the ground and branded it ‘REJECTED’. 
Lord, I need YOU, replaced it.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (our memory verse this week) and I got up.  
Homeschooling is not a sprint, though sometimes I plan in a flurry of bright sticky-notes and tabs like it is.  I have been known to rush through Bible study first thing in the morning while cooking dinner in my mind.Math gets overwhelmed with thoughts of science and what I may need for the next experiment.  Read-aloud can drone on instead of being filled with wonder, I run other errands while my rear occupies the couch and my mind reads words I don’t hear.  
I didn’t start homeschooling yesterday.  I have hiked around the sludgey-drudgery mountain enough times to know better.  Sometimes, I just need a reminder.  So, let me pass my reminder on to you.  The word that came to me in my albeit short prayer time?  REST.  This is the word I chose in January for the year.  REST. Still learning.  Haven’t achieved.  I knew the Lord didn’t mean for me to go back to bed-although I wished it.  I need to rest in Him.  When I am heavy laden, not feeling well- I need to count on Him, not my well-planned days to get me through.  REST is deep.  It settles down in the moment.  It doesn’t do two things at once.  It does one.  
The past few days of school have gone by in academic over-drive.  I know.  I get feedback -“Why can’t we stay longer at the library?”  “Do we have to shop and do library on the same day?”  “When can we do art?”
I need to listen to the natives pleas to slow down and REST.  My handsome schedule seduces me with busyness, but it doesn’t always lead to life.  
I am in the harvest season of homeschooling.  Enrollment is down.  Only two Guires left for me to school. The rest have graduated- three college boys, one married mama of three, one married, pregnant mama.  I see the fruit.  The Lord has done great things in their lives and my children continue to grow in the grace of the Lord.  One more or less worksheet wouldn’t have made the difference.  It was the time spent resting in the moment together that made the difference.  Twenty-two year old Amerey texted me that she put up a calendar white board (like her mama) and she missed read-alouds.  Eldest daughter showed me lesson plans for the twins for nature walks, science and crafts.Fun stuff!  Three college boys came home in the middle of the day and sat down at the dining room table for forty-five minutes to tell me about classes and work.  So thankful that I RESTED with them instead of getting up to vacuum or some other redundant task.
Get out your posty-note!
Write: REST!
Put it where you can see it throughout the school day.  When you feel tempted to rush through, look up and remember.  Rest in the middle of that math problem.  Settle down.  Look at your child.  Memorize the arch of his eye brow, the twinge of a smile when he gets it.  Don’t cook dinner in your brain while reading aloud. Settle down.  REST.  If you are weary, He will give you strength.  
Homeschooling is not a sprint.  It’s not a marathon either.  It is a slow walk down a country road that winds around for miles.  It is ‘the road less traveled’.  Take time to stop and look at the wildflowers, examine the mushrooms, talk to the natives.  The destination is important, but the most important subject?  The journey itself. 

Wisdom for Wednesday

Emily Perl Kingsley on raising a child with a disability:

This video is based on her essay “Welcome to Holland”.  It is an astute explanation of the tangibles of raising a child with disabilities. Enjoy.  Cry if needed. 

*The posty-note posts will be back soon!