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Advent Week 3: Psalm 62

In our last Advent post we discussed HELP.  Learning to LIFT our eyes to the Lord (not to the mountains we are facing).

This week we move to R E S T.

Another word I’m pretty terrible at applying in my daily life.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE rest.  I love naps and sleep and probably need wayyy too much of it.  I just don’t do it.  Especially when it comes to December.  My world is filled with more go-go-go than stop and be still.

Last week, I celebrated my birthday (insert party hat emoji).  It was virtually perfect in that it involved people, coffee, good food, wine, rest, and a mani/pedi.  I loved every second of it (Thank you to everyone who made it so special!).

But as I’m sitting in those glorious massage chairs enjoying my birthday pedicure, I couldn’t help but notice a ridiculously cute little girl (probably 5 or 6 years old) and her mom walk in.  The daughter wanted to get her nails painted and it was possibly the cutest thing ever.  But as I’m people watching, I’m caught off guard by this mom.  She was constantly getting distracted.  Work called.  Then emails. Then text messages.  She was glued to her phone.  And her sweet little girl sat all alone getting her nails painted.

 & Her mom had missed it.

Missed the conversations that could have been had with her daughter.  Missed sitting next to her and discussing the day.  Missed laughing and engaging with her daughter.  She missed it. Completely.

Now, I have to pause for a minute and confess; I am NOT knocking this mom.  I’m not judging or forcing my life rhythms on their family dynamic.  & Here’s why; there are a million different explanations to this scenario.  What the calls were about, why they were getting a manicure, or that this was just “one of those days” for this mom.  I get ALL OF THAT.

But, it was through witnessing this (somewhat hypothetical) experience I felt God nudging my spirit… BE PRESENT.  Be intentional. Stop getting distracted by your phone/emails/text message/tasks.  Ouch.  This lesson hurt… a lot.

Honestly, the reason this scenario resonated so well with me is because time and time again… I AM THIS MOM.  The distracted mom.  The busy mom.  The checked-out mom.  The tired mom.  The short-fused mom.  The “no-patience-left-at-the-beginning-of-the-day” mom.

Far too often, that’s me.  & I hate admitting this to you all… but it’s true.

Walking the fine line between work and motherhood has been challenging for me.  At times, I love it and am energized at the callings God has placed on my heart.  While other times, I am flat worn out from it all.  I’m tired of being pulled in a million different directions.  I’m tired of racing from one place to the next.  I’m tired of being yelled at by a 3 year old.  I’m tired of negotiations and food battles and the 5 hours it takes to leaves the house…

I’M. JUST. TIRED.

Insert our Psalms for this week… Psalm 62,

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

What powerful words… “My soul finds rest in God.  He is my ROCK, my salvation, my fortress. I will not be shaken.

We’ve had a busy few weeks.  And I found myself desperately needing a day to do NOTHING. And that’s all I desperately desired for my birthday.  Well, that and really cute pair of clogs;) (just being real).  Fortunately, the stars aligned and I was blessed with such a day.  A day to sleep in and drink hot coffee and go on a run.

And on this day to do NOTHING; God gently reminded me that this day of  doing “nothing…” Of rest.  Of prayer. Of reading. Of fully enjoying a day… yea, it’s in the 10 commandments.

Exodus 20:8-11 (NLT)

Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

Sabbath. Rest. God mandated it.  He knew we (desperately) needed it.

To be honest, I’ve had some incredible role models/mentors that have set the president for this practice.  And it is something I’ve tried to protect and live.

But that’s the thing about the enemy.  He is sly and conniving and knows how to weasel his way into our most sacred times.  And he did on mine.  Slowly and steadily it started with a few emails I’d answer on my Sabbath.  And then a phone call or two.  Then it was a sermon I needed to tweak.  And then it was cleaning the house or grocery shopping (which are my top 2 Sabbath “NO’S”).

You get the point.  The next thing I knew I had a “sort of” day off.  And it slowly trickled into my personal life leaving me exhausted, checked-out, and short-fused.

So, rest, we need it.  We were designed for it. & God commanded it.

This week of Advent I am reminded of this importance practice and dwelling on PSALM 62:

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

I am allowing margin and space for my “soul to find REST in God.”  The breathing room needed to refocus and rest fully in God’s presence.

Over the years I’ve ebbed and flowed with how rigid or relaxed my Sabbath looks. And what I’ve landed on are a few practices that I try to do and not to do.  So, here’s the practical piece of this post…

My Sabbath Do & Don’ts list.  (If you’re interested) Here are my lose Sabbath guidelines.  Your Sabbath may look completely different or exactly the same.  I just hope it helps you establish a rhythm of rest.

Sabbath DO’s:

  • Walk/Exercise
  • Extended prayer and quiet time
  • Intentional time with friends and family

Sabbath DON’Ts:

  • No work (emails, texts, calls).
  • No cleaning
  • No laundry
  • No grocery shopping

Side note: this list does not control me.  There are times when I will walk to get a few groceries or fold the laundry while watching a show.  Or even times when I need to not walk or get a sitter for some needed “me” time.  It really does ebb and flow.

The test for me has been whether or not it is something that’s draining or refreshing.  Usually I can tell if I am answering an email out of “guilt” and desperately need to disconnect from work.  Or (on the other hand) if I would enjoy a nice walk to Kroger for a few groceries.

Warning: This is where the enemy will chip away at your time.  It’s in the little “stuff” that doesn’t seem too daunting but over times ends up draining you.  Just be cautious of this.  I felt for this trick and am paying the price.

I don’t know what REST or Sabbath looks like for you but I encourage you to establish some rhythms of rest.  To begin practicing the art of stopping and tuning into God.  Your list may look similar or completely different than mine but the important thing is that you are engaging with God and doing what he has encouraged.

My prayer is that our souls find REST in the Lord this season.  In the practice of slowing down.  In being still.  In tuning our hearts and minds to hear God’s voice.

In letting the words of our heart cry,        “Truly my soul finds rest in God.”

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