My thoughts are a little scattered but I have been processing these thoughts for long enough and it's time to get them out. It's time to really look at the Bible for just a second and see how maybe we could seek Jesus a little more, and stop running the race a little less, the wrong race. It's easy to get caught up in this world, society, the pace, the race of the culture, of beauty standards, of Instagram feed perfection, of Pinterest perfect households, table settings and parties. I know because I have been there...am there...trying to get out of there.
Today I am here to talk about one big thing. It is in all of our lives, it is needed, and it is necessary for us physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Some of us do this really well, and some of us struggle. Me? I struggle...but I am learning...always learning. So, today...we are talking about REST.
Rest. Relaxing. Taking Time. That's not something our culture admires is it? In a society that is constantly on the go, stopping and slowing down is a fight. I mean, look around, everything is fast. Drive thru breakfast, lunch, and dinner, coffee every corner. Order at home and pick it up on the go, super convenient by the way, but it all feeds this thought that we must keep moving. As a mom I felt the pace when my oldest hit 1. I was bombarded with, "When is she starting swim?" "When are you getting her into sports?" "Are you thinking about pre-school? If so, you better sign up now!" Whoa whoa, I just celebrated her 1st birthday. I successfully kept her alive and happy for 1 whole year. She knows her colors, she can say words, she's walking, can we take a moment and simply celebrate that?! But no...
No time to slow down, no time to actually get out and sit and enjoy our coffee. You must multi-task, you must have the "To Do" list finished before lunch time, work, move, be productive. Kids, start studying for the SATs at age 11, and for the love of it all you better figure out what you want to be by Senior year of high school, because you have college applications and goals and dreams and expectations to meet and you must meet them now. Gosh, Im exhausted after typing all of that.
And here is where I stop, here is my thought for you and for me...It seems that maybe..just maybe we are more a slave to time. It can often feel like this can't it? I think this is one of those sneaky moves of the enemy. He can enslave you with addictions, wrong relationships, toxic environments. But he can also enslave you to "good things". Your job, your ministry, your fitness, even those hobbies you love to enjoy. The things that are so life-giving, he can take them in an instant, or maybe it's a slow climb, but he can take it and turn it into a cruel master, and suddenly you are a slave to it. Well I believe Not Every Good thing is a God thing.
My second thought...as I parent and watch and learn and make decisions is this...
Do you really think the American dream and gospel centered parenting go together?
Because I am starting to believe they don't.
I know you might be thinking, what does this girl know? You're right...I am young. I am 29, with 3 beautiful little girls ages 4 and younger, I haven't faced these decisions yet with them, I haven't walked these roads yet. But I'll tell ya, I have watched a lot of people...and I have experienced a lot of this...and I don't think I want to walk it the same way. My husband and I have had a lot of challenging conversations about our family, our future and we have a fire burning deep inside of us to do things different. It comes from personal experience and what we have witnessed but what we have learned that we desire our children to be centered around the success of the gospel and not centered around the success of society.
And I believe that one way that starts is with a simple habit called REST.
In 5 minutes I found over 30 scriptures that talk about rest. It is everywhere, and it starts in the very beginning. Maybe I am on to something...
Genesis 2:2-3, "And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in all creation.
When we rest we are practicing a holy thing, a Godly thing. Rest was a part of God's life, a part of Jesus' life. (Luke 5:16, Matthew 6:6, Mark 1:35)
When we rest we are blessed. When we rest we take time to stop so we can have the time to run. Because you cannot run if you cannot rest.
The word Sabbath, comes from the Hebrew word "Shabbat" which means, "to cease, to stop, to pause". It is a moment to, "Be still and know that He is God." He is God and you are not, to set your mind on things above, not earthly things. It is a moment to deliberately stop and choose a rhythm of rest and grace over to do lists, activities, appointments, meetings; over social media, Netflix. So when I think of myself, my marriage, my kids, I think, we must learn this pace, this ability to slow down, to rest, and to be still without being entertained or stimulated. Call me old fashion but the idea of having no TV and a big backyard where my kiddos run free and we breathe in fresh air, we see the real and raw movements of God because we are more aware of His presence and beauty then what's happening on social media. We know what God is doing more than what the world is. What if, just what if we took our free time and spent it with Jesus? I wonder how peaceful, rested, and relaxed we would feel from our head to our toes, our minds to our souls. It's almost as if that was the plan all along.
The thought I have is this: The Values You Make Will Dictate Your Schedule
So what do you value? Education? Sports? Being popular? Do you have a fear of missing out? Do you need to be everywhere in everything? Is it status? Is it being updated on current events? Is it continuing to move up in your job? Because those values will dictate your life, your schedule, your mind and your family.
Galatians 5:1, "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing and do not be subject AGAIN to the yoke of slavery."
Today, take a moment, and REST. God has a race for you alone to run. A Godly one, a God ordained sustained one. But we must rest to run. And look at your life...is it too fast? I challenge you to write down 3 values for you and your family. Make decisions through those values. Suddenly things will become a bit more simple, decisions will be made with ease and peace. Your value is not in what you do, it is in who you are.
Rest in that truth today.
Chase the Gospel Dream not the American One.