One of my students shared a page in her devotional (from April 1) on Facebook– from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. (There is a free app that I just found– it looks good!) I think it was written for me, or maybe for me and all those other Marthas that get caught up in our own agendas either from an overblown sense of importance or an unrealistic view of our time, energy, and schedules. (Or it could be some other reason. I’ve noticed how often I make sweeping statements, like I know everything. But I’ve seen and experienced these two.)
Here are some excerpts:
I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me.
This reminds me of Brother Lawrence’s The Practice of the Presence of God. (If you click the link and scroll down, you will find several links to free ebooks and audio books.) He was a 17th-century French soldier turned monk, and he worked in the kitchen most of his monastic life. He was able to keep that constant communion with God going, through whatever mundane task he was doing. I need to keep myself from getting so “into” my tasks that I get “out of” God’s presence. He doesn’t move. I don’t need to either.
You yearn for a simplified lifestyle… But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world… find Me in the midst of it all.
This one punched me right in the face. I have pinned so many pins about simplification and organization. Read books. Gleaned websites. Made lists. All with the hope that this time, it would really work, and I would float along sort of like a Stepford wife, with an aura of peace and serenity around me, my yard manicured, my hair done, my weight ideal, while I dusted my pristine house every Tuesday morning before work, or whatever other job was on my list for that day and that time slot. Truly, I work better with a schedule because I don’t have an inner clock/calendar and I really can’t remember when I vacuumed or washed my hair last. But I have a tendency to get obsessive about my schedule when I’m stressed and feel out of control of my life. A working schedule gives the illusion that I’m in control of SOMETHING.
Remember your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you [NEWSFLASH!]; it is to keep communing with Me. A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone… Do not let your to-do list become an idol…
I have had a difficult several weeks. High stress, low energy, lots to do, plus I’m pretty sure I’m hitting menopause, which is making everything twice as bad. Bad combination! So lots has gone undone, especially at my house. The yard has taken priority because of the season (though there’s still a ton to be done everywhere I look), and the house has gotten more and more undone.
But God tells me to talk to Him. Listen to Him. Slow down. Take a breath. Work a little and rest a little each day. Hire help. Calm down.
Is He talking to you, too? I’m praying for our peace. In the midst of our messy lives.
Come unto me, all ye who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28