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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Thursday Sabbath

Wow!  It has been a long time since my last blog post.  Apologies to those who look forward to them.  Time got away from me.

In fact, I haven't been managing my time very well lately.  I have felt caught up in a cyclone of activities.  It seems that every day there is something on the schedule to do:  school, birthday parties, church events.  I haven't taken the time to just sit, to just be, and for me this can be lethal.  Being busy is good in many ways; it is distracting to be sure.  But I find that when I'm busy-busy, I lose touch with God.  He hasn't gone anywhere; I just can't sense His presence or hear His voice because there is far too much noise in my heart and in my head.

When I start to feel separated, unable to sense God's will in any given circumstance, I start to panic.  This is extremely unhelpful.  It is similar to asthma.  When I have an asthma attack, the worst thing I can do is panic.  It makes breathing all the more difficult.  I know when I'm suddenly alarmingly short of breath (or out of it altogether) that I need to calm down, relax and try to breathe deeply.  It is the same thing with my "spiritual asthma" if you will.  When I am short on God and I panic, it makes getting into the quiet, peaceful place where He is always waiting for us all the more difficult.  You never see someone meditating and hyperventilating at the same time and there is a reason for that.  God meets us when we are still.

Don't get me wrong.  He can meet us in our panic.  He can do anything He wants.  But I have found that most often He wants us to get still and quiet to draw near to Him.  And I wasn't doing that very well.  Although I had already decreased my activities significantly, there was still more and more that "needed" to be done.  I was freaking out.  So as another busy weekend began, I felt ill-prepared and irritable.

Friday was another activity filled day.  We spent a wonderful Saturday with my stepdaughters at the zoo in Waco.  Toward the end of our visit, Baby Boy fell on the playground and hurt his mouth and teeth pretty badly.  So the hour and a half ride home was less than pleasant; he had a sore mouth and was sad to leave his sisters.  The Operation Christmas Child Thanksgiving potluck our Life Group has every year was scheduled for Sunday.  We had been so busy over the weekend that we had not prepared for it at all.  Nothing to cook for the potluck, nothing to put in the boxes.  We didn't even have ink in the printer to print out labels to accompany our boxes.  We were completely unprepared.

The prospect of getting all of it done that evening was overwhelming.  Both kids were tired; one of them was injured.  I told my husband I just needed a day off on Sunday.  I needed a Sabbath, a true day of rest.  His lack of enthusiasm was palpable.  We look forward to doing Operation Christmas Child all year long and we love the fellowship with our Life Group as well.  It seemed inconceivable not to do it.  But I was at the end of my rope.  We shelved it, deciding we had time in the morning to take care of everything if we decided to go.

I awoke Sunday morning feeling like the world's biggest wet blanket.  How could I have nixed our plans for the potluck?  True, Baby Boy's lip was swollen and his tooth was loose.  True, I was worn down to a frazzled little wire.  But I could rally.  It would be fun once we got there and I would be glad I pulled it all together.  Anyway, Operation Christmas Child benefits underprivileged children and charity work is always a good idea.  Right?

I have heard it said:  "Not every good idea is a God idea."  Baby Girl woke up with fever and, although I was sorry she was sick, I also breathed a sigh of relief.  Maybe I was in touch with God's will after all.  Maybe it was time for us to opt out, even from something fun that we were looking forward to, in order to reconnect with Him and with each other.  We took our Sunday as a true Sabbath, doing nothing but resting together as a  family.  Aside from the stress that accompanies a sick child, it was a pretty good day.

Yesterday was necessarily busy.  I had to take care of a traffic ticket and take Baby Boy to the dentist to assess the damage from his fall at the zoo.  But I could do it all calmly, because I was back in touch with the source of all peace, all serenity, all direction.  Last night Baby Boy ran a fever so we could not go to school today.  He awoke happy and healthy so I'm taking it as another Sabbath gift from God and despite the fact that there are lots of things we could do today, lots of busy little things that need to get done, I'm not going to do any of them.  I'm going to read my Bible and praise God for His goodness.  I'm going to snuggle my kids, build with blocks and color in a coloring book or two.  I'm going to take lots of deep breaths and I'm not going to panic.  Because God is good, all the time, and I'm going to be still and enjoy Him today.

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