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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

An Anology and Prayer For When You Feel Weary

After rest comes restoration, a wholeness that penetrates our weakened souls and brings us life. Life. John 14:6 tells us that Jesus is the life. Jesus restores, makes us whole, and gives us life.

We need restored.

Life is difficult. The daily hour to hour is hard without considering the whole of life. I wake, attempt stillness, but all too soon the routine begins. Children need tending, breakfast needs made, counters need cleaned, laundry needs washed, and words need written. Let the children nap only to begin phase two of the day.

The other day, my mom spoke an analogy into my weary and worn soul. I share it now with you, because I can't think of a woman who'd disagree. Sometimes you feel like you're in an automatic car-wash without a car. The brushes scrape against you, soap stains your clothes, and the water sprays forcefully. We have little time to catch our breath before the next event hits. 

How true. The car-wash is our life and it never ends, but at times stillness permeates, allowing us to breathe. The brushes stop while the water prepares to rinse. This is the time for restoration. Our souls and our bodies need prepared before we navigate through the next big event, and this is when we cry out to God.


Restore me, God.

Restore us, God.

Restore us from:

  • the mundane
  • the heartache 
  • the exhaustion 
  • the changes
Restore our souls. 

Build us like the child who methodically places one block above the other with concentration and fervor. 

Heal us like the doctor who performs surgery to remove the tumor that keeps us from performing simple, daily tasks. 

Mend us like the seamstress who binds a tear by hand, one stitch at a time.

Refresh us like the sweet tea grandmother used to make, the tea that required boiling, steeping, and cooling. 

Renew us like a slow soak in hot water, the fragrance of rose petals and the melody of music calming us. 

Repair us like the mechanic who spends hours to reach and replace one piece on a vehicle so that it will perform perfectly again. 

Restore us, for we need you.

When the world brings change upon change,
when our hard and chaotic lives keep us from breathing,
when our lives skirt and shadow death itself,
we need you.

When our lives foreshadow death over life,
when fear settles deep into our soul,
when we are lost and afraid and alone,
we need you.

Make us rest, and then lead us. Restore out souls, and then lead us.

Let the words from Psalmist David penetrate our hearts.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Psalm 23: 2-3

Thursday, January 5, 2017

A Reminder to Rest

When I slow down to enjoy every mundane moment, my soul feels better rested. I may be a mess physically. I WILL be a mess physically. As I sit here typing these words, I wear sweat pants, a t-shirt stained with spit-up, and the messiest hair bun "unknown" to man.

Physically, I'm a mess and so is the living room and kitchen hiding behind me. We won't even talk about the mountain of dishes covered in chocolate and soaking in water. After waking to feed my baby twice through the night combined with the trouble of going back to sleep, I could certainly use a nap.

But in this mess, I pause, because when both children are napping, I MUST spend time with Jesus and give you these words. I desire to bring hope into your situation today. Today, I hope that you'll attain the same rest my soul experiences though chaos screams behind me, chaos that must be taken care of in a bit, but for now, this is where we both need to be. 

I think Jesus was thinking of the exhausted soul burned out on the daily and mundane when he said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

In this passage, Jesus isn't saying, "kick up your feet, chill, and do as little work as possible all day long." I mean, who has the luxury of doing that on the daily, right? Rather, Jesus is speaking to the one racing around, burned out on the daily, and he offers rest. He's speaking to the one jumping from one fiery hoop to another while onlookers gaze at her nonstop life and the concerned look on her face as she wonders when the circus will end so she can breathe. And breathe, free from the hectic, the routine, the life.

I've read this passage of scripture a thousand times, have heard it preached from pulpits on multiple occasions. This is one I know by heart, but had never fully digested until now. Perhaps that's because in this season of raising little ones with little time to breathe, I desperately NEED rest more than ever before. But this rest needed is not in the form of relaxation, though I could certainly use any kind of rest afforded. The rest needed is in the form of fulfillment. Hear it again. Fulfillment. It's where my soul receives rest, not necessarily my body. Are you with me? You'll want to remember this next sentence even if the others fly out of your mind.

Jesus offers soul rest, and it's fulfilling. No amount of physical rest, from spa days to couch potato days to sleeping away the days, will ever bring the best rest that comes by way of Jesus.

This is what he's saying to our worn out bodies and worn out souls: "Side with me by taking on the same yoke that I am in, this same harness used for working. The load will be light because I will be right beside you, and you can learn more than you ever have about me in the process, finding the rest that your soul needs to continue on with the difficulty that life brings. Go ahead. Take off the yoke of stress, the yoke of anxiety, the yoke of pressure, the yoke of bondage, etcetera, etcetera. Be meek and lowly with me. Learn what it means to come to the end of yourself physically but be fully rested spiritually. Let's work together, because in doing so, I promise that you will receive rest. Soul rest."

Take a moment, here and now, to consider which yoke you live under. If you're not under a yoke with Jesus, you'll never experience the fulfilling rest that only he offers. And friends, I desperately long for you to experience this rest. 

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