Why My Time Away was NOT Restful
Two weeks ago, when I told you all that I was taking a couple of weeks away . . . you were awesome, like always. I received so many encouraging comments telling me to get some good rest and enjoy my time off.
I did enjoy my time away, but it was anything but restful.
Rev and I used the last couple of weeks to move from one side of the state of Missouri to the other. We moved to St. Louis the year we got married and except for one brief year in Ohio, we’ve lived the Gateway City for more than four decades.
Wow! Where does the time go?!
Our daughter moved to Kansas City 13 years ago and each time we visited her we fell more and more in love with this side of the state. And of course, her family was a huge magnet as well.
So, we kept our eyes open for a home and the end of April we were blessed to find a house that felt like the perfect fit for us.
And that began the process of packing up one home and moving to another.
Moving is definitely NOT rest and relaxation.
My body aches, my hands are a mess, and I’m still searching for a few things that seem to be hidden in box A, B, or C. Whew!
Moving is exhausting physically, mentally, and emotionally. But one of the worst parts and I have to say it’s hard for me to admit . . . I neglected my spiritual wellness in all the busyness. So, I’m spiritually exhausted, too.
That’s why, the last few days I’ve forced myself to slow down, ignore the boxes still crying to be unpacked, and quieted myself at the feet of Jesus.
It’s so easy to get caught up in our busyness, isn’t it?
But last Thursday morning, as I was feeling guilty about how far behind I’d gotten with my Bible reading plan . . . I set aside my to-do list, grabbed my coffee and headed to the couch in my office.
Where I read these words from Luke 18…
As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road.3 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening.3 They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.
But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
When Jesus heard him, He stopped and ordered that the man be brought to Him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!” v. 35–41
I just love how the Spirit works through the Word. Honestly, I can’t even explain why those words hit me the way they did . . . but the Spirit used them to quietly remind me I was momentarily blinded by busyness and distractions.
Spiritual depletion can happen so fast and too often I don’t even realize how drained I am until the Spirit gently reminds me. It’s awfully easy for me to let myself become distracted by “life” and I don’t do well when I neglect my time with Jesus.
So with the Spirit’s help, I stopped and like the blind beggar, I cried out this prayer.
I want to see!
Please forgive my busyness and distraction. I’ve neglected my time with You and because of that, I find myself drained mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Lord, I need You! Open my eyes that I might see Your truth and live centered by Your love.
I want to hear!
Make me sensitive to the sound of Your quiet voice. It’s so true… You whisper while the world around me screams for attention. I want to live every moment aware of Your sweet presence. I want to “pray without ceasing” while waiting quietly for Your counsel and guidance.
I want to speak!
Lord, I want to fiercely go to battle as a warrior for Your kingdom. Please teach me Your truth. I will go to Your Word and with Your Spirit’s help, I will learn Your will and follow Your ways. Help me boldly tell people of Your love and saving grace! Give me the words You want me to share and the courage to share them.
By Your grace and in Your name, Amen.
Finally, responding with gratitude…
I often picture God like the prodigal Father, waiting patiently and lovingly watching the path for me to return home whenever I foolishly wander. But the truth is He doesn’t just watch and wait.
He calls out my name and encourages me through His Word and my circumstances to choose to sit at His feet and enjoy something better than any busyness that tries to call me away.
It’s been a crazy and exciting few weeks. I’m so glad to be in Kansas City and I’m REALLY glad to be on this side of our move, but more than anything, I’m glad to be able to slow down a little and remember what’s most important.
And I’m thankful to know and love a Father who knows what’s best for me and cares about me physically, mentally, emotionally, as He cares for me spiritually . . . who will not turn away when I get busy and distracted.
His love is amazing.
Quotes to help you and me remember to slow down and take time to listen and pray…
“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely. … He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken.” ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
“Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength… It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.” ~Charles Spurgeon
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing, and it will never be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41–42
“Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord; and our heart is restless until it rests in Thee.” ~Augustine
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Oh, wow, Deb! That was literally a BIG move, and I’m glad to know you are already in your new home. Sure, there are still things to unpack, and it will be a while before you actually feel settled, but it’s so good to know you took this time to settle back in with God and give us such inspiration through your words.
I will keep you and Rev in prayer!
Thank for great inspiration, I’m happy your move got you a little distracted because look what wisdom and inspiration came from it. Thank you for taking the time spread a lot of Jesus about, I received it. Scherron??
Thank you Deb for the great message! I have moved a few times in the past 5 years and it can be very depleting. I am a perfectionist and like to be organized and get all the boxes unpacked. It’s hard to rest until I do! I’m learning to let go of those things that aren’t urgent for my health’s sake. And of course, spending time with our Lord is first and foremost. I wish you and Rev much love and happiness in your new home!
So often I allow myself to become focused on the to do list and fail to look to the one who gives me strength to do.
Thanks Deb; I appreciate your honesty.
Wow Deb! I thought your time away was for rest, not for a move! You deserve a real rest now!
Blessings on your new environment:)
Bless you, Deb – i’m continually grateful for God steering me back to HIm (w/ coffee) from momentary blindness. I think I have a niece in Kansas City and another in St. Louis…enjoy your new digs! And when you get tired of humidity, come visit! (central coast of CA–not a city, however, just cool)
Hello Deb! I am fairly new to your blog but I’m enjoying it very much. My delayed reply however shows just how much this particular message was needed. I’ve been super busy with work, things around the house and everyday living. Thank you for taking the time to remind us all to ‘slow down’. In the end – all the busyness doesn’t really matter. Only our time with God bares the true benefits of life.