In the Year of our Lord 2020,
I am cultivating the practice of doing less, in order to do more. This particular epiphany came at great cost. Wikipedia explains an epiphany as “an experience of a sudden and striking realization.” After twenty-four of the most grueling months of my life, with the year and the decade coming to a close, I experienced several.
In 2018, I donned my superheroine’s cape, once again. Covered in intercessory prayer, I marshaled all available resources to help one of mine save their own life. We won the war, dispatching the enemy. We now move forward in Grace and victory. I limp along with battle scars to prove it.
Lesson: This is Not Sustainable
In 2019, in a feeble attempt to recover, I made professions of self-care. I talked about it. I yearned for it. However, in the absence of a sincere and sacred commitment, I failed. I did not invest in myself the way I have for all the other people I love. I did not show up for me. I did not love myself well. My realization? This is not sustainable over the long term.
I Had an Ephiphany
About that metaphorical “superheroine’s cape?” When I assessed it along with all it represented after two years of battle without respite, it was ragged and tattered, almost to the point of uselessness. So was I.
I am cheerleader, life coach, and dream nurturer for my family and those I love, and that will never change. No longer 20, 30, 40, or even 50, investing now for decades to come means loving myself well in order to give them all I desire.
Lord, What Must I Do to Serve You and Those I Love?
That question’s answer led to a desire to undertake the practice of Sabbath, my word for 2020. Why?
Because Being Built to Last Requires TLC
…so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
It was also clear that a covenant made with God would likely outlast the promises I wasn’t already keeping to myself. Note to self, “do better.” But how?
Model Loving Yourself Well
Why? Because people are watching. Some will do what you do, for better or for worse. Others will measure your credibility based upon how you walk the talk. As a writer, I live by my words; they always matter.
Indefagitable is a great word, but a doomed strategy for living a long life well. Rest is among the first Bible lessons. So, I’m resting. And I am learning that Sabbath for me is bigger than one day off. I am undertaking sabbath as a practice of listening to the God in me. Some days, even beyond Sunday, that means slowing down when I am tired, stopping at a reasonable time, rescheduling to include rest.
Learn that a Loving NO Makes Way for a Heartfelt YES
Rising daily, I praise God for mornings, reminding myself that God alone is in control. Next, I affirm that surviving is no longer enough. It’s time to thrive, to grow, to flourish. That will require some sifting, much discernment.
If growing a plant is the analogy, I don’t want to just be something growing. I want to be a plant with shiny leaves. I want to be a plant with big, shiny, bushy leaves needing a replant. I want to be a plant with big, shiny, bushy leaves needing to share what I have because there’s too much inside me not to give much away.
A Writer Would Call it Editing My Life
Moses illustrates the true value of rest. Of slowing down. Of Sabbath, which needn’t be just one day a week. Moses and his life resonate with me, mostly because he was hard-headed, troublesome, and resistant.
Regarding his calling, Moses questions God (which I do consistently).
If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Exodus 33:13-14 NIV
God Said, “Chill.”
God says, then and now, “I have all power. I got this. Slow down, because your futile scrambling does you little good.”
Sabbath, rest, learning to do less requires trust. It requires faith that declares today is not all we have, this is not the end, and better-rested means better equipped.
Good Editing Rights Wrongs
As a writer, whether or not you trust the editor is entirely up to you. The same is true with God. However, are you brave enough to risk that you’re always right? Physically, spiritually, mentally, are you up to all that?
I hereby profess my “No.” Lord, be my Editor. I’ve always needed you, and have just recently understood my own translation of my best friend’s life verse, Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.[a]
God speaks to me in ways I can understand, and I have translated this verse for my own use in several ways. Regarding rest and sabbath, here is the message I hear,
Trust God that created you, because you are an idiot. You are welcome to try it your own way, but it’s likely not to work in your favor.
When you are exhausted, weary, and brokenhearted again, you’ll figure it out. Either way, God is near, always watching, sometimes laughing, forever loving.
Trust the Editor. It is Entirely Up to You.
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