Sunday, October 19, 2014

To Give Us Pause {7 for 31}

This month I'm writing a new post each day about my own version of Jen Hatmaker's 7 experiment. For more posts and an introduction, head hereToday's 7 topic is stress.

Remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy. The fourth commandment. After making sure that our relationship with Him is on track, and before moving on to our relationships with others, God gives us a gift - a chance to stop and recalibrate our busy lives. And as such, it may be the easiest one to overlook and dismiss as culturally irrelevant, or simply impossible.

A few days ago, I was aggravated at Adam (not over anything dreadful - we just both decided to act human at the same time). I put Brooklyn down for her nap, ate my lunch, and seethed. It was giving me a headache, so I sat down and prayed about it, then curled up on the couch. When I woke up two hours later, my headache and my frustration were gone. I feel like that's what Sabbath does - it derails whatever mindless train of thought we're on and then offers us an opportunity to start again on a better track. Sure, I might have gotten the dishwasher emptied if I hadn't taken a nap, but I would have fumed the whole time and our evening together after he got home from work would have been less than pleasant - and that's not really a worthwhile exchange.

Still, trying to get a whole entire day of rest as a family with a Little can be more stressful than renewing - so I'm learning to embrace Sabbath pauses, like my new ritual of sitting on the balcony to eat lunch, then spending some time reading, journaling, and praying. Even though I've only been doing it for a few weeks, I've already begun to love and look forward to that time, and to guard it jealously, even from my own impulses and cravings. Hmm, Chick-Fil-A would be nice for lunch... no, I'll just snarf it down in the car and then I won't want to sit down to rest later. I actively miss it when something comes up to keep me from being able to take that time, even if it's something enjoyable.

So this week I'm focusing on pauses. Jen observed the "seven sacred pauses" - seven times of prayer spaced out over 3 hour intervals throughout the day. I'd like to make an effort to pause on hours that are multiples of three and spend a few minutes praying - over my family, this project, and Mercy House, specifically - as a modified version of that (in this season of life, sleep is a gift that I do not want to throw away. If I'm awake at midnight and 6am for some reason, I'll pray. If not, I'll worship through the surrender of sleep in the presence of a wakeful, watching Father). I'll also maintain my now-beloved lunchtime quiet time, and I'd like to work through the Quiet*ologie journaling exercises that Emily Freeman writes each month for Hope*ologie (coincidentally, there are seven of them so far).

In this season, what does rest look like for you?

1 comment:

Karrilee Aggett said...

I love this, my friend! I love that you saw the trade off... sure - you could have kept to your list of things to do - but you made the better choice! We must be intentional with Resting, but when we are - the benefits are abundant!