“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.”
(Victoria Moran, 'Lit From Within: Tending Your Soul For Lifelong Beauty')
‘We cannot be dependent on ourselves and dependent on God at the same time. When we consider the practice of rest unnecessary, we also will inevitably lose sight of the necessity of God.’
('The Necessity of Rest and the Necessity of God', by Anne Jackson, Relevant Magazine August 27, 2008)
God provides for His own.
It is pointless to get up early,
work hard, and go to bed late
Anxiously laboring for food to eat;
for God provides for those He loves, even while they are sleeping.
(Psalm 127:2 The Voice)
There is a lot to be said as we get a little bit older, and hopefully wiser, and realize the time we have on this earth is so very brief. I remember as a kid how summer seemed to last (but actually it was!) much longer than it is for my children today. Days spent playing with neighborhood friends, playing games, imagining worlds away from reality in our backyards, getting creative with whatever we could find in our garages or around the yard. I had a couple friends who were in sports and not around as much but I had several friends who like us were around during the summer and doing a whole lot of nothing. To me, that’s how summer should be. So, I’m thinking today, how do we capture that and bottle it and apply it somehow to everyday life? It is something that has stuck with me throughout my life and thanks to my parents establishing a priority for rest and balance early on, I am doing that with my own family. My kids have been involved in sports and clubs on occasion, but it has always been by their choice to engage in it and our ability to work it into our schedule. Priority for us has always been family first, everything else second. And that includes church stuff. How do we do that, you say? Being on church staff and in ministry on and off for years now, we have learned to set a boundary that we have found some understand and some do not. I grew up a senior pastor’s kid, so we were at church for just about anything and everything, and typically the first ones to arrive and the last ones to leave. But before we did, my folks always made sure our time at home with each other was the higher priority. Sunday lunch in the dining room at home was a must, and I honestly don’t remember it any different most of the time. I know now more than ever, that was my folks’ way of establishing early on the importance and necessity for time together with our family before all others. It is a simple thing, committing to set time aside weekly rather than committing to two other things that could result in the week ending with you wondering, “Where did the time go?”
I am a creature of restful habit, and I find out pretty quickly if I’ve strayed away from that. When I watch others around me scramble week to week to get their long list of things accomplished--and some have a whole lot more going on that I do!—it causes me to stop and consider how I can do better with balancing my own life. I will always be the type who enjoys spending Sunday afternoon curled up on the sofa with a good book, listening to some great music, or watching Netflix, drifting off to sleep for a nap. No agenda, no alarms, no plan, just an open afternoon to do a whole lot of nothing. I don’t always get it, the occasional Sunday afternoon comes and I get it in my head I have got to run a few more errands or do a couple of things around the house so when Monday comes I am not as weary walking in the door after a long day at work. Even though the perfectionist in me is crying out for order, I find release when I learn to let those things go and settle for a beautiful state of undone and settle in to my commitment to rest.
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