Saturday, February 6, 2010

It's 4am...

It is 4:27am and I've been awake for almost an hour now...this seems to be a bit of a pattern in this last month of pregnancy.  I've been told that this is one of the ways God prepares me for wakefulness with my new little one...and as a girl who LOVES her sleep, I've actually been enjoying my middle of the night rendevous with the Lord.

Take tonight for example - I had the idea of rest and balance on my mind after attending a ladies meeting at our church tonight.  It was the topic of discussion and I had the most amazing epiphany as I sat listening to other ladies talk about saying no, finding balance, and making time for God's special gifts in their lives...

My Epiphany actually shocked me...

Because I realized after years of overcommitting, overperforming, and praying desperately for balance in my life...I'm actually doing okay!  No, I'm far from perfect & of course still have the tendency to over-do-it...but I realized tonight that I'm rested (yes, even as I sit here at 4am)...

God has walked me through an amazing journey the last couple of years of learning to say no...and more importantly showing me the power of my yes.  He has taught me that finding balance isn't saying no to everything in life but having the room to say yes when He speaks and prods. 

It hasn't been easy...and I still have a ways to go...but here are a few things I've done to make room to say Yes to Him

1.  I rediscovered vision for my life.  I looked at everything on my plate & compared them to the overall vision I know God has given me for this stage of life.  As I compared these things I realized that a few things had to go.  They were good things, but not a part of His plan for me
  • For example, at work the Lord showed me that my calling is in 3 primary areas: teaching, missions, and young adults.  As much as I loved working with special events or communications - these were areas that caused the most stress and stole time from the areas where He has called me to put my energy today.  I was able to share this with those who lead me & we came up with a plan for me to hand off some responsibilities to others so that the areas where I am called could grow and become more effective.
  • Perhaps one of the greatest joys was discovering that as I let something go, God was faithful to bring the right person to do that job much better than I could do it!
2.  I got rid of guilt - too often I realized I only say yes because of guilt...
  • I also got rid of my desire to prove myself.  After a few years of desperately trying to show people that I was enough...the Lord revealed to me that so long as I try to "prove" myself I am actually showing that I don't believe that I am enough...it is when I was able to truly rest in Him and His approval of me that the longing to prove myself stopped.
3.  I chose to protect my Sabbath.
  • I have made Fridays my Sabbath and I made a conscious decision to protect these days.  I only schedule things on these days that refresh my soul or add to my life.  And if I feel like I need to do something on that day, I make sure to find other Sabbath times throughout the week.
As I said before, I have not "arrived" in this area of rest, but I am thankful that at least I'm sitting here in the 4am hour at peace because what awaits me tomorrow is a day of sipping coffee with my husband, adding finishing touches to my baby's room, going to church...and simply saying yes to anything else God has for me.  Two years ago - there was rarely a Saturday that was comprised of such!

A couple of books that have helped me along this journey are:
Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
rest: Living in Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent
Fresh Brewed Life by Nicole Johnson

What things has God showed you on your own journey towards rest?  Have you learned to
say no?  Have you seen the power of a yes to Him?  Would love to hear your thoughts on this area...

4 comments:

Angie said...

Our church just finished a sermon series called Margin about leaving room in your life to be able to say yes to the right things and no to the wrong things. Your post is timely and reminds me that I can choose to make room in my life. Thanks for the encouragement!

Jenn Possible said...

You've most definitely come a long way Ms. Paige! And it's so fantastic.

I seem to be on the other side of this at the moment and trying to make a comeback. When I moved to CS I was so completely focused on my Program that I HAD to say no to just about everything...even the ridiculous amount of socialness I need on a daily basis. Since it's been finished months ago...I've actually been trying to find out how to get all that back. When I'm asked to do something (from projects to just socialness)...I have to remember that I CAN say yes now. (well, when God says I can!)
I actually can't tell which is the harder battle- learning to say No when all I ever did was say Yes...or learning to say Yes, when the last several years was a season of No.

Jenn Possible said...

APPARENTLY I just needed to type that last comment out...because seriously, in less than 24 hrs I have commited to SEVERAL MAJOR things. Ok then. I do believe I have achieved balance. haha!
That is, of course, if I refuse to take something else on now that I am on a roll... ;-)

Paige Allen said...

You crack me up, Jenn Beamer! Hope that balance continues!

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