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!
- 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.
- 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.
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...