Tuesday Together reflections during this month will be centered around the theme of “rest” to guide us as we celebrate Lifesprings International Breather Month.
Our Lifesprings community traditionally takes a sabbath breather month each year duringAugust in which in place of all meetings, we encourage our leadership and community at large to focus on rest and spiritual renewal.
This will look differently for each one of us, and yet similarly we all hope to experience Sabbath refreshing times with God. Some of us may want to journal during the month, others may schedule daily examens, some may want to experience regular or irregular times of prayer, worship, soaking in the word, there is no formula or set of rules for our month, other than instead of our regular meetings and business as usual, we want to substitute times to just “be” with God.
- Perhaps listening to instrumental worship can set the tone for prayer or scripture time.
- Setting aside 5, 10…building to 20 minutes a day for prayer.
- Prayerfully examining our Rule/rhythm of Life with Jesus
- Reading a favorite passage of scripture several times throughout the 31 days aloud, silently, prayerfully or lectio divina style ie: Psalm 23, 91, Matthew 11:28-30
- Listening prayer and journaling
- Spend time in nature and praise
- Enjoy a sunrise/sunset
- Take a technology fast of some kind and substitute with a spiritual discipline such as lectio divina, examen, silence and solitude, centering prayer, listening prayer, etc.
- Take a nap, prayer walk, exercise
- Visit a retreat center, or walk a labyrinth in prayer
“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
It’s said that if you want something done, ask the busiest person you know to be a part of the team. It seems like that would cause scheduling conflicts, but I suppose the spirit behind the message is that busy people know how to get things done. It also means they are the “yes people.” The people who don’t know how to, or don’t seem to follow through on saying “no.” My name is Traci, and I’m a recovering “yes person.”
Saying yes is a wonderful part of serving in your gift zone, and showing up in the spaces where volunteers are needed. Saying yes is a necessary part of the church in action because ideas don’t move the gospel forward. It requires an executed plan. And an executed plan involves people saying yes. Our ultimate example is Jesus saying yes to all the Father asked of him, showing us obedience to God’s call on our lives to show up when invited to fill a need.
But Jesus also was a wonderful example of pulling away and taking his followers with him to find places of quiet rest to recharge in the presence of the Father. To heal, to find peace and quiet away from the needs so they could serve from a full cup and not a cup that’s bone dry. Or bone tired. I’ve been there. Served and served, said yes and yes, and forgot to balance his example with the resting and recharging part and I burnt out. Maybe you can relate.
We are here to serve with joy and peace and from a place of abundance not from exhaustion and emptiness. That wasn’t the example Jesus set at all. And if we’re feeling that, it probably is a good indicator that we’ve left his umbrella of discipleship and headed out on our own power. Which runs out real fast.
Here are some ways to tell that you’re running on your own grit:
- You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling. You’re serving, but not really feeling love for those you serve.
- You feel like no one understands your sacrifice. If you’ve struck out on your own, you have left the protection of the flock and you’ve isolated yourself.
- You’re exhausted and burnt out. You’ve pushed yourself to the limit and left no time to regularly be with the Lord and others to rest and grow and recharge so you can re-enter service with joy and energy.
If you can relate to any of these, you can begin today by stopping to repent of your busyness and spend time with the Lord. Ask others to hold you accountable for this regular time with him. He is gracious and kind and is waiting to give you his rest.
Prayer of Response:
Lord, give me wisdom to discern between the things I should say yes and no to. As I find my rest in you regularly, may those I serve see You in me and be drawn to You! In Jesus’ Name!
Questions to Ponder:
- Do I have scheduled time to find rest with the Lord and with other believers?
- Are there any indicators that I have begun serving in my own grit and not in the Lord’s strength? Repent and begin again today! Guilt free!
- Who can I ask to help me say no more prayerfully if I am a “yes person”? I commit to ask them to check in with me regularly, asking, “How are you doing at saying no more often?”
—Submitted by Traci Morrow
Traci lives in Colorado with her husband KC & two teenage sons. They also have four adult kids, one grandson & one granddaughter! She is a Health and Wellness Coach and is the Relationship Expert and Growth Guide for Maxwell Leadership. Traci is passionate about healthy relationships and has written her first book, Real-Life Marriage; Navigating Your Beautiful, Messy, One-Of-A-Kind Love Story.