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Be still

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Psalm 46:10

I looked out at the dark morning through the window in front of my desk, seeing only the reflection of me in my jammies and become aware of the fact that my shoulders were up around my ears. What in the world ya’ll?? Its 5:45 a.m., and I already have tension in my neck and shoulders? No wonder I have neck and shoulder pain all the time! Closing my eyes, I intentionally relaxed my shoulders and breath . I feel my whole body release.

Aaaahhhhhh, that feels better.

Ok, now you do it! Take notice of your shoulders…are they tensed up? Ok, relax them just for a second. Notice any difference? Ahhhh. Be still, and know that God is God.

I do have a tendency to carry stress and the worries of the world on my shoulders. Always a To-Do-List rattling around in my head. Forever wondering if the conversations I had yesterday were ok. Endlessly thinking about people, places and things for the future.

“Be still,” God says in my heart, “I WILL be exalted among the nations, I WILL BE exalted in the earth. And really, Theresa, there’s not much you can do to speed that up or slow that down. Its happening. Period.”

Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Mark 11:22-24

Jesus had just performed a miracle by withering up a fig tree that wasn’t bearing fruit and his disciples were amazed. Jesus reassures them that they can make stuff happen too….if they only believe.

And trust.

And relax their shoulders.

Jesus had also just flipped tables in the temple courts. So he had been MAD too! Who wants to be the one to make God mad? Not me! I would definitely have had tense shoulders! So I read up on this flipping tables moment in time.

This happened in the temple courts which was the ONLY place that the Gentiles, AKA outsiders, could go to worship God and gather for prayer. They weren’t allowed inside the temple courts. The vendors coming to sell animals and exchange money set their tables up there in the ONLY place for these not normally included outcasts to worship. How is one supposed to pray and worship with goats bleating, doves cooing, and vendors yelling? These people were probably those who yearned for God. The desperate ones. The ones that took that last leap of faith. Yet, they had to compete with the oxen and pushy salesmen pushing their goods.

I’m a sucker for the underdog, ya know? When I see or predict a situation where an injustice is happening or when there is tension in the area….well….my shoulders get all tensed up, and I’m ready to go to battle.

But that’s not always my job is it? In this case, its God’s job. My job is to “Have faith in God….not doubt in my heart….believe” (Mark 11:22-24 abbreviated) But there is some requirements of me.

And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.

Mark 11:25

Forgiveness. Its trick isn’t it? While I am standing still, praying, take note of any forgiveness that needs to happen. God WILL accomplish miracles….in fact, God already has accomplished miracles. God already sent his only son, Jesus, to live among us, teach us how to love one another by dying for us, and was resurrected on the third day. Now He is seated at the right hand of the Father. That’s the miracle, the rest will just fall into place, whether I’m all tensed up or not.

Father God, I thank you for your Word that reminds me that you already have all this under control. No matter what I do, say, write or don’t write, Your Name WILL BE exalted in the earth. Help me to know what it means to be still today. I pray for the person reading this that You would speak to their heart, encourage each person with the understanding that You already have this under control. Lord, I desire to be part of your plan to bring glory to Your Name. Show me how to do that. Teach me Lord, how I can be part of your plan in such a time as this.

Is there something that you can trust God with?

What does it mean to you to Be Still?

How can I pray for you today?

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Get some rest

  • Leviticus 14:1-57
  • Mark 6:30-56
  • Psalm 40:1-10
  • Proverbs 10:11-12

30The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31Then, 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 6:30-31

I’ve always been an overachiever. The first time I can look back on my life and recognize it was when I worked in the restaurant business. I started at the hostess desk at the age of 16 and worked my way up to General Manager of an establishment by the time I was 22. I was not afraid of working long hard hours. Some jobs I came in at 4:30 a.m…..some jobs I stayed till the wee hours of the morning. On many a New Years Eve, I did both.

They say that the average person has 3 major career changes in life. That is true for me….first was the hospitality industry. Next came mom. I took on the role of motherhood like it was a new career. I worked hard at that, and I pushed hard too. My daughters will tell you that. The 3rd was real estate, I built a business from nothing to being in the top 10 of agents in my 200+ agent office.

Then we moved here and the nest emptied out. Its very quiet here, and sometimes I feel like a fish out of water, flopping around on the ground gasping for air in the silence of the rest. I don’t know what to do with myself somedays. I feel like I’m supposed to be DOING something! I keep finding myself reporting to God all that I have done and taught.

But in my case, no one is coming. This statement brings up a well of tears to my eyes. No one is coming. The kids don’t want to come around anymore, they have families and careers of their own. I’ve never really found friendships here in smalltown USA that I can call my own. Oh, I have acquaintances, but not really friendships. I just don’t feel like I fit in anywhere. Our small town church doesn’t really have Bible studies and when I tried to start a study for women, I ran in to brick walls.

I see the verse that say “But many who saw them leaving recognized them…..” (vs 33) That’s not what its like on this little farm. Its very remote, and sometimes, very lonely. I yearn to be recognized, I yearn for people to come. I hear at this point in my life “sit down….on the green grass….” Mark 6:39

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

Psalm 23:1-2

After this feeding of the 5000, Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. (vs 45). That’s twice Jesus INTENTIONALLY gave the disciples rest. Jesus knew better than they did, the rest required for the journey ahead. Jesus himself went up on a mountainside to pray. (vs 46) before meeting his friends out on the lake.

Like literally, ON the lake! Jesus just walked right on out there when he saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. (vs 48) He just about walked right on past them, but they cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. (vs 50) Y’all, I confess, sometimes I am terrified. I’m terrified because I feel like I’m missing it. Like, I’m supposed to be doing something, and I just don’t know what it is.

I think about writing a book

I think about becoming more and more self sustaining out here on the farm and selling produce via farm stands or CSA, but farming at that level requires full time work, and I still have a part time job.

I think about starting an Air B & B, but who would stay here, 20 minutes away from the nearest town?

I try to meet my grandchildren’s needs by shopping and doing, but then think I better keep saving for retirement

I think about changing jobs, but then what about our garden and livestock?

I buy books on blogging and then look at other blogs and think, I’m never going to be as good as that….

Oh wait, there it is. I’m never going to be as good as….There’s the overachiever in me. The girl who quit school and is trying to make up for her bad decisions. The young woman who got a DUI at 17 and is still in mentally in recovery. The mom who sometimes pushed a little bit too hard and is trying to heal relationships. The wife who just about failed her marriage and is trying to emotionally still mend. All those failures of the past, just never seem to go away, do they? No matter how many times I cross over to the other side, I get out of the boat, and the crowd of voices telling me that I let them down are chasing me.

for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.

Mark 6:52

I’m never going to be as good as……”who,” Jesus says in my mind “Who are you trying to be better than, Theresa? What are you trying to prove? Do you think you can be and do better than the miracles that Jesus can do? Why is your heart so hard that you can’t see the miracle? How much longer are you going to flail around on this green grass that I’ve given you to sit on? Are you going to accept the forgiveness and redemption that I bought for you or are you just going to keep trying to make up for your past? Can you just rest and accept?”

Lord, you have brought me this far in life after all the horrible lifestyle choices that I made in my years. You are the miracle. You provide for all we need, abundantly! For that I am forever grateful. Teach me to rest, only you can soften my heart. I am creating my own headwind, and I don’t know how to stop. I don’t know how to just rest. I don’t even know what that means, really. People have been coming at my my whole life…and now, its quiet. Help me navigate through this quiet storm.

How do you rest?

Are there mistakes in your past that you just keep trying to fix and make up for?

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