Friday, June 10, 2011

working toward rest

We have successfully made it through Pat's most recent semester and into the summer. We could not be happier about it. Pat is still on the Dean's List and even won a scholarship this year! Good stuff.

I've been feeling lately, after being way over-committed during the year, that I really SHOULD rest over the summer. But even with Pat having no more school and now the kids are out of school, too, and tutoring is over, and we are without a housemate and I am relieved even of cooking lunch for the kids down the street once a week, we are still busy. There is much catching up to do. We want to see people and pick up on neglected relationships. But we still find that our time is short. There is getting the upstairs ready for our housemate to come back in a little over a week. There is buying Steve's lot next door and trying to garden more space than we have ever taken on. And we're planning a summer literacy/learning program for kids in the neighborhood that will meet twice a week. Pat will be coaching summer basketball. We are working on applying for our pastoral license as well. Some people have a hard time understanding why we don't go out looking for a summer job. The answer is that we think God will provide for us to do the things we are called to do and right now, this is what we are putting our hands to. There is not time for consistent summer employment.

The truth is, I don't think our lives slowed down the least bit the day Pat finished the semester. I was disappointed. So, to begin this summer from a place of rest instead of from a place of busyness, we took 10 days to get away. We spent half of it at my parents' house in Kentucky and half of it down at the lake house in Tennessee. It was just what we needed to unwind and begin to think clearly. Even while at the lake house, I kept looking for ways to justify staying there for free. "We'll paint this. We'll clean that. We'll cut down that tree." Not that there isn't actually work to be done there, but there is ALWAYS work to be done there.

There is always work to be done everywhere. "The poor will always be with you," Jesus said. So will the needy. So will legitimate need.

I'm horrible at it, but I hope to practice really resting this summer. As it was put in the recent Karate Kid movie, "There is a big difference between resting and doing nothing." So I'm hoping I'm doing only those things that will still permit me to be restful. I hope for more balance in my life instead of either not having time to look my husband in the face or having no other obligations whatsoever. There must be a middle-ground somewhere called Really Living. I don't think God wants us to take a break from that because we have young kids or because we're "doing ministry" or because "if we don't do this or that, who will?"

We are doing really well right now. We are still feeling the effects of vacation. But I know myself. And we have returned to a garden that needs weeded and a church body of people who have been moving or sick or in the hospital or having to do extra stuff while we've been gone. And when I feel like I may have the least on my plate among my peers, I will quickly fill it up.

So you can pray for me/us as we aspire toward this more connected life.

Pray for us to be able to find mentors who can show us the way to do what we're doing.
Pray for our connection to God, to each other, and to those around us.
Pray that our hands (and minds, etc.) will be strong for the tasks assigned to us.
Pray that we will not try to justify ourselves by what we do rather than by Whose we are.
Pray for those who work alongside us and pray for more people to be truly partnered with. We are not in this alone by any means, but sometimes it starts to feel like we are and at least I act accordingly.

Thank you for your time and your prayers as you read this. I welcome anything you feel should be added to this prayer list!

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