Last year my word for 2017 was rest. It was not only a word but a challenge. I find it incredibly hard to rest until the work is done. And the work is never done. I learned early in the year that resting doesn’t mean I need to stop doing things. Resting is more of a perspective, a state of mind and place of the heart.
In the Bible the word is Shalom, a place of complete peace, wholeness, wellness, safety, and rest. It means there is harmony, no tension. There is freedom. This is how life was meant to be lived before the fall. Shalom is where heaven touches earth, all of our insecurities disappear, the masks fall away, and the weight of the world lightens. This is not possible without the presence of Christ. It requires me to receive His peace.
I was able to implement some outer things that helped me connect to the One true source of peace this past year. Things like reading Scripture, sitting still in prayer (especially in community), even making time for long walks and baths helped me focus back on the One from whom I receive my rest. I embraced the things I enjoy doing as if they were small, lavish gifts–things like reading and writing. These things give me rest. Though a vacation is not essential for the kind of soul-rest I am referring to, my husband and I were even able to get away for a full week of intentional rest in Mexico. This reset and renewed my ability to rest. I also can’t deny that my two surgeries also forced me to rest.
I look forward to one day entering into His rest. Until then I must learn to pace myself. Life as a mom is rigorous. Life as a medical mom is even more so. Mix that up with a type-A person who has high expectations for herself, and it’s a recipe for busyness, chaos, and stress.
My word for 2018 is pace. Pace is a single step when walking or running. It is a continuous and consistent movement forward. Pacing yourself requires you to stay present in the moment–not getting lost in the past or racing too far ahead.
This Psalm reminds me to stay present and “on pace.”
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” – Psalm 46:1
This year I hope I don’t dwell too much on the past, or jump too far into the future. He is my ever present help, setting and establishing my pace, whatever lies ahead.
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