Mother May I?

“What do you want for Mother’s Day?”

In my household that means, “Do you want to eat out?” “Shall we buy you something?”

Too many people dine out that day. I’d rather not wait for a table. And I feel bad for moms who work as a waitress on Mother’s Day.

And nothing compares to the gifts my children made for me during their childhood years. My office is a museum of their arts and crafts. A hand-painted picture frame, a pencil holder made from a clay pot, a laminated card decorated with torn, colored construction paper.

Now, an act of service is my love language. Last year, my husband and teenage son spread shredded cedar in my flower beds. I was a happy mom! If my son chose to clean his closet, that could count as three Mother’s Day gifts. Dream on.

This Mother’s Day, I’ve decided to rest. I got the idea from my feline. She slept in the sun last week, oblivious to the activity around her.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to rest without a care? To do nothing, without guilt?

Don’t know that I can.

Unless I’m productive it’s not a good day. Even my reading a book, or a friendly phone call, seems like an accomplishment. God knows this about me. He’s given numerous scripture on my need for rest on multiple levels.

Sabbath Rest, rest from labor, resting in the Lord, rest for our souls, rest for the weary, entering God’s rest….

“This is what the Lord says … ‘ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” (Jeremiah 6:16)

Hello, Karen? Which part of rest don’t you understand?

Remember the child’s game, Mother May I? I’m told to do something by the leader, but first I must ask permission or I’m out of the game. The Lord’s Word tells me to rest. But unlike the game, I don’t have to say, “Father May I?” before proceeding.

God has given me permission. He invites me to enter His rest. He commands me to rest.  

It’s time I believe God’s Word and permit myself to rest.

Not only this Mother’s Day, but each Sunday as well.

Are You Resting?

This Mother's Day weekend, give yourself a gift...permission to relax and enjoy life.

Gotta love the weekends. a sweet reprieve.

Saturday allows me to rest from the busyness of life. Sunday Sabbath reminds me I’ve entered God’s Rest. 

take communion and remember Christ’s finished work on the Cross. And I leave church forever grateful I don’t have to work this coming week … for my eternal salvation.  

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.” (Hebrews 4:10)

For years, instead of trusting Jesus for salvation,

  • I tried to be a good person.
  • Earn my way into heaven through good works.
  • Put my faith in me.

After I entered God’s Rest, I learned to stop doing things for God and rest in His presence. 

Now whenever I’m tempted to strive or play the High Priest 

  • Applaud my ‘good’ works
  • Absolve my bad behavior.
  • Justify wrong thinking.
  • Pursue my own agenda

I enter God’s Word which is “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword…able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

What a thought! Everything within me laid bare, open for God’s scrutiny. Like Eve, I want to hide from God’s searching eyes and cover up my intentions. But, then I remember and rejoice.     

“We have a great and high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God...Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:12-16)

Have you entered God’s Rest?

What do you intend to do differently this week to draw near the throne of grace?

Like it or Not, Can I Rejoice?

Who knew when I wrote this blog back in February that I’d be speaking at a women’s conference this month on the topic “Finding Rest in the Middle of Wrestling Life.”

Isn’t it just like the Lord to remind me of this blog considering for the past three weeks I’ve had poor health, AND fractured my big toe so I’m limping along in life.

So like it or not, here is the message on rest that speaks to my current circumstances the same way it did earlier this year…

For almost three weeks, I’ve been home bound with ill health, and I’m still not up to par.

I miss the days I woke up ready to rumble. And went to bed feeling as though I’d been productive.

I tell myself: “It’s okay. Use this time to rest. Read the Bible. Pray.

But my mental energy is sapped; lethargy takes over. Spiritual disciplines are minimal, I’m just going through the motions.

Are you there Lord? How much longer?

I’m weary of resting; waiting for good health and LIFE to resume.

An inner voice whispers, “This IS life.”

So like it or not,

“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

God knows my circumstances. He allowed it.

Can I rejoice and be glad in it?

Not happy about ill health, but rejoicing that God is with me even in this season of ill health and lethargy?

Can I rejoice without whining?

Knowing that Nothing is Wasted.

Because when I come before God, fully submitted and willing to learn…He teaches me.”

So what has He taught me?

That when I’m healthy, I am more prone to live independent of God and be self sufficient. But when I’m unable to do anything in my own strength: Not housework, not ministering to others, not even meditating on God’s Word … I’m forced to REST in God’s strength and grace.

At the end of myself, I’m forced to let go of expectations …. those things I think will make me happy such as good health and productivity.

And REST in the knowledge that every circumstance is an opportunity to be made in the image of Christ and bring Him praise.

By keeping my eyes on Jesus, the lifter of my head,

I’m able to REST and REJOICE even in this……

Rest in the Lord is a “Bear” Necessity

Autumn is here, and my mind travels back in time to another October in the year, B.C. (before children), when my husband and I first moved to California. One weekend, we visited Yosemite National Park.

Being young and spontaneous, we didn’t make campsite reservations. So we had to pitch our two-man pup tent outside the park in the National Forest.

There was nothing around us, but trees, dirt, and critters that went BOO in the night.

Bears rule in Yosemite. And there was no lack of signs warnings us: DON’T FEED THE BEARS. DON’T LEAVE FOOD IN YOUR TENT. DON’T LEAVE BACKPACKS UNATTENDED.

Imagine my fright when I’m lying in my sleeping bag, and I hear noise: something rustling in the bushes, footsteps that sounded like Tyrannosaurus Rex, and heavy breathing that wasn’t coming from my husband who was sound asleep.

The only thing between me and the noise was a tent wall…a thin piece of nylon material held up by plastic, collapsible poles. Trust me, if a bear wanted to harm us, he didn’t have to claw his way through the zippered door panel. He could have sat on our tent and smothered us to death.

 Frantic, I woke my husband. “There’s a bear outside the tent.”

“He won’t bother us,” he groaned. “We don’t have food in the tent.”

“Maybe he can smell food on our clothes.”

“Don’t worry. I have an ax.”

“What if it’s someone with a gun who wants to steal our car?”

“Car thieves don’t normally roam the National Forest at midnight.” Husband yawned. “Go back to sleep.”

Maybe trusting my husband was a false sense of security, but I took my husband at his word. I closed my eyes and slept like a baby all night long.

When I woke up the next morning I was rested.

But my unshaven husband had dark bags beneath his eyes. He hadn’t slept a wink. Listening to the night noises, he’d kept a death grip on the ax, ready to defend me.

Now Husband isn’t all powerful like the Lord, but He loves me. And that night gave me a glimpse of what it means to “rest in the Lord.”

When the dark closes in on me, and fear troubles my soul, I cast my burdens onto the Lord, and rest.

 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27)

Like it or Not, Can I Rejoice?

Who knew when I wrote this blog back in February that I’d be speaking at a women’s conference this month on the topic “Finding Rest in the Middle of Wrestling Life.”

Isn’t it just like the Lord to remind me of this blog considering, for the past three weeks I’ve had health problems, AND fractured my big toe so I’m limping along in life.

The message then, is the same for me now. REST, not just physically, but rest knowing God is in control. And HIS strength equips me to do the things He calls me to…..

For almost three weeks, I’ve been home bound with ill health, and I’m still not up to par.

I miss the days I woke up ready to rumble. And went to bed feeling as though I’d been productive.

I tell myself: “It’s okay. Use this time to rest. Read the Bible. Pray.

But my mental energy is sapped; lethargy takes over. Spiritual disciplines are minimal, I’m just going through the motions.

Are you there Lord? How much longer?

I’m weary of resting; waiting for good health and LIFE to resume.

An inner voice whispers, “This IS life.”

So like it or not,

“This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

God knows my circumstances. He allowed it.

Can I rejoice and be glad in it?

Not happy about ill health, but rejoicing that God is with me even in this season of ill health and lethargy?

Can I rejoice without whining?

Knowing that Nothing is Wasted.

Because as my friend Loretta says, “When I come before God, fully submitted and willing to learn…He teaches me.”

So what has He taught me?

That when I’m healthy, I am more prone to live independent of God and be self sufficient. But when I’m unable to do anything in my own strength: Not housework, not ministering to others, not even meditating on God’s Word … I’m forced to REST in God’s strength and grace.

At the end of myself, I’m forced to let go of expectations …. those things I think will make me happy such as good health and productivity.

And REST in the knowledge that every circumstance is an opportunity to be made in the image of Christ and bring Him praise.

By keeping my eyes on Jesus, the lifter of my head,

I’m able to REST and REJOICE in this day the Lord has made, and be glad even in this……