Monday, April 11, 2011

what I've learned so far

What have I learned, 3 months into this quieter year? Here are 10 things God has taught me so far:
  • Rest is God's good gift. Meredith wrote to me, "It is OK to stop...This is the time to prepare deeply for long years of ministry ahead."

  • I can live with my blog, you can live without my blog, and the world goes on without my blog. I kind of knew that already. But now I really know it. Which makes it easier to be sensible about blogging.

  • "One of the strangest things about cutting everything out of your life is that it leaves you with just one thing: yourself." I wrote that in my journal in a discouraged moment earlier this year. Healing and change take time.

  • There's a different viewpoint that comes with rest, as if you're looking at your life from above. You see things more clearly. Sometimes it's good to get outside your life for a while.

  • I can't blame blogging and busyness for everything. I'm quite capable of being disorganised, distracted and forgetful - not to mention fearful, guilt-ridden and discouraged - without them.

  • On the other hand, now I'm less busy, I have more energy and time for our family, I'm less anxious and overwhelmed, and I'm a more effective household manager. This impacts my ministry decisions.

  • Circumstances change, but some things stay the same. I look back over my adult life, and there are constants: I love to read, I love to think, I love to write, I love to teach. Some things are here to stay.

  • I can't be every woman I admire: the brilliant evangelist, the domestic goddess, the mother who's busy in a dozen different ministries. It's time to start being the woman God has made me to be.

  • As I reflect on the future, I need to avoid two equal and opposite mistakes:

    • making decisions because I think they'll solve my temptations and struggles

    • making decisions without taking my temptations and struggles into account.

  • Finally, there's no point worrying about whether I'll make the right decisions, or whether I'll cope with things in the future. God is sovereign, and he is my strength. It's okay to try things out, make mistakes, and try again.
I've learned many other things during the last 3 months. You'll hear about some of them in the weeks ahead. And this year of rest is just beginning! I'll keep sharing what God teaches me.


Tasmanian said...

Right now, I too am learning about rest, also patience and servanthood, as I have two preschoolers and a three-week-old baby.

Jean said...

That's a very busy time! God bless as you negotiate all the demands of your life right now.

Narelle Nettelbeck said...

So glad that you are back! I always find you a great source of encouragement as I think we are very much alike.

Looking forward to reading more of your reflections on rest.

I have a new book out too if you are ever in need of a new devotional book that's not too heavy ;)


Jean said...

Thanks, Narelle.