Be Still :)

A video invitation from one of my online mentors.
Come away from rush and hurry…
You and I are invited to do life not out of an anxious to-do list,
but out of a place of rest and peace…
Find a quiet place,
enjoy the peaceful music,
the words and questions to stir your heart and mind…

Rest Deeper. Live Fuller. Lead Better.

http://www.unhurriedliving.com

I first ‘met’ Alan Fadling online through Sabbatical topics and have chatted with him via Twitter. I very much enjoyed his book:
An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest

You Let Me Rest

lover of your soul

I’ve been meditating on this old familiar Psalm quite a bit lately… May you too turn it into a prayer for yourself…

“You let me rest in fields of green grass. You lead me to streams of peaceful water, and you refresh my life. You are true to your name, and you lead me along the right paths. I may walk through valleys as dark as death, but I won’t be afraid. You are with me, and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe. You treat me to a feast, while my enemies watch. You honor me as your guest, and you fill my cup until it overflows. Your kindness and love will always be with me each day of my life, and I will live forever in your house, Lord.”‭ – Psalms‬ ‭23:2-6‬ ‭CEV

Let this musical rendition warm your soul…

Travel mugs in the rain

I’ve never been one for travel mugs. To me a travel mug seems like an oxymoron. To me, a hot drink is to be enjoyed when you sit still either alone with God or with a friend lingering together enjoying wonderful conversation. A travel mug to me speaks of rush and hurry without entirely slowing down to enjoy its contents. However, today I used one as I slowly strolled in the rain. In one hand I held my umbrella, and in the other I held a hot mug of Christmas mint tea to keep me warm. Now that to me is a wonderful use of a travel mug. You should try it. 🙂

Take Off Your Shoes

My sabbatical mentor passed this along…

(From: Seasons of Your Heart by Macrina Wiederkehr)

 

My bare feet walk the earth reverently

for everything keeps crying,

Take off your shoes

The ground you stand on is holy

The ground of your being is holy.

 

When the wind sings through the pines

like the breath of God

awaken you to the sacred present

calling you soul to new insights

Take off your shoes!

 

When the sun rises above your rooftop

colouring your world with dawn

Be receptive to this awesome beauty

Put on your garment of adoration

Take off your shoes!

 

When the Red Maple drops its last leaf of summer

wearing its ‘burning bush’ robes no longer

read between its barren branches, and

Take off your shoes!

 

When sorrow presses close to your heart

begging you to put your trust in God alone

filling you with a quiet knowing

that God’s hand is not too short to heal you.

Take off your shoes!

 

When a new person comes into your life

like a mystery about to unfold

and you find yourself marvelling over

the frailty and splendor of every human being

Take off your shoes!

 

When, during the wee hours of the night

you drive slowly into the new day

and the morning fog, like angel wings

hovers mysteriously above you

Take off your shoes!

 

Take off your shoes of distraction

Take off your shoes of ignorance and blindness

Take off your shoes of hurry and worry

Take off anything that prevents you

from being a child of wonder.

 

Take off your shoes;

The ground you stand on is holy.

The ground you are on is holy.

 

(I hope this next pic won’t take away from the post above but I couldn’t resist!…)

Rest. Listen. Enjoy.

Before my sabbatical, I bought Alan Fadling’s book: An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest and received an introductory coaching word…

Finished his book last week!
I am indeed resting, listening, and enjoying my time with Jesus! 🙂 It was a good read with several excellent reminders. It got richer with each chapter. I recommend it if you’re living a life way too hurried and your soul is aching for more…

An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest

Plans…? Hold them loosely… Instead, bask in His love!

Today, I had to release many things in my quiet time with the Lord. I did this in the morning and again in the evening when I followed the prayer of Examen. I realize that I’ve been grieving on my sabbatical with plans thwarted. (I’ve also realized I’ve been grieving the past year over hopes and dreams, but that’s perhaps for another post…) Some of you reading this have had so much more to release and so much more to grieve than me. This, is my itty bitty story…

Before my sabbatical, there was a pastor who warned me to make plans and cut them in half and then cut them in half again. I ran into his wife the other day who shared the full story of his sabbatical experience. It was a hard one for him to learn. Within the first month he went back to the office to work. He couldn’t easily take the act of not doing ministry; of not being Martha and instead of being Mary lingering at Jesus’ feet. His leadership asked him to make a list of things to do and cut it in half and then cut it in half again. If he was to return to the office before the end of the sabbatical, he would be fired.

As I look back so far at my sabbatical; two months out of the three, I think 90% of my plans, which have been very few, have fallen through. Instead, the things that other people have planned for me, or unexpected meet ups, or unexpected promptings and nudges have been sweet surprises.

Instead of planned events and outings, (honestly, I’ve barely driven anywhere as I’ve rediscovered my beautiful neighbourhood), the majority of my time has been spent quietly in the presence of God, much like Brother Lawrence and his practice of the presence of God. I have read his journals and others who practiced the same way of being constantly mindful of Jesus’ faithful presence. Throughout the day, I’ve learned, more than ever before, to speak words of worship to him, to call on his name, to give thanks, to cry out to him, to be in tune and alert to his presence around me.

This once high-energy and highly driven person has somehow learned to be completely at peace doing nothing in the presence of God and listening for his voice and speaking to him. An hour or two will go by and it’ll feel like an instant. And I come away feeling absolutely full. I didn’t spend this precious time with unnecessary noise in order to suppress longing or appetite. I didn’t even spend it doing research and deep Bible study in order to satisfy my hunger for knowledge. Instead, I spent hours simply and quietly with Jesus, the creator of the universe who somehow loves me even as if I were his favorite. He is holy. I am so unworthy and yet he loves me. Embracing this truth in a way without interruption or even without another’s interpretation has completely wrecked me, in a wonderful new way.

So, I have learned to hold plans loosely, and I’ve learned to just sit in his lap and linger and become completely overwhelmed with his love for me.

Today’s Jesus Calling for kids (May 16) summarizes my sabbatical pretty spot on…

“I Am Lord!”

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” – Proverbs 19:21

“I am your Lord! I am the Friend who is always with you, but you must remember that I am also your Lord. I am King over all. And I want to be the King of your life.

As you begin each day, talk to Me about it. And as you go through your day, keep checking in with Me. Keep asking for My guidance. It’s okay to make some plans, but be open to changes in those plans. I may have other ideas for your day.

Don’t try to skip ahead or take shortcuts. Concentrate on the task that is right before you. Do your very best at that. Then trust Me to show you what to do next. I will guide you step by step, leading you along a path of peace.”

Personal Daily Practices by Dallas Willard – (YouTube) Interview

Dallas Willard is another modern day theologian who practiced Spiritual Disciplines regularly. He wrote, “The Spirit of the Disciplines” which I have purchased to read while on Sabbatical. Here’s a personal interview with him on his personal practices…

“Dallas’ Personal Daily Practices?” by Dallas Willard – YouTube.

Some points…

Start the day with meditation on Scripture.

Be with Jesus daily and all through the day!

Enjoy a daily prayer life, a daily rhythm with Jesus.

See yourself addressing your Heavenly Father. Think of His loving nature. Recognize the presence of God in your day.

Your quiet time can last all the day long. Take breaks throughout the day to pause in His presence.

Some days you need to be intentional about solitude, prayer, Bible memory, fasting…

One of the signs of healthy disciplines, is how you feel when you don’t do them.

Guilt is not a good motivator for a healthy spiritual life.

Disciplines are not righteousness, they are wisdom.

There are things you need to do daily in blessing, not in bondage! There are things you need to do weekly, monthly, annually… Fasting half days, full days, 3 days…

Enjoy these Scriptural posts…

Psalm 23

The Lord’s Prayer

Come Away From Rush and Hurry

As you know, I’m on sabbatical and I awhile ago finished enjoying Marva Dawn’s book, “Keeping the Sabbath Wholly.” This past weekend, I went away on a retreat. The first song we sang was…

Come Away From Rush and Hurry
Marva J. Dawn
(To the tune of “Come Thou Fount”)

Come away from rush and hurry
to the stillness of God’s peace;
from our vain ambition’s worry,
come to Christ and find release.
Come away from noise and clamor,
life’s demands and frenzied pace;
come to join the people gathered
here to seek and find God’s face.

In the pastures of God’s goodness
we lie down to rest our soul.
From the waters of his mercy
we drink deeply, are made whole.
At the table of his presence
all his saints are richly fed.
With the oil of his anointing
into service we are led.

Come, then, children, with your burdens –
life’s confusions, fears, and pain.
Leave them at the cross of Jesus;
take instead his kingdom’s reign.
Bring your thirsts, for he will quench them –
he alone will satisfy.
All our longings find attainment
when to self we gladly die.

His Presence

I just completed this compilation of Brother Lawrence and Frank Laubach’s journals and letters. What a powerful yet simple read. A classic indeed! A perfect read for my sabbatical…

I have and will be sharing quotes from it in my posts.

An excerpt from my first phase sabbatical report…

“Now, I’ve started to re-read Frank Laubach and Brother Lawrence’s journals about their practicing the presence of God. I’ve found that I need to find others who have experienced what I’m experiencing and I find common ground with these two men who were on a similar journey of daily and often hourly talking with Jesus and listening to him no matter what they were doing. They both encourage me and mentor me through their writings as I enjoy my time with Jesus.”

As a result, I’ve put reminders in my phone at different points of the day. In the morning: “Father, what do you desire?” In the afternoon, “Everything is created for His glory!” And in the evening: “I thank you Jesus!” These reminders help to redirect my focus to Jesus, His glory, to talk and listen to Him, and to direct me to worship Him!