On Monday, I talked about self-care and listening to your body and being intentional with your time, and how these three things are my survival kit for my crazy life.
But these next two? If you don’t hear anything else, please hear these:
4. Rest and quiet are more a posture of the heart than spaces in your calendar. I really believe that presence, and rest, and space, and quiet are essential parts of following God and building meaningful relationships. Be still and know that I am God, you know? So here’s what I’m learning: being still is far more about my heart than it is about my free time. I can spend a day flitting here and there from seven in the morning till eleven at night, and feel calm and cheerful and un-rushed. Or, I can have a day that is empty of appointments but full of anxiousness and dis-ease. The stillness or flightiness I feel have nothing to do with my schedule, and everything to do with my heart. When my heart knows my place before God, when I am resting in who I am in him – even the busiest day opens into the widest space and I am able to be present to the people and the God-movements around me. But when my heart is anxious and restless and insecure, my world closes in and I can’t see anyone but me. And you know? I really want to see the people and the moments and the God-movements I’m supposed to see. So I keep praying for this quiet heart with eyes to see, and I keep practicing this posturing of stillness before God.
5. You have to let go of guilt. I hate this one. Because, as I wrote awhile ago, I’m so good at carrying around guilt. But God is slowly teaching me to cast this burden on him, too. Because my guilt? It’s all about me, and my ego. It’s about who I expected myself to be, the polished image I want to keep, the straight-back shoulders that I just assume everyone else is leaning on, and the expectations I imagine everyone else has of me. It’s about the fact that I dare not displease anyone because that would brutally trash my insecure heart. But here’s the thing: that’s not the person I want to be. And it’s not the person I am. I am loved, saved, rescued, redeemed. I’m bought and paid for. And it’s about God’s glory and his love for me and his love for others. I’m not the center of the story, but I’m an important, secured part of it because of what God has done for me. So I can let. go. And just be. And I can stop assuming what everyone else thinks of me, and be secure in who I am. And guess what? This provides space in my relationships for me to see that I’m not the let-down I assume I am when I don’t live up to my own expectations.
Maybe I expect a spotless house. But my husband, whom I assume I will let down if my house isn’t sparkling, doesn’t expect that. He’s happy with tidy. And my friends, who I imagine being hurt and offended when I don’t plan dinner parties or have them over for a month or more, actually are okay with a simple afternoon hanging out, or okay with no hanging out at all.
And really? Everyone cares a lot less about how polished I look than I do. So I can just sigh and let. go.
Because nothing good happens out of shame. And no redemption comes out of condemnation.
So, you busy? Take care of yourself. Get some sleep. Be intentional.
And keep your heart quiet and still before the God who loves you. Cast all your cares on him, because he cares about you – and even be brave enough to cast all that ego-obsessive, overly-expecting guilt that you keep carrying around onto the straight, strong shoulders of your Father.