One should never blog when they are tired and just finished watching Glee. I love Glee. I sometimes like to pretend that I am Rachel and back in high school. There are a few differences though. I cannot sing well AND I have been out of high school for a LONG time AND I have no desire to relive high school. Some people are still stuck in their glory days of high school. I am also pretty sure that Rachel would not wear Ann Taylor Loft clothes or Target jewelry, but I do think she would love my new shoes.
OH what a month it has been. In just a month’s time I won the lottery, hiked Mt. Everest, recorded a duet with Celine, taught a conference with Beth Moore, filmed a movie, ran a marathon, found a cure for cancer, and in my spare time single-handedly ended poverty, abuse, and oppression. What have you done?
Before I went on medical leave in February, I somehow thought I was needed. Important. I don’t think I consciously thought that, but it’s amazing what can surface when you take a step back from life as you have known it for the past five years. Being busy, doing the right things and things you love can sometimes keep you from understanding and receiving His love for us. At least that’s my story. Jesus has/is been/being so kind to me as he gently presses his finger on some areas of my life as if he is saying, “Beth, let’s do life differently. Let me teach you to live simply, freely, and out of being rooted in Me, not out of expectation, chaos, busyness, good things that demand your time, and ministry.”
As The Message states in Matthew 11 28-30″Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Now that I’ve taken a step back I am terrified to re-enter life as I used to know it, because reality is that I don’t want to. Not one ounce of me wants to go back to having no time for my family, being exhausted, sounding like a broken record because all I say is, “I’m tired.”, putting ministry first, saying “yes” to a lot of good things, but not what is best. Why is it so difficult to just BE for a time? It is so counter-cultural. Everything in me says, “It is better to be doing than to just BE before the Lord.”
My friend Philip introduced me to this great book called, “A TESTAMENT OF DEVOTION” by Thomas Kelly. Kelly gives language to what I am still trying to solidify. Here he says, “This amazing simplification comes when we ‘center down’ when life is lived with singleness of eye, from a holy Center where the breath and stillness of Eternity are heavy upon us and we are wholly yielded to Him. Some of you know this holy, recreating Center of eternal peace and joy and live in it day and night. Some of you may see it over the margin and wistfully long to slip into that amazing Center where the soul is at home with God. Be very faithful to that wistful longing. It is the Eternal Goodness calling you to return Home, to feed upon green pastures and walk beside still waters and live in the peace of the Shepherd’s presence. It is the life beyond fevered strain.”
Desiring to walk beyond fevered strain,