I have a full plate these days; and all of it feels very entry level . . . all things, new. What I have before me is a chance to test my new found faith. A practicum in the way of slowing down. Unhurried living was glorious to read about when my life and the world matched that pace; when people weren’t in traffic and tables at coffee shops weren’t full. No one breathing down your neck in the Target self-checkout line.

I’ve seen a lot of believers lament the “going back to normal” in ways that seem to negate the choice we have in the pace of our families, the breadth of our schedules, and the rest in our hearts. But we do get to choose. So much of what we’ve been doing has been non-essential . . . packing into lanes of what culture and society say are the most important things; not wanting to deprive or be deprived of basically anything. Which is not the way of the Cross.

When I fall into stress and frustration, my critical inclination turns outward in eye-rolled exasperation of what I’m subtly aware of in myself. So I’ll start with the teak in my own retina.

The hurry I strive against {to enter the rest of God} has not been a weekly, routinized hamster wheel. It’s episodic; existential; largely internal . . . fixated on what I Ought To Have Accomplished By Now. I think it flares up when I’m meeting new people; which usually means I’m starting something new. And in the introductions, I find that the people who seem to be my age have seemingly so much to show for their lives: marriages, businesses, graduate degrees, children. But the people whose lives are most closely staged with mine are often younger or aren’t of the same mind. So then I sit awkwardly unable to relate. And missing the looser cords of California . . . much of which can unfortunately be attributed to flakiness and lack of follow-through, ha. But the openness of “personal truth” and individual “journeys”, is at least refreshing in its hopefulness . . . have no clue what direction your life is headed in?? THIRTY IS YOUNG! 40 is the new 27! The East Coast ages you differently.

Humility helps.

I have found that when I get most frustrated about what all I haven’t done and ought to have accomplished, I am usually far more concerned with my image and my glory than I have ever needed to be. I have been taking myself too seriously. But I can’t take the shortcut. I have to be honest with God about all the strings unraveling in my heart. And let Him prune what doesn’t belong. Which usually feels like most of it, ha. And that’s how His yoke can be so easy and His burden can be so light. It’s just a thing or two. And He gets the glory because He does the work. He makes the fruit grow. We don’t have to sustain ourselves. My work is in striving to abide.

This week I realized that perhaps one of the reasons that God is leading me into a career at 31 when I’m still single and have always wanted to be a housewife {ha} is because He gets more glory from my life this way. And it’s not a cruel wrenching of what my heart desires; because my heart most desires His perfect will for my life. And that’s not a thin platitude it’s a worked-out truth. He gets more glory from me-of-all-people pursuing this new venture when what I have most historically longed for is a husband to hide behind. He gets more glory, and I get more grace; I get to exercise far more faith… without which it’s impossible to please Him. It would have taken so little faith for me to have been married this whole time and doing domestic work that has never much felt like toil to me. Rather than all these jobs I’ve had in cities. Or even what it has required of me to sing.

I think if I am ‘behind’ at all, it’s my own fault for being unwilling. I recently realized that perhaps more than I have simply been fearful I’ve also been kind of lazy. Ha. Spiritually lazy, but lazy nonetheless. Indiscernibly lazy to someone who may find themselves impressed with my song catalog or prestigious-university undergraduate degree, or the way I narrate my job responsibilities, but un-conceal-ably lazy to the Maker who made me. He knows.

So what I am discovering in this season of enlarging my heart is that worship is always the reset. Always the cure. The quickest way to re-abide when you find yourself stretching so hard that your roots are clearing the soil. Iced coffee, loud playlists, dark chocolate, and to-do lists do not compare to 7 slow minutes of focused, thankful, expectant prayer; or meditating a passage or verse of scripture; or soaking in a scripture-inspired song. Not just on our own, but to Him. With Him. Walking all day with God. We {as believers} have the whole entire Holy Spirit dwelling in us. We get to have glorious and refreshing fellowship and communion any time we want. He does not parcel Himself out to us in doses. His mercies are new every morning, and they last all day. But experiencing God’s strengthening does require stillness and intention.

So what I’m not suggesting is a way to squeeze God into an overly scheduled existence like those janky Spotify commercials pitching on-the-go bible reading plans . . . quite the opposite. I have been encouraged today to continually orient my life around fellowship with the Father, and practically acknowledge Him in all of my ways. Even when He is the one who is leading me into more commitments. I must discipline my soul and spirit and heart and mind to rest with Him.

His presence goes with us and He gives us rest. Receive it.

. . . & &

3 responses to “”

  1. This is so good, and I can very much relate to the feeling of not having-doing-being enough by a certain age (I’ll be 33 in just over 2 months). I also longed (still long?) to be a housewife, and am still unmarried, so the part about hiding behind a husband stung a little bit.

    Slowing down has been on my mind constantly since the last time I was in your comment section, and I have been repeating “slow down” to myself a lot this week in the midst of work and packing up the home I’ve grown up in the past 20 years. The few minutes I spend talking to God when I first wake up (even if I’m not reading His Word like I should be) are essential to starting my day. Sometimes I don’t say anything but “thank you God” and then sit quietly for a moment. That quiet time with Him is something I want to further develop, especially during this time of transition (childhood home > apartment > new home… and I also feel pushed toward a transition in my employment as well, but not yet sure what that looks like) when everything is new, challenging, and uncertain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad it was helpful! The hiding behind a husband part stung for me too, haha. But it’s been good for my soul to be reminded that I am already under the shadow of His wings!

      I will be praying for your transitions and upcoming birthday! It sounds like a lot to process. 🌺

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, I appreciate that! It is a lot to process, but prayer and therapy help a lot, and I keep reminding myself that transitions are temporary… even if there are a lot of them happening at once. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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