I have not written in quite a while. I returned so full from our Holy Land trip- and I still am- I am filled with peace, with joy, with smiles and memories- and looking at pictures, reading my journal, I am back there. I even have an App on my phone that tells me the weather in Jerusalem! Part of me is still there... I've planted a part of my heart in the Holy Land and with the people there.
I have been ill since I've been back fighting off bronchitis and sinus infections. I pushed through and got exhausted and rested and pushed again and fever, headache, sinus pain slowed me down. I'm not good at resting. I feel like I should be able to take the medicine my Dr gives me and poof! be better. It seems that I have to learn this over and over again- that- this isn't quite how healing happens. I cannot keep doing and keeping a normal pace.
My husband is good at this or at least he is good at holding me accountable to this. I feel guilty when I rest- when I miss things- when I can't keep up my normal pace. I am a high energy person and I really can't stand when I can't keep up my regular pace. There are many people I haven't had a chance to catch up with since I returned, there are things I haven't had a chance to get done...I'll finally have energy and clean the whole house, do five loads of laundry and then I'm back to being exhausted. Kevin just looks at me and says- "You have to rest." Yesterday he said, "Hey- you promised to do this when you were ordained." I said, "How so?" "Well, he said, "you committed to self care too." It is really amazing and wonderful and even little frustrating... to have someone who holds you accountable. I need it and I am thankful- the frustrating part really is not being able to be as productive as I'd like. There's a lot to be done.... and I enjoy doing it too...
But I'm learning. Lent is a powerful time to be held accountable. I find that one of the things I have to learn is to slow down- to focus on Christ- and to be still. I do not do this naturally... or easily. But I have a best friend in my spouse who reminds me of this and teaches me. I can rely on him when I need to rest and there is no guilt and this is amazing. I especially felt guilty resting after being gone for 10 days on our trip- and now I'm back-- but not fully back like usual!
But this has also taught me- I'm more than what I do. There is more to me- to those I love than what I can do for them. Sure, they love my energy, and my doing-ness- but they love me first.
God loves us first- God is not satisfied with sacrifices and what we do-- Our actions are important and necessary- but there is more that God wants.
Psalm 51 says, "For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise."
I think sometimes I feel so filled with the joy of Christ that I think I can just go forever and not tire... and yet I do - I get really tired, I get exhausted, and I get sick-- these past two weeks- evidence.
I pray that in this Lenten season, I may learn to have my heart, my soul, my body, my whole self broken for Christ and healed by Christ, and made whole by Christ. That I may listen and be still for what it is God is calling. Let me then bring forth my energies, my sacrifices, all my service-- for then I will be filled and able to give more freely.