At the start of 2019, I felt like God placed on my heart the word community, as in nurturing and growing a sense of community specifically within Charlie’s family. In a previous post, Bumps, Bruises, and Scars I shared indirectly about a couple we know who had been hurt by other members of their family in the past. Because of this, they had chosen to have no contact with their extended family for over two decades. What I didn’t say at the time, was that Charlie’s uncle and aunt were that couple. God confirmed my community word, and Charlie, the kids, and I were blessed to be part of the family restoration.
As we carry on into 2020, I keep sensing the word rest is part of my theme for this year. After such an epic and big 2019 with family restoration, it seems very appropriate that I am entering into a season with a focus on rest. Practically, there’s not much opportunity to take a rest as a busy mother getting everyone sorted and to the correct place at the right time. But the rest I am really trying to seek more of this year revolves around having God’s peace throughout the routine variety of life’s daily moments. I recognise that I’ve come out of an emotional and spiritually stretching season of giving to others and now my weary heart needs to step back a bit, breathe, and be nurtured so I can then be ready for God’s future plans for us as a family.
There’s a lot of noise and busy happening all around. Charlie and I had to laugh a bit as we were discussing the weekend’s activities and wondering when there might be any time to rest. He’s been busy tonight mentoring a young man from church, then some chores/DIY house projects to work on tomorrow, followed by a birthday party, learning/ practising worship songs, I’m seeing friends in the evening and then Charlie’s playing bass guitar at both morning church services on Sunday. These are all GOOD things! But I’m beginning to be a bit more careful with what we as a family commit to doing. Rest has to be made a priority not only for me but for my husband and children. I think the apostle Paul was very wise to write in the first half of 1 Thessalonians 4:11, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life.” Life is busy and it will run us ragged if we overcommit ourselves and forget to have regular checks with God on what we’re doing.
Psalm 91:1 & 4 says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” And in verse 4, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.” What a lovely encouragement to know that as we spend time with God, we are given peace and rest. And I just love the imagery of a mother hen tucking her chicks under her wings. To God, we are like His chicks that He lovingly protects and cares for. When we know we are safe with the Saviour, our souls can be at rest.
The classic hymn, Blessed Assurance Click here to listen with lyrics from Fanny Crosby and music by Phoebe Knapp has been listened to on repeat over the last days. I have always loved the beautiful chorus:
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Saviour all the day long.
But also hearing verse three popped out at me with my current theme:
Perfect submission, all is at rest,
I in my Saviour am happy and blessed,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love.
Besides the reference to rest and a sense of giving over all of ourselves to Jesus, I was struck by the “watching and waiting, looking above,” because amazingly Fanny Crosby was blind! She may not have had her physical eyesight however her spiritual sight was crystal clear, with a sense of complete purpose in her life despite having a disability. I want to live with such boldness and confidence just like inspirational Fanny Crosby!
The picture I included was Luke a year ago having one of his last daytime naps. He knew he needed rest and simply curled up in my arms to fall asleep. I invite you to join me in this journey into spiritual rest. Our 2020 days will most likely still be busy and challenging at times but it is my wish and prayer that we would know when we need rest and take every opportunity to curl up into the loving arms of God for our rest.