From Stress to Rest

“A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”

(Lysa TerKeurst from her latest book The Best Yes)

After hearing this truth, I can’t seem to get it out of my heart. In fact, I desire for it to stay there….for good. This truth resonates so deeply in my soul and it makes sense after really digesting it fully. Why? Because this is where I live. This is so often my life in a nutshell. I feel pulled in so many directions. And many of those directions are good things! Yet some of those directions are my own human flesh. Things I want for myself. Things that aren’t part of God’s plan for me.

Oh how I long to fully embrace God’s purpose for me in every area of my life. Every area. My marriage. My parenting. My relationships with friends. Anything God calls me to do.

So if I am feeling overwhelmed, something is wrong. Very wrong. Overwhelmed is not a word I see Jesus using to describe his calling while upon this earth. Overwhelmed is not a word listed in the fruits of the spirit. Overwhelmed is not supposed to be something that describes a follower of Jesus.

Yet we use this word frequently to describe our lives:

I’m overwhelmed with my job.

I’m overwhelmed with my kids’ demands.

I’m overwhelmed with my husband’s expectations.

I’m overwhelmed with serving people.

I’m overwhelmed with everything.

Can you relate to this truth? Do you feel stressed out with an overwhelmed schedule? Do any of the above statements resonate with you? We’re certainly not alone.

So what’s the answer to feeling overwhelmed with all the things we feel pulled to do? Or feel pulled to be?

I do know for certain that my Jesus calls me to rest in Him. To give my burdens to Him. To surrender my soul to Him. The central verse for my life is from the words of Jesus in Matthew,“Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.” While I cling to this truth with my entire being, sometimes I just need something practical to flesh out what this really looks like.

One thing I will be doing over the days ahead is reading the book by Lysa TerKeurst called The Best Yes.  I can already tell it’s going to be profound and speak to where I live. I recommend it to you as well, dear friend.

In the meantime, I’m going to be looking closely at my schedule to make sure it’s God’s schedule. Anything outside of that will bring stress. I want to replace my stress with His rest!

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.”

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Plugged in and Charged Up!

Acts 1:8 “And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”

I’m really bad about forgetting to charge up my cell phone. I’ll be out running errands, grab my phone to make a call and get the all too familiar warning:

“Battery too low….recharge your phone!” 

Ugghh! This happens frequently and then I feel helpless. Cut off from whomever I’m trying to get a hold of. Even worse, I’m cut off from whomever is trying to reach me! (usually it’s my husband who panics and thinks the worst if he can’t reach me)

My smart phone is really cool with all its apps and fancy gadgets. But it does me NO GOOD if it isn’t charged up. No power equals no communication…..either way.

Isn’t that just like our relationship with God? When we receive Him as our Lord and Savior, He gives us the Holy Spirit….right then and there. All of the Holy Spirit we will ever need is poured into our hearts at that moment.

But do we access the power of the Holy Spirit? Are we charged up and ready to go at any moment? Or are we frequently on the setting that blares “Battery too low….need to recharge!” Do we frequently find ourselves feeling helpless and cut off? I’m often guilty of this and wonder why I feel so frazzled and run down at the end of the day.

If I’m not plugged in to the power of the Holy Spirit, then I’m not in a position to receive what God wants to communicate to me. If my heart isn’t charged up then I’m not as likely to call out to Him in the midst of a challenging moment. What exactly does it mean for me to be plugged in?

Prayer. Time in His word. Sitting still before Him so I can hear Him.

Something else I’m realizing with my smart phone is that I’m still discovering new things about it. I’ve owned if for well over a year, but have never taken the time to read through the owner’s manual (who has time for that?). Just the other day I stumbled upon an app I didn’t even know was there! Wow! That app proved to be quite helpful to me in that moment. It’s been there the whole time. I just didn’t know.

And yes! God is like that too. He’s way smarter than all the smartphones in the universe put together. We may have known Him for a long time, yet there are always new aspects of His character and new perspectives He shows us. We learn something new about who He’s always been. He gives us fresh insight on a scripture we’ve known since childhood. And He often gives us glimpses of heaven and hope of promises to come.

So what about you? What are you doing to stay plugged in? What are you learning about staying charged up in His power? Running on empty and feeling frazzled with your life? Tired and exhausted from doing too much?

If you’re a child of God, then you have access to the power of the Holy Spirit. The power that brings life to your low battery. The power that brings life to what you think is dead. He is there. But you have to plug in!

What do you need to do to stay plugged in? Change your priorities? Slow down? Take something off your schedule so you can have more time to sit still? Maybe you need to reach out to someone to help hold you accountable. Perhaps you just need to admit “I’m helpless. I’m feeling cut off and empty.” 

Whatever it is dear friend, I challenge and encourage you to plug your heart in to the power of God and walk with Him moment by moment so you stay charged up. Charged up to do His will. Charged up to bring glory to Him.

Acts 1:8 “And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you…”

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