Who Works For Whom?

This past week has been a whirlwind. I took a long look at my budget and finally decided I have to make a change in my work situation if I am going to accomplish my goal of being debt free by next year. It’s taken me two months to make this decision because the pay at my current job is great, I don’t have to ever be on call, and I don’t work weekends or holidays. There’s just one small problem that really wouldn’t be a problem if I wasn’t focused on getting out of debt by next year. I’m full time, but I’m working part time hours. You see, next year I want to walk the Appalachian Trail. So it’s really important to me to be debt free because the more I owe next year, the more I will need to save for a higher budget.

Well, I am finally jumping off the fence that I should have jumped off of two months ago. I’m taking the bull by the horns. I’m making a work change that will probably make me more tired than I’ve been in a long time. But it has to be done.

Just arriving at making this choice has left me feeling tired. I won’t lie, making this kind of decision really stresses me out. Getting the ball rolling really stresses me out because the person who looks for the work I want is like a whirling dervish and always leaves my head spinning! But, I haven’t made this choice lightly and I’m certainly not rushing into anything.

All I need or want now is for my friends and family to be supportive. But even that is hard to come by. We’re all so busy trying to meet each other’s expectations we don’t even really know how to be supportive or encouraging anymore. But God.

31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭40‬:‭31‬ NKJV)

I watched a short devotion from John Piper explaining how our God didn’t create us to work for him. That our God, in fact, searches the whole earth looking for those who are searching for him so that he can work for us! Our God wants to work for us! Wow!

4 For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! (‭Isaiah‬ ‭64‬:‭4‬ NLT)

Thank you Lord that you are the real Lord. That you didn’t create this world to make us into slaves who serve you. That you search the whole earth 🌏 looking for those of us who are searching for you so that you can work for us and not have us work for you! What a beautiful, amazing concept! We’re so busy down here working to earn things, trying to please people, trying to make everyone around us like us and love us that we’re burning out and exhausted. But you God! I don’t ever ever have to work for you! You say in your word you have come to work for me! To love me for me! Who could ever love me the way you love me!? Not even the people down here who I know love me. No one can love me the way you love me! Thank you Lord! Thank you ABBA!

Happy Sunday!

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The Importance Of Rest

In 2013, I came home from Africa, exhausted, burnt out, overweight. I distinctly remember the Lord letting me know it was time to rest, take care of myself. He didn’t need me to work so hard for him. He didn’t create me to jump through all those hoops. He created me because he wanted me.

So I made some changes. I bought a bike. Bought a Fitbit. Changed my diet. Got an app to count calories. I lost 35 pounds and regained sanity. And now, 5 years later, I have kept the weight off. Good, right?

Well, I do think you can have too much of a good thing. In 2015, I moved to Phoenix, Arizona. I changed out the bike for hiking gear. I kept the Fitbit, let’s not forget the Fitbit. I took up hiking on weekends. Then I started walking and jogging in the morning before work. Now I walk at least 6 miles a day, everyday. The Fitbit was replaced by an Apple Watch. And I have basically allowed those de(vices) to make me competitive with myself to the point of injury.

In fact, as I write this, I am painfully choosing rest because I did something to my right heel. It started 2 weeks ago when I hiked 21 miles in a single day at the Grand Canyon. I pushed myself way too hard that day, particularly since I usually don’t hike more than 15 miles in any given hike. That’s when the heel pain really started. I don’t necessarily think it was bad to push beyond what I can do. The mistake was not allowing my body to recover. I came home and kept on doing my usual 6+ mile walking everyday.

Then I watched a video from a family I’ve been following on YouTube. They are hiking the Appalachian Trail this year. They love the Lord. They are feeling the same competitive feelings. They are burning out. And suddenly it hit them in the face like a ton of bricks; they had missed taking their Sabbath for a few weeks. The one thing they were missing was their day of rest. Because it’s walking. Walking is good for you, right?

Now here I sit, with a heel I can barely step on after doing 2 intensely difficult hikes back to back, and I find myself thinking I pushed my poor body to the brink of disaster and it’s time for me to make a change. My body is the temple of the Lord and I must honor the temple he’s given to me. ‬‬

“You should know that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit who is in you. You have received the Holy Spirit from God. So you do not belong to yourselves, because you were bought by God for a price. So honor God with your bodies.” ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NCV‬‬

What does this mean? I need to figure out how to rest. I need to figure out how to stop obsessively pushing myself to physical injury and exhaustion before I damage something beyond repair! How? One of the easiest solutions is to just choose to sit still one day a week. The next easy solution is to turn off the silly watch coach that tells me I’m not moving enough! Ha! I don’t need his motivation anymore! I’ve been pretty motivated for 5 years now, a well established habit to be sure! And finally, choosing a different watch face for my day off, one that doesn’t have all the fun statistical rings that make me want to close them. Boom! Problem solved! I hope!

““The one whom God corrects is happy, so do not hate being corrected by the Almighty. God hurts, but he also bandages up; he injures, but his hands also heal. He will save you from six troubles; even seven troubles will not harm you.” ‭‭Job‬ ‭5:17-19‬ ‭NCV

I’m so very thankful for this painful heel. The Lord knows I’m a runner. I run hard and fast for the things I’m passionate about. And since I really want to hike the High Sierra Trail in August and to hike the Appalachian Trail next year, I find myself feeling passionately motivated to learn how to enter God’s rest!

‬‬“Anyone who enters God’s rest will rest from his work as God did.” Hebrews‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NCV‬‬

So yeah. Rest. It’s important.

Happy Sunday!

Not Guilty

“So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭NCV‬‬

That statement. Right up there. Isn’t it the best news you’ve ever heard? Not guilty.

I have personally stood inside a courtroom one too many times with a loved one who did not hear those words. And I was heart broken for him. Because even though he was guilty, even though he needed consequences, I still loved him and didn’t want to see him face those consequences. If I could have faced the consequences for him, turned back the clock to change things somehow, I would have done so in an instant!

And this is how God feels about me! This is how God feels about you!God has done for us what I wanted to do for my loved one. He came down here and faced the consequences for us. Jesus was found guilty so we could be found not guilty! So I’ll say it again, isn’t this the best news you’ve ever heard?

Happy Tuesday!