Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Weary? Worn Out?


With today’s frantic pace, a common answer to the question, “How are you?” is “Busy.” 

Even those who strive hard to slow the pace --stemming the tide of play-dates, carpool trips, kids’ activities and appointments--often find themselves weary. 

Laundry piles high in my car. (Yes, the car.) There was a house-showing request earlier this week, and we grabbed two baskets of clean unfolded laundry and hid them in our vehicle.  They need to be brought in and folded now. Toddler toys scatter across one corner of the living room, and the washer hums downstairs. 
Microsoft clipart. But this looks similar to my machine

Microsoft clip art. Ahh, don't those Italians just know how to do laundry?!



Tonight I stole a few hours of quiet in an empty house. Before and after studying my notes for tomorrow’s session with the fine ladies of Riverdale Church’s MOPS, I pulled my Bible close. “Lord, I come to you, let my heart be filled, renewed…” sang in my brain. Online radio played soothing nature sounds and piano trills, and an orange candle flickered beside my warm coffee. 

“…They will wear themselves out but gain nothing…” The words in Jeremiah sound like today’s world too, not just from two thousand years ago.  (Jer. 12: 13)

I followed along. Other verses came to mind too. 

“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for a man to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).

When your words came, I ate them, they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God Almighty” (Jer. 15:16).

Another ancient prophet who heard God’s voice and told it to the people was Isaiah. He entreated everyone near him saying, 

“Why spend … your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare” (Isa. 55:2).

So, yes, I need to fold the laundry still, and I will. Meals, toys, and homeschooling duties still remain. But for now, for this moment, I am choosing calm and quiet with my God. 

Direct my steps, Lord. 

Fill me with a love for your words, your letters. Ancient letters on wispy paper saved for thousands of generations… They fill me with joy and stir me to action, to love, to praise, to delight. 

Are you wearing yourself out but gaining nothing? Pause, grab His book, and taste.

What helps you slow down and spend time with your Creator?

15 comments:

Shannon Milholland said...

Stop. That's the step that's hardest for me. It's so easy to dive head first into my day and let time just...pass. The day progresses with purpose when I pause instead of pass.

Houseofmills said...

You know my thoughts on people and their busy lives. I won't go into that on your blog, but awesome that you are grabbing his word and taking a moment to pause and just listen to him. So important!!!!

Cheryl Barker said...

Oh, how His Word refreshes! An oasis in all the business, huh? Another way that helps me draw close to God is to step outside (or poke my head outside if it's too cold) and just soak up some of His beautiful world. I wrote an article called "Sacred Minute", and it's all about doing just that. Another oasis for sure!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Shannon,

I agree... just stopping. Good "P" alliteration there too. :)

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Liz,

I grinned at your comment about busy lives. I agree, girl, and try to fight that too. :)

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Cheryl,

A good walk outside breathing in the fresh air does wonders!

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Dolly@ Soul Stops said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for visiting my blog last time...for some reason, your comment went into spam...rescued your comment but for some reason, it keeps bouncing back...sorry...glad you took time to be quiet with God...always a blessing!

AmyAlves said...

This has been on my mind all week Jennifer, the sitting and resting times (I just wrote about it today)! I crave this each day now..my favorite is in the morning by myself, with just my devotional book and my Bible! It focuses and refreshes my mind for the day! Many Blessings Jennifer as you seek Him!

Matt said...

About 6 blocks from work is a church with a 12:10 mass. To walk there, sit through it, and return takes me almost exactly the equivalent of my lunch hour. I try to do it once a week, and it makes such a difference just to take a time out from the madness and return to the office with some peace and perspective....

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Dolly,

Those strange spam filters. :) I was losing a guy's comments at one point too.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Amy,

Yes, those mornings are wonderful! Sometimes my carved out time is in the morning. Other days it is evenings, afternoons, etc.

What devotional are you enjoying right now?

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Matt,

A walk and quiet time in worship and prayer in a cathedral sounds like a great lunch break from work. "Returning with peace and perspective." True, huh?

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

charis said...

oh man, did i ever need this... yes! i am weary and i am worn and i am calling out many times a day, "help Lord! strengthen me! give me perspective of eternity that the things that really matter would weigh on me and the things that are temporal would lift!" i find that even a couple minutes i can steal away to worship at my piano just puts life in perspective. nothing else matters like the worth of Jesus... not even the piles of clothes. :)

my recent post: get me a lock... a big one.

Jennifer Dougan said...

Hi Charis,

Thank you for stopping by my site. While I can't play piano in those worn out weary times, I agree about the affects of belting out songs and praise then. How wonderful too that we can yell out to our Abba Daddy from shiny bathroom tile rooms or hurtling cars.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com

Lisa notes... said...

I found that last week I kept missing my quiet time in my zeal to "get things done." :-( Didn't work out so good for me. The most important way to get things done is for me to get with God. Nothing else is as important. I've been more focused this week on that.

Thanks for the encouragement (even though I'm late getting to it--it's perfect timing for me!).