I have been spending a ton of "down time." Basically, I just do the basics. I go to work. Care for my family. Relax and rest. It's as if being sick has allowed me the freedom to slow my hectic pace down and feel okay about it. I didn't realize how much time I spent "doing" rather than simply "being." I teach on this subject a lot, but, apparently, I wasn't heeding my own advice. (Big surprise!)
Anyway, I've spent more time recently in God's Word, doing Bible study, devotionals, reading for pleasure, and just visiting with my family. In addition, I've been resting and sleeping more without the guilt. And let me tell you, the benefits are plenty. I'm feeling more stable, God-centered, content, well-rested, peaceful, calm, the list could go on. These are some pretty nifty goodies from God. Before I felt over-burdened, busy, bossy, and more than a little bratty if we're sticking to "B" words. I'll leave one "B" word off the list, but I'm sure you can use your imagination. I was biting at people (especially) my family. Snarling some too. Not a pretty sight for a Princess Warrior (or anyone) for that matter.
Growing up, I was addicted to chaos. I had to be caught up in a whirlwind of craziness to even feel alive. I was on the constant search for something or someone unusual or different to to add excitement to my life. For those of you who know my story, that included drugs, partying with rock stars, having a multitude of dysfunctional relationships, and living on the edge in everything I did. Being home alone, relaxing and reading ... major boring back in those days.
Granted, as I've grown up in Christ, I've become far more content with my life regardless of the circumstances. My quest for happiness and cheap thrills has changed dramatically, yet, I was still rushing around and busy doing. Getting sick brought my life to a screeching halt; I can still see the skid marks. Needless to say, going from doing everything to nothing in the blink of any eye had a major impact, an impact that I'm only beginning to understand.
God uses every experience as a learning one, if we let Him. He has allowed me to find such joy in the common everyday things. Sometimes we need to slow down. We need to give ourselves permission to rest and relax. Life is overflowing with stressors. Why would we want to add more stress to the pile? The crazy thing, we often keep doing the very things that cause us frustration and we avoid what will help us feel better.
I found out that God can slow me down anyway He so chooses. I'm not saying He caused me to get the flu, but He has certainly used that experience to get me refocused on Him and what's important.
Is is time for your to refuel? Fill up your spirit? Get some rest? Do you, like so many of us, find it difficult to give yourself permission to take a day off from the rat race?
Well, consider this your personal permission slip to slow down and get comfortable in the common things. What you'll discover is a whole lot more of what's uncommon in our world -- peace. You don't have to be bed ridden with swine flu to slow your pace, you can do it right now. Put your own brakes on and reach for that cup of tea, a journal, your Bible, and a good book. Or, stop what you're doing and go to bed! Yes, you heard me right. Get a good night's sleep or a nap. Your body will thank you.
This encouragement, friends, is coming from a woman who has written articles about Ministry Madness ... yep, I wrote about that topic more than once. I didn't feel spiritual unless I was doing something for God. For the first time, I truly think I understand what it means to simply be with God. Now that I've slowed down enough, I just might find out what I'm actually supposed to be doing for His Kingdom.
Go ahead, Princess Warrior, relax, rejuvenate, and renew.