Sabbatical is awkward. Rest and stillness feels foreign. Nearly one week in, and I feel like I’m still trying to settle into this slower pace of life.
Part of this may be due to the fact that I’m no longer at home – I’m traveling, living out of a suitcase, sleeping in a new place. But I think it has much more to do with the state of my mind and heart.
Even while I’m writing about being enough and not finding your worth in your productivity or performance, I’m still fighting the urge to make the most of every minute and operate under a tight schedule. Must get to barre class at 8:30. Must be writing in coffee shop by 10. Must draft first chapter today. So many must’s that I’m trying to muster the strength and energy to complete. The irony is not lost on me.
But I hold onto the hope that God is teaching me through my discomfort and he’s using this internal battle to reveal more of himself to me. In this process, I’m trying to give myself grace as I break in these new shoes of Sabbath, silence, and slowness.
That’s the journey of enough – it’s a continuous cycle of shedding old habits and trying on new ways of thinking and being.
This morning, the tiredness of a poor night’s sleep is hanging over me like the fog in my neighborhood back in San Francisco. My head feels a little hazy, and I’m pretty sure I’m fighting a cold. The hail and lightning and thunder of last night’s storm kept me awake long after I’d hoped to be sleeping soundly. And yet, as per usual, my body wakes up with the sun. So, I was up at 5:45AM.
My natural inclination is to worry about the state of my body. Am I getting sick? Do I have enough energy to do all the things I want and hope to do today?
Instead of wringing my hands with worry, I’m trying to turn my palms up – recognizing that even this physical and mental struggle is a gift to receive from God. My sleepiness, my low energy, my natural tendency toward anxiety – this is the place where his power breaks through like the sun through the storm clouds. He proves himself all-powerful when he steps in and provides for my needs – physical, emotional, spiritual, relational. I can trust him.
How do I know this? Because he’s provided time and time again in my life. Even as I’m yielding to him today, he’s already coming in and meeting me. Right here at my friend’s breakfast table, as I sip my tea and submit my thoughts and words to him.
He’s speaking to me through his word and through the lyrics of an Ellie Holcomb song, “I Place My Hope,” playing in the background. These words have been like salve to my soul this morning. And I hope they encourage you too as you set all your hopes, fears, desires, and needs into his hands today.
They’re safe there. You’re safe there.
Guide me in Your truth, be my strong refuge
Oh, forgive my doubting heart and lead me back to You
Help me to believe, Your love is all I need
Even when the storm is strong You will provide for me
I will lift my eyes from this fragile life
For you will rescue me, you are my prince of peace
And I lift up my soul to you who makes things whole
Oh, mercy love of old, in you I place my hope
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