Rebel Without a Calendar

No Calendar.  No To-Do List.  No watch.  No Facebook.  No emails.  Not even any books to read.  Just time away.

It was four days of refueling, recharging, renewing and being a tourist where only my Mom and my Daughter knew my name.  It was wonderful and it was energizing.  I felt so…so rebellious.

What do you envision when you think of a rebel?  Do you picture motorcycles, leather outfits, and tattoos?  Do you picture the rebel alliance in Star Wars, hiding in forests, and fighting to defeat the evil empire?  Do you picture a radical uprising of a massive crowd being defiant, disobedient and unruly?  Do you imagine James Dean in Rebel without a Cause?  Or do you picture this:

100_7731

Ok, so I may not look very rebellious.  Not rebellious at all.  In fact, the plain vanilla word to describe me in this picture is probably “nice”.  But, that is not how it felt.  It felt joyfully hopeful and rebellious.

A personal rebellion against my daily grind and all of the tasks that drive the hours of my day.  It was a break from all of that.  It was wonderful and sweet and I am so grateful for it.

I spent 4 days and 3 nights on the North Shore of Minnesota with my Mom and my Daughter.  It was absolutely incredible.  There was not a fixed itinerary for our trip.  There were not deadlines and objectives to achieve.  It was relaxed and relaxing.  Nothing about it felt forced or pressured.

For most of the trip, we were in location where I did not get any sort of reception on my phone.  It turns out that I did not miss much while I was away.  Not having piles of things to tend to screaming at me at all hours of the day was so nice.

I Should Have…I Shouldn’t Have

On an average day I mentally wrestle these two thoughts more than I can count.
They are:
(1) I should have done this _____________
(2) I should not have done that _______________

Notice how these thoughts both struggle with things in the past.  I really expend a lot of energy fighting the “shoulda, coulda, woulda’s”  in my mind.  These are the kinds of thoughts that I am working to take captive and replace with better thoughts.

The task oriented achiever in me truly had pondered as I was packing that I “should bring this to work on” or I “could use this time to think through & plan these responsibilities” and “I could make time for that while we are there.”

Do you ever wrestle with these two questions?  Have you thought today

(1) I should have done this _____________
(2) I should not have done that _______________

All in My Own Mind

My rebellion was a personal uprising all contained in my own mind.  It was saying YES to a break for my body, mind, soul and spirit.  In my mind it felt defiant, disobedient and unruly.  I needed it more than I even realized.

The rebellion to not bring my calendar, To-Do lists and responsibilities with me granted me some freedom.  Freedom to the space between my ears, my mind.  It may seem so simple, but oh is it sweet.

What thoughts run through your own mind that need to be rebelliously taken over?  What exhausting battle could you use a break from in your thought life?

Better & Back

The best part of this rebellion is that it was not an action of permanently running away.  It was not an attempt to forever rid myself of responsibilities and decisions and tasks to work on.  It was just a break.  A time out.  A reset.  A recharging.

Now that I am back, my to-do list feels as though it has multiplied like mosquitoes in a muggy marsh.  My husband and son did a great job of tending to the house while we were away, but there are just things they did not think of to care for.  Not to mention all of the laundry and literal baggage to deal with my daughter & I brought home with us.  (We don’t pack light at all, imagine a full minivan for just two ladies).

I am not overwhelmed today.  Not once this morning have I thought to myself that we should not have made the trip, that I should have stayed home and tended to the usual.  Yes, I have more work to do over the short term.  But, feeling better, feeling rested is so worth it.

Sweet Prayers Answered

Two of my dear friends, Jodi and Judee, were praying for me before, during, and after this trip.  Their prayers were an incredible blessing to me.  They were some of the few who knew about this adventure in advance.  I reaped an incredible harvest of fruit from their prayers.  I am so grateful for each of them and their time spent in prayer for me.

I wish I had better words to describe the power and impact of their prayers.  If I could share the feeling that I have I would eagerly do so.  Their prayers were tender & sweet, yet strong & powerful at the same time.  I only know little bits of what they prayed, the parts that they shared with me, but I felt the fullness of them.  It is the most amazing feeling!

R-E-S-T

“The Lord replied,
‘My presence will go with you,
and I will give you rest.'”
Exodus 33:14 (NIV)

This is really what prompted me to leave behind the calendar, the to-do list, my books, and my project planning tools.  I needed the Lord’s presence and I needed rest.  I needed to trust that if I left my piles of stuff at home, it would be alright for just these few days.

It sounds easy to lay it down and walk away from, but for me it is not.  In a lot of ways, it is a trust issue.  Do I trust God to take care of me, my family, the details of my life?  Or do I think that I have more power and control to do it myself?  Am I willing to loosen that grip that I have on everything so that I can open my hands?

It is really hard to be open to receive the gift of rest with a tight fisted grip on my calendar, to-do lists and projects.  Perhaps it is how I tightly hold on to things that reveals where the real rebellion, unruly defiance, and disobedience are in me.  Could it be that real rest is found through trusting release and reliance on God for His presence to always go with me, no matter what I choose to bring with?

Is there anything that you have your hands tightly clenched to right now?  Is holding it so tightly preventing any gifts from being placed in your open hands?

Prayer

Beloved Lord,

Thank You so much for loving me just the way I am.  Thank You for Your patience, and Your persistence in giving me good gifts, even when I tightly cling to other things.  I wonder if You smile and shake Your head as You wait for me to let go of the things I grip while I am exhausted, tired and trying to hold on to control.  

Lord,  I pray for the gift of rest, real renewing and restoring rest, for each of my readers.  Lord, please grant them a new assurance that Your presence is with them where ever they may go.  Help them to let go of those things that You are prompting them to release their grip on.  May You place rich, abundant and glorious gifts in their open hands.

In the fully trustworthy name of Jesus, amen.

 

 

 

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