This month Adam & I had to say “no” to something we both really, really wanted to do. It’s only our second semester into seminary and we’re already sitting out a class (see, I told you we’d be 93 by the time we finish.) We just couldn’t push the whole family that hard again so soon.
At any other point in our lives we may have chosen to give it go, to grind through it, come what may. But the school of hard knocks (coupled with loving counsel from family and our small group)…spoke Truth and reason to us.
As we learned in a recent message…even a rose bush is considered a weed by horticulturalists if it is growing in the wrong place. We have limited hours in a day…and often it seems like not enough energy to match those hours. If deep theological study grows in the place of nurturing and discipling our own children-then our seminary pursuits have to wait until they can bloom in their proper place.
Taking time to rebalance and pour into family is actually a relief. Over Christmas break I absolutely relished the opportunity to have lengthy discussions with the kids as we decorated, crafted, and baked. I had so much fun being together and being creative when I didn’t have to be…when I could be, because I had the time.
Christmas break taught me a priceless lesson. As I began reading in Genesis (for the course we thought we’d be starting last week) I was captivated by the fact that God rested. The Almighty, all-powerful Creator of the universe designed, colored, and crafted worlds from words. Then He rested. His power and creativity are limitless, yet He took time to reflect and delight.
Why don’t we? Instead we push, plan, and perform to the exclusion of one of the first sacred acts that God modeled for us. We hurt ourselves by doing that. We deprive ourselves of joy. Joy is nothing more than delight in God and His handiwork, even if that handiwork is our family or a talent He has given us.
Just in the nick of time, God showed us to slow down and put our class on hold. I’m sure all of our friends saw it long before us (because we’re so unaware of our own blind spots).
I have to tell ya’, as much as I was looking forward to digging deep into another book of the Bible…the thought of having to micro-manage every minute of my day tensed me up beyond belief. I don’t want to be in a tug-of-war with my own responsibilities. I don’t want to be edgy with my kids. I want to make memories with them – and crafts…;-)
I literally felt a sense of sorrow at the thought of packing up all my art supplies until the class was over.
So, here’s to leaving time for joy. Even though all 5 of us have been sick for some/most of the past 12 days, we haven’t had the additional strain of illness causing us to “fall behind”. We’ve been uncomfortable, but not panicked or stressed. So between ear infections, stomach bugs, a trip the E.R., and mountains of laundry…I found time for joy. In a few quiet moments I found delight in the Word and in working with my hands rather than rushing into an assignment.
I like joy. A whole stinkin’ lot. I could get used to leaving time for joy, so I think I will. (and I know my friends will keep me accountable to do that, for which I am grateful!)
What brings delight to your soul? Will you leave time for it this week?