Slow

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28-30

These days, who would describe themselves as “well rested?” I don’t know a single friend who define their life by the words: “well rested” or “boring" for that matter.

But, the verses above are tapping into way more than how many hours of sleep we managed to get this week and/or what’s in our planner. As with all scripture, these verses are addressing a heart issue. They ask the question:
Are you mentally, emotionally, spiritually burned out?
Everyone is busy, but burn out and busy are not the same thing. 

Burn out happens not when we are busy, but when we are busy with the wrong things.


I know I can get wrought up with anxiousness- being busy with the wrong things- when I:

* live out what I think I need to do to appear a certain way

*make choices that aren't good for my family just to please others

*decide I am simply just going to live for myself spending my time, money, and energy only on things for me



As mentioned in the previous post, Shaunna Neiquest came to speak at a conference I recently attended and she gave the challenge of living a slow, beautiful, and durable life.

A slow life she described as a "high quality, well crafted, life including excellent things."

My questions today are:
What keeps us busy with the right things?
What helps us keep the slow life, the "high quality, well crafted, life including excellent things"?


1) Spending time with Jesus

There is absolutely nothing that can “quiet and slow” a heart like Jesus time. “Be still and know I am God.” We are so familiar with this verse, yet the practicality can become extremely difficult. From the moment we all wake up, there are at least 10 different directions our thoughts can go.

Spending time with Him can focus us, slow our thoughts, helping us prioritize our time. It's weird, if I will spend time in His word in the morning and then make a list of what I need to do, I have such clearer perspective and direction for that day.

Spending time with Him can also help us to dwell on the “high quality” things in life, the many opportunities for gratefulness toward God.

I love the way Lysa Tuerkuerst describes it. She says, “I’ve got to spend time getting quiet so I can be prepared to hear new things from the Lord. Isn’t it a lovely thought that God might be waiting for there to be silence in your life in order to share some of His best secrets with you?”

2)   Saying “no” a lot

On top of spending time with Jesus, saying "no" is a must for a slow life. As women, sometimes saying "no" can be extremely challenging.

I have found my inability to say “no”  directly ties to caring way too much about what people think of me, and is in direct opposition to Galatians 1:10, “Am I living to please Christ or men? If I was living to please men I would not be a servant of Christ.” 

When “yes” comes out of my mouth every time someone asks me to do something, whether it be a serving opportunity, or just a hang out, I am saying “no” to something else whether I realize it or not.

I want to say "yes" just to what I know God has for me that day, week, or month because I know if I don't, I will begin to feel mentally, emotionally, and spiritually worn out.

3) Making time for People

The responsibilities of today's woman are endless. I can get so caught up in my "to-do's" that I start to believe the lie that I don’t need people. Everything in scripture and otherwise makes it clear that a soul withers without genuine community.

People are the excellent things in life.

Jesus, our example, as busy as He was, made time for people. He had best friends that He shared life with, and he was constantly pouring himself out for people.

If, in my season of life, I am not busy serving my family, there is a problem, because these are the people Jesus has given me most directly to serve, teach, and spend quality time with.

On top of family, I must make time for friends. When I’m not face to face with people, friends, who know me on a regular basis, I do not get the joy of true encouragement and people who know me speaking into my life, putting me in my place, doing messy life together like my soul needs.

Social media can make me feel connected for a time, but in the long run, nothing can make up for face to face time with people.

 

My prayer for us today is that we will allow the Lord to show us what we need to do to live the slow life, a life free from burn out, full of unexplainable peace in Him. 


Jesus, please help us embrace the slow life. Jesus, only by your grace can we live prioritizing time with you. Give us a hunger for you and spending time with you that nothing else satisfies. Help us discern when to say "yes" and when to say "no" to all of the demands in our daily lives. And Jesus, help us to see people through your lens of love, acting on our love, not just talking about it. Thank you for your endless patience with us Jesus. You are kind and good to us in ways we never deserve but we are ever so grateful.

Amen.