I’m taking a break.
Not necessarily from blogging altogether, but from basketball, for one. It may not be my choice, but I think God chose it for me. He knows I don’t have the willpower to take a break on my own, so he decided to give me a little injury which is just enough to sit my butt out for a week. I guess I’m what you would consider an exercis-o-holic. I don’t do well with rest. In fact, as important as I KNOW rest days are, unless I’m hurting, I rarely take them.
Recently, I’ve been juggling quite a plate full of things: Full-time work, an Anatomy & Physiology class, a daily basketball practice, a business software class, preparing for and teaching a nutrition class at the YMCA, being a good girlfriend, blogging, cooking healthy meals, housekeeping, etc. It was exhausting.
While I truly enjoy this haphazard, productive, constantly multi-tasking lifestyle, God started convicting me that I was spreading myself too thin. I was half-assing a lot of things, mainly my relationship with Him. I wasn’t fully dedicated to any one thing and I found the frustration to be overwhelming. Still, I didn’t know how to stop myself from doing it all. It was the only way I knew how to function, regardless of whether it was healthy or not. I was burning out slowly, and I felt like I had no other option. God, however, took things into His own hands. In our last game, I did some serious damage to my knees and my left foot.
After consulting a physical therapist, who is hoping that the injuries are simply soft tissue rather than stress fractures, I was sentanced to a week of NO STRAIN ON MY LEGS OR FEET, which for me was basically like a death sentance. I’m a cardio freak and I love the high I get after a long hard basketball practice or a run. I was even forbidden from the elliptical and the exercise bike. If you know me at all, you know I was freaking out.
Since then, I’ve read this devotional:
““But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, ‘You are my God!’ My future is in your hands. Rescue me from those who hunt me down relentlessly.” Psalm 31:14-15 (NLT)
“Mom, quick…look at that lady!” My fourteen-year-old son shouted as we were headed down the interstate on an errand-running Thursday afternoon. “She should not be doing that,” he added for emphasis.
I glanced over at the car next to us, expecting to see someone without her hands at the ten and two o’clock positions like my by-the-rulebook-boy does when training behind the wheel. Instead, I nearly ran off the road while gawking at what my Driver’s Ed patrolman had spotted.
Next to us was a woman cradling her cell phone on her right shoulder; holding an open fast-food salad container in her left hand; ripping open a salad dressing packet with her teeth and her right hand…all while steering her car with her knees!
What in the world!? My boys and I thought surely, if she kept up this multi-tasking method of driving, she was going to cause a crash.
“I would NEVER attempt to do all of that when I drive,” I smugly thought to myself. “Entirely too dangerous and probably against the law.” Yep, when it comes to being a safe-driving expert, the apple doesn’t fall far from the “Honey-you-didn’t-use-your-blinker-back-there” maternal tree.
It wasn’t until later that night it hit me. Yes, I may not dangerously multi-task when driving, thereby risking collision. But in my day-to-day life? In my schedule? In my “sure-I-can-take-on-one-more-responsibility-so-everyone-will-like-me” way? I sometimes dangerously multi-task to the point I am headed for a crash.
Taking on too many responsibilities, no matter how “good” they may be, can often render us ineffective for service to God. Yet, He knows our limits. He understands are capacities. He is willing, if we will ask Him, to help us navigate the busyness and activity that often trips us up.
On one of my so-busy-I-couldn’t-breathe days, I read today’s key verse. While I’m sure the author David was talking about actual physical enemies — men who could chase, catch and ultimately hurt you — I realized that day my enemy was busyness. Too many activities and responsibilities outside my four walls were about to do me in. They chased me, cornered me and worst of all, were about to go in for the kill.
Thankfully, God can rescue us from the barren life of busyness. He invites us to hold our too-full plates up to Him, allowing Him to scrape off all the activities and responsibilities. Then, place back on our plates only the items HE longs for us to possess.
When this happens, we can create space in our calendar to retreat, places of sweet respite in our days where we connect with God. Times when we slow down and sit still to listen and learn from the Creator of time itself.”
I think this passage speaks for itself. It was like God open-handedly (but gently ;)) tapped me on the forehead and said, “duh, this is what I’ve been trying to tell you“. I knew I didn’t have the strength to slow down on my own. This minor bump in the road was just what I needed…as always.
So, instead of waking up early or killing myself trying to get from one thing to the next, I’ve been taking things slow…kinda because I have to, but mostly because I know I should. At first, I was completely distraught about it. What was I going to do? How was I going to stay in shape? What about the rest of basketball season?
Then I realized…It’s all in God’s hands. He takes care of and provides for His children. Another thing I was reminded of in church this Sunday, was the fact that I need to be THANKFUL, even in tough times. This verse has been ringing in the forefront of my mind for the past few days:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God is molding me right before my own eyes. It’s exciting! And I’m thankful :)
After church on Sunday, Jarid & I hit our favorite lunch spot, aka Wegmans. For him: crabcake sandwich with garlic bacon mashed potatoes.
For her: brown rice tuna roll along with an awesome side salad. We shared some fruit, too! Strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, and grapes.
Steamed broccoli, blanched green beans, grilled red pepper, shrimpies, black bean & corn salsa, cucumbers, and mushrooms all over a bed of baby spinach.
It was quite the feast! After, we
walked rolled around the store checking out all the sweet goodies. I also snatched up some provisions for this week’s lunches.
Momma FF had the whole family over for dinner that night.
They had sandwiches and noodles. While I did snatch a few slices of turkey, I also whipped up a spread of my own:
Butternut squash & parsnip fries roasted at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes with reduced sugar ketchup + kelp noodles in an avocado/pea mash, per Elise’s imaginative combination.
For once in my life, I’m actually
enjoying thankful for rest.
What’s one thing that at first, you saw as a burden, but are turning it around to show the Lord you’re grateful for EVERYthing he gives you?
Ex: You reallllllllly can’t stand your workplace, environment, or co-workers, but you’re SO thankful to have a job especially in times like these.