Read, Rest, Repeat

I had really high hopes for what I was going to accomplish this past weekend.

My youngest and the hubster were headed to one of our all-time favorite places to be–Camp Barakel. Their weekend would consist of all things father and son’ish’ like ice fishing, snow tubing, playing broom hockey and human bowling on ice (don’t ask!) And they’d eat well and learn lots about Jesus.

My other son had a far away, early Saturday morning JV basketball game and my sweet friend Cindy and her family took him for me. We play at this location again tonight when I will be sweet and take her son with our family. (I love taking turns with friends who love to take turns back!) Then Mitch spent the day and night with a friend who is a single dad and his boys. Mitch loves it there. They watch ball games and work out and eat ‘man food’ all weekend. And he helps fold laundry while watching the games and pitches in with the weekend cleaning. Being a single parent is hard and I’m glad he can help out.

This set up left me with an entire day and a half alone! I was so excited about it I could hardly contain myself. On Thursday I rattled off a list to my friend Jill of all the things I would get done. I have a new marriage talk to work on for the upcoming Hearts at Home national conference. I have three manuscripts to read for women who’ve asked me to endorse their upcoming books. I have several friends whom I’m going to be interviewing here on my blog and I haven’t got around to crafting their questions. (They’ve probably thought I’ve forgotten them!) And have three ever-growing piles of papers that need my attention; one of ‘to do soon’; one called by the dreaded “T” word–taxes and one of ‘to do when I get around to it– no hurry”

Man, I planned to bust up those piles.

And work on that talk.

And craft those questions.

And read those manuscripts.

And be alone.

With God.

I really only got that last, most important one accomplished.

And it is okay.

You see, I really struggle with doing. Not that I don’t get things done. I don’t mean that. I can get lots done. I love doing. Makes me feel useful. And important. And wanted.

I struggle with doing too much.

I’d much rather be doing than being. I am a good doer, but a poor be-er.

But God nudged me by recalling for me comments made by this friend and this one. They both said virtually the same thing; one in a talk and one in the written word. They talked about the struggle between being a ‘doer’ and a ‘be-er”. And one made the statement that we are called humans ‘beings’ for a reason.

We are not however, called human ‘doings’.

Ouch.

So, this weekend I felt God calling me to stop doing and start being; to rest, rather than work; to put away those emails and housekeeping tasks and tax papers; to not measure my weekend by how much I’d crossed off my ‘to do’ lists.

He had a ‘to be’ list for me instead.

So I slept in one day. I puttered around and tidied up the house a bit. I read my Bible. I prayed. I watched a little TV, something I hardly ever do. I used to have only 2 shows I liked to watch. 24 and American Idol.

Hello!! I guess both of those show have already begun their seasons this year and besides an Internet version of the now famous “Pants on the Ground” anti-rapper song by that hilarious gentleman General Larry Platt, I haven’t seen either of these shows yet!

Too busy doing.

This weekend, however, was full of being for me.

I did end up doing some reading. No, not of the three manuscripts waiting for my endorsement (don’t worry Thais, Shari and Marybeth . I’ll get them read by deadline. Pinky Promise!)

No, I read an advanced copy of another friend’s book that has already released. Her publisher sent me a copy to read and perhaps chat about on my blog. I picked it up around 9:45 on Saturday night to peruse for a few minutes before drifting off to sleep.

No drifting happened until 1:23 am!!!

Could. Not. Put. This. Book. Down!!!!!

Suffice it to say, I will be blogging about Mary DeMuth’s Memoir Thin Places.

Soon.

One of the BEST, gut-wrenching and honest looks at how the God Who Sees (El Roi) is always with us and always has been.

I have about 7 people I want to buy this book for and I can’t wait for you to hear what God taught me through my nearly 4 hour, tear-stained, reading marathon late Saturday night. (Good thing I’d slept in that morn!)

My weekend finished with picking up Mitch and heading to a friend’s church before he and I went out to lunch at Cracker Barrel in Lansing and did some serious basketball warm-up pants shopping, both of which speak love to a 15-year-old, big-breakfast loving jock.

Oh, and by the way, the fabulous sermon at that church was on….

Rest.

Okay God. I think I get your point loud and clear!!!! :-)

Resting and Being Blessings,

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  • so neat that God works in themes at times. My dear friend, Heather, sent this post to me. I had just written this one: wojzone.blogspot.com on the same exact topic. From a fellow doer who is working at being.

  • Hi Karen,

    I just wrote a blog post similar to this one too about the need to take a break from time to time. Thanks for the reminder.

    Blessings,
    Pearls

  • Thank you for the reminder. I have found that I am ‘overbooked.’ It seems sad to me that my daughter is sick and that is when I take the day to rest. Thank you for your words on rest and how I can just take a break to ‘be.’

  • Thank you for the reminder to “rest.” I need to do this more. My struggle is dealing with the guilt, when I see all that didn’t get done, and think I SHOULD have done. But when I “rest” and spend time with the Lord, I find that it always “recharges” me spiritually….which I need to remember is necessary to keep going forward. Thank you, again, for taking the time to write this! It’s just what I needed!

  • Thank you for this post – but like Faith, I struggle with this. It is very hard for me to rest unless it is forced – such as through illness. I know, it’s awful!! I am known for being busy – so much so that if I am seen at the grocery store, my friends think I am resting. Are they serious??!! I do NOT consider the weekly grocery shopping to be a break in the routine. It’s work to me because it is necessary to care for my family, just as much as my paid employment. Now, if they saw me lying on a beach, I would totally expect them to think I was resting. lol
    Anyway, I’ve always had a hard time with resting, and I always thought that as I got older it would get easier. But guess what?? It’s HARDER! I feel such a sense of urgency to maximize the time; I feel guilty if I’m not being productive every waking moment. There’s something wrong here, but I don’t know how to get out of this way of thinking.

  • So, I love this post too, but I have a question. How does “rest” fit in for a working mother of young children… I am not being sacastic. I have been really struggling about this with God lately. We’ve had many discussions… the Proverbs 31 woman gets up early and stays up late. Did her children play musical beds with her at all hours of the night, lol?:) When I figure it out, I’m gonna write a book, or blog about it, or something! ;0 Seriously, great post and when my season for rest comes… I hope I can do as you did, stop doing and start being.

  • Oh I loved this post– I took a weekend of rest this weekend too. I am learning to really take time off on weekends instead of making them cram sessions of “how much can I get done?”

    Did you already get the copy of my book? If so, I am surprised! And I am proud of you for doing what God told you and not letting your to-do list reign. He is speaking the same thing to me.

    I love Thin Places too. I got to read it back when she was writing it. Love me some Mary. She is FABULOUS!!

  • Wow, Karen, I’m so humbled and thankful that Thin Places ministered to you so much. What a great God we serve!!!! You made my day.

    He is the Great El Roi, the God who Sees!

    With joy,
    Mary