Saturday 16 May 2015

No need to continually strive...

I had a wonderful day last Thursday. It was a really busy week, busy but enjoyable as a new reservations system was being installed in the conference centre where I live. It was my hubby's responsibility to make sure all the relevant people got training and the go live date was the same week, so we needed to get knowledgeable and quick. That in itself was not an issue for me as I enjoy work; I know systems and I learn quickly but it did mean my mind was in one track and all I wanted to do each day was head up to the main house and learn more and help others.

So after a long days training and a nights PTA meeting and fete organisation for Saturday I was completely pooped and the last thing I thought I wanted was a quiet day retreat the next day. I spoke to a friend and said I couldn't imagine I'd be going and I headed home. Then as I drove home I felt a peace wash over me and I knew the Holy Spirit was intervening and calming my busy head, allowing me to make the best decision and to put my relationship with Jesus first.

I woke early the next morning to get the neglected chores done and to sort the kids for school and after dropping them I headed over to Bexhill to enjoy the retreat. I'd not been to the venue before and in truth it is quite old fashioned and my group of friends were probably the youngest there but the people were super welcoming, the tea was good and the chairs extra comfy.

As I sat down and stilled myself ready and open to see what might happen during the day I again knew it was the right decision to be there. I felt calm and at ease and no feelings of guilt (for being there relaxing when everyone else was busy) were allowed to enter my mind. It is always good to remember what Jesus told Martha in Luke 10:38-42 (NLT) -
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”
The quiet day was being led by Marilyn Baker and Tracy Wiliamson and I'd heard their names before as they often come to Ashurnham but I knew nothing about them or their ministry. Well what a treat I was in for, Marilyn led fantastic sung worship interspersed with strong words of wisdom and knowledge and Tracy spoke passionately about God's love for us and His desire for us all to let go of condemnation and guilt. Both women are very inspirational, they each have disabilities but instead of them allowing those disabilities to define who they are or what they could do they choose to take risks in order for God to use them.

As the words of Marilyn's songs resonated with me, I could feel I was giving myself over to our Lord more and more deeply. I went into the room with a preconception that I would not be asking for personal prayer but two hours later I was one of the first to sign up and I'm very pleased I did. I was prayed for my Tracey and also Lilian from MBM and it was an interesting session as Tracy is profoundly deaf and does not lip read so Lilian typed what I said in answer to her questions.

There was some great revelation in this prayer session. I felt very peaceful and I just knew that the words were for me. It is hard to know transcribe them a few days later but I wanted to note them down here so I can look back on them in years to come. Here are the messages that really spoke to me -

  • Tracy had a picture of me in a room that was shabby and needed redecoration. Jesus and I were working side by side in partnership (important word) and we were making all the decisions together on how to change things and then doing the work side by side
  • I need to let Him into my life and be a part of it all, even the tiny stuff
  • He goes before me, is behind me and standard alongside me too. I always have Him with me
  • He releases my personality to be who I am and to show Him
  • I must rest in the Lord and be confident, there is no need to strive and to feel as if I have to tick things off a list. What I need to do right now is just make time for Him and spend time with Him. Just together. Not necessarily praying, reading or doing anything, just soaking Him in and enjoying Him. No striving, it must not be forced.
  • Lilian gave me the words of one of Marilyn's songs - rest in my love, rest in my care and know that my presence will always be there
By the time I left (which was only about 4.5 hours after arriving) I felt renewed and invigorated. Ready to head back to the kids and all the tasks that needed doing (like the school fete) and I know that this coming week I must make time, even five minutes is enough, to just rest in God.

What about you, are you making enough time to rest in God's loving arms? or if that is not your bag, are you being kind to yourself and taking time to be still and calm?

I am joining up with Sara at Mum Turned Mom for the Prompt, where the prompt this week is Calm.


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