Hello, friends. Happy Monday Mayhem! I hope you were inspired by Vanessa’s wrap-up of our freedom series. In fact, I hope the entire series gave you hope that even if you feel you may never come out of the darkness and into the light, you know that one day you will experience freedom that is only available because Jesus died on the Cross for you. Don’t. Give. Up. (I say to myself and to you).
It’s so important to keep fighting the good fight, yes? And yet our next series is on rest, a seemingly stark contrast to “fight.” Hmmm….
Friends, I admit that I am guilty of generally equating rest with one of my all-time favorite hobbies.
For Mother’s Day last year, my then kindergartener made a spectacular card for me:
Super cute, yes? There’s more:
Ok, so he didn’t quite nail all of the “All About Mom” fill-ins (including my age ;)), BUT he certainly nailed some of them like:
Yes, friends, I do enjoy reading, and I for sure love sharing that joy for reading with my sons, but what I actually enjoy even more than reading is…napping (notice how David Lawrence listed that before reading; like I said, he certainly nailed some of them).
Napping = sleeping
And for me, friends, in this seriously unpredictable season of my life, sleeping = rest!
Oh how I love Sleep so! Each night (or day that I get to nap) when I finally cozy into bed, I thank God for my mattress and high thread-count sheets. I thank Him for my 3 pillows and cotton quilt. I thank Him for the opportunity to just BE STILL!
I praise the Lord for SLEEP and the time it gives me to rest my body, mind, and soul!
Because unfortunately, friends, these days when I’m not asleep, war ensues and at least threatens to, or I’m sorry to say, often succeeds in, pulverizing my peace, my joy, my love, my motivation, my freedom, my everything that I have found in Christ….
And my opponent seems like such a hard one to beat since she’s, well…me, and I just get so dang tired of fighting her/me all the time.
So, last year I listened to a podcast from 2013 called “SHAPED to Make a Difference” by Rick Warren, author of the infamous Purpose Driven Life and pastor of Saddleback Church in California where Celebrate Recovery originated. In this series, Pastor Warren states that God shaped people to primarily be talkers, doers, feelers, or thinkers.
Am I a talker? Hmmm…I do like to talk about certain things, but, no, talking does not come easy for me. I often feel that my trying to communicate my thoughts and feelings with others is like someone scrapping their fingernails down a chalkboard. It’s that painful (for both parties I’d say). For example on one occasion when I tried to explain how I felt about a certain situation, I so badly fumbled through the conversation that I ended up staring out the window over my coffee date’s shoulder so much that she kept turning around to see what I was so fixated with outside that window.
Am I a doer? Nope. It is often difficult for me to take action. In fact, I joke with others sometimes and tell them that I have to think about how I feel about doing something for quite a while before I actually do anything.
So I included some hints about what I am, friends. Did you catch them?
When I listened to the SHAPED series, I pretty quickly identified myself as a feeler and thinker.
A feeler because I have always had great compassion for hurting people.
I remember watching an episode of Little House on the Prairie when I was 4 years old. It was the episode where Albert is adopted by the Ingalls. Although adoption is obviously a moving topic, I can’t recall exactly why the episode moved me to tears, but I lay on my stomach on the yellow and orange and brown shag carpet and balled until my dad, who clearly knew from my heaving and snotting that I was sobbing, invited me to sit on his lap. I accepted his invitation and finished out the episode crying and snotting into his shoulder.
A thinker because I analyze EVERYTHING.
Truly…EVERYTHING! I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t actually feel God, I would struggle with unbelief because my English background (and probably the Western educational system in general but that’s a debate for another day) trained me to question EVERYTHING…to must. Know. WHY. I pick things apart, and then I try to put them back together in a way that makes sense to me.
Yes, right, I know I mentioned that we are generally ONE, but I argue that for myself anyway, thinking and feeling are so interconnected—I think a certain way because of how I feel or I feel a certain way because of how I think—that they are often morphed into ONE—so I guess really I’m a ThinkFeeler or FeelThinker, whichever you prefer.
Friends, remember my Faith-Full Friday freedom post, “Happily Ever After?” If you do, you know that lately I am overwhelmed by some happenings in my life. I’m actually sorry to say that there are more happenings happening that are causing me to feel and think things that I know aren’t truths. And yet, unfortunately, in spite of knowing the hope that comes from Jesus, I am struggling to focus on the Cross, to remember His promises to me and to move towards the light. To rest in Him, friends. And this is where my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion comes in, and Sleep is such a welcome comforter.
For you see, friends, it feels like Sleep has been rescuing me because the thoughts and feelings automatically turn off and shut down, and I’m no longer overburdened by the lies and the feelings that are too much to bear (carry) and too much to bare (share).
In September, 2017, Rick Warren penned a devotion entitled “If You Believe It, Then Do It.” In it Pastor Warren specifically speaks to the thinker personality trait; however, he also mentions that our primary personality trait(s) is what we naturally use to worship and love God, for as Warren reminds us, Jesus commands: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart [talk] and with all your soul [feelings] and with all your mind [thinking] and with all your strength [acting]” (Mark 12:30, NIV).
Big sigh….Friends, I’m not a ThinkFeeler or a FeelThinker whose thinkings and/or feelings are for the glory of God, and I’ve been relying on Sleep to ease my pain and give me rest. But I know God didn’t intend Sleep to be my real, honest-to-goodness Rescuer. He sent Jesus for that.
So I am turning my back on Sleep and am still managing to get some rest. Please join me on Friday when I reveal how.