There once was a woman who lived in a zoo;
She had so many tasks, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them each time without any dread;
Then paused them all feebly and fell into bed.
I can’t say I identify with an old woman living in a shoe. (I mean…what?)
But, oh how I’ve become a middle-aged woman with a zoo-paced life.
While not perfect, I try to say yes where I’m called and no where I’m not.
So—why do I feel less like Mrs. Proverbs 31, and more like Raggedy-Brenda?
Am I just too weak, Lord?
My spirit cries prayer upon prayer, till I hush long enough to listen—and in the refrain, a Whisper :
“Rest, child. Just rest.”
And also, how?
I feel you calling me into a summer of quiet, but God—here’s the thing—it seems I’ve forgotten how to be still.
Yet my antsy soul can’t remember how to sing slow’s song. When did the melody change? And how did I miss it?
A rushed energy pulses in my flesh, clanging against my spirit, begging its way out.
My mind, a tangled ball of thoughts and feelings, words and ideas, duties and fatigue. Pulling one strand only makes the others tighter.
Peace. Peace I crave.
How do I surrender to the quiet, Lord? The whirling throb within wrestles against the shy cadence of calm.
I’ve spent so long giving credence to the rushed, I’ve forgotten how to trust the hushed.
Oh God, the flicker of your whisper is greater than the flame of my hustle.
I want Your pace, Your plans, Your path, Your peace.
In the midst of the blur, I search for you—and always you’re found by my ambling spirit.
Oh Father, teach me anew how to sit small in your presence.
How to submit to the quiet.
How to linger in grace.
Refresh, renew, redeem, remake. All of me.
As the porch lights linger and the fireflies dance.
Perhaps, like me, you’re chasing life so hard, you hadn’t noticed it’s now chasing you.
David writes in Psalm 39:6, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” (nlt)
And also, no thank you!
Oh Father, we want to be more than shadows dancing in busy emptiness. We long for a life measured in the things of eternity.
As David testified umpteen-thousand years earlier, “busy rushing” doesn’t satisfy eternal influence.
“Rest. Just Rest.” His words, like candied grace, flood my weary being with gratitude.
All the things He’s called us to? They’re not going anywhere. Not without Him. And all the things He hasn’t? We don’t want them anyway. Amen?
Friend, have you noticed there’s more faith in the letting go than there is in the hanging on?
It’s scary loosening the chains of busyness. Will others understand? Will we lose momentum? Will we still be able to make a difference?
But, here’s the thing I’m learning—as scary as all that is, His faithfulness is greater still.
Whether for a day, a week, a month, or a summer, we can trust the Creator of rest to sift time rightly, restoring a melody of calm to our days.
We need only but to abide.
<a href="http://brendabradfordottinger.com/chasing-community/"><img src="http://brendabradfordottinger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Linkup-button.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="250" /></a>
It’s a casual, pony-tail & sandals environment around here, but a few important reminders:
- Please remember to visit and leave some encouragement for other friends who’ve linked-up today — this is the heart of community & your words of support could be just the thing another friend needs to hear today.
- Please only share like-minded words of spiritual encouragement and insight.
- Please grab the #ChasingCommunity button, or link back here underneath your post. (So others can find us and join the fun too!)
- By linking up & leaving your email address you agree to receive #ChasingCommunity updates.
Thank you for bringing your dish to the table–May your ministry of words find community here.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Good morning Brenda,
Beeautiful post today! Submitting to the quiet….abiding in Him….finding worth in resting….these are all things, I believe God would have us seek after vs. the busyness we get ourselves caught up in. The older I get the more I find I love the quiet, the slow, the rest and when life gets too busy I find myself pushing on the imaginary brake pedal wanting to slow it down. For me, I need the quiet to be able to sit at His feet and drink Him in. I don’t want Him in snippets, I want the whole book. Thank you for putting wonderful words to what our hearts desire. Praying His rest upon you.
ps. I’m linking up a repeat post because the inspiration has not yet hit me for a new one (still coming out of the fog) lol.
Bev @ Walking Well With God recently posted…What Does Casting All My Anxiety On Him Mean?
It’s taken longer to recover from She Speaks than we expected, hasn’t it? Was a lovely weekend with you, friend. 🙂 Pressing that imaginary break pedal with you this summer. ((xoxo))
“I’ve spent so long giving credence to the rushed, I’ve forgotten how to trust the hushed.” Brenda, why is it so hard to stop the rush and allow the Whisper of the Hush? We might miss something? People will forget about us. Oh, the world of expectations crush the hush. Thank you for your beautiful words of truth and wisdom. All God wants is us. Just us. ❤️ Michele
“Just us.” Amen, friend. Was sooo sweet to see you last week! Hope we meet again next year. ((xoxo))
Beautiful words today, Brenda! Quite a few of your sentences are a soothing balm. My heart is feeling a little beat up lately. I ‘m looking forward to a breather with God I planned soon. Your post is a confirmation. Praying for much refreshing for you as well. Many blessings to you, friend!
KellyRBaker recently posted…When You Need Support to Bear 3,000 Problems
Oh, Kelly, so glad you’re able to get some time away. That quiet time in His presence is such a relief. I’m sorry your heart is feeling beat up lately. ((Hug)) Prayers for you, friend. I understand. ((xoxo))
Joanne Viola says
Yes, yes, yes! Beautiful words. “I want Your pace, Your plans, Your path, Your peace.” Only as we sit small, and let Him be big in our lives, will we discover all that He has for us. He is faithful and all that He does is good. Thank you for calling us all to rest in Him. Blessings to you!
Joanne Viola recently posted…Do So
“Only as we sit small, and let Him be big in our lives, will we discover all that He has for us.” Yes! Love that, friend. Thanks for being here and always being such an encouragement to me. ((xoxo))
Michele Morin says
Trusting for grace to enter into this same resting space, Brenda. It’s a hard assignment to say no to the perpetual quest for “more.” May our hearts sing the song of ENOUGH in a restful key today.
Michele Morin recently posted…Can Busy Mums Really Find Time to Spend with God? (Part 2)
Amen to that song of enough in an oh-so-restful key, friend. I pray you find the rest you need as well, Michele. God will meet us there and shower us in His calm. ((xoxo))
Sarah Geringer says
Brenda, I understand how you feel, and I appreciate your beautiful writing today. Preparing for She Speaks and beginning a new career as a freelancer really pushed me hard this summer. I’m craving the peace you’re writing about. Spending more time praying in the mornings is helping me set a more peaceful schedule. I hope you’re full of joy from the conference. It was such a blessing to meet you!
Was so sweet to meet you, Sarah. You’re so full of encouragement. I pray you ‘re able to get the peace you’re craving as well. Prayers for you, friend. And hope you’ve caught up on your sleep! I’m not caught up, but finally feeling like I can join the rest of the world now. 🙂 ((xoxo))
Lisa/Syncopated Mama says
Whew! We just returned from our big summer trip and so now I’m trying to get back into the groove (& climb laundry mountain!) Hope you have a great rest of the week!
Oh yes, I’ve climbed Mt. Laundry a few times myself. Hope you settle back into the groove of normalcy soon, Lisa. ((graces))
Paris Renae says
This is fabulous writing and soul mending truth. xoxoxoxo
Paris Renae recently posted…Heart View…
Thank you, friend. I pray you’re gathering rest this summer as well. xoxo
So beautiful, Brenda! Love this! I’m trying to start out this new season with a healthy dose of ‘NO’ myself! Lord may I only go where you call! Amen!
Liz recently posted…Word Nerd Wednesday – Exegesis
How nice to get a clean, fresh start. I know it’s hard to be replanted often, but what a blessing to learn from past seasons and start fresh with new ones. Hope you’re settling in well. ((xoxo))
Oh Brenda, I am so right there with you! It’s so hard some times to ‘trust the hushed’ and I know I need to! I love how you sum it up for yourself and many of us- “there’s more faith in the letting go than there is in the hanging on”-yes, absolutely, I’ve experienced this. I too am trying to quiet the noise of what I think I should be doing and listen to what and where He alone wants me. It’s a difficult path at times, going against my worldly wishes, but it’s oh so much better! Thanks for this inspirational encouragment to keep letting go to Him. (My theme for August btw-not a coincidence, I’m sure ;)!)
Jill recently posted…Choose Joy!
We are on the same thought-path a lot aren’t we, Jill. 🙂 Isn’t it crazy how hard it is to walk out the rest-filled life? I mean, you’d think it would be easy. Oh how we humans like to complicate things, don’t we? Prayers for you as you seek to rest in His presence too, friend. ((xoxo))
Kristi Woods says
You offer such incredibly beautiful words, Brenda – both in composition and spiritual resonance. We’re in similar places, asking comparable questions. Right now I have peace, a new trust budding in this busy season. May we both grow in this season, trusting Him more with each breath.
Kristi Woods recently posted…How We Can Help New Moms
Thanks for sharing that, Krsiti; it’s always nice to know we’re not alone. ((Hug)) So glad you have a peace right now. I’m getting there too. It’s taken many weeks of near stillness to start feeling the beginnings of peace again and I’m thankful for it. Prayers for you as you continue to seek His peace and path, friend. ((xoxo))
Brenda! My soul-sister in the zoo! Where have you been? God is speaking rest at every turn. At first, I felt it was a personal problem without friends. But, since March, I have noticed this theme connecting many; so many. Such God-timing! I read Psalm 39 this morning and verse 7 drew me in, ““And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” (ESV) Rest is something I am not only learning of, but accepting as command. Thank you, Brenda. I love your way with words…and your fireflies! Blessings to your heart and soul!
It does seem to be a theme lately, doesn’t it? I guess God’s got some things He wants to teach His daughters about rest. I know I can use every lesson He affords! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Charla. ((hug))
Lisa notes says
““Rest. Just Rest.” Ah, these words bring peace just reading them! Thanks, Brenda, for reminding us that our best lives include time to rest. It’s what God wants for us. May I do more of it myself.
Lisa notes recently posted…Does Work at Home Matter?
Kelli LaFram says
“Yes, Lord. And also, how?” I have responded this way to the Lord so many times and yet I still find myself needing to pray it again and again and again. Will I ever learn?
Kelli LaFram recently posted…I Have Hope in God :: Quietly Through Thursday (Plus Link-Up)
Brenda- yes, Amen! I want peace and refreshment and it’s so hard to find. I agree letting go is harder than remaining on the busyness train. I’m so used to the activity I find it hard to be hushed.
Love this post, friend!
Julie recently posted…The Best Reasons Moms don’t Need to be Judged
I like your remake of the Old Woman in the Shoe! 🙂
I love your prayer.
Have a blessed Sunday!
Lux G. says
Oh, my. I feel like I am her too. LOL.
Lux G. recently posted…Reflection: What Are You Waiting For?
I love the statement that there is “more faith in the letting go than there is in the hanging on.” I find this so hard to do!
Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement to breathe deep and rest.
Shannon recently posted…Deciding If Preschool is Right for Your Child