Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Resting at the Feet of Jesus

Here we are in the middle of July, temperatures soaring and it doesn't look like it's going to let up anytime soon. I am so thankful for air conditioning, but the power was flickering on and off throughout the day yesterday and today at 5:30, we woke up to a broken A/C. I'm praying that I can make it until our repairman shows up in a few hours as this very tired, expectant mother needs a cooler house.

These days remind me of summers in the past. My children love to hear the stories from my childhood when we had no A/C. My sister and I slept in our attic. Wow, now that was hot! Dad would run the fan in an open window and try to bring in the cooler air in the evenings, but we usually ended up on top of the covers with our heads at the foot of the beds. Sometimes, we slept downstairs in our breezeway and if we were able to coax our Dad enough, he'd set up the two-man tent in the backyard. Our brother would join us. We enjoyed that adventure and definitely slept better outside.

During those hot days, we looked forward to the ice cream truck that would drive by our house from time to time or we'd simply grab a Popsicle from the freezer. Occasionally, we'd run through the sprinkler or play in the cool basement. Sometimes, Mom would suggest a walk to the library just down the street where there was A/C and as we walked, we loved to pop tar bubbles with our shoes the whole way down the street. Some days seemed unbearable, but we made it through.

It was a little easier to deal with the heat back then. Being seven months pregnant in this heat is a different experience, but I just have to remember to take it easy and let some things go. I've had to learn about letting go and allowing myself extra rest this week. We've had a rough couple of weeks with a dog getting sprayed by a skunk, the 2 yr. old getting sick and the 1 yr. old cutting molars. Add on the heat and life gets interesting. At the beginning of the week, I thought I was in premature labor. I'm not quite at 30 weeks yet, so this is a bit early to be starting that. Thankfully, the midwife said everything was checking out fine, but that I needed to take it easier and keep hydrated. After asking for prayer this week, I've had an outpouring of help from our home school support group and church. Offers of baby-sitting, house cleaning, and meals have been coming in and I so appreciate these special families.

So, resting is what I'm doing although many times, when I'm feeling a little better, I'm tempted to be a Martha and to dive back into my work. Then, the contractions return and I'm reminded to put up those feet of mine and rest. If I had lived in Jesus' day and He came to my house for a visit, I probably would have tended to be busy, perhaps stopping to hear Him talk, but always busy. Fluffing the pillows around Him, picking up the things on the floor, washing the dishes, fussing over where He should sit and, of course, complaining that I was the only one doing the work. Jesus desired to encourage and instruct those that were listening to Him. He didn't put a lot of stock in how clean a house was or what He would be served for dinner. Mary desired to listen and to learn from her Lord and realized what would last for eternity. Not a clean house, but a pure heart.

"Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, 'Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.' But the Lord answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:38-42

I wonder if I really know how to rest. Even when I do take a break physically, have I learned to rest in the Lord? Am I willing to be quiet and listen to the Teacher or am I so busy that I crowd out any words from Him? My feet may be up, but my mind is racing a mile a minute, thinking about all I have to do, all the unfinished projects, the kids' lessons, or worrying about the little one I'm carrying. My prayer is that I can rest at His feet and obey Him by not worrying. My life is in His hands and no amount of worrying or fussing will change that. All it does is make me miserable and it is a poor example to my children. If we would learn to rest at His feet, think of all we could learn. He promises to never leave us and He promises to restore our souls.

So, with feet up, a glass of ice water beside me, my Bible opened and a heart quiet before Him, I'm going to follow my Shepherd and rest at His feet today.

"He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His names' sake." Psalm 23:2-3

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