I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I used to but found they were quickly broken, leaving me feeling defeated before the year was really underway. I tried goal setting but found my goals were too small for fear of failing at the big things or too big and, therefore, set me up for more failure. This year I heard people talking about how they or their family have asked God to show them a word for their family for the year. Just one word that will be the focus of their year. Things like healing, grace, hope were the words others had found for their year. I liked this idea and began to really listen to see if God would show me a word for my year.
Early December I came across a book called Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Unspeakable Peace by Sarah MacKenzie. I was intrigued by the title and decided to order it. I couldn’t put it down. It echoed how I want to teach my kids and really how I want to live my life. This got me looking at the author’s website and listening to podcasts about teaching and “mothering” from rest. Then as I was planning our homeschool semester, I opened up my preschool curriculum that I have been holding onto and waiting to use. The teacher’s guide gave references to some blog posts on rest and the month of January had a theme of peacefulness. I decided that God must be showing me my word, rest.
So God was telling me that this year would be a year of rest and relaxation. I can get on board with that for sure! I mean, even the Bible study I joined gave a homework assignment to take one night to go to bed early and sleep until we wake up…rest!
But then the news comes to us less than two weeks into the new year that we may have to move for the third time in less than six months. That doesn’t sound very restful. Packing again. Loading up another moving truck. Unpacking just enough to live, but not completely because we know a fourth move will happen soon after. Not to mention the emotional turmoil all this moving does in the lives of my kids who struggle to adapt to change.
I find myself arguing with God. None of this sounds restful Lord! Why would you give me the word rest and then throw this at me? I don’t understand. It doesn’t make sense! Why? Did I misunderstand? Was my word supposed to be crazy (I thought that was last year’s word)?
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. – Matthew 11:28
And then I felt as though I heard Him say, rest in me. Rest in my plan. Rest in my ability. You rely too much on your own ability. Rest in me.
I realized that while I say I trust God, I don’t rest in His plan. I don’t wait on Him. Instead, I take things in my own hands. I make things happen and consult God later. I ask for His blessing after I make a decision. God needs me to rest in Him. God needs me to rest. Not just in a physical sense, but in a spiritual sense. So despite the crazy circumstances in my life right now, I will choose to rest in the promises of God.