Do you feel too reliant on other people’s ideas to have great ideas of your own? I know I do. Listen. I’m a Jesus-loving, self-denying, proud-to-be-available for all the others aunt. And sister. And daughter. And friend. I love all that. I really do. But all of that keeps me really busy. And sometimes I get just a little bit lost in all of that. Does that happen to you?
I get tired. And I get- dare I say it- uninspired. Sunday is a perfect example. Church is great. It’s awesome really. The message is all about God’s pursuit of the lost. Our pastor talks about the celebration in heaven over even just one lost soul when they’re finally brought home- even if that someone is me. To mark the occasion my new nephew- 5 days old- makes his debut on the Church scene. He already has lots of fans waiting in line to make his acquaintance. It all feels really connected that day. The mingling with other believers is full of energy and life. It’s great.
I work late on Saturday night. I don’t get much sleep. While Sunday is my absolute favorite day of the week, by the time I’m finished with all the activities, I’m usually quite tired. That’s just in time for the very best part of the day when I get to relax and take it all in with my family. This day is no exception.
After Church, I eagerly come home excited to share our thoughts on the sermon and rehash the highlights. Mom thinks it’s funny because the pastor used the celebration over finding a lost phone as part of his illustration. She wonders if my own recent experience inspired this in some way. I too think this is curious. You’re more than welcome to read about my lost device in “Can A Stolen Phone Be A Gift From God?” Check out my recent posts for the story.
I take my mom to work not long after, and we have a nice chat about some of the ways God is moving in our home. It’s great. I love these little chats. They’re uninterrupted and free of distraction. Car chats are maybe my favorite. By the time I make it back home, I’m melting. I do a few routine things winding down and consider maybe doing some reading. Or perhaps the unthinkable, a nap.
About this time, the dog gets out for the bazillionth time. My niece needs me to go fetch him. The neighbors have an impenetrable defensive fence surrounding their castle. Well, it’s impenetrable to me, but not to our dog. This is a trying event that I’m all too familiar with. I stress to my niece the importance of watching herself on her way out the door. Because I’m not going to keep doing this. The cranky is starting.
Only a moment later, we’re having this discussion again. And I see that look. You know the one. The I don’t care what you say, I’m going to do what I want look. It comes with a smirk. I’m ticked. You might appreciate that my instinct is to use a different word here. I’ll spare you that detail. This is where I’m harsh with her. It’s not the extreme kind of harsh where you question whether or not I’m fit to be left alone with children. But it’s harsh for my taste. I’m lacking in patience, and I haven’t been kind. I don’t like it.
This niece of mine is seven years old, and she requires ample portions of patience which I just don’t have in me. I know it. I stand down. My back hurts, and I don’t have it in me. I go inside to do something mindless. I want to distract myself from what I am feeling. I think about what a lovely day it has been and what an awful contribution I just made to it. The guilt is setting in. I want to make it right with her. But I’m too tired to be nice. I just know it. She’s going to try my patience again. There’s no doubt about it. I don’t have it in me to practice the good things I want to. I need a nap.
Now brace yourself for this, friend.
I take one. Right in the midst of this feeling like I should most definitely be doing something better than napping, I take one anyway. My step-dad is outside. I know the kids are fine. So I nap. For the good of humanity, I let myself nap.
I awake soon after much more refreshed, and I instantly remember the dire state of the seven-year-old I abandoned in my fit of distress. I have to find her. I have to fix it. I go outside. She isn’t there. The car is gone, and I’m told that they left with their dad, she and her sister. I look around, and right there I pray in my heart. I recognize in the presence of Jesus that I wasn’t a reflection of His heart toward her, and I ask Him to forgive me.
That’s precisely when she pops out into my visage onto the street, an answer to my prayer. She sees me, and her eyes light up the entire block. She screams gleefully my name, and runs toward me full with joy. My spirit whispers a grateful thank you as I lift her into my arms. Her sister is gone, but she has stayed behind to play with her friends just down the road from us.
We decide to take a nice walk, just the two of us. There are no distractions. No interruptions. We have a nice chat about all sorts of fun things I don’t quite remember now. She wants to spit out her gum. I tell her to wait until we pass a trash can. She does. It’s pure joy, this walk with my formerly unruly niece. There are teachable moments, and I have it in me to teach when they come. There’s no hurry. The first trash can we encounter is in front of the corner store, and she doesn’t even press me to go inside. She’s a dream. Or maybe, I am. We continue to enjoy our walking chat.
Sometimes I just need a nap, and that’s okay.
Today, if you’re feeling like you just don’t have it in you, can I charge you in love to just take a nap? Or fill in the blank, whatever makes you happy. Can I take that license, and just commission you to rest? Feed your soul. Your people will thank you, even if they don’t.
Trust me. You’re better for others when you take care of you. Sometimes we just need to be inspired.
I hope today, you’re feeling inspired.
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30