Rest the Body; Rejuvenate the Soul

I’m not a real big fan of these 4 AM mornings.

I definitely like it when I’ve worked, exercised, cleaned my house, and caught up on emails by 9 AM though. So there’s a definite trade-off.

BUT, after I’ve been awake for 12 hours, I get pretty tired. Especially if I only got 4-5 hours sleep the night before.

Such was the case last week.

To top it off, we’ve recently started a mid-week service on Tuesday nights at 6 PM so I knew I wouldn’t get to bed early nor was I allowed to let sleepy Gigi out. (Note: She makes a hangry Betty White look like an angel. If you don’t have a tv, eat Snickers, or know how to tie your shoes yet, you can just skip over that one.)

Anyway, I was needing a nap.

I was much like a cranky toddler, to be honest, nearing tantrum levels and very much about to cry. There was no way I was going to make it through a church service, with a gift of hospitality on full display, without one.

But I had two loads of laundry on my bed that I hadn’t gotten to, not to mention that, because of my “I’m not sick” husband who’s been running a fever of 102, I’d stripped the sheets and Lysol-ed the bed. (Can I verbalize Lysol? Can I verbalize verb, for that matter?)

I looked longingly at my bed. Who needs sheets, right? And it’s a king-size bed, so the unfolded socks and shirts can have half and I’ll take the other half. Right?

No way. My parents won’t believe this as my bedroom resembled a war zone growing up but I could never sleep knowing the bed was like this. No matter how tired I was. So I folded the clothes and remade the bed.

I had just thrown the fabric softener sheets in the kitchen trash can and was headed to my long-awaited bed when one of our pastors needed my help with something on his laptop. No problem. Of course, I live in the country and wi-fi is as slow as molasses, but after about an hour, I finally got the program loaded. In fact, it had made its way to 93% and my whole body was relaxing in anticipation of crawling into a bed with freshly laundered sheets when…

The doorbell rang.

One of our church members, one who is far better at gospel outreach than anyone in our church, myself included, wanted to order some more outreach booklets. He can throw the Word out there but he doesn’t do computers so I helped him order everything he needed.

While doing that, the UPS deliveryman brought a box filled with the new promotional materials for the church that I’d ordered last week. I was excited to go through the box as I know that there are so many unchurched, unconnected people in our community.

By the time everyone left, it had been two hours since I was initially headed to take my nap and yet, I felt strangely good. To be honest, I couldn’t understand it. I should’ve been cranky or aggravated. At the very least, I should’ve been really, really tired. But I was none of those things.

“I feel good,” I told the Lord. “Like, I know that helping them was more important than me getting a nap, but what is this I’m feeling inside?”

His answer?

As clear as a cloudless day, I heard Him: Rest is good to restore your body but ministry rejuvenates your soul.

Indeed!

(And I still got a 20-minute power nap before church!)

GEAR UP: PRAISE

It’s Sunday night! Time to gear up for a new week. As always, the best way to do that is to PUT ON THE ARMOR OF GOD (Ephesians 6:10-18) but we also will focus on ONE area to strengthen our walk with the Lord. Just one focus to help us grow a faith that cannot fade with the demands of life and the pressures of this world. This week we will focus on PRAISE!

Remember the old Gaither song “Let’s Just Praise the Lord”? I love that song. It’s so simple, yet so profound.

Let’s just praise the Lord

Praise the Lord

Let’s just lift our hearts toward heaven

And praise the Lord…

I sing this song often.

Sometimes we get so bogged down in the demands of life that we forget to praise Him. We thank Him. We cry out to Him. But we forget to just praise Him.

Put this song on repeat this week! Let’s just praise the Lord!

JANUARY MEDIA PICKS

MOVIE: What Would Jesus Do?

1h 33min 2010 -Rated G

A moving and thought-provoking story about a group of Americans – a singer, a newspaper editor, a pastor & a real estate mogul who vow to walk “in the steps of Jesus.” Every day and every decision becomes a turning point in their lives as they must ask themselves: “What Would Jesus Do?”

Genres: Adventure, Drama

Director: Thomas Makowski

Starring: John Schneider, Maxine Bahns, Adam Gregory

 

BOOK: Jesus Always: Following God’s Direction (from Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling series)

This is the Bible study series I will be teaching for the next few months. It’s a great study for individuals as well as small groups. There’s a lot of thought-provoking questions accompanying a passage of scripture each week and the devotions feel like the Lord is speaking directly to your soul.

 

MUSIC: I Believe in a Hill Called Mt. Calvary by the Gaither Vocal Band

I grew up listening to the Gaithers and hearing their music is literally like a balm to my soul. It either brings up memories of listening to a record on the stereo system in my childhood home, singing along to the eight-track in my Mema’s car, or hearing it play softly in the background of her Christian bookstore. All great memories (and a wonderful reminder of what a blessed upbringing I had).

These days this particular song holds another special memory, one I know I’ll carry in my heart with the rest. This is one of my husband’s favorite solos and I hear him playing his guitar and singing it often while I’m on my computer working. I always sing along- it’s so powerful you just can’t help but join.

“And I’ll believe WHATEVER the cost…”

This song is the epitome of having a FAITH UNFADED!