This week (as mentioned in my previous post) was my first week of an actual schedule, since I helped out in my work’s preschool Monday through Wednesday from 8-4. The thought of being at work with the kiddos made me really excited. But the thought of not being home in the apartment doing things like sleeping, cooking, errands, cleaning, relaxing, kind of scared me, since that is all I have been doing. When will I cook? When will I clean? How early do I have to wake up to run? Yes, and this was only working three of the five days, and that is where my mind went.
I food-prepped on Sunday and set my alarm each night and laid out my outfit twice. It was a blur of blocks and trains and paints and the red line and then I came home Wednesday and napped for 70 minutes feeling exhausted.
Today, Thursday, I got to sleep a couple hours later and enjoy a slow morning of prayer before I ran. I prayed asking God to help me find rest and joy among a full schedule. I may need to wake up earlier to get in my needed prayer time .
So today was rest and running and studying and grocery shopping then more rest. I met Emily B up in Evanston to study togther at a coffee shop before grocery shopping and returning home, to my empty apartment and my first night away from Sanjay since we’ve been married. It was also, in general, the first night I have had with no plans and no large to-do list, and no one around in I’m not sure how long. I got to spend the last couple of weeks up until marriage at home with my Mom in Traverse City where our nights were usually wedding emails while we watched Friends and ate bowls of ice cream. Since marriage, our nights have been discussing our days, figuring out schedule logistics, cleaning up the kitchen, prepping overnight oats, laying out my outfit for work, then watching Friends in bed and doing our marriage devotional when we remember and aren’t half-asleep.
At the end of last week I was reading Mark 6, where Jesus had just fed 5000 people with only a few loaves of bread, a miracle, and then the disciples didn’t even recognize Him as he came up to their boat to calm the storm because their hearts were full of fear. Jesus tells them not to be afraid. I read it as how I can sometimes do that; pay no attention to God and maybe not even recognize Him or His truth or His word or even worse His voice, nudge, guidance.
Mark 6: 48-50.
He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.
Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
In Mark 8, Peter tells Jesus not to say He is going away because Peter wants Jesus to stay with them on earth and can’t imagine why he would be leaving. Jesus tells Peter that his mind is focused on earthly things, telling him, ““You do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mark 8:33 NIV).
Humanly concerns. Those have been on my mind. My main concerns seem to be getting my workout in, being fed with my favorite things, feeling connected to my husband, feeling like I am learning/contributing at work, having my to-list in order such as cooking and cleaning. All humanly concerns.
Godly concerns. Those have also been on my mind. God wants my heart, my trust, my patience, my stillness. He wants my dependence on Him no matter what is happening with my humanly concerns.
It has been on my mind for a few days, and then the book I am reading (Uninvited by Lysa TerKaust) also talked about these exact passages from Mark! Crazy! I hear you, God. Godly concerns. Take courage. Do not fear. Remember the miracles. Remember the provision. Rest.
So, tonight. I told myself to give myself space to be with God. I also told myself to clear myself of all space-filling distractions such as Netflix or mindlessly scrolling Instagram or Facebook. It was really hard. I didn’t even realize how I naturally just crave those things. Even to pass time mindlessly, aimlessly. Wow. So I took some time and read two more chapters in my Uninvited book and loved it. It was 7:00. I made one page of a color-coded chart for developmental milestones. I sent an email. It was 8:00. Not complaining, but it was weird. Time passed slowly. I noticed I missed my husband, for sure. I missed his presence and words. I realized I also seemed to miss the aimless noise mentioned above. I did a little cleaning around 8:30. And it is 9:00 as I write this.
Lord, I confess resisting the space for you at times and filling space with aimless things. Help me want connection with you before anything else. Help my heart to go to you first, not anything else in the world to cure boredom or fatigue or comparison or cravings. Help me crave you first and more. And when I don’t, help me hear your voice and nudge. Soften my heart to draw near and stay near.
In your name and for your glory. Amen.