There's a place I really love. I have only been there a few times in my life, but I'll never forget how much peace I found when I visited. It was a place of rest and joy and surrender. And even though I didn't live there, it felt like home. Like where I belonged.
I think I've lived a lot of my life in the wrong house.
The place I visited "fit" like a good pair of slippers. The kind that have molded to your feet and are warm and fuzzy and big enough to keep the drafts from blowing up your ankles.
This place has called to me all my life. My heart wanted to believe it was mine, that it was my home, but my head was too practical.
"It's too comfy, easy, lazy-making. You need to work harder to have such enjoyment. You don't deserve this place. Your home is here in the try-hard life."
What is it about working your heart, mind, and body into the ground that feels so virtuous? Does denying your soul the nourishment it so desperately needs somehow make you a better person? More worthy?
While He walked the earth, Jesus sent out this invitation:
“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.”
The Message paraphrase puts it this way:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Why are these words so hard to believe?
I think it's because they are too simple. We're used to working hard for what we get whether it's love, a paycheck, or a few minutes to relax. The "yokes" we wear are anything but "easy." How could taking a walk with Jesus bring rest to our souls and make living free and light?
How? It just seems too good to be true.
And it would be, if it weren't for grace. Grace is getting what we haven't earned! It's a gift, and all it requires is the faith to accept it. That's hard for our hearts to believe, but it's true.
Today I caught a glimpse of this place again.
And you know what?
My name was on the mailbox.
And my favorite mug was in the kitchen.
There was a fire crackling in the fireplace and my poncho, the one that feels like a hug when I wear it, was lying on the rocker by the fire.
And my slippers were in the closet.
You can read more about the rest Jesus offers our souls here and here and here.
So thankful for . .
1. this (from here)
2. the view out my window
4. late night talks with kids
5. Ben's awesome driving skills and MISSING the huge buck that jumped out in front of us
6. the help and encouragement of my friends Julie & Donna
7. laughing and talking with Em, Ben, & Joe
8. the last of the colorful fall leaves
9. my $2 thrift store find . . it makes me happy just looking at it!
10. my silly girl and her "Dadday"
12. sons with integrity
13. Jeff and Ben working together in the garage
14. that Daniel leaves on Sunday for Italy for SIX WEEKS with his class and tutors from Rivendell Sanctuary to study fine arts (the tough life of a college student)
15. that the package we sent him arrived today
16. looking forward to a day of college football with Josh at USNA
Thirty Days of Thanks is a challenge I make to myself each year to countdown to the holidays by giving thanks every day . . thanks for one thing the first day, two the second, three the third, all the way to giving thanks for thirty things on the thirtieth day. If you'd like to read more about why I do it or want to join me, click here.
Labels: 1000 gifts, Thirty Days