With soar throats, exhaustion and coughs surrounding my hubby and me, we decided to stay home from church. Our youngest daughter was getting over being sick and still really clingy to me. Our oldest daughter (who is normally running laps around us – both physically and with her questions – ) was on super fast mode. She watched TV, played outside, played quietly – at least what’s quiet for her and said, “I miss church. I want to go to church.” The youngest finally crashed for a nap mid morning (yay, I have arms again!), so I pulled out some Bible coloring sheets to do a mini Bible class for my oldest. She was thrilled and I was too seeing how excited she always is when learning about the Bible.
We read about creation and colored two coloring sheets and played a match game together. I try to pull the life lessons out of the Bible stories for her to help it stick when she’s someday my age and realizing she has the scariest (and best) job of all in trying to raise kids. Reading through Genesis 2:19 I realized that God was also teaching me a life lesson. Genesis 2:19 says, “So the Lord God formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them, and the man chose a name for each one (NLT).”
I knew that Adam had named all the animals, but I had never thought about the fact that God could have named the animals himself! He created the entire world – it was and is his masterpiece and gave rivers and plants names, but he let one of his own creation name the animals. I thought and thought and thought about this. What process did Adam go through in naming the animals? God provided the work (the animals) and watched to see how Adam worked. Was it too big of a job for God? No!
I then thought about the many times when I try to do everything myself – be it work or housework. I know how it needs to get done and often it’s easier to do myself. God didn’t do this. He gave some of His responsibility to Adam instead of just giving him a list of names and pictures to memorize and learn the animals. I imagine this was vital in helping Adam establish a relationship and respect for the animals and what better way is there for someone to learn something than to have them jump in take over?
God didn’t demand a resume or Adam’s credentials. He had created Adam and knew where he was flawed and lacking. God realized that Adam needed a helper and knew that Adam would only be able to accomplish so much. Eve was the perfect helper and took over in the areas she was gifted – I imagine she sewed the leaves together for their first clothes.
When Work Takes Over Life
Not long ago I was so wrapped up in work. I believe working hard was important and sacrificed every Friday and weekend to homework and studying in high school and the same in college. I never took a break and never had limits or boundaries until my body crashed. That’s just what I did and I looked down on others who laughed and smiled and went to see Friday night hockey games at Tech. I plowed through my first few years of working after college and continued at a hefty pace building my freelance business while being a stay at home mom. This sounds so crazy to me now because I have learned the value of recharging through relaxing and the life that comes from spending time with close friends and family. It’s no coincidence that the first book I read this year was “Unglued” by Lysa TerKeurst while we move into my husband’s eighth tax season and deal with other stress in life. Lysa devoted an entire chapter to resting on the Sabbath and painted this picture of what happens when she has skipped resting and having a Sabbath. We simply cannot go and go and go without taking a break and not all the work can be on our shoulders. We snap and lose control of our emotions and live in a constant state of being overwhelmed. We can’t see our stressful situations through God’s eyes if we are constantly working and doing and going. Oh how I relate to this picture! I have cut back on obligations this past year and decided to stop working on Sundays, but I had not focused on the main point of having a Sabbath: connecting with God. This is where the refreshing happens in a much more deeper and meaningful way than a nap. I can’t fully explain it, but I have experienced work getting done faster, plans working themselves out with less effort and stress being less stressful after I take a Sabbath to rest and connect with God.
Back to Adam, he needed a helper and God gifted him with Eve. They built a life together one day at a time and God later instilled the gift of the Sabbath. I’m new to resting well, but the Sabbath is what is going to help me thrive during this next tax season and the go, go, go all week that comes with raising a family. What do you do to rest, connect with God and recharge?