Saturday, April 6, 2013

Getting off the Tilt-A-Whirl

Will, me, my dad, Trent & Traci on the Tilt-A-Whirl

My Saturday started with meeting a group of friends for some hill training for next week’s 10K race. I came home to a messy house and children still in their pajamas. (One child was technically “dressed for the day” but that’s because she fell asleep in her clothes last night and we didn’t have the heart to change her into “appropriate sleep attire”.) My husband was playing Star Wars Wii with our middle daughter. The youngest of our three was playing nicely while the oldest poured a bowl of cereal for breakfast at 10:30 in the morning.

The peacefulness of our morning was exemplified by our family pet. Our dog has a way of relaxing completely only when the entire family is at home. She welcomes me at the garage door with the playfulness of a puppy even though her near-14-year-old body can’t keep up with her spirit. In my eyes, this is an ideal Saturday with nothing beckoning on the calendar.  So why is it I’m whispering a prayer to God of “Help me to be content here at home”?
Energizer captures the picture of our lives with their bunny that just keeps going and going and going. We are used to running. It appears this is the model for living… to do just a little more… get a little bit further ahead… or someone will get ahead of you. This is a problem. It’s been my obstacle anyway (at least recently).
My mind cannot process any thought to fill the pages of this blog. The stress in our home corresponds directly to my anxiety. “When momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” was phrased for a reason. I’ve been gaining weight, relationships feel out-of-whack and quality time with my Lord and Savior has become leftovers rather than first fruits.
As a highly competitive human being, I don’t want to be left behind. I am a natural-born leader and I embrace my role. However, I have heard God whispering to me that my life needs to slow down. He created the Sabbath rest for me. It’s a bit sad that life has had to spin like a toy top dizzying my every thought before I’ve taken the time to stop and listen to Him. Thankfully, my God is patient.
Why I always think my thoughts are perfect is baffling. I grab hold of the steering wheel of this road trip of life only to realize I’m not that great with directions. It’s amazing what God can do when I allow Him to have the driver’s seat. I need to give up control. It’s a daily battle.
There is a giant X marked through my Saturday today for a reason. We are going to live life differently. It’s time to embrace God’s instructions. That’s why I’m whispering prayers for God to renew my thoughts and transform my desires.
We cannot continue to think we are infallible when we live life like riding non-stop on a Tilt-A-Whirl. Eventually we will get sick. Today is intentionally crossed out on my calendar. Just as we cannot read the words on a page clearly without margin,our lives need white space.
I’m not stuck on a specific day for Sabbath rest. I’m aware of the reality that a time-out in our week is an ideal. Some weeks and months it will get messed up. As far as it relies on me, however, this household is going to live with margin. We will rest. Others may get ahead of us in the process, but I’m keeping my eyes on the goal. I’m trusting my Creator knows best when it comes to my life. The Sabbath is His gift to me. Today I am asking Him to help me embrace it.
I don’t know how many times it’s going to take before I learn to the practice of margin in my life consistently. Right now, hide-and-seek, tickle monster and a slow-paced day are playing out around me.  This is the beauty of a Sabbath.
How are you intentional to get consistent rest in your life?

"By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done." - Genesis 2:2
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." - Exodus 20:8-11


  1. Steph and I can teach you how to rest Tristi. We excel at it; as proof by our untidy home. I mean we have no kids our house should be immaculate 24/7, however, I do make up for about 3 kids worth of mess.

    Seriously though, this post reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend last night. He was talking about bathing vs. showering (he's int he hotel business and deals with foreigners often) The rest of the world looks at us as odd and somewhat dirty for showering more than bathing. Think about it. Prior to showers everyone bathed and it wasn't a 15 min affair. It was a good hour-hour-and-a-half. You scrubbed finger nails and feet. You soaked, you relaxed from a hard day. It was a true cleaning process. Now, in your perfectly defined "tilt-a-whirl life" it's a 10 min shower if you're lucky. Then it's out the door on to the agenda.

    Your big X on the calendar is a great start. Like any workout I plan it goes on the calendar. It fills that time slot or even the whole day. And once it's there I rarely let anything or anyone move it. I plan around it. Enjoy your rest today. Not only have you earned it though this mornings run, but you earned it because from the outside looking in. Your family is pretty awesome and that hard work shows.

  2. Thanks, Bob. It was tempting and there were invitations that came our way for today but at 3:30, it's a pretty good feeling to know what we accomplished because we were home (playing with kids; cleaning up small messes, etc.) and it feels good to know we are in for the rest of the evening. It should make church and other activities better tomorrow as well. You and Steph work hard. You deserve your rest as well!