Is your schedule regularly different than you would like? And do you also notice that, often when an important deadline is imminent, things suddenly come your way that do not fit in with that? Yet it is possible to continue to live from God’s rest! In this blog I share the ‘secret’ with you, no matter how you can achieve that.
“As a nice surprise, we give the toddlers free Friday.” , it said in the email I opened two weeks ago. What? All Friday? And then Monday and Tuesday also two study days and on Wednesday my dear toddler is always free … for six days I would have my two boys at home in the middle of the school holidays, while I had a to-do list of laundry on my had a list. Recognizable? That you have made a very nice planning and that (every time?) Something seems to come in between that you had not taken into account? How do you react in such a situation?
You can actually do two things:
- You panic and worry how you can get it done
- You pray, breathe and take action
Pray, breathe and take action
I chose the second option. And actually, when I look at my life, I choose that option every time. People sometimes ask me: “How is it possible that you live without worrying?” and I will tell you the ‘secret’: I pray . Very much! And when I notice that fear or panic or stress is trying to enter my heart and mind, I specifically pray that God will fill my heart and mind with his love so that that fear stays out. I take a deep breath, consciously reflect on God’s love for me and find that I can then think clearly about taking action on what needs to be done or about waiting quietly if necessary. Delicious!
A few years ago I learned to live from God’s rest when I wrote the book Rest – less stress in your life in three months . I came across the text from 1 John 4:18 (which we often repeat in our training sessions) where it says: “Love leaves no room for fear; perfect love excludes fear. ” And suddenly the penny dropped. For Jesus says in Matthew 22: 36-39 that loving the greatest commandment is. And how wonderful: when we are loving, we cannot be scared or stressed at the same time.
Who thinks about your finances when you are on the phone with your girlfriend? Who is concerned with that annoying boss when you are playing with your child? Surrender to love, and fear, worry and stress will disappear like snow in the sun. So many times I have consciously chosen to love first (taking time for God, or for David my husband or for one of the children), while I thought that I would not have the time for that. But the special thing was that, completely relaxed and joyfully, I got so much more done than I would have done if I had started working in a hurry …
And maybe you now think: “Yes, is that really that easy?” Well it’s not always easy. But it is a learning process. I would say; go and test it! Write down what you are worried about or how your schedule is being messed up and submit this to God. Ask Him to fill you with His love and with wisdom to make the right choices, so that you are busy with the things He asks of you, not with the things that someone else puts on your plate (that is called setting limits … ) . Also ask Him if He wants to give you the inspiration and creativity and time to do what you have to do. And see what happens …
I have experienced so many times that the impossible became possible because I kept trusting in God. Yes, I first made time to love Him with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my loved ones and myself and from that ‘peace of mind’ I was able to write and do the most wonderful things. Amazing … but that’s God. He is wonderful! And He is the supreme God, but also your loving Father who takes care of you and wants to give you what you need. Live like Jesus did: just take the day as God unfolds it for you and see afterwards what wonderful things you were allowed to do.