A Summer of Rest

It happened so quickly. Like walking around a corner and smacking into someone with hot coffee in hand, the liquid spilling, burning your skin as it seeps deep. Nobody meaning for it to happen.

My student’s actions and words cut sharp into my being a few days ago. It was unintentional. He never meant to hurt my feelings. But pain can happen by accident when you’re not looking.

I stood there with an undone heart and a smile on my face. He didn’t need to know how his actions ripped my teacher core. How the fabric of my insecurities clinched tight. How questions of worth and significance weaved their way into my heart.

The questions of whether I could ever do enough, be enough rose to the surface. The always striving. The needing to do more, more, more.

Because then I will be loved.

Right?

The biggest lie I believe?

That I can work hard enough to gain acceptance, to gain love. That if I keep doing, I will be loved more.

It’s the lie I believe about people.

It’s the lie I believe about God.

I know it’s a lie. Because there are those who love me with abandon and without reservation. And there is a God who loves me no matter what.

No matter what.

Yet, there are times I can’t seem to escape the darkness the lie brings. Conditional love does that. When we’re only loved for what we do and not who we are, we travel a scary road of insecurity. We’re left to spin our hamster wheels of doing, trying, go-getting.

I know all about the doing. I think you might too.

It’s exhausting.

Summer is winking at me from a close horizon. I can lift my weary head and see the sun glimmer through the trees. My Florida beaches and their salty waves call out. School will end for me in just two short weeks. I will be free (despite the list 10 books deep of classical literature I will be reading in preparation for August.)

While I yearn for two weeks from now, today I sat buried under papers and summer reading lists. But from under the stacks, I heard the call of my Jesus more than the call of the ocean.

The call to just be.

The breathing deep begins with those two words: Just Be.

Do you know what I want more of this summer? More than a slowing, I want a knowing. I want to sit at the feet of my Jesus over the next few months and be reminded His love for me does not increase or decrease by what I do.

No. His love is unchanging and does not hinge on my actions.

Life is full of seasons. Sometimes full and teaming with activity. Then other times God calls us to rest.

This is the call resounding deep in my soul.

Of course there will be responsibilities. Of course life will still be crazy with kids. Of course work will continue to be done even in summer months.

But there will also be rest. Not physical so much, but mental, spiritual, emotional rest.

And so, dear friends, I will not be blogging weekly this summer. Though there may be a few posts that come through from time to time as I honor commitments made to other sites, I will be breathing deep and refocusing on knowing the One who called me to write and minister in the first place.

I love this space, and I love you. I’m often overwhelmed by your steadfast commitment to these carved out petals of Joy in cyberspace. You are so important to me. You are.

I’m choking down fear even as I type these words. God asking me to take a break for a few months is paralyzing for this doer. Yet, even as I stare at the blinking cursor on the screen, I feel His peace and freedom.

And so I will see you in August, my sweet sisters. Until then, know I will be praying for those of you who, like me, need to sink into an unchanging love of a Savior who asks us to be still and know He is God.

Maybe there’s an area of doing He’s asking you to hand over to Him for a time? A handing over in order to be reminded you can never work your way into His love.

Sit with me at His feet this summer?

Love and Joy,

Heather

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2 Responses to A Summer of Rest

  1. Jackie says:

    Listen to our sweet Jesus my precious child! He has given you your talent and He will replenish your soul!

  2. Beth says:

    Thank you for being so honest. I’m also a teacher and I can relate to every word you just said. My teacher heart has been broken many times this year too. When I reached the words “Just Be” it was like a fresh breath of the Holy Spirit washed over me. I’ve been so blessed by your blog posts. Thank you again for your willingness to sit and listen.

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