{Stop Striving} and Live

I wish I knew how it started, because it’s ruined too many beautiful moments in my life.

Stolen time right away.

Drained and sucked it all up – the energy and joy of messy, real-life living.

And I don’t even know how.

There’s not a defining moment, or at least I can’t think of one. All I know is that there’s a full planner and there’s been a full planner for the last three plus years and I want to know how do you take the time to breathe?IMG_5656spotontheporchIMG_5681floweratpophamIMG_5618IMG_5668

I just wanted to live intentional. You know what I mean?

 I love spontaneity, but I started feeling alone. Relating in almost every relationship on impulse leaves you feeling lonely. I embarrassed myself forgetting important events or appointments, one too many times. I frustrated myself everyday with the looming question, “What do I make for supper?” that just made me loathe cooking even more.

So I got myself a planner – a cheap one with big slots for every day – and I started keeping track of my life. Piano lessons on these days, babysitting on these days, Bible study here, chili for supper there.

And three plus years of hardcore plannering later, I’ve made a startling and sobering discovery.

You can track your life with a planner or a planner can keep track of you.

It hits me the day I’m rushing from preparing supper to watering the house plants to rescuing the baby from his daring venture of climbing the gate blocking the stairs, all while listening to my voicemails, that if idle hands are the devil’s workshop, maybe busy hands, the hands that never still, are the devil’s distraction?

John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

There’s a ditch on both sides of every road you walk. And the thief came to steal and kill and destroy, and don’t you think for one second that keeping your hands from idleness will save you from destruction.

Some people destroy themselves and we undo ourselves with all the doing if we forget to live.

We undo ourselves with all the doing.

If we forget to live.IMG_5645

I meet Jesus, walking three miles into the sunset with Leo bouncing in the stroller. My ear buds are in and I’m stepping to the rhythm of music, but I’m thinking about God and my planner and this crazy life I live.

And this is the life.

When I stop striving and let Him live in me.


6 thoughts on “{Stop Striving} and Live

  1. Wow!! Thoughts well written… I’m a free spirit as I think you know and I have struggled with this a lot in my life… As I learn to listen to Him, my Abba, I find myself staying out of the ditches…At least getting stuck in them… ❤ you Renee!! You inspire me!!!

  2. Very good. Oh my. I’m not as busy as you are but I find it a daily struggle to feel like I’m keeping my head above water…. And as I look at the lifestyle changes I need to make for my health I find myself pondering how it’s remotely possible to de-stress and eliminate things that would enable me to live a less frenzied, more relaxed life. So many things to ponder….

  3. I really understand what you’re facing although I do not feel like I have a lot of answers for you. I’m still feel like a toddler in this area, but I am thankful the ways that Jesus has met me and showed me different things that I need to simply lay down for now.

    I don’t know if you’re up to a book recommendation or not, but “An Unhurried Life” by Alan Fadling has really spoken to me on this very issue that you’re addressing.

    I’d love to chat with you about this sometime soon! 🙂

  4. Rhoda – if I inspire you, I give ALL glory to our heavenly Father! It is HE who is worthy of praise! Bless you for your kind words. I don’t know you very well but knowing how much you bless one of my besties, Donna, is enough to cause me to have great respect for you!! Love to you!

  5. Yes, sis…SO many things to ponder. I keep asking myself, “What is the kingdom of God?” because I have this inkling that how the body of Christ typically thinks of it is a.l.l. w.r.o.n.g. That it is not so much creating a culture, but letting Christ live in us and transform us and naturally our environments as we live submitted to HIS SPIRIT, walking NOT after our flesh…I am still sorting through this obviously…but I am so grateful for sisters like you that I get to walk with!

  6. I would love to chat more sometime, Shaunda Stoltzfus! That would be wonderful. I always love book recommendations, but cannot say when I would have the time to read since I am currently buried deep in several books AND since I read far less than I would like, I am usually buried deep in a book for a LONG time…. 😉

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