God values rest. We see that clearly in scriptures, but it is often hard to live out. It is hard to live out because there are so many things calling out to us in life. So many good things. We are called to serve and serving requires sacrifice. Once we get in the habit of sacrifice it is hard to separate ourselves from that sacrifice and take the time to rest. Yet God knew that we would need rest, because times of rest help us refocus our attention on him and give us the strength for the sacrifices that lay in our future.
During our time in the states we were very purposeful to take time and reflect over our first term. We knew that it was important to see not only the amazing things that God had done, but also what things we needed to work on changing upon our return. One of those areas that was clear to us was our lack of rest. Part of the struggle was knowing how to get rest and then how to make sure it took place. Our first two years here taught us the importance of ministry entering the home. That means that we don’t just go out and do ministry, but we live ministry here in our home. In order for our lives to reflect Christ, people need to be able to see our lives and part of seeing our lives means taking down the cultural walls that close up our lives from others. We have seen the value and the impact this has had on our ministry, but this also means that our home is not a reliable place of rest. My prayer as we returned that God would show us some affordable strategies as a family to find rest.
God answered this prayer!
As our first few months started picking up and the exhaustion of ministry began creeping in, we immediately starting looking at our calendar to see when we could get away. The boys had a 2 week break at the end of April and we decided to take a few days a get away. Now the question was where. We finally decided to try a mission home on the beach that we had been to for church retreats. There was nothing fancy about it, but it was reasonable priced and we knew NO ONE around there. We headed out this past week and it was exactly what we needed. Joel looked at me and and asked me why we had never done this earlier. God even sent a family with kids our kids age who were there at the same time. The kids had a blast being in a place they could run around outside in play. We had the beach right there to enjoy and Joel and I both were able to read a book. It was exactly what we needed and we were reminded of the importance of MAKING time to do this every once in a while. We are thankful that God gave us this time away as a family and that he is teaching us the importance of finding time for rest in the midst of all the chaos.