Be The Invitation

Dinner - Maeve-35.jpg

"Do you actually enjoy doing this?"

I can’t remember if my husband said these words or I made them up. Either way, I know he’s thought them before.

Because I’ll snap about the state of our home before people land on our porch. I’ll taste the soup and hate the seasoning, consider throwing it all in the trash and ordering pizza instead.

I once rinsed a cooked pork loin under the faucet to take off some of the salt and then had a minor meltdown in the bathroom. That same pork loin was placed on a clean, white platter dusted with herbs for folks to consume.

I get nervous when I think of all the people I invited that might not really know each other. The pressure to make connections, ignite conversation when it runs dry, and keep cool when guests take that first bite can feel overwhelming.

Gathering people in my home doesn’t always come easy. Even though friends graciously remind me that I was made to do this...

(Head over to The Art of Simple for the full post.)

On Sabbath and Obedience

uriel-soberanes-258172-unsplash.jpg

I assumed Sabbath would come easy for me. A day of just rest and worship? Yes, please. 

My hands weren't that tempted, the laundry and organizing and dishes still howled and scoffed but I looked the other way and kept walking.

I grabbed a book or pencil instead. 

The hardest part was my mind. I struggled to turn my own inner dialogue down low enough to hear something other than the constant lists and to do's. I craved to hear from a God who just wants our time and attention. Offering presence to friends comes easy. I can keep my phone tucked away and look them in the eye. I've learned how to listen with my whole body.

But something about sitting with God, someone I can't always feel, hear, or see - is much harder to do. When it's quiet or my schedule finally clears, there's an unnecessary pressure within me to fill the empty space rather than just listen. be still. and wait. 

d-jameson-rage-223065-unsplash.jpg

To do less feels counter-intuitive. He delights in the helping, the good work of our hands. He's called us to make and create beautiful things. What does it mean to just be? How do we truly abide?

By evening, I got a little sad -- just as I would as a child when summer was almost over and school was right around the corner. It took nearly all day to soften my shoulders and quit worrying if I was doing Sabbath right. I had finally let myself breathe deep rather than settle for small gasps just beneath the surface.

The heat of the day was breaking. It felt like something within me was shifting. I could feel my heart grieving -- no, not yet. The day hadn't even passed. Anyone else notorious for missing something before it's even gone?

In all honesty, the day felt a little awkward and clunky like a new pair of shoes. But it also resembled a kind, generous gift I felt unworthy of opening. It felt more like a lesson on obedience rather than easy and carefree.

And I'm beginning to wonder -- God, is that the whole point? Is that what you were trying to say?

artur-rutkowski-97622-unsplash.jpg

Because to practice anything new takes time. And in our culture of hustle and busy, where so much is vying for our attention, it feels like a fight to just hit pause. It feels wrong to trust the waiting, to see it as active and alive. And to actually believe He delights in just us. Even as we sit quietly twiddling our thumbs, trying so hard not to move so fast.

Trying to quit the performance we've grown accustomed to playing. 

We sit, doing nothing at all, praying He still sees us and remembers our name. Praying we haven't been abandoned or forgotten.

And He sees us, knowing so much more than just our name. He knows the lining of our heart, the layers of our soul. He finds us fascinating and worthy. In the waiting, the doing less -- He loves us all the more. 

It's almost too much for my mind and heart to comprehend. I wonder right now, is that what brought the discomfort? 

I'm still learning and growing in this practice but I do believe this -- Sabbath is more than simply hearing Gods voice and feeling His presence. It's hearing what hurts within us, the pain we've shoved way down deep. It's following the tears even when we don't know where they started. And it's learning to find comfort in the quiet.

Maybe at it's roots, the Sabbath reminds us to quit working so hard to earn His favor. Because that love story has already been written.