During the summer our church has been doing a preaching series on rest. Last Sunday my husband Steve and I spoke, focusing on working from a place of rest, which is something that God has been talking to me about a lot this year.
I know that many of us fit our writing around other jobs – and even if writing is your main job it can still seem like there is never enough time in the day for it.
Here is what God has been teaching me about resting in Him as I start each day rather than rushing on with my ‘to do’ list…
The importance of ordering my day
I try to remember to ask him to order my day before I hit the to do list. I have found when I do this it really makes a difference – and I think part of that is heart attitude, as I’m giving the control over to God before I start running away with it myself.
Starting the day in silence with Him
I am someone who can’t sit down and relax until all the jobs are done. God challenged me, saying that He knew I did give Him time as soon as dropping the kids off but I always seemed to be racing against the clock while they were at school. He asked me to take time out with Him in silence, and concentrate simply on connecting with Him.
Sometimes I say a simple prayer such as ‘come Lord Jesus’; at other times I concentrate on breathing more deeply and slowly as that helps tension to go, and say a phrase as I do so, such as ‘Be still’ (‘be’ when I breathe in and ‘still’ when I breathe out. Or ‘Come, rest’).
I know in our world that silence is quite alien but, more and more, I am learning that it is in the silence that we connect more deeply with God.
As I learned in the book study group I help run, when we studied Having a Mary Heart in Martha world, it is about establishing the centre (connecting ours with His), and allowing everything to work out from that place (like the centre of a wheel and the spokes coming off of it).
The importance of prayerful prioritising
Rather than simply working out the priorities of the day myself I bring them before God. Sometimes this simply means reading my ‘to do’ list out, offering it to Him and asking for His perspective, to point out the things that I can simply drop for that day.
Sometimes I pray for God to show me the ‘one thing’ that He wants me to do, and I purposefully leave all the rest (which is so against my nature!). It is interesting to see how the things I thought were so important are simply no longer necessary once I’ve let them go for a little while…
Be open to the unexpected
When we give our work over to God He can sometimes bring things or people into our days that hadn’t been on our horizons at all. When that would happen before I would get stressed and sometimes tell God I couldn’t deal with it because I was working.
I’m learning to prayerfully consider whether an interruption is something that God has brought into my day – and when it is my life has certainly been enriched. I’ve also seen God enlarge my capacity in order for this to happen.
Claire is a freelance writer, speaker and editor, mum to two gorgeous young children, pastor’s wife, worship leader and school governor. Claire’s desire is to help others draw closer to God through her writing, which focuses on authenticity, marriage, parenting, worship, discipleship, issues facing women today etc. Her books include Taking your Spiritual Pulse, CWR’s Insight Into Managing Conflict, Insight Into Self-acceptance, Cover to Cover: David A man after God’s own heart, Insight Into Burnout and BRF Foundations21 study guides on Prayer and Jesus. She also writes Bible study notes. She has two books being published in November: Taking off the mask: learning to live authentically, with Authentic Media, and Cover to Cover: 1–3 John Walking in the truth, with CWR. To find out more about her, please visit www.clairemusters.com and @CMusters on Twitter.