Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rest-Less?

Some days I run until I'm breathless. I run in the park, straining forward, pushing beyond my own strength, praying- and reaching through the wind to the One who is my help. 

I run home (more of a brisk walk) up the hill, around the corner, feet pounding in time with every exhale. I fill my belly with fuel for the day, and press on, managing medical needs. Calls to doctors and medical supply companies, organizing finances and our home. Not a rushing, no, more of a steady pace to get through the list of priorities.  Asked to take breaks along the way to listen to needs and respond. Then, time for more fuel, and I begin to wilt, realizing my need to STOP and press in.

This season stretches on, nights broken by multiple blood glucose checks, days punctuated by calls from the school nurse- daily, hourly. Every moment seems to hold difficult decisions to be made: should my man-child push through diabetes symptoms to be at school one class period longer, or should he come home and rest- and later have to make up what he's missed?  Sometimes ketones make the decision for us.

The weeks fly by and while I take in the beauty of spring, I wonder where time has gone... praying I spent it well, managing the days, rather than using them up. For when I rush through and forget where to find sustenance- in the One who IS my strength and wisdom... well, then I find I am all out of breath again. So I am learning to create moments of connection throughout the day, often around meals. As I nourish my body, I seek to refuel in soul and spirit, too.

Today's release was an exercise in soaking...lingering.  Leaning back, truly resting. A sweet voice lilted through iTunes:

You dwell in the songs that we are singing
Rising to the heavens,
Rising to your heart, your heart

Our praises, filling up the spaces
In between our frailties and everything you are.

You are the keeper of my heart

Truth sings out:
And I'm restless, 
I'm restless, 'til I rest in you 
'til I rest in you 

I'm restless, 
I'm restless, 'til I rest in you 
'til I rest in you, Oh God. 

I want to rest in You

~Audrey Assad


I sat up tall and straight, like I was taught, working to sing along, yet the song would not ring out until I leaned back, resting fully in the One who is my Peace. I did everything I had been trained to do- yet I couldn't support the notes until I truly knew the rest and filling of his Presence.

What is it that connects you to God's presence? What fills you up with  love for him, and grants true rest for you?

For me, it can be quietness and prayer, or pouring out as I walk and run in nature. It can be worshipful music swelling, my arms lifted high in praise, or sweet moments granted in the midst of chaos. Connection can take many forms, but almost always, it requires a purposeful drawing apart. A time to exit the ambient noise of this life and Be Still so I can be filled. 

My heart's cry as I care for my special needs family is that I would focus on relationality- with my husband and children, and my God, too.  "It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure." (Psalm 18:32, NIV). He "aims my way" (MSG), brings focus and wellness. Every moment is an opportunity to connect, and when I respond to His invitation, my whole life becomes a prayer:

 I will always be restless, until I rest in You. Be my Lord, order my steps. I commit to rest in God my Rock, for your are my Peace in every moment.

~Just Me

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Knowing Rest

Tonight I need a pouring out, and a flood of pouring in. There have been rains and chaos throughout these past weeks, as hormones rage and a boy is growing into a man.

Daily calls from the school nurse reporting high blood glucose levels and ketones, while I am at doctor appointments or exercising or grocery shopping, or simply trying to catch my breath. My precious son has been at home quite a bit in recent weeks during these learning days... I can count on one hand the number of days he's been well enough to remain at school through every class.

A test tonight revealed high anxiety levels, and the question- "Are you having anxiety attacks?" No, but I am trying to mimic pancreas function in a growing boy and truly, I am clueless as to what to do next. Insulin has been increased, and levels are high one minute and an hour later plumetting. I am confused, and although I focus on tracking and problem solving, it seems trouble shooting has not kept away disquietude. I've walked that path of hushed chaos and I remember truths learned previous seasons. Life can be "a holy mess", yet after another chaotic day, this rings true... the murkier the mish-mash, the more I must cling to the One who embodies Holy-ness. I desperately need Jesus- and while I'd love Jehovah Shalom- the Lord my peace- to smooth out the pandemonium of this life, I know that the God who sees me (El Roi), and knows my every need, will provide (Jehovah Jireh) what I need most- more of the Presence Who fills and sustains.

Speak the name of Jesus, and darkness flees. Cry out for power and wisdom beyond myself, and the Voice that soothes whispers love. Pour out every anxiety upon the altar, and know Peace incarnate, lean into the arms of Love and be held, cradled and comforted.

 I love You, Eternal One, source of my power- Who holds me and shelters me in times of chaos
The Eternal is my rock, my fortress, and my salvation-  My safe-covering, my saving strength        He is my True God, the stronghold in which I hide- My shepherd, He IS my safe place.
   my strong shield, the horn that calls forth help, and my tall-walled tower. My protector, my provision.


I am rescued from the snare of my enemy, from fear and despair, from weakness and uncertainty

  
I call out to the Eternal, who is worthy to be praised—
    that’s how I will be rescued from my enemies.

 The bonds of death encircled me;
    the currents of destruction tugged at me; 
 The sorrows of the grave wrap around me;
    the traps of death lay in wait for me.

I am set free from fear of death and pain, from confusion-- and even the many difficulties of managing unpredictable medical needs-- for I know Who to invite into these chaotic days: 
The Everlasting, The Alpha and Omega, who is my Rock, my stability when the foundations of my world are shaken. 

In my time of need, I called to the Eternal;
    I begged my True God for help.
He heard my voice echo up to His temple,
    and my cry came to His ears.

Psalm 18:1-6

Through raging hormones, unstable blood glucose levels and a teen who's felt ill more days than he's felt well, There is One I can cling to:  (Psalm 18, cont.)
  
16 He reached down His hand from above me; He held me.
    He lifted me from the raging waters.
17 He rescued me from my strongest enemy,
    from all those who sought my death,
    for they were too strong.

18 They came for me in the day of my destruction,
    but the Eternal was the support of my life.
19 He set me down in a safe place;
    He saved me to His delight; He took joy in me.

Tonight I recognize the need to BE Still and Know the presence of the Lover of my Soul, the One who takes great joy in loving me. My All in All, the quencher of my thirst, the Giver of all rest and provision. Anxiety laid down as prayer sloughs away the restless cares of my heart:

31 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
32 It is God who arms me with strength
    and keeps my way secure.


My man-child said it this week- that the only thing predictable about life is that is it IS unpredictable. I can't count on trends of BG levels and best guesses of insulin needs. I can count on, believe, and rest in my Rock, my fortress, the Most High God who showers me with love and provision in every season; the Lord my Peace, Who IS the gift in the midst of turmoil.

~Just Me