I guess you could say my 2018 Word of the Year was inspired by a song:
I listened to it one Sunday spent at home with a sick child, and it really spoke to the longings of my heart. I was listening to it again while considering what my Word of the Year would be – or if I should even have one – and it struck me that rest was something I needed in my life. It’s a focus that may seem a bit preposterous as a busy mother of five, but I’m considering it in the light of Jesus’ call in Matthew 11: 28-30 (ESV):
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
I was richly rewarded when I looked up “rest” in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words:
Christ’s “rest” is not a “rest” from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections – of will, heart, imagination, conscience – because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development” (J. Patrick, in Hastings’ Bib. Dic.)…
I am seeing many ways I need to rest in the Lord in various areas of my life, and here are a few:
- Don’t compare my kids to each other or to other children. Rest in who God has made them and how he is leading in their lives. Their success or failure does not change God’s love for me.
- Don’t compare our homeschool to others’. Learn to take what inspires me in what others may be doing and let go of the false guilt of not doing all the things. This is sometimes easier said than done, so prayer is necessary, as well as possibly cutting back on social media.
- I need to rest in who God has made me and not try to be someone else. This doesn’t mean I don’t need to continually be learning and growing, but it means that I seek God’s leading rather than be anxious because my life doesn’t seem as outwardly successful as someone else’s. I’m taking Mystie’s Humble Habits course, and I so appreciated her talking about the two types of people during the kickoff chat last Friday: those who love projects, and those who just plod along, putting one foot in front of the other. I’m definitely a plodder, and frankly, it often doesn’t feel very glamorous or exciting. And sometimes when I see all the other things other moms are doing besides homeschooling, I feel like I’m not doing enough or failing somehow. Perhaps someday God will give me more outside opportunities or ministries – or perhaps not. But I just need to be faithful to do what He’s placed before me right now.
- I love audiobooks, so I found a free version of the ESV narrated by Max McLean, available on the Bible Gateway app. And I found a 5-day-a-week Bible reading plan (leaving a couple extra days to catch up if necessary) to print and put in my planner. I hope this will be a restful way to immerse myself in God’s Word this year.
There are a couple of books I want to read this year in my “quest to rest”, and I’d love to hear of any others you’ve found helpful. 🙂
- A re-read of Teaching from Rest is an obvious choice, and I’m sure I’ll get even more out of it this time through!
- My mom had a bin of stuff for me to go through during our recent visit – stuff we’d left behind, an old journal of mine (which proved to be quite entertaining!), etc. There was also a copy of John MacArthur’s Anxiety Attacked which I don’t remember ever owning, but I thought maybe she’d left there for me as she knows about my struggles with panic attacks. I didn’t ask her about it, but took it as a sign to add it to my 2018 reading list. 😉
Did you choose a Word of the Year, or some kind of focus for 2018? I’d love to hear about it!