“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” –Matthew 11:28
Sometimes our days are so busy, it is not until we finally lay our heads down at night that we finally feel our fatigue. We all have those days…when the flurry of activity does not subside until heads are on pillows. We all have days when the only time we sit is to drive our children to an event, weeks of full calendars and constant movement, months of endless activity. And then, when it is over, sleep overcomes us, and we long for a few days, weeks or months of rest and peace.
We recently came out of a season of business: several years that felt like constant change and movement and very little rest. A few years of the Lord’s seemingly constant calls to “Go”, “Move”, “Go”, “Do”, “Yes!” His blessings were numerous as He called us to constant change. Other than the tangible blessings of added children, one of the most precious blessings for us was one of endurance and faithfulness, as from 2014 to 2017 we gave birth to our daughter, moved across the country, went to China and adopted our daughter, went to China again and adopted our son, and then moved across the country again. All the while, we also tried our very best to nurture and care for our children as we walked through and rejoiced in these busy years.
Peace came after we finally landed here in North Carolina. As we settled in and started our home school routine, it was now just the children and me. No adoption paperwork. No moving boxes. No looming commitments. Just us. Day in and day out: teaching, learning, building with blocks, playing kitchen, riding bikes, reading books, making meals, exploring new museums, snuggling in front of movies, playing at the park, enjoying each other. As the weeks passed, I noticed in this peace, we were becoming even more closely knit than before.
In this period of peace and slower days, the Lord is teaching me that He is here in the everyday too. As we worked through two adoptions and two moves, it was easy to feel my need for the Lord’s strength and easy to see Him moving in big ways. Although adopting and moving were both hard, it was also—dare I say it?—fun to step far outside our normal to do work He was calling us to. In those years of turmoil and busy activity, I leaned heavily on the Lord for guidance, endurance, hope, and courage. Now, I knew He was calling us to a quieter season and I felt some anxiety about my relationship with Him. Would He still whisper truths to me as I moved through weeks that ran together in seemingly identical days? Would my Spirit still ache for time with him without the pressing need of huge life events?
I have been humbled and delighted at just how often He still speaks to me in this time of stillness and quiet. It’s not the big events that cause me to hear His voice, but the condition of my heart. I am reminded of Psalm 51: “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it, you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart.” Although He may call us to do, go, and be, it is not the act He desires most: but the willing, obedient heart and spirit.
I do hear His whispers still. And I see Him move. He teaches me now of contentment in sameness. My joy overflows as I get to be at home, experiencing school and life with my children. He whispers truths about caring for their hearts, teaching them, protecting them, advocating for them, and praying over them.
There is joy in the peace and stillness. There is joy because He is still here. He has given us this sweet season of rest, and we are soaking up every moment. Even as we enjoy this season, we hear Him say “There is more work ahead…” and we know He has more for us to “do”, “go”, and “move”. The vision is becoming clear but it is not for now…for now, we enjoy His presence and His directive to just “Be still.”