Sunday, June 30, 2013

Finding Rest

I got a bit nervous with my long to-do list.

Of course, I had many offers of help (and accepted help from several), but many of the details in the wake of Ted's passing needed my personal attention. I plunged ahead into new territory, taking the responsibility, wanting to do a good job.

Running at a breakneck speed, I thought if I got things done faster I would feel better sooner. Details paraded through my head day and night. My mind would not shut off and I was getting very little rest. No matter what I got done, there was still plenty more to do as I tried diligently to whittle down that overwhelming list. Of course, the list wasn't getting any shorter because as I crossed things off, I added what was coming next on the horizon...

Yesterday, God spoke to me through another woman's blog. She described how the turbulent details of her life had her "sprinting," yet their life was going to be more like a marathon. Like Kathryn, I realized I have to pace myself. I can't keep this up forever. I can't be two people, accomplishing all we did together as a couple, when I am just one now.

I thought of something Ted told me several months ago when I was heavily burdened. He encouraged me to think of a visual that would help me transfer my burden to the Lord (as we are instructed in Matt. 11:28-30). We came up with the idea of a backpack, in which I would stuff all my work and worry. I would then lay it down at Jesus' feet, watch Him pick it up, sling it on His back and carry it. Then I would walk alongside Him as He carried my burden.

Now I am replaying this new picture of abiding (and sweet memory of Ted's wise advice) as often as necessary -- whenever I feel the stress of "doing" taking over. In the middle of my to-do list, I took a break and sat on the deck and closed my eyes. Allowing more space in my life helps me to more easily hear God shaping my perspective to get the right things done, instead of trying to do it all.

A rested soul makes a great deal of difference. My perspective has changed; my burden is lighter.

Lord, I give you my "backpack" to carry and I want your rest for my soul. As you've impressed upon me many times before, I will once again... Be still. Do less. Be more. (See post from March 2011.)


  1. Thanks for your memory blog of Ted and the backpack. I just want to share from my heart with you. I know you continue to be an inspiration to many. Therefore people tend to think that this is an easy road for you. I know that losing someone so dear to you as Ted was, is simply not easy. I know God provides well the needs we have. I know your faith is strong. But remember to let yourself grieve as you need, because God is not belittled by our expressing our pain, but then meets us right where we are at. Remember, Jesus cried when He Lazarus had died, even though He knew that He would resurrect him soon. By sharing your pain, you are also helping so many others, who don`t know how, to verbalize their pain. This I have learned. I do not speak on being the know it all, but I care about the grieving. So I hope my thoughts are of support to you. Love Marg, friend of Marj

  2. Hi Marg,
    I love to hear your support. Jesus did feel pain and there is comfort He knows mine, too. And, if by writing about my process I can help anyone through their own struggles I find great comfort in that.