As I sat down to write this I stared at the screen for a moment. What am I even doing?
You see, every Monday my friend Kelli does a link up called Unforced Rhythms. When she started doing it I made it my personal goal to stop and think once a week about my life. The good, the bad, the funny. The ugly, the spiritual, the redeemed.
Two weeks ago I was done. It had been such a busy week. I was tired, my husband was leaving for another week of work away, my kids were at their wits end, we had done too much.
Fast forward to today and I’m wondering how to spend my hours. My husband is home, my kids are rested from a slow weekend, the calendar is wide open.
Lately I’ve been struggling with things that I thought I had worked through. I’m having trouble keeping my commitment to go to bed at a reasonable hour. I went back on my commitment to cut down on my technology use so I can be more present. I’ve been missing big things and dwelling on small things.
None of the struggles are huge. Independently of each other they seem like rather small goals that are “good things to work on.” Collectively, they have me spiraling out of control.
Every Monday Kelli’s heart for Unforced Rhythms of Grace comes to mind, I have it bookmarked…
The phrase comes from the dead center of one of my favorite Bible passages of all time. The words Jesus himself spoke in Matthew 11 (verses 28-30):
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
On more than one occasion, these poetic words have breathed life into my weary, burned out, religious experience. They have been a refuge and a place of peace. A resurrection, even. They have led me to the Rock that is higher than I and reminded me of who he really is, not just who they may say he is. These have been centering words. Words that help me hope again.
Some weeks I have easily seen the rhythm I am in and the grace that both precede it and follow it. In saying it out loud here I hope to encourage and help others see their own grace.
Some weeks are like today. The rhythm is off. I bring nothing to the table, I have no insight or words of strength. Yet, the grace remains.
I’m yielding. I’m giving in. Grace reminds me that in my struggles and failures, in my sadness and discontent, in my pride and frustration, I am still loved.
In acknowledging this gracious love and finally yielding to it, I am able to turn around and love others. My husband, my kids, my friends. This week my extended family, my sons teachers, my neighbors.
What is your rhythm today?
If your rhythm is forced and exhausting can I remind you that you are loved. You have been called. You can never do enough to save the world but you can be always enough to love someone near you.
If your rhythm is sweet and beautiful can I remind you to be an encouragement. You are in a place of joy and peace. Invite someone in.
I think on these things every Monday, yet today I may be seeing this unforced rhythm of grace for the very first time.
Grace in it all. Happy Thanksgiving.