Today I stayed home from church. This may be a surprising thing…why would a Christian, who loves her church and meeting with her fellow believers stay home?
Here are a few of the things that ran through my head:
Bret has to work this morning, so I’d be going alone anyway…
Tif is coming over later, so I won’t have much time to rest today…
I really don’t want to go…
A lot has happened in the last few weeks and months, mostly with quitting my job to pursue my dream of photographing weddings. I really haven’t taken the time to sit down and talk to God about it…
It was really the last reason that kept me home. Let me give a little back story…
One of the things Bret brought to our marriage was a desire to practice the sabbath. This is something I really hadn’t done in my many years as a Christian. I mean, I went to church and was a little lazy on Sundays…but never really and truly disciplined myself to rest. I didn’t realize how hard it was for me to rest until I met Bret. Even a few weeks ago, I was questioning what I could and couldn’t do on the Sabbath….”if I edit personal pictures, is that work?….if I read a book about photography, is that work?” He wisely answered that if you’re not sure, it’s probably not ok. I am also trying to move past the feeling of “oh my gosh, I have SO much to do! How can I stop for a WHOLE DAY?!?!?” It is getting easier as I practice it more.
So! I primarily wanted to wrap my head around all that God has been doing in my life with the photography. I do want to point out that I very very very much prayerfully considered quitting my job. But after that initial “Hey God, is this ok?” I haven’t spent time talking to Him about what He wants out of me now. Bret left for work, I made myself a cup of tea, grabbed a stack of books and got started.
I wrote in my journal for a a few minutes and felt led to read Ephesians. When I opened my bible though, I landed in Philippians.
“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
This has always been a loved passage of mine. I especially love the “peace of God” bit. The fact that we have access to a peace that we can’t understand, is really awesome.
After this, I jumped over to my ESV Study Bible and read this: “Paul echoes Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount that believers are not to be anxious but are to entrust themselves into the hands of their loving heavenly Father, whose peace will guard them in Christ Jesus. Paul’s use of “guard” may reflect his own imprisonment or the status of Philippi as a Roman colony with a military garrison. In either case, it is not Roman soldiers who guard believers – it is the peace of God Almighty. Because God is sovereign and in control, Christians can entrust all their difficulties to him, who rules over all creation and who is wise and loving in all his ways. An attitude of thanksgiving contributes directly to this inward peace.” ESV Study Bible p. 2287
After this, I jumped into a book I haven’t read for months. MONTHS, maybe even longer. I’ve had it for a very long time. Just a few pages into reading, the author references the scripture I JUST read. As soon as I saw the “do not be anxious about anything” I started to cry. What love that the Master of the universe. The Creator of the world. The One who holds the stars in place. The One of lets the sun rise and set. Who loves us so much to send His Son to die and rise again as payment for our sins. Gave me this gift of His perfect timing. It was truly overwhelming.
“To put it even more simply: In every situation…prayer + thanksgiving = peace”
Choosing Gratitude – Your Journey to Joy. p. 66
I was further overwhelmed at this point, because I realized (again) that I will be able to attend the ladies bible study at church this Fall! (Choosing Gratitude was the book they did last time) It meets on Tuesday mornings, so, up until now, I haven’t been able to attend. I am so excited to see how God will use my new, flexible schedule!
Then I read a few other books and decided it was time to eat. I had leftovers from last night and cut up a cantaloupe. My Pampered Chef knife cut through that thing like butter. It was the first organic cantaloupe I’ve ever had…it cost about 4 bucks, so I was curious to see how good it was….and it was pretty tasty!!! Probably won’t be a regular in our shopping cart, but still a nice treat.
I sat down to eat in front of my computer (that’s really sad, if you think about it…) and started looking through my Facebook newsfeed. I follow friends and a number of photographers. One of them is Jelly Bean Pictures. They posted this really wonderful article about rest (Note: this article is not online anymore). Again! How timely! It was a really reassuring article and reminder that not only is rest good for my spiritual soul, but also my business soul. I have found over the last few weeks, since I have been taking a Sabbath every week, I am less stressed and I am enjoying my life more. Granted, I’m sure a part of that is the fact that I quit my job and can finally jump in with my photography, but I know it’s more about training myself that Rest is OK!
p.s. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking about how I need to add tags to all of my posts and want to do so now…but I’m going to finish this post, grab a puzzle and watch Say Yes To The Dress. 🙂
p.p.s. I finally added tags to all my posts starting 12/11/11….I’m up to 253 posts….which I had started on 8/21/11! Ah well!