Hi friend, this is Week #8 of the Made Like Martha Mobile Book Club and if this is your first time to my little corner of cyberspace, welcome. Make yourself at home. I wish I could make you a cup of tea but pull up a chair anyway, put your feet up, and relax because we’re talking about rest, the theme found in Chapter 8 of Katie’s book, Made Like Martha.
Not met Katie? She’s a do-er, a hustler, a make it happen girl, who’s got good news for women like us who like to get things done. Her chapter on rest got me thinking about a conversation with a friend – I didn’t want to hear what she had to say.
As we stood on my front porch in the bright spring sun, our dogs panted noisily after our walk, “It’s your job to get well” she said sternly as only a friend can.
Amongst the fall colors the previous year I’d run a marathon in the mountains (all downhill I’m no iron woman!) then while the rest of the world rang in the new year I held my sister’s hand as she died of cancer. Six weeks later, as spring fought its way into the world, I began my own fight, with rectal cancer (yes, rectal).
My friend was right, it was my job to get well but I’d never signed up for this. I liked the job I had thanks all the same –mum, pastor’s wife, all round optimist, encourager, and teller of bad jokes.
I didn’t want the job of cancer patient. I didn’t want to be sick with a tumor the size of a double stuffed Oreo up where the sun doesn’t shine.
I was a runner, not a rectal cancer patient. I was strong, not weak.
I was well, I was fit. I was a do-er, a make it happen captain. I didn’t want to rest, accept help, slow down, and trust God. That sounded like surrender, punishment even, and I’m a fighter, however messy and scrappy.
I assumed I was caught between resting in Him and resisting the cancer. One felt like stopping the other like going; a red light versus green. One asked me to stand still while the other demanded I move forward.
I like green lights, forward momentum, progress, and action. I even run to find stillness within me. I keep pace on the pavement to keep the peace in my soul. Maybe you’re wired that way too.
But what if fighting meant resting? Could allowing myself to rest be the biggest battle I had to fight?
I began to realize, if Get-It-Done is your middle name, resting is fighting.
Whether I was sitting in the chemo chair, the scanner was whirring around me, or I was wrapped in my duvet at home, my battle wasn’t just against this disease but against a cancer of lies. I had to fight the lies telling me rest was for whimps, a punishment for something I’d done or not done, and if I didn’t do it, who would? I’ve carried this rubbish for years. Maybe you have too?
Fighting these lies with the truth of who I am in God allowed me to breathe when life threatened to drown me. Yes, my enforced rest often felt like punishment, but my friend was right, getting well was my new job and rest was an integral part of my job description.
Could I trust God to be in control if I wasn’t? Katie says yes we can.
We can trust God to work even when we aren't working
As I rested my body fought the cancer.
When I’d rested I could play Monopoly with my kids and even walk the dog. Just as importantly, rested I had the strength to receive His peace and trust Him come what may. I wasn’t good at it. I’m still not, but it did get easier and allowing ourselves to rest physically doesn’t just restore our bodies; it refreshes us emotionally and spiritually too.
Whether we’re fighting rectal cancer, battling a to-do list as long as a roll of loo paper, or warring against a demanding boss or a screaming laundry pile, rest is a gift for the present not a punishment for the trail we’ve walked.
Can we orientate our lives to be a sustaining rhythm of inhaling and exhaling, of resting and doing, trusting Him in both the stop and go?
You are worthy of rest, not because you’ve earned it but because He did and we find our rest in Him. You are His child and both He and His rest are His gift to you.
I’m learning this myself, ever so slowly.
As I slump on the couch and pick up my book I have to put down the lies telling me I don’t deserve to read and rest.
As I lace up my runners I need to untangle the nonsense that I’ve still got too much to do.
Sitting on my porch with a nice cup of tea watching the world go by I must sit in the promise that He will fight for me and then watch as He does.
Want to come and have a cuppa with me? How might you exercise faith today and rest, even if your to-do list is still a mile long? Let us (Katie and me) know in the comments. We promise to respond.
Made Like Martha: Good News for the Woman Who Gets Things Done by Katie M. Reid is an invitation for go-getters to discover what it means to rest as God’s daughter without compromising their God-given design as doers. Join us on Facebook for the “Made Like Martha Sisterhood” as we embrace our design for God’s glory and the good of others.
Need Help Finding God’s Truth About Who You Are? Want to know how crazy He is about you so you can REST?
This love letter, written in 40 verses, gives truth we can grab on to and trust whether life is all rainbows and butterflies or more rubble and brokenness. Read it with that nice cup of tea as you rest.