Sunday, March 7, 2010

Stop, Rest, Delight, Contemplate

As Jeff and I journey through lent, we have committed (along with many members of our church, New Life Fellowship) to take Sabbath. This has been SO difficult for me! 24 hours (from 6pm on Saturday to 6pm on Sunday) of NO work. No homework, no job applications, no cleaning....just stopping, resting, delighting and contemplating in The Lord and what He has blessed us with. Something major that I've learned within the past three weeks of lent is that the Lord has commanded us to take Sabbath and that we need to trust Him to get our "to-do's" completed on another day. Being intentional about spending time in the word, in prayer and contemplating what the Lord is doing in our has been life-giving.

Jeff and I are also reading our pastor's book, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality (Pete Scazzero.) Thus far, I get the sense that what he thinks a lot of Christians are missing in their journey through life is the integration of emotional health and contemplative spirituality. Recognizing that it is almost impossible to have a healthy emotional life without a contemplative relationship with The Lord and, vice versa, it is impossible to have an honest contemplative relationship with the Lord without emotional health. I totally agree with this idea. There are so many Christians walking around with their hyper-spiritual and over-involved lifestyles that are not emotionally healthy. In the first chapter, Pastor Pete discusses some of the signs of unhealthy spirituality. Something that was really convicting (and encouraging) in this section was about how it's unhealthy to die to the wrong things. As I struggle living in New York City - away from my family, home and the city of Detroit - I have been burdened with so much guilt and shame. Why don't I love New York City? Why does my heart long to be in Detroit? Why do I desire to be close to my family? I do not want my feelings to give Jeff the sense that I am dissatisfied with him, our marriage or where the Lord has us right now. Should I die to these desires for home? I often thought of Luke 9:23 where Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me." Maybe what Jesus meant when he said this was that we are to DIE to the SINFUL parts of us, not our natural desires that The Lord has instilled on our heart. God plants desires in our hearts so that they might be nurtured and He can use those desires to bring Him glory. Ahh, so refreshing.

My baby brother, Peter (okay, he's no baby - he's 21!) just interviewed at Wayne State University's Medical School (the school I'm at, my dad graduated from AND my grandpa graduated from!) He rocked the interview, and will probably get in (Lord willing.) I CANNOT believe he is going to be a Doctor. I am so proud of the man he has become. Over the past year his heart has softened and his personality has really blossomed. I feel so blessed to be a part of his journey.

On another note, I have two job interviews tomorrow. One with a rehabilitation staffing company, and another with an Early Intervention agency. I'm just praying that God would make it obvious where He wants me - even if it's not at one of these specific locations. Please pray that He continue to lead my path towards the job where I will be used for His glory most. Please also pray that the Lord would continue to direct the path of Jeff's and my marriage and our future.

Lastly, something the Lord has really blessed me with in New York City is a babysitting job with a really loving family. The occupational therapist at my school has two sons and has had me come over to babysit a few times now. She has two boys (4.5 and 1.5) that are so precious. They have an affinity towards Jeff, too. Last night, Jeff and I went over there to babysit and the 4.5 year old couldn't keep his hands off of him! It was really beautiful to see my husband love on, connect and play with kids. It makes me excited to have babies with him someday (in the far away future, haha.)

Well, Jeff plays violin tonight at church (mmm, i love that!) so I have to get going.

Much Love.

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