I've learned that rest is an elusive concept. Sometime rest looks like sitting in the bed of my truck writing thank you notes while sweet men work hard to redeem my front yard. Sometimes it looks like a nearly 5 hour nap after going to church. Every day has it's own level of energy, and every day has it's own opportunities for doing way to much and not resting enough. There are days when I feel great, and can do a lot, but then the next day I really pay for it. It's difficult to sit down before I fall down.
I've learned I'm terrible at accepting help. I feel like a spoiled princess when I'm sitting on the couch reading or napping while others are cleaning my house, or bringing me dinner, or running errands for me. I want to thank them a thousand times over, but the words "thank you" feel wholly inadequate. I want to tell them I don't need the help, but my body tells me that my prideful heart is wrong. I want to be self-sufficient. God is really using this season to beat into my thick head that I am never self-sufficient even on my good days. I always need God. I always need family. I always need friends. I always need the body of Christ.
I've learned that I have come to really value solitude. When I was younger the word solitude made me antsy. It was something for old people, and the super-religious folks. But I have spent a lot of time alone in the last year. I'll admit, I get lonely. I ache for conversation and eye contact with other humans. But this week of constant, precious companionship with my husband has made me ache for the silence of solitude. I can pray, sing, cry, laugh, dance, contemplate, read, and be still by myself in a way that doesn't happen with others around. Worship flows differently when it's just me and God.
I've learned I'm terrible at small talk. I think this flows out of my love of solitude. Words, when used, should have weight. Flighty words of light conversations are hard for me to get a firm grasp on. I've sort of lost the ability to just sit and chat. It's like my heart has jumped the easing in stage and just wants to jump in the deep end with people, even if it feel like drowning sometimes. This makes casual visits difficult, and I think makes well-intentioned people feel awkward. Not everyone is wired to just jump right in.
I've learned more about the goodness of God. When I need rest, he gives it in buckets. When I need my heart fed, he gives his Word, in season. When I need encouragement, he sends just the right people to speak kindness. When I need an attitude adjustment, he gives conviction. He is so good to use all things to conform me to the image of his Son, Jesus. There is a lot of me still festering deep inside, and it bubbles up to the surface like sulfuric stink pots at the most inopportune times. I am not faithful. But he is ever faithful. And he is always teaching me, growing me, shaping me to be less like me, and more like him.
I pray for a teachable heart.