Ministry Matters: What You Miss When You Choose Stillness

WhatYouMissWhenYouChooseStillness

This thing called sabbatical. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a living thing because it keeps changing, shifting like the sand, exposing different sides, different layers. Or…maybe it is me who is changing. At every turn of life during sabbatical, I am intrigued by what God is showing me about resting in Himself.

When we first began our sabbatical, I craved rest like the hart panting after the water brooks that David talks about in the Psalms. I was ready to give up everything in favour of a different life. So I pursued books, quiet settings, soft music, long dates with my journal, and quality time with my pastor husband all to myself {a first in our marriage}. It was bliss, especially for introverted me.

Then sabbatical changed (or was it me?) and a new phase began- one of feeling more rested in my soul and body. I felt ready to dip my toes into having a schedule again and get my hands and heart busy. Now it was time to hold myself back, make conscious choices that promoted the rest we wanted to pursue intentionally as a couple. That interim between Canadian life as a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, and piano teacher, and the lost feeling of beginning in the USA….was bringing a new rhythm of life.

Especially when I began a summer job, I found myself facing the same dilemma that I had faced before sabbatical started {though not nearly to the same degree}- that big question had crept back into my heart. Because this is really where the issue of rest lies- in the heart:

“If I choose stillness, what will I miss out on?”

The difference between pre-sabbatical and present sabbatical was one thing. But I now knew the answer to this nagging question that used to dictate my schedule at times, this temptation that surely does not come from God.

1. When you choose stillness, you miss soul clamour.

You know that unsettled feeling that creeps in and won’t leave? You can’t quite put your finger on why {or maybe you can}, but you know that something is amiss. When life is devoid of rest, it becomes truly restless. Inte{rest}ing. Having {even small} blocks of time to soak up Christ and revel in the relationship with Him does wonders to calm ruffled feathers and re-focus the heart. If your life is busy and there’s no end in sight, it may require some creativity in order to nurture your relationship with Christ.

2. When you choose stillness, you miss having surface relationships with people.

When you’re busy, you don’t have time to go deep with people. Life becomes a series of “hello” and “goodbye.”  I personally love to go deep with people in conversation. Often when I’ve had a surface connection, I walk away wondering how that person is really doing…thinking about what burdens they are carrying and how they need prayer…and wishing I had asked. As a pastor’s wife, I saw a revolution in my connections with people when I took the time to peer gently beyond the surface and go deeper. Even more connections were made when I took the opportunity to pray with women. Will everyone let you in? No. That’s ok. Will there be some incredibly awkward, not-so-connections? Absolutely. That’s ok, too. Ask God to bring you some specific connections with people that go beyond hello. If you’re in a mindset of rest, you will have time for these and they won’t be seen as interruptions. Pretty sure every last one of us could do better in this area, myself included.

3. When you choose stillness, you miss the feeling of being pulled in 1,000 directions.

No one knows this feeling better than pastors and pastors’ wives. The schedule never stops, and neither do the needs of people. Truly, this is what we do. But, we can’t do it all. As much as we like to talk about knowing we can’t do it all, most of us try to do just that at some point in our ministry lives.

Somewhere along the line of us thinking we can pull it together and meet all the needs, we nearly get pulled apart.

It is then that we realize that we were made to be whole- to serve one purpose only- adoring Christ. And from that relationship of adoration flows the directions that God wants us to channel our energy into.

No more 1,000. Just One.

 *****

Turns out, when you choose stillness, you aren’t really missing out on anything. You are getting the best- more of Christ Himself! Let’s hold onto Him tightly. Let’s not trade Him in for anything!

XOXO,

A Kindred Spirit

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About Leah {Embracing Grace}

Leah Highfill accepted Christ as her Saviour and became a child of God at the age of 18. Originally from the USA, she and her husband moved to the mission field of Canada in 2005, where she served in full time ministry as a pastor's wife for 10 years. During their tenure there, they became dual citizens. Leah and her family recently returned to NC and are currently enjoying a much needed sabbatical for the year of 2015. She homeschools her children {Small Son is 9 and Tiny Daughter is 7} and teaches private piano lessons on the side. She can be found reading, writing/blogging, playing the piano and violin, or ice skating. A friend to ministry wives everywhere, Leah has a passion to inspire hope and to encourage women in their walk with God. Her first book, Expecting Grace, was published in 2013. Expecting Grace is the story of Leah's experience and survival of a life threatening pregnancy, and of many medical and financial miracles along the way. Her second book is currently in process. Join her grace-filled journey right here at Embracing Grace!

One thought on “Ministry Matters: What You Miss When You Choose Stillness

  1. The best advice I received was “to be myself”. I thought in the beginning I had to at like this person or that person. Our members love me for who I am. It was the best advice I have received!

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