Life Lessons

The transition period from winter to spring is always one of reflection for me. As I watch the snow melt away and feel the earth start to warm again, I can’t help but look back on what the Lord has been thawing and melting in my own life. Here are just a few of the lessons I’ve been learning recently…

You don’t need to earn your rest.

I find it exceptionally hard to rest. I’m always doing something, thinking about something that needs to be done, or planning what I will do tomorrow. Taking one day a week to do nothing seems like the ultimate challenge to me because not working is so hard. But as I’ve thought about it, I realized that my perception of what a Sabbath day was supposed to look like might be a little warped (regarding my own life). I believe that we’re meant to rest from working for men, not from worshipping the Lord. We’re meant to pause the dishes and the cleaning but not on community and connection. I’ve felt the Lord leading me to a place where I can bring my whole self to relationships instead of having my mind wander back to a never-ending to-do list.  

We don’t have to work a certain number of hours to qualify for our rest. Every day we have the choice to accept the invitation of the Lord to enter into His divine rest. And once a week, we have the glorious opportunity to do that in the community, and that’s pretty amazing.

Hard conversations are the breeding ground for growth.

I do not like conflict. I will do everything in my power to shift and change circumstances to avoid any potential future conflict. But that’s not always possible – or healthy – so I’ve been trying to learn how to lean into hard conversations without feeling the need to instantly retreat afterwards. I was talking about this with my husband the other day. He pointed out that hard conversations aren’t a personal attack but rather a challenge to improve and grow. Which I think is so true. We don’t grow in complacency and comfort; we can only mature when we are lovingly forced to step out and stretch ourselves. Is it easy? No. Do I enjoy having these hard conversations? No, and I probably never will. But I’m slowly learning that they’re not always a personal attack on me but rather a chance for me to grow into a better and more well-rounded person.

Boundaries beget life, not squash it.

No one likes being fenced in or feeling like they’re not allowed to do something, but sometimes those fences are there to keep us safe. Setting healthy boundaries is something that I’ve been learning a lot about these past couple of months. At first, I thought they were a way to keep hurtful things out and keep us contained in our little comfort zone, which is true to some extent. But there’s so much more to it than that. Boundaries are not a fifteen-foot-tall security fence that we use to keep everyone and everything uncomfortable out of our lives. Instead, they are the fence of the sheepfold with Jesus as our gate. They allow us to have a margin and space for God to breathe and move in our lives. The boundaries that we set enable us to live a life that is flourishing and blocked off from the lies of the enemy that are telling us we need to earn our rest, that we need to be available to everyone all of the time, and that our emotional and physical wellbeing doesn’t matter as much as everyone else’s. They are a beautiful gift that allows us to filter our life through the lens of Christ rather than the lens of the world. 

This past season has been rich with lessons learned and ones that I’m still learning. And that’s what’s so amazing about our God; he’s never done teaching, shaping, and growing us. It hurts sometimes, but I know the result will be beautiful. What have you been learning recently? 

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