Resting in Porch Swings

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Our front street is extremely quiet since houses on both sides of the street have garages in the back and there are several empty lots. I’m really thankful for this front porch swing where I can go to get away from it all.

Anybody with young children who has moved all possessions from a full three bedroom house to another will tell the same story: it’s a lot of work, there are a lot of interruptions, and therefore, it takes a long time. I find it hard enough to keep a house clean with three children under regular circumstances–add a few hundred boxes the contents of which need unpacking, organizing, and “re-homing,” and someone who likes her house under basic control can lose her mind.

On top of all this, Greg had to go out of town for three days and four nights this past week, just four days after we moved in. This past week, I have let the chaos around me control my time and energy, and I have dropped all else to try to tame it. I’ve dropped complicated meals, homeschooling, vacuuming, my blog post last Wednesday, exercise, and even my quiet times with God.

Most of it was necessary to drop, but I was crazy to drop that last one. It wasn’t long before I and the rest of my family started noticing the change in my attitude. Instead of looking to Christ to help me with my stressful surroundings, I looked at the surroundings and stressed out more. Instead of taking time to rest in Him from all the work around me, I just worked until I was about to break. And the work still wasn’t finished by the time I needed to start homeschooling again this past Monday. I am well aware of the barely contained chaos that comes with homeschooling on a normal basis, so even the thought of starting that again on top of the mess brought on panic.

On one particularly bad day, I Voxered a group of my close friends to ask for prayer. I was irritable and at my limit. If you don’t have a group of people you can quickly contact and ask for prayer and support, please develop one! I immediately felt their prayers–I felt encouraged and strengthened. One of my friends put it well: “I am glad we have such a sisterhood. Because when it is hard to pray for ourselves we have each other to lift us up to the Lord.”

Probably in answer to my friends’ and my own prayers, I feel like God gave me a verse on Sunday that I needed very much. It’s Hebrews 10:22: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” After a week of stress and not drawing near to God, I can attest that my conscience needed some serious sprinkling. Not only that, but I also needed the rest Christ offers when we come to Him. He says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

So I forced myself to drop all that was spinning in my mind and go outside to my front porch swing where I wouldn’t see the projects in front of me. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” I felt that is exactly what He did and will continue to do if I just keep drawing near to Him in the middle of my mess.

I hope you do the same and take time to rest in Christ in the middle of the craziness that is your life!

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