Early on in my relationship with my husband, I loved to visit his family in the small hometown where he grew up. It stood in stark contrast to the busy college life we were immersed in, and I looked forward to the slower pace and the long, uninterrupted heart conversations that spontaneously happened there. I felt like I could breathe.
One dark night, I remember telling my husband, “I want this for us. I want rest for our home, for our lives, for our kids. I want when people come over to feel that they can breathe. Pause. Pause long enough to hear the quiet whispers of their hearts and the whispers of God. I want that for us, too. I want our home to be the exhale—not only for us, but for those weary hearts who will pass through our doors.”
Wanting that and achieving that have been two different things.
A few years ago, we found ourselves in a place where we hardly ever paused, and if we did, we certainly weren’t hearing the whispers of the Father. What we heard seemed to be more like whispers of hearts that had been neglected and covered in busyness for too long. Depression and cynicism among other things began setting in, but we kept going. Maybe if we did more, we would be more. Maybe if we did even more right things, the nagging that something was missing would go away. We still had time with God, but had great difficulty hearing because we had forgotten how to be still. Thankfully He rescued and is rescuing us from our busyness.
At the peak of our busyness, I hit a breaking point and felt as if I couldn’t take another step. I was exhausted all of the time. This was certainly not the exhale I longed for. Ironically, at my breaking point, we were in a season in which everything in our life was going smoothly. Really smoothly. I was breaking apart in smooth water. There was not a problem to point to except for my neglected heart. God had me step out of many extra things for a season, so He could tend to my heart and teach me to take care of and guard it.
We are in a busy stage with four kids ages 8 through 15, but we are learning to find time for the quiet that we all need so much. We have traded being busy for being intentionally busy. Does the activity we are committed to bring health to us spiritually, emotionally, and relationally? Does it line up with the main agenda God has for our family right now? Most importantly, is it something that God is wanting us to do in this season? We are learning to breathe and that has brought more life and strength.
What we are discovering is beautiful God-moments that we would have missed before. People we no longer overlook, hearts that need a listening ear, a kindness that needs to be shown; people have become more important. As we have been still, God has increased our capacity. Increased our capacity to notice others, hope with them, cry with them, and love them.
I hadn’t understood that the more restored our hearts are , the more capacity we have to truly love others.
One bright morning, as I was sitting in the quiet, the Father gave me something beautiful. I have this framed in my kitchen as a reminder. I read it every single day because I need to. It helps me remember what is important, what is true, and why I am here.
The Unhurried Life
It is the unhurried life that draws near.
It is in the quiet places that My voice becomes loud.
Hurry is the enemy of peace.
It is the enemy of a life that is pointed and strong.
It is the enemy of a life without regret.
A hurried life enjoys nothing and lacks inward direction, purpose, and peace.
I will bring the important things into your life and you will know what those are.
If you are hurried, you will miss them.
Important moments, monumental moments, often look very small to a hurried life, but in eternity they are large.
If you continue in a hurried state, you will miss life.
Word of the Day:
Guard your heart above all else because it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23)
Prayer: Father, thank You that You desire wholeness and restoration for my heart. I repent of being too busy to take into consideration what YOU want for me in this season. I give my life to You. I give You my schedule, my desires, and the things that I believe I should be doing. I want to do those things that YOU see as important. Please give me the courage to allow You to touch those buried places in my heart. Thank You that You are a good Father, and that I can trust You with my life.
Author: Wendy Gerdes