Thursday, January 19, 2012

Forced Rest

I talk about rest a lot here on Net’s Notes. It’s not that I’m taking a lot of rest, or lazy. It’s that I often don’t get enough, I think.

This week we’ve been bombarded with winter weather. Snowstorms, ice storms, freezing rain, yeah—the fun stuff. And with all that “weather” comes snow days. Feels like an extension to the Christmas holidays. And very distracting. And it wasn’t just the houseful of peeps. It was the two large windows allowing me a view of all the changes in the weather. Don’t tell my bosses, but I didn’t get as much done as I normally do. Not for lack of trying, but every single day felt like a Saturday. I shook things up and *gasp* worked on my own writing during the work day (don’t worry, I'm not employed at a nine-to-five). Normally, I give my own projects the last part of my day or the weekend, but never the middle of a weekday unless I’m on retreat. But why not? Why not prioritize what God’s called me to do? I got somewhere. I think He was blessing that choice.

See how rambling this post is? That’s been my week. I played a little more than usual—the indoor games fitting for bad weather—Uno with my youngest. She’s gotten good! Who taught her the tricks and best strategies and helped her get so competent? Uh oh, I did. And I watched The Lion King with my big kids and beloved husband. We laughed, tried to sing those words in another language, and giggled over impersonations. Just gave ourselves permission to kick back.

Amazing what a bit of snow will do. Amazing what a little rest will do. This hasn’t been a 16-hour-a-day week and I think we’re all better for it. Hmm… rest. Who knew?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Courage of a Lioness

I didn’t hear the lion roar. He wouldn’t. Too docile that day as we stood in the cat house at the zoo. I so wanted to hear the lion roar, to tie together the symbolism of Jesus as the Lion of Judah. To witness the power and command of this beast who was tearing into his raw meat dinner.

People milled about. My kiddos were off with their grandparents at a different exhibit. C’mon, Lord, one roar? Nothing. Okay, maybe it’d scare the kids from families around me if the lion roared. I get it. Then, the Lord said, It’d scare you.  Oh… *grin*

There were other big cats nearby: a few tigers, a lioness. As I was leaving, the lioness roared. Powerful cat. Courageous cat. I peered toward her cage. Too many people between her and me for me to see her clearly. But the atmosphere changed. Kids around me clutched at their parents for security. Spirit of fear slithered about, but didn’t bother me. 

If the lioness’s roar is that powerful, that frightening, that deafening in the room, imagine what it’d be like if the lion roared. 

So, this year’s word for me from the Lord is courage. And the best picture of courage I know, the one God’s been giving me for two Januarys now (this year included) is that of a lioness. She walks through the jungle completely confident. She doesn’t fear. She doesn’t back down. She doesn’t slow down. Nothing keeps her from her mission (to hunt, to kill, to care for her cubs, to support the king). 

Now, only God knows why He has given me this image again this year, paired with this word: courage. But, He’s the Lion this lioness will accompany through the days of this year. 

Here’s the Scripture He gave me for 2012:

And Yahweh, He is the One who goes before you.
He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you;
do not fear nor be dismayed. (Deut. 31:8)

What has God been speaking to you about this year? Happy new year, dear readers. Let’s draw nearer this Lion of Judah, this Savior. He is so good. So powerful. So kind. And a million favorable descriptors besides.