It happened around 5:00 one evening. There was so much going on. Phillip had just come home from work and was telling me something about his day. My oldest daughter was singing to a song on Alexa, which happened to be at an unreasonably high volume. One of my children had just had a major injustice done to them by their sibling in the next room so they were crying. The dog was at my feet. The oven was blaring, waiting for me to get dinner out. And I was loading the dishwasher with dishes that had sat in the sink since breakfast. It was chaotic around me.
It felt like everything and everyone from all directions was demanding my attention.
Can you relate?
And then it happened.
I flipped on the garbage disposal only to hear a popcorn kernel stuck. I flipped it off, then reached my hand down into the depths of the disposal to find the culprit.
Without thinking, I reached my other hand over and turned ON the garbage disposal!
Ahhhh! Are you cringing yet?!
I screamed as I felt the metal razors start to spin around my fingers.
I jerked my hand out. No blood. No cuts. No pain. Only a shaking hand.
It was only by the grace of God that I did not mutilate my hand.
Initially, I felt straight up dumb! How could I have done that? No one in their right mind would have done that. And then I recognized something…
I wasn’t in my right mind.
I was distracted.
Have you been there? When you feel like you’ve got balls flying all around you and eventually one of them hits you in the face? You didn’t see it coming because you were distracted by all the other balls coming at you!
That’s where I was that day. I’ve been there before and I will be there again, but I did learn a thing or two from that experience.
First, Satan works well in distraction. Now, I’m not saying that Satan showed up and caused me to flip the switch, but what I am saying is that Satan wants you distracted enough that he can throw a ball at you that you won’t see coming.
He wants you distracted by your to-do list so that you won’t have time to start your day with the Lord. He wants you distracted by your phone so that you won’t take the time to connect with your husband after a busy day. He wants you distracted by the mess in your house so that you won’t sit and play a game with your child. He wants you distracted by how annoying someone is at work so that you won’t listen to them when they are hurting. He wants you distracted by what the neighbors have so that you won’t be thankful for what God has given you. He wants you so distracted by the noise of life so that you don’t take the time to rest in the stillness of the Lord.
Satan uses distraction for his benefit.
Second, there is a lot of noise in my world. I am involved in a lot of wonderful things that occupy my time and mental capacity, as well as being a wife, mom to 4, friend, and daughter, but sometimes that leaves me with the feeling of overwhelm. God is showing me that that overwhelm feeling is my constant companion unless I am taking time to rest in Him.
What does that look like for me?
Resting in God looks like starting my day immersed in God’s presence through the reading of His Word. If I want to know God more and understand what He means when he says, “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest,” then I have to get into His Word where He teaches me more about Himself.
Teaser alert: Next week I will be diving into some really practical things that I do each morning to engage with the Living God! Stay on the lookout!
Resting in God also looks like breathing exercises. My larger than life friend, Matt, taught me this: Breathe “in with Jesus, out with Satan.” Although I laugh every time I hear him say it, it really works! When things are coming at you from every direction, try breathing. But not just ordinary stress management breathing. Imagine yourself breathing in Jesus – every part of His perfect nature- and breathing out Satan – every part of our nature that is not holy.
Breathe in Jesus. Breathe out Satan.
Resting in God for me also looks like taking time away. I have seasons when I am better at this than other seasons. Right now, I’m not so good at it, but last week I spent a couple of hours alone at a friend’s cabin. It wasn’t long but for those 2 hours I sat by the outdoor fire, allowing the sun and wind to rest on my face and I basked in the Lord’s presence. I talked with Him, I sang to Him, I wrote in my journal to Him, I sat in silence with Him. Not surprisingly, I left that time feeling rested, energized and ready to enter back into my busy life from a grounded place. Grounded in Christ.
Third, I am learning (I say learning because I am still very much a work in progress!) to be present. That moment was chaotic, but if instead of trying to do multiple things at a time, which I often try to do, if I would have just given my attention to one thing at a time, I would have avoided almost cutting my fingers off! This one is so hard for me because I like to be productive, but I would much rather be present with my husband, my children, my friends and my God!
And finally, I learned to think twice before flipping the garbage disposal switch!
Are you living in a world of distraction right now? Take it from me, don’t flip the switch! Don’t let the ball smack you in the face! Instead, breathe in Jesus, rest in Him, and be present.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.” Matthew 11:28-30
God, the rest I crave is found in you only. May I slow down enough to truly rest in you.
This song encompasses that overwhelm feeling and what to do about it! Enjoy!