The rhythm of camp/being-the-speaker's-wife is healing to the frantic pace of every day life. Camp never fails to teach me the best tempo of living healthily. When you are the speaker's wife (aka: not in charge of 10-15 little minions), there is no racing from one thing to the next - there is no hurry. I have already read one book and a half of another (a memoir of an adoptive momma); I have written words, because words are a way of life for me. I would bet money that Heaven is full of words. Beautiful, juicy, enriching words.
The house we are staying in is bigger than two of our apartments put together into one. It's cold, but its clean. Its a simple home to stay in, with few accessories and little flashy enticements, and I love it. The internet is spotty. Its on the lake and I want to never leave this beautiful place.
I couldn't wait for this week. I knew this week would force me to slow, to open my hands and remain open-handed, because there is time to do so. I knew this week would re-center the axel of my heart that has spun off into the world and chaos of anxiety and busyness and people pleasing. Because who doesn't want to be awesome for everyone? This is the facade I wear for myself, people. This is the facade we chase.
Sunday night as the sun set and the minions were quiet, Loren introduced himself to the crowd of campers, so very young and moldable. The age range here is 3rd through 5th grade; not our typical crowd, but more precious than ever. Loren fits in better than I have ever seen, as he moves and flails around, fluctuating his vocal chords to craziness. The kids love him. His camp name is Greg. (Note: every one else's camp names are things like, Frog, Dandelion Field, Anemone, Rolo). My smile didn't leave my face as I observed this man I married, from the front row. It wouldn't fade and it was genuine and real. My spirit was free as we literally overlooked the entire valley, seeing across to the ocean mountains.
There was also a talent show. A talent show where a bunch of 9 year olds did gymnastics and beat boxed and break-dance (he was breaking alright, breaking his pride) and sang. One guys talent was "flexibility." Anothers was "lip singing." The lip singing talent is where I cam all undone and started crying. This little blond girl stands up there all shy, while Let It Go blares through the speakers and the crowd is standing and swaying and singing and she is pretending to sing into a mic. She starts throwing her hands in the air and getting into this beautiful song when I just start crying. These kids, so young and full of beautiful dreams and high hopes and Jesus. So much innocent faith here, so much fresh joy, so much preciousness. I felt free in His presence.
The sunset? Don't even get me started. I was all about those sun flares.
I am learning that it is easier for me to live simply in the way of accessories, clothes, spending our money, nice things...but when it comes to living simply in the way of "busyness"? I must slay this idol in order to chase Him. I have to be forced to slow down. It's not a godly thing. When we traveled Europe, that hit me harder than it has before. This week, I have been reminded of that too. My heart and soul, my very being, yearns for a slower life. I am so embarrassed that most people's emails and texts and sentences to me are disclaimed with, "I know you're busy, but..." This isn't me - it can't be, it won't be. It's a lie, a face. We can't live at camp or on vacation in Europe forever; we cannot pull out of our work and mission and activities that accompany life, so how can we, I, cultivate and create a slower and simpler life? How can we rest and slow down, in the midst of the busiest society? Every time I ask myself that, I am also faced with: how do I also serve others and make disciples and love well? I believe there is a way to do both. Jesus did it.
I will keep pointing towards the Sabbath. Can the Sabbath mean more to us than one day off? Working hard all week, serving the Lord in whatever we do, and resting in Him? We must keep the Sabbath, but also access Sabbath rests multiple times a day. I mean...prayer.The ancients (the Benedictines, the monastics) honored 7 hours through prayer pauses every day. SEVEN HOURS. I think they were on to something. I think that in their prayer pauses, their minds refocused and reset, their hearts were placed back into the center, on the axel, and God was on the throne.
"Bear in mind that the Lord has given you the Sabbath." Exodus 16:29
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any word, neither you nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy." Exodus 20:8-11
I dream of creating a holy space for the Sabbath. Of serving Jesus with such clarity and dignity and resting on the 7th day. I dream of setting the day apart, preparing a special meal for dinner, lighting candles, pausing for prayer. One of our supporting families shared with me that they would spend Saturday preparing for the Sabbath. They would bake their favorite dessert in preparation for the following day; their calendar was protected; their technology was switched to off; their hearts were recentered. I want to live like that; I want to receive the gift that God has given us through the Sabbath.
Let's make our way back to a true Sabbath.
From there, from places of rested spirits and calm hearts, knowing who we are in Jesus Christ's eyes, we will change this world with love.