Did everyone make it through the holiday rush and into the new year? For me, the answer is, “Just barely.”
My son-in-love and his mother are originally from Germany. Instead of saying, “Happy New Year,” they say, “Guten Rutsch,” which translates to, “Good slide.” Yeah, that would be me, this year, tumbling into the new year like a baseball player sliding desperately for home plate.
And I am tired. Physically, emotionally and spiritually kaput. Barely a week went by last year where there weren’t sick people, broken down cars or major appliances going on the fritz. Too many overnight writing sessions as I squeaked out my deadlines. And I’ve been pushing myself like crazy to be more, do more and write more.
Until I hit a wall. Bam. Done. Gone. Knocked out. I think God was yelling, “Stoooooopppp!” but I was so busy pressing forward that I didn’t hear Him. And the worst part is, I’m the guilty one. I’m the one pushing myself beyond my limits. I’m the one who doesn’t give myself permission to just be still and spend time with God. I’m the crazy Martha zipping around doing fifty things where there is only one thing that’s needful.
So as the new year dawns, my main goal isn’t a goal at all. I’m slowing down. Giving myself a break. I’m not saying this is easy. I’m a total Type A personality and an oldest-child perfectionist. It’s a challenge. If I’m not constantly on the move then I’m in a state of panic, that somehow the world will fall apart if I’m not right there.
Guess what? So far the world hasn’t fallen apart. Taking time every day to pray—really pray—is already making a marked difference in my life. I’m still learning how to breathe, and I suspect it’s going to take a long time to learn to stand down and let God take the reins, but I know in my heart that’s where I need to be this year.
How about you? Is it time to give yourself a break and rest in the Lord? Wherever you find yourself in life, I wish you and your loved ones peace in the new year and always.
Deb Kastner’s February 2016 release, A Daddy for Her Triplets, is book five in the Lone Star Boys Ranch Love Inspired Continuity miniseries.
Jill Weatherholt says
Like yourself, I have a difficult time slowing down. My mind tells me I need to be productive every waking hour, but I know this isn’t what God wants of me. In 2016, I intend to create more balance in my life. Happy New Year!
I think balance is especially tough for writers. What we hear all the time is, “Do you really need to watch your favorite TV show?” “Can you write and eat lunch at the same time?” Writers are always working. We can’t shut our brains down. But I think we should give ourselves permission to enjoy other aspects of our lives besides just writing. Praying you’ll find a good balance this year.
Blessings to you in this New Year. *HUGS*
Thank you, Kathy! <3
Valerie Comer says
God slammed my brakes in 2015, too, with health issues. It doesn’t keep me from chafing or striving. I’m still trying to live Psalm 46:10. Be still… and know that I am God.
Chafing is the perfect word to describe my struggle, as well. It’s so hard to stand down, even when we know it’s right.
Merrillee Whren says
Thanks for the reminder to take time to pray, really pray. Not just a quick hurried prayer but really taking the time to commune with God.
I am soooo guilty of dashing off a prayer before dashing off to life. It’s a totally different thing for me to spend real time alone with God in prayer. What is it? Thirty days to a new habit? This is one habit I intend to sustain. My walk with the Lord is already getting so much deeper. Praying you can also find that space, Merrillee!
I know I feel better when I slow down and listen to God.
So do I! Why is it so hard to convince myself that this one thing is necessary?
Isn’t that the truth? We push ourselves harder and harder to reach self-imposed goals when we really don’t need to be pushing ourselves so hard. Great devotional.
Beth Schwarzlose (@BethSchwarzlose) says
Great post! Sounds like right where I am. Thanks for sharing!
Lee Tobin McClain says
I hear you, Deb. I think we writers are hard on ourselves. We’re also full of ideas and want to give birth to them. But you’re smart to listen when God tells you to slow down.
Happy New Year, hope you have a slower year.
From one Type A personality and an oldest-child perfectionist to another….I get it, oh boy do I ever get it!! But the same thing is happening to me this year. For whatever reason I’ve lost the energy I’ve had before & let things (unimportant that is) slide more. And you know what, I’m learning to breathe too! Kind of nice to sit back and let someone else take the reins (God) in my life, be more like a Mary :-) May the Lord bless your time of prayers & with Him just soaking in the quiet un-busyness for a while! You’ve encouraged me to be more diligent in my prayers, I know I’ll see a difference in my life and those around me!
Blessings to you Deb :-)
Shelly K. says
Last year I started having health issues that slowed me down a lot. This year already not feeling well. I am trusting the Lord is going to help me get better. Have a blessed new year.
Sally Shupe says
Thanks for this post reminding us to slow down. I finally made the decision to read and pray first thing in the mornings. Otherwise, it would be late at night before it’d get done. The day just goes by better when I take the time first thing to do this. I love the cover of your book! Looks like a great story!