Too Much

It’s too much.

Too much information.  Too many emails. Too many tweets, deadlines, posts, updates, pins, appointments, requests, to-do lists…

Are you with me?

We want to yell, “Stop the madness!”

But then…like the other morning, I walk outside and get on my bike and look up and this is what I see.

I know, I know, I’m a VERY early morning person, get over it.

The point is that when I looked up and saw this incredible site it was a powerful reminder of the verse that says “He who watches over you will not slumber.”

It’s not too much for Him.

And then later in the day I looked up in our back yard and this is what I saw.

And another day, this

And those pauses, to look up were both a reminder and a stress-reliever.

God put those stars in place without my help!  He painted those leaves with no assist from me!  He made the sun come up this morning and tomorrow He’ll say “Do it again!”

It made me think of our merry little band of intrepid Jesus followers who have been doing “An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”.   Lately we have been trying to ask, “How do you reduce in the area of stress?”

Get rid of your kids?  Move to the country where there are fewer people to bug you?  Walk instead of riding the bus?  Sell all your Apple devices that make noise or make you accessible?  Get a housecleaner or personal shopper?

Yep, we’re considering what we can take out of our lives to reduce stress, but ironically, as I was writing this my phone alarm went off.  It sounds like a heavenly harp, so not so “alarmy”, but it was a reminder to me to turn to a practice our small group is experimenting with that is like my looking up (something we’re adding in).

We’re each adapting an ancient practice called Praying the Hours.  In this case our practice is based on Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr, a member of a monastic community.  I love that she describes the pauses as “breathing spells for the soul”, an oasis to remember the sacredness of life, who we are, and who God is.

The idea is to stop at different times during the day, pray, and read a Psalm.  To take our eyes off the distracting and distorting and discouraging things of the world and re-orient.  In other words, LOOK UP.  Remember who’s in control and then go on.

HUGE DISCLAIMER:  While disciplines are good to stretch us, this practice is supposed to draw us to Jesus who bears our burdens, not burden us with one more “have to”.  We are each experimenting with this in the ways we think best, whether that means setting our alarm for 3 different hours or 7, or 1.

Whether you pray the hours or not, maybe consider stopping every once in awhile today or tonight to look up and thank God that whatever “it” is in your day it’s not too much for Him.

 If you want to see a resource for Praying the Hours, click here.

10 thoughts on “Too Much

  1. OMG – I just read this blog post and it’s basically talking about my exact situation: Instead of “getting rid of your kids” to reduce stress, recently someone very close to me decided to get rid of me from his life…You weren’t far off in your blog about what people think they actually NEED to do to destress/declutter their lives – they do what they think they HAVE to do, but often not what they SHOULD do, which is look to God and find peace (and strength) in Him.

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  2. Great post Laura! I recently started getting up a bit earlier and immediately delve into my Bible and a daily study I have. It has made such a difference to my day!! I like your idea to take a “God break” mid day as well. I tend to power through without breaking at all, not good physically or mentally. I’m going to start this today!

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  3. Wow! Its beautiful Laura. I feel God is talking to me in every way possible. I usually get up early in the morning to pray before going to work, but today was different. I just had this burden. I was desperately asking God to align me to his will. To do not what I humanly thought was the right thing to do, but what He knew was the right thing to do. So many times we are fooled by our perspectives and we consider things important when they are really not that important, and sadly, we end up not having enough time to seek God and his daily advise for us. But this was not all. At lunch time, I locked myself up in my classroom and continued praying. Psalm 139:23-24 was my prayer. I was overwhelmed by His presence. at 12:45 I felt light. I was breathing better. Now I see! It was spiritual breathing. Keep up, Laura. God is using you so greatly.

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    • I’m so glad to hear your experience and the ways you are seeking God’s perspective! So, so easy to get totally out of “alignment” during the day as we get caught up in all our “stuff”. Thank you for your words of encouragement!

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