Leaf Raking / Blowing with Help from Jeff

Last week was a busy week, including a three-day conference, a two-day board meeting, preparing a sermon, and other everyday responsibilities. The weekend provided opportunities for unpacking from the trip, doing laundry, catching up with important people in my life (particularly Marci, my kids, and my parents), going on a six-mile run with friends, raking leaves, chopping firewood, watching football, nine-hour nights of sleep, and just generally clearing the docket from other work stuff that had to happen.

I’m surprised that I haven’t gotten sick. I’m surprised that I haven’t gotten overly-emotional, considering the fact that my emotional buffer has likely been eroded. And these things may still come. But I’m thankful to have stayed standing for as long as I have.

This week, I’m actively looking for opportunities to stop working, to protect the empty spaces in my agenda. Because the end of the week kicks off a series of atypical events that will require extra attention and energy from me: the annual H2O Senior Retreat, a premarital counseling session, the inaugural Ninja Lambs Pizza Party, and an International Thanksgiving celebration. I’m not too worried about getting caught up on rest because Kent State University’s Thanksgiving Break provides something of a backstop, where I won’t be able to keep working. Still, I want to try and pace myself as much as possible throughout the coming week. It’s going to need to be a mix of trusting God for supernatural renewal and being disciplined to rest whenever I can.

One interesting thing that I’ve noticed, in the midst of all this, is the way that getting all of our property’s leaves to the curb and chopping all of the wood for our wood pile felt disproportionately satisfying and soul-filling for my weary heart. It’s weird because these are all labor-intensive ways to “rest” — yet they really do provide elements of closure and satisfaction-in-a-job-well-done that I don’t often get in everyday life. I want to keep thinking about this and going to God with this to see what He might want to show me through these insights.

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