As the new school year begins and our personal commitments change. I thought it may be helpful to review a previous blog post about my “Gold Plate” and take time to reevaluate what is on our plate. What needs to be removed and what needs to be added? Join me in Making Space for God this fall at our Teaching and Worship Experience.
The other day I found myself asking: ” What do I do for recreation?” Since I was evaluating my schedule, which I do every so often, I realized that all work makes Joanne a dull girl. I needed to evaluate my schedule and make space for recreation. Some of you reading this need to do the same. God created the world in 6 days and on the 7th day he rested. We all need rest, refreshment as well as doing things that are simply fun.
So I pulled out my dusty plate to examine my life’s activities. Some of you may be wondering: ” What plate”? Years ago, when I was feeling overwhelmed with being a mother of three, wife, daughter, friend, and ministry, I spoke to God about it. I was definitely burned out. I had little energy, had lost my passion for life and was definitely in need of a word from the Lord. I went to the Lord, held my hands out to Him and said something like this: ” I am tired, overwhelmed and don’t know what to do.” After I said this I had a fleeting image in my mind of a very large plate filled with all of the things that I was doing and all of the roles in life that I was fulfilling. I sensed the Good Shepherd speaking to me. “Joanne, together we are going to remove everything off that plate.” I am thinking: “Everything? There are some things that I simply cannot take off.” But I surrendered to what I thought was going to be an exercise in futility.
Each day for a few weeks in my time of prayer and reading of Scripture, I looked at the plate of my life with God. And each day, I took one thing off surrendering all control and giving Him my overwhelming feeling that went with it. The last thing left on my plate was my family– children and husband – and again the Good Shepherd led me beside His still waters: “Joanne, hand them to me.” At that moment I realized that this was not an exercise in futility; this was a command from the Lord who loves me beyond my ability to understand such love. And… that He loves my family more than my understanding of His capacity to love. This simple process of one by one redefining my life to be a surrendered life has been my practical constant when life threatens to overtake me.
So recently I pulled out my dusty plate, and made space with God for recreation– space to do some things that I enjoy like reading and cycling and having coffee with friends. So why not try it? Sit down with the Good Shepherd and have Him examine your plate of life. He will show you what to remove that is good and will enable you to leave on your plate only those things that are best. Freedom!
And did I mention?
That when God had me remove everything from my plate the only thing that was left was a magnificent gold plate? I knew that it was His message to me that He is the One thing remaining. I could hear Him saying to me: Joanne, Joanne, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed….(Luke 10:38). I knew that One thing was Him.