The art and soul of no

For me, this is a season of no. It’s painful.

Because of Joe’s post-op decline and second hospitalization, my life is full of many professional and personal no’s. I haven’t posted a new blog in eons. I am chomping onmaturity is forged in these fires the bit to “do what I love to do” – propel the message of “Run Hard. Rest Well.” forward, gaining entry into new hearts and cheering on those who are choosing a pace that is sacred and sane. But the “no’s” extend further, deeper – Anna’s tennis, Noah’s track, spring-time hikes, time with Tim, feeding my birds and a cart load of other priorities vying for my attention.

There has been a complete re-ordering of my life. It is narrowly defined and out of my control.

But, in many ways, this is easy. When Paul was blinded by his encounter with Jesus, the “no” in his life was all encompassing. The man was shut down (Acts 9:8-9). The choice was not his. God sometimes directly asks us to say no or nudges us to say no in the face of mounting exhaustion or insanity. Paul heard a no from God (Act 16:7-8). Here he had a choice to make. His own desire. God’s direction. How do we comply to a God-directed “no” or a “slow down” or “not now,” especially when it’s not forced, but is a choice we must make and live with? As hearty, determined souls do we buckle before the notion of no, questioning God’s voice or our God-given limits?

There are seasons of no, both forced and faith-driven. They will take us to new depths. Yes. Depths—crushing depths. Guaranteed. When our season of no is forced, we hate the free-fall that ensues and attempts to ensnare. When our “no’s” are faith-driven, they often have significant ramifications. We hate to disappoint. We hate the stress it might inflict on others. In these seasons, the issue of allegiance rises up before us. Will it be to God? Or to others, or ourselves?

Either way, let’s pause and pray. Let’s pray for our own no’s and yeses, whether forced or faith-based, and for the no’s and yeses of those we love.

Maturity is forged in these fires.

To maturity, may we always say yes.

Family Update

  • Josh (20) remains on the front porch of heaven. He is medically stable, but these weeks of separation have taken a toll. He’s not alone. We are all keenly aware of the ache and upheaval. The Body of Christ is surrounding us with compassion and care. How do we ever say thank you…
  • Sam (19) shipped out with the Army to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina on April 28th has not been sufficient time to process the joy and the ache. He has tough, exciting days before him. We covet your prayers for his launch into adulthood.
  • Joe (17) is not well. After a 30 day hospital stay, we were home for awhile, but he’s back in the hospital with shunt issues, new seizure activity and declines. I don’t like the mountain we’re facing. “Too big,” I’m screaming. It is a daily fight to trust well, eyes focused on the unseen (II Cor. 4:16-18).
  • At times, the weight is crushing. Other times, we’re singing out loud. The Presence of God is so very evident. Always, we are passing out red diamonds. Today, through a friend, God directed Joe and I to Deut. 1:28-33. These are words of life.

 

First time here?

Welcome! We’re a group who gathers around the theme, “There has to be a better way.” We’re finding it in the 4-word mission statement, “Run hard. Rest well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters the our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run our race in a power not our own.

First time here?

19 thoughts on “The art and soul of no

  1. My heartfelt groans are with you. I will be on my knees in your family’s behalf, figuratively or literally. God knows, dear one.

    • He knows.
      And He alone with the Author and Sustain of our rest.
      Joe had another seizure today. This seems to indicate his intracranial pressure is too high. We wait to hear more tomorrow from the doc.

  2. The word “no” has always fed the spirit of rebellion in me. “No” and “you can’t” feed this rebellion exponentially. Sometimes that is good…don’t give up…and sometimes it’s just wrong. Know when the “no” is from God and He is calling you away is hard. It’s especially hard when the things you are being called from are good. But God knows. He knows our weaknesses and our strengths and where our energy is best spent. A mom is needed for her children, but she really wants to be or do or have and God says “take my gift and cherish my gift for a while, there will be time for the other later”. Right now, you are cherishing the gifts you have been given. When weighed on a scale with other things….which one will weigh in as heaviest, best, most important in the end? I have to figure out where I am in rebellion and where I am weighing in on what’s important. I have to find God in my right now, today. Sometimes, I just don’t know. The giants in the land frighten me. Goliath stands shouting threats and who am I to stand against the giants? I am a child of the Living God. I have slain the lion and I have slain the bear. I have learned the lesson in the wilderness and if God is for me….well, I’ll defeat this uncircumcised Philistine too. But if I fail? Even there, God will rescue me and being me to His side. Thank you for encouraging me today.

    • Betty,
      Thank you for encouraging me today! That rebellious feeling is a rascal. Sometimes it is Spirit lead stating “you are in this world, but not of it.” Go then and make some noise to Glorify Him. But other times it is me, it is me trying to stand out on my own. Fail each and every time. I can not stand out on my own, not with out Him.

    • Betty,
      You are such an encourager!
      As we face the giants … we win either way.
      May we listen well and obey with a song in our heart…even through the tears.

  3. No. no. Nooooo! Oh, No…..There are so no’s that surround us. Sometimes it is the basic easily heard “no, you can’t.” Other times it’s the “Oh, No!”, the one that worries. This is the one that creeps up on you silently, unexpectedly out of the blue. It is the one that means absolutely circumstances and/or situations are changing rapidly. And yes, you have to go with it. Yes you can let it let rapidly pull you downstream thrashing and banging against all the rocks along the way. Or yes you can fight it! You can battle the current grasping on any branch that will sustain your head above water knowing He is holding you. He will mend the scrapes you incur, He will heal the brokenness from the rush of the ride as He brings you to the shore allowing you to rest and dry in His glory. It is the second yes, I choose.

    My heart is aching. A local Buffalo family, the Sauer’s are in what seems to be their final moments of holding their sons hand. Ben is 4. He has a twin. He has other siblings. His mom is pregnant. Mom and Dad are grieving for what will be, trying to cope, trying to figure how to handle joys without Ben in the future. Yet, they know it’s in God’s hands and within his timing. No it is not in their control. Lord, it is yours.

    My friends grandson is turning 1 this week. Doctors told her daughter in law to abort early on. She said No. Doctors told her to prepare for a still born, but Shane said no, “I am here small and breathing.” Doctors told her to prepare for hours and days. But the family said no! Mom & Dad have their son. Shane’s sisters have a brother. They have had him for this year. Still only 14lbs, God said No! It is not your timeline, it’s mine. And we pray that this year turns into next so Shane can find his healthy kidneys. God has the answer to this prayer. He holds everything.

    And of course Joe, Josh, Sam, Noah, Anna, Tim & Brenda are on our prayer lists too. You all are in our hearts. My prayer list grows and grows. God is saying, “No my children, you will never stop needing Me. I Am here.” “I Am.”

    • And you encourage me. “I will never ever leave you or forsake you.” You have been on my heart and in my prayers. Forgive me for not acting on that and writing. You are an encouragement and a strength to my soul.

      • Hi Betty and you too have been in my heart with me, I have been meaning to write,,,But…I am sorry too. The Lord is putting something in my heart, I don’t know yet. But I do know when He tells me it’s time to write, I’ll write. Have a blessed week,

    • Lifting up prayers for Ben’s family…for the remarkable Presence of God on Heaven’s Front Porch and for every fragment of their breaking hearts.
      My tears fall through whispered prayers. Jesus be near.
      And Shane – the fight for life and the joy of LIFE. Happy Birthday miracle-man!
      The Body of Christ surrounds. Lifts. Weeps. Rejoices.
      Together.

      • Ben went to live with Jesus today; Buffalo NY is “Blue for Ben (a powerful message like Red Diamonds)” Prayers for his family as they grieve would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  4. Praying for the family. The grief is hard… especially when the children are so young. I’m glad your Ben is being remembered. I’m praying for you also, my friend. For the family and for you.

  5. Keep up the fight, finish the race. Your page, runhardrestwell.com, was just discovered by me upon following the link as I was reading about Red Diamond Days. The discovery of your page by me is further proof that you ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE! God is using you and your family. God Bless You and your Family.

    • Mike –
      Your words means the world. My flip calendar today shared, “God’s love sometimes tarries for our good and His glory.” God’s glory is our constant prayer! Run hard. Rest well. It makes all the difference. God bless you and yours!

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