I have a confession. Sometimes, God kicks me.
Villa Sollievo began when the Holy Spirit punched me in the face with Matthew 4:11. God has, a few times in my life, smacked me upside the head. (yes, that’s the technical term.)
I don’t mean to be obstinate. But sometimes I get distracted and He needs to remind me of important things. A kick, nudge, smack, pinch, or bright, flashing, neon sign usually gets my attention.
A lovely lady I know recently had an online book sale to free up space in her bookcase for new arrivals. I inquired if, after her sale, she would be willing to donate to VS if anything remained. She not only said yes, she sent a BOX! Because God is ultimately who determined the books she packed up for me (and guests…they’re for the guests), it shouldn’t be surprising what arrive. But somehow, I’m usually stunned by Abba and how He provides.
The first one I opened is “Breaking Busy” by Alli Worthington. (not just because she has my grandmother’s name) Knowing these books will go on shelves at Villa Sollievo for others to read, I really tried to just read. But somehow, I am incapable of reading without a pencil. Confession: I’m an active learner. It means all my books are underlined and marked up.
Here are some tidbits:
“Here’s the thing about breaking busy. Sometimes it calls for tough choices, for making drastic changes even in the places where you’ve been highly successful.”
“If Jesus himself, Lord of the universe yet bound in human body, didn’t do more than God called him to do, neither should we. Jesus accepted his natural limitations (a human body born in ancient Israel), then lived a life of proactive edits, actively choosing each day to follow God’s calling for his life.”
“Slowing down and making prayerful decisions about what to edit out of our lives will allow us to live out our calling.”
Here’s a doozy: “You don’t have to be all things to all people. It’s as if we all need someone to say that out loud.”
That didn’t kick just me, right?
How ’bout this: “Isn’t it funny how much time we waste focused on a perceived weakness or flaw in ourselves that no one else even notices?”
But here are the real kickers: (stay with me here)
“Setting boundaries in our lives is the only way to ensure we stay healthy physically, mentally, and spiritually. Jesus himself set boundaries around his time.”
“Yes, the needs of the people are urgent, and their requests (or cries) for healing must have been compelling, but Jesus knows that he needs to stop and rest.” (In reference to Mark 4:35-40 when Jesus was sleeping during a storm. My personal take-away from this story is the detail that Jesus was “sleeping on a cushion”. Why is THAT detail there?)
Last one: “You don’t burn out doing the right things. You burn out because of what you don’t do.”
Rest. Refill. Press Pause. Do something fun that brings you JOY. Get up from whatever task you are doing right now and take a walk outside with headphones pumping something catchy that you end up dancing down the street looking like a lunatic. Don’t be afraid. Do it! You might just be surprised at how refreshed you feel later.