Enjoying my sabbath day

Today is my day off. My sabbath day. What a wonderful thing. You know I didn't used to be able to enjoy days off years ago. In fact I hated them! I couldn't wait for them to be over. This is because I honestly did not know how to enjoy relaxation. I think part of it was - I didn't see how it benefited me or got me ahead, so to speak. I felt like it was a waste of time.

I thought that way until about 1999. Then some thing happened which necessitated me taking a step back and getting in touch with the "relaxation" or "sabbath" side of myself, if you will. It was either that or...continue on the crash and burn way I was headed. I had to come to the realization that relaxation DOES get me ahead, because it makes me better for the other 6 days a week and without it, everything suffers.

I also realized at that time, that if I didn't develop some things outside the church, even as simple as learning to relax at least one day a week, I would have nothing when things at work weren't going so well. Life was so black and white back then. If the church was going well, my world was going well. If the church was going sucky, my whole world was sucky. No in between. Nada. So I got myself a little bit of a life outside of the church/work scene. I developed a few genuine friends outside of my church, and also decided to take a day off. It really changed my life. 

Now if I have a bad week at the church my whole life isn't so bad because I am not completely defined by the church I can say, "well, this was a really bad week, however, I'm meeting a friend outside the church for coffee and shopping and we're going to forget about all that for 24 hours and enjoy something else." I can go out on a date with Larry and just talk about our relationship, our kids, our house, our goals. We can pop some popcorn, turn on American Idol or 24, (thank God for Tivo!), snuggle up as a family on our couches, and forget anything else exists but what we are doing for the moment. Right now, things are going super well at NS, but I'm still glad today is my day off. All I have done all day is read, and I think that's perfectly...WONDERFUL.
This morning I got up and got Savanna her breakfast, woke her up, and went back to sleep and set my alarm to get back up and take her to school when she was ready. Only problem was, my alarm never went off. :-) I suddenly woke up with a start at the time her bus was ready to come and realized, "oh no! The alarm never went off and I have not checked on her the last hour!!!" Well, thankfully she was just sitting on the couch, all ready to go, watching TV. She had gotten completely ready on her own, and Larry just got up and took her to the bus stop, which she made on time. :-) Small blessings!!!

I have to be honest, I've been very weary getting everything caught up from being away on vacation and then in Virginia for the funeral. I worked almost non-stop on the lap top and sent things home to the office and kept in touch, however there were just some things here I could not attend to, being away. It's been a tiring week. I got up today and just vegged out, reading in bed. While doing so I came across a few podcasts that I watched...one of Rick Warren which was really good, and another one by an atheist. I was so broken by some of the things that were said by this woman. She has gone on a life long search for truth and she is convinced, the Bible is just a collection of stories, and God does not exist. Listening to her, watching her, I became very burdened for her. She is famous and speaks about atheism all over the country. She encouraged anyone who has credible scientific proof that the supernatural power of God exists to present it to her. I believe several people have, as evidenced in her blogs which I read, however she has rejected their claims. Evidently she has not experienced this herself. It's not so much that I am praying for her because she is a famous speaker who promotes atheism. I really mean that my heart is broken for her as a person. She desperately needs to feel Jesus love.
I rarely, if ever, pray for anybody famous that I do not know. When I tell people, "I'll keep you in prayer", I really want it to be more than a choice greeting or cliche. I have too many people who are right up close to me to pray for. Pastoring a busy growing church takes care of all that not to mention my family, minister friends, and the like. But this woman really stood out to me as somebody whose name I need to call in prayer every single day. So I will.