theROCK

I Will Give You Rest

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"Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The past few months have been difficult for all of us due to the Coronavirus. Trying to balance working from home, homeschooling our children, and social isolation has left us exhausted; a tiredness that sleep alone cannot solve. I was blindsided a different way during this virus. In November, my wife and I learned we were pregnant with our second child. On March 13, at a routine ultrasound, we learned that our unborn son had a terminal genetic disorder known as Trisomy-18.  We were told to prepare that our son would not live long (minutes at best) and that chances were high he would pass away before birth.

On June 9th at 5:00 AM, Eli John was born. After an immediate emergency baptism, he went to be with all the angels and saints in heaven.

While this is a very fresh wound for me, I find comfort in today’s Gospel reading. Suffering, pain, and death are part of the human experience.  Sometimes we fall into thinking that if we believe in God we will not have to suffer. However, God does not promise that. Even Jesus suffered and died. HE promises us rest: that if we place our trust in Him, that we will find true peace amidst the turbulence in our lives. Therefore, our suffering becomes a prayer. I know there are many of us who feel over-burdened with life right now. I know that if we trust Christ with our brokenness, that He will give us peace.

God Bless,
~Andrew

The Path to Life

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“Lord you will show us the path of life.” This is the official refrain of today’s Psalm. It might be slightly different than what was sung, but if you look up the readings for today, this is what you will find. And what a beautiful, necessary refrain of hope we are given today!

The world is in trouble. We are all faced with struggle we could not have imagined. Jobs have been lost. Healthcare coverage lost. People are sick. Many have died. We are all going stir crazy stuck in our homes, ready for life to “return to normal.” We want, oh Lord, that sense of security and ease we had before the pandemic. We want to embrace our loved ones. But we are trapped in a cycle of insecurity and instability as the world battles to understand the nature of this virus and how best to respond.

But the Psalm today reminds us that our security is not in the world. Our security is in God. Lord, YOU will show us the path of life, not money, not prestige, not a bolstered economy or a miracle cure (important though those are). You, God, and only you are our security. You alone give us stability and peace.

The Psalmist goes on to say: “I bless the Lord who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the Lord ever before me; with him at my right hand, I shall not be disturbed.”

In this time of great trial, suffering, and inconvenience, let us turn to the Lord as our only refuge. Let this time of instability remind us that God alone is our rock. With him fighting at our side, nothing can overtake us.

Overwhelmed

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Peace be with you! I am learning the word that is coming across everyone’s lips right now – overwhelmed. Who knew life would look like this? No one knew. I guess this is a reality check for all of us. We really shouldn’t take the work we all do for granted. We all work with one another, together, to help carry the load. This is making us realize how much we need one another. 

I pondered that word “overwhelmed”. When we are overwhelmed, we are also so many other things like worried, anxious, afraid, agitated, and maybe even angry. My daughters like to say “stressed” as a synonym for “overwhelmed”. Being overwhelmed is a natural response to being overstimulated especially when we are inundated by responsibility. You are all being overwhelmed. We will all be overwhelmed until we find our rhythm. If you haven’t set a family
schedule yet, please do, it will help. Here are some additional suggestions for how to defeat being overwhelmed from imom.com.

Pray. Only your heavenly Father knows everything you’re facing in a given day and how it’s making you feel. And He cares. Spending a little time each day clearing your heart and mind and talking it out with Him is a sure-fire way to get back on track.
Exercise. The release of endorphins that comes with physical exercise is a great antidote to stress. When you get wound too tight, go break a sweat! It’ll help you sleep better, too.
Call a friend. Sometimes we just need to talk it out, to vent, or to worry out loud for a second. A wise friend can offer a valuable perspective on your situation and can tell you when you’re
making a mountain out of a molehill.
Channel the energy. Sometimes, when there’s a larger problem looming, the nervous energy created can be put to good use. Try tackling that overstuffed closet or weeding a flower bed. You’ll get something accomplished rather than sitting and stewing.
Soak. There is something positively therapeutic about a hot bath. Even if you think you don’t have time, fill up the tub after you get the kids to bed and just be for half an hour. If you can’t stop the list of responsibilities from rolling through your head the whole time, thumb through a magazine for a diversion.
Count the blessings. Oftentimes, our state of mind is a matter of whether we take a glass-half-full or glass-half-empty approach to life. Sure, the water heater is broken, but you live in a nice warm home where hot water is a regular luxury and will be again once the repairman gets by.
Break it down. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. When the job (or jobs) facing you seems too big to handle, break it down into smaller tasks or phases, and put them in priority order. Then, focus on the first small task as if the others didn’t exist. Say “no.” It’s perfectly acceptable to turn down a request to volunteer or serve when you’ve reached your limit. There is an infinite amount of need in the world, but not every need is one that you’re called to meet. This is tricky for capable women, because when people know you’re a “doer,” they’ll pile on the work. We promise you, if you can’t chair the fall carnival at school, someone else will. The world will continue to turn. Trust us.
Call in reinforcements. If you have a particularly crazy week coming up, and your parents or in-laws are willing, let them help you out. In-town relatives or friends would probably be happy to drive carpool or pick your kids up from a couple of activities to give you some breathing room. Sometimes we don’t have simply because we don’t ask. Lean on your better half. When you’re feeling stretched to the limit, share your heart with your spouse. Together, you may be able to come up with a strategy to redistribute some tasks or
eliminate some worries from your life.
Check out. Occasionally, a person just reaches her limit and has to come up for air in the middle of a busy day. Leave your desk to go for a quick walk around the building, or throw your kids in the car and just go for a drive. Sometimes, all you need is a change of scenery.
Laugh. They don’t call it “the best medicine” for nothing. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed simply because we take ourselves and our lives too seriously. Learn to see the “funny” in your situation and chuckle—it’ll help.
Get comfy. Sometimes the clothes that we associate with certain pressures—like a career—seem to carry the tension in their very fibers. Come home and trade those control-top pantyhose for something you can breathe in. Literally.
Write it down. Lots of people find that journaling about their feelings and fears is helpful in that it helps them organize their thoughts and gives an outlet for expression.
Turn on the tunes. Research shows that 30 minutes of classical music has a calming effect similar to taking 10mg of Valium. Find some soothing music to take the edge off and help you relax.

I also wish to add that you should communicate that you are overwhelmed and allow your children to communicate that need as well. Communicate your need to take a break. Allow your children to communicate the need to take a break. Honor the need. Above all, remember that you are human. You can slow the pace of life. You are in control of what is in your space. If you like something, go with it. If you don’t like something, change it.

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