Plans For a Slower Pace

Before we even became parents, my husband and I dreamed of a life where he would bring home the bacon, and I would quit my job as a teacher to raise however many children God gave us. Before we knew it, there were two little ones in our house, and it was becoming difficult to even scrape by on one salary. My husband decided a complete career change was best for our growing family, although it required a part time job in addition to new career training. In the following two and a half years, he worked seven days a week as two more babies blessed our family, bringing our grand total up to four children four years old and under.

Everything was stretched–our physical and mental states, our small house, and our budget. We didn’t know how much longer we could continue at our current pace, but God intervened in a way that we had never considered: my parents offered us a portion of their house to live in while we saved money for a larger home, paid off debts, and recovered from years of stretching.

Moving back home with your parents is a humbling decision, especially for headstrong, determined people like my husband and I, but we felt such peace with this new path that we knew God was behind us. For the next eighteen months, He continually showed us another way to live. We could finally slow down enough in life to see Him move, instead of uncontrollably swirling around in a tornado of bottles and babies. My husband was able to be home most Sundays, providing his first regular Sabbath, or rest day, in years. I had built-in help from my mother and 96 year old grandmother in raising our four tiny humans, and with their help, I learned to sit and enjoy children instead of constantly rushing around to meet their needs. God used our situation to bless us in multiple ways. Not only did it teach us how to slow down, but it allowed my grandmother precious time with her great grandbabies before she passed away shortly after we moved out of my parent’s house.

In Mark 2:27, Jesus says, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.” Every time I read this verse, I cannot help but think about those years we spent without rest days. There is more to the Sabbath than church attendance. We had never stopped attending church during our years of busyness, but without taking a day off from work, our God-given need for rest was unsatisfied. The Sabbath was given to us by God for our benefit and my parents thankfully understood this. They not only modeled a life with built-in rest days but provided us with opportunities to enjoy our children and each other more often.

God is clear about His plans for us, rest included. Jeremiah 29:11 works as an excellent reminder of this.

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