• Dana L. Butler

On Lying Down Inside {and our soon-coming Very Big News}

 My mug of half coffee, half hot chocolate sits next to my computer this morning.  Baby girl naps peacefully, and my little mister is watching an extra episode of Curious George, because some mornings just call for that.

It’s Monday morning, and Isaac had an extra hard time with Stan leaving for work this morning after the weekend.  8:30 AM found me with not enough coffee, two bawling littles, and a ridiculous diaper blowout — pleading with Jesus for enough grace just for this moment.

The grace came — maybe because I chose to receive it, and definitely because He’s strong in my weakness.  It’s a combination of both, like the pedals on a bicycle.

Our house is on the market again these days.  I’m currently working (finally!) on a newsletter that will contain our family’s Very Big News, and hint – it’s connected to the For Sale sign in our front yard.  {If you’re not subscribed to receive said newsletter and you’d like to be, you can do that here.  Newsletter content is unique from blog content.}

I’ve been purging lately — throwing away and giving away and Craig’s-Listing unneeded STUFF by the garbage bag full.  All in preparation to move.  It’s a busy season.

And since December, the Lord’s been doing this parallel purging in my heart — and goodness gracious, it has not. let. up.  His Knife is just carving away in my deep places — carving out fear — and many days, functioning through it is absolutely exhausting.  He is exposing places where the opinions of people have grown louder in my head than His thoughts about me.  He’s moving me toward freedom, but the path in that direction isn’t an easy one.

Some days, the pain of the process is so heavy it’s hard to breathe.

A couple of people, in praying for me over the last few weeks, have sensed the Lord drawing their attention to Psalm 23, particularly the “He makes me lie down in green pastures” piece.

“Lie down, physically,” said one friend, “and let your body remind you what that feels like.  Then carry that feeling in your soul.”

Lying down, be it body or soul, doesn’t come easy for me.

So I’ve been contemplating Sabbath rest.  Not the external Sabbath that may or may not happen on a Saturday or Sunday, but the internal kind.  The kind Jesus wants us carrying on our insides all the time.  The kind where He becomes our Sabbath rest.  Where He woos us into living deeply at rest in Him, in our core — invites us to allow everything we do externally to come as an overflow from this internal lying down.

As I began to compose this blog post (which I am now finishing during my kids’ afternoon naps), I was considering titling it, “In Which I Give Myself Permission to Slow Down.”  And the funniest thing happened: this blog post from Emily Freeman landed in my inbox.  Its title?  “In Celebration of Slow.”  Most definitely a NON-coincidence.  Read it if you have a few minutes.

Y’all, I’m so doing that.  I’m giving myself permission to slow down, and celebrating the rest said permission is bringing to my insides.  I’m not sure what all this will look like, practically.  I may post less here in this space for a season.  I may not.  I’m definitely not going to hold myself to a writing schedule.  I have backed out of writing one guest post — one I was struggling with — and will hopefully complete another one this week, along with my newsletter.  Otherwise, I am taking it easy for a while.

In light of the intensity of Jesus’ work in my heart in this season, combined with the external pressures of having our home on the market and still being in “emotional recovery mode” with our boy who spent 5 days in the hospital, I know I need to do this.

I would so love your prayers, friends.  For the quick sale of our home, and for peace for my heart — that God will continue to deepen my trust in His hand as He continues to work freedom into my deep places.

As always, I’m profoundly thankful for your companionship here.  For the way you love Him along side me, the way you seek Him, and the way you receive from Him through my small words.

Y’all are a gift, so dear to my heart.

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