Sunday, April 5, 2015

Tired but Understood

My friend,Tara Owens, has written a book recently published by Intervarsity Press entitled Embracing the Body - Finding God in Our Flesh and BoneShe is hosting a synchroblog and this is the topic as written on her blog:

Holy Week is so much about the body—foot washing, eating together, betrayal with a kiss, not to mention the intense experience of the crucifixion—but we seem to avoid talking about that fact and what it means for our bodies, even so. What aspect of Holy Week resonates most with your embodied experience right now? Or what’s hardest? Write about that.”

I wanted to join in but was having a hard time deciding how to answer the question, so I went outside to sit on the hillside in the dry grass, which was thick, cushiony and quite comfortable. Most of my senses were involved as I sat there taking in the sights and sounds around me and I began to write...

The sun is shining. There is a gentle breeze, enough to move the chimes. I hear cars going down the road occasionally and an airplane in the distance. It is peaceful out here. The sky is blue without a cloud in sight, and the sun is feeling warm on my back. No phone, no computer, no television or CD player; just me, my journal and all of outdoors.

My body is tired.

I’ve been out more than usual this week. Monday afternoon we went to my mother’s house where we cooked supper and played Scrabble, which is one of her favorite things to do. Tuesday was a sunny day and I spent time on the hillside writing. It seems that's where I often find inspiration. Thursday I also spent at home, but it was rainy and cool so I was inside. I did get some writing done but was still tired.

Wednesday, we left around 9:30 in the morning to head to the house of my youngest daughter, who is an artist. While there I helped her shorten some of the chains for necklaces she was making using prints from her paintings. Sometimes my fingers don’t work as well as I’d like because of arthritis, and I wondered how well I could do it. To my surprise I found that even though tedious, it was not hard and I enjoyed it. As a thank you she gave me one of her beautiful necklaces.

(by chaotic art angel)

That evening my sons and I went to a karate class. Karate is something new for me and I wondered if my body was too old and stiff to start learning something that physical. The stretches and exercises were and are challenging, but I’m gradually making progress. After the first two classes I was almost ready to give up, but during this third class I surprised myself by doing better on the stretches than I had before. At the end my teacher told me she had noticed a marked improvement since last week. Maybe this body of mine can handle more than I thought.

Friday was a full day beginning at 7:00 in the morning and ending in our first time attending a service held at our church called Stations of the Cross. Basically what we did was walk around the parking lot stopping at different places as we read scriptures and prayers reminding us of the events of the last hours of Jesus from the Passover meal with his disciples, to his prayer in the garden, to his betrayal, trials, then to the crucifixion. All the walking and standing as we listened to the explanations of each station was very tiring. My legs were aching when we got home, as it was a very physical experience.

Walking around outside, thinking of all Jesus suffered, somehow made it seem more real.


After writing all this down, thinking about how tired I was from all the busyness of the week, I realized what resonated with me.

Jesus was busy that whole week before his death. 

He was still teaching, healing, sharing his life, and he got tired. I remembered that a regular practice of his was going away from the crowds to take time to pray to his Father. This is what sustained him and gave him strength to complete his mission on earth.

Praying in the garden was the last thing he did before he was betrayed.

Just like Jesus, I need that regular time alone to pray to God. This is what will sustain me and give me strength to complete my mission on this earth. I will never know the extent of his pain and exhaustion, but I do know that he understands my tiredness and my weakness.

He knows my needs and He will give me grace.  

This seems to tie in with the e-course on prayer I took recently that was written and led by Jamie Bagley. I've spent time writing prayers and trying to pause more during the day, taking time to relax, refocus, pray and be refreshed. I'm still working on it and I'm still learning, but I'm finding that it does make a difference in my attitude and how my day turns out.

I'm linking up with Motivate and Rejuvenate Mondays with Letetia.

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