Is your value based on what you have to offer?

The bountiful Costa Rican countryside where the kids and I spent time in Spanish immersion learning during my sabbatical.

You cannot force rest.
You simply must be present to it.
And by ‘simply’ I don’t mean there is anything simple about it.
It’s just that I cannot make it happen.

This summer has been a time of making myself available to rest.
With the support of this loving church community, and my conference,
I opted to take half of my sabbatical time this year and
half next year.

six weeks.
to some it may seem like a long time,
to others, not so long,
but it was the longest I’ve unplugged in these years of ministry.
I started full-time pastoral ministry 20 years ago.

Ministry has been a complete act of grace in my life.
Being carried along by the Spirit through the
highs and lows, peaks and valleys.
Pastoring through the pandemic has left it’s mark on my life.

Something given, not earned.
Love. Favor. Delight. Unconditional acceptance.
Not because I did anything.
Not because I’m doing things to earn it.

I don’t live in a works-based mentality.
Really, that isn’t what I believe.
The foundation of my entire life is Jesus and love-freely given.
Even still, professionally and relationally, my value as a pastor can feel as if it comes from what I do,
what I bring. The way I am willing to show up fully and completely to others.

Do you ever find the lines blurring for you?

So, during those 6 weeks, I did the opposite.
I intentionally did not show up.
And I felt the grace of God renew me.
I started with a simple practice each day:

In the morning, I made time to feel the smile of God.
“You’re my child.”
“I love you.”
“I delight in you.”
“I’m so very proud of you.”
“You don’t have to do anything, or say anything for it to be so.”
“I just love you.”

Those words are for you today, my friend.
They’re found in the Scriptures and spoken by One who fully knows you (see Psalm 139).

In the mess that is everyday life, is there a window of time, a space where you can let your mind slow down to simply “be” in the presence of the One who delights in you?

I’m back. I re-entered the fullness of it all about a month ago.
And I’m seeking to intentionally make space for grace each day.
Will you join me?