slow down OR SHUT DOWN

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Since my recent injury, I’ve been reminded that at times God allows certain things to happen just so we can take a break, and come back to ourselves. All because we can get caught up in this high pressure world of doing more and more and more. A world where you can start losing passion for the things you once loved, because you’ve lost sight of why you started them in the first place, all in the pursuit of getting MORE. That more can be anything; more money, more recognition, more fame, more followers etc… you get my drift. Anyway, sometimes when I need some big sisterly encouragement, I read Holley’s blog… and I thought I’d share this encouraging article, which really spoke to me recently about the unnecessary pressures we often put ourselves under. I hope you get something from it;)

“Here’s a little confession: When I’m under pressure I can act like a hamster on a wheel. I run, run, run because it feels like the fear will catch me if I stop. And as long as I’m doing something – anything – then I can stay under the illusion that I’m in control. It will all work out if I just keep working becomes my motto.

Can you relate?

The other day I’d been pushing toward the finish line of a big project. A good project. An important project. A spiritual project. I sensed the gentle whisper of God inside my heart saying, “You’ve done enough for today, Holley. It’s time to rest.” But I insisted, “Just one more thing!” That “one more thing” involved a change to my blog. I completed what needed to be done, hit “save”, leaned back in my chair…and watched as my entire site basically exploded. Yep. I couldn’t even get back in to fix anything.

I don’t think what happened was divine retribution but it was a timely reminder. As Ann Voskamp said, “Haste makes waste. The hurry makes us hurt.” God has been teaching me to live by a new rhythm–one of peace, rest and taking care of what matters most. But every once in awhile I relapse. Thankfully, my web designer found a way to fix my blog. But that kind of striving can do more than break a site. It can break a life. I’ve lived that reality. And I’m not the only one. After another well-known pastor’s ministry recently imploded I found an article where a counsellor explained what’s behind many of these scenarios. As a fellow counsellor, I also think what’s below is part of the picture…

Someone feels called to do big things for God. They push and strive. They grow and succeed. Somewhere along the way the expectations become greater than their ability to meet them. But rather than stop they try harder. This leads to great pain. And when we are hurting, we seek something to soothe our souls–often beyond the boundaries of what God allows. And just like the click of a mouse, a decision is made that shuts down a once-thriving family, ministry, heart. If you can relate at all, I’m begging you to listen to that gentle whisper saying, “That’s enough, my child. It’s time to rest.” You can spend a day (or a lifetime) building something only to see it disappear in a second. The only way we can truly create something that truly lasts is this…

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” {John 15:5}

Our role is not straining; it’s remaining. That truth is what replaces the fear that tempts us to run, run, run. This is our true security when the pressure comes: “Being confident of this, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” {Php. 1:6}. And when we dare to get off the hamster wheel, He will carry us too.

Holley Gerth

Couldn’t have put it simpler myself – slow down or shut down, the choice is yours. P.S. See this full photoshoot here.

Model: Miranda    //    Photography: Andrew Kibuka (Stylegallivanter.com)  //  Styling: Miranda (Stylegallivanter.com)

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