Font Size » + | -By Michelle Wanat I felt as if I had been living on a merry-go-round that never stopped. My to-do list included shuttling kids to a myriad of sporting events, helping them with homework, serving in church ministry, taking personal time with God, hosting our community group, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, walking the dog, shopping for groceries, spending quality time with my family, reaching out to those in need, connecting with friends, shopping for clothes for three kids who have all outgrown their clothes from last winter, planning birthday parties, working on the budget, and probably ten other things I had forgotten. I was truly thankful for the life God had blessed me with, and for my husband, David, who does whatever he can to help me. The kids are healthy and I loved going to all their sporting events, and I enjoyed volunteering in various roles with my church family. Nonetheless, I needed to rest. My physical body needed rest. I would grab a nap here and there and go to bed early if need be, but that’s not the rest God was talking to me about. My soul needed rest – quiet time where I could focus simply on being with Him. I began to think about the last time I was still and there were no interruptions during my time with God. It’s been a while. Don’t get me wrong, I spent time with God thanking Him for all He has done, brought my daily prayer requests to Him, and read one or two chapters from the Bible, but in that there was no rest for me because as soon as I prayed through my “list” and read His Word, I was off and running, getting my merry-go-round wound up. I would then jump on, holding on as tightly as I could so I wouldn’t fall off. I had forgotten how it felt to rest in Him, and then Psalms 23 came to mind. What a splendid picture of peace, rest, strength, and God’s promises David paints: Psalm 23 (NLT) A psalm of David. 1The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. While the chaos of my life as a wife, mother of three active children, and woman of God would not change, I needed to find a way off the merry-go-round. My soul had become weary from the spinning. And I hadn’t even thought about how my weary soul could interfere with how I present Christ to others. I had become friends with many of the parents at my kids’ sporting events, wanting them to see something different in me. But I had become too tired from trying to hang on to my merry-go-round to engage them. During dinner following a recent taekwondo tournament, I remember thinking, “God, I know you want me to share, but I’m tired. I just want to sit here, eat my cheeseburger and fries, and enjoy the lighthearted conversation.” I thought about the reason I was spending time and energy to connect with the parents: I wanted to be Christ’s light. I did share my testimony of infertility and God’s healing power when the opportunity presented itself, but I also concluded that if I was too tired to share my testimony at a Steak ’n Shake something had to give. Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” My soul was weary. It was time to rest and breathe and listen. So I jumped. I jumped right off that merry-go-round onto solid ground. I found a space where I would not be interrupted, where I could spend quality, rest-yielding time with the God who loves me. At first it took some time to clear my head of all that was still spinning inside, but that process has become much easier, and I love my quiet times with God. In case you were wondering, I don’t miss my merry-go-round. About the Author Michelle Wanat is the Executive Assistant for Global Missions. She and her husband, David, and their three children attend Journey Church of the Open Bible in Urbandale, Iowa.