START HERE

Today’s Truth

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.

(Psalm 62:5, NIV)

Friend to Friend

As we drove through the scenic mountains of North Carolina, I could feel my soul begin to settle and my spirit grow quiet. It was a welcome feeling … one that was a long time coming.

We had been vacationing at Lake Lure since our children were toddlers. Now Jered and Danna are married and have children of their own. And we were about to meet all of them for a whole week of vacation together!

I. Could. Not. Wait.

But I really needed a little time to just be still. To set aside the busy schedule I had just left behind. To reset my heart and mind on the precious lives and legacy about to arrive, yelling “Mimi” as they scampered into my arms.

Dan and I drove in comfortable silence, occasionally commenting on the beauty of the familiar mountains and rolling valleys. Sweet memories made us laugh as we spotted places we had taken our children when they were young. Now we would take our grandchildren to those same places and make new memories. Yes, it was going to be a great week.

Flowers of every color dotted the hillsides, and I commented on the beauty of the lush green ground cover. Dan said, “Honey, that is Kudzu.”

Whatever Kudzu was, I thought it was beautiful and told him so.

Dan seemed determined to burst my Kudzu bubble, “Honey, Kudzu is nasty and nothing more than a deadly weed. The plant climbs over trees or shrubs and grows so fast that it kills them … basically by suffocating them.”

I was not convinced, so I Googled Kudzu. He was right! Kudzu is a menace. According to Wikipedia, Kudzu is a serious invasive plant in the United States. It has been spreading in the southern U.S. at the rate of 150,000 acres annually. Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences and has earned the nickname, “The vine that ate the South.”

What? How could something so beautiful be so deadly? The Holy Spirit whispered to my weary soul, “Oh, you know how.”

And I did.

I had just spent nine months traveling…  speaking, writing, teaching and mentoring … all beautiful things. But my schedule had become deadly. I was so tired. So what is a girl … using the term “girl” loosely … to do?

I am 70 years old, struggle with scoliosis, and battle clinic depression every day. God works through the amazing doctors He has placed in my life and through the medications and therapies they prescribe. Over the past few years, those doctors have helped me hone in on what works best. And every one of them is telling me to slow down.

And then God said, “Let me help you with that.” Enter Covid19 virus. I thought I knew what slowing down meant. Not even close!

I am re-learning what it means to sit at His feet this year. Setting new priorities, planting and carefully tending new hedges of protection. I have recruited some people who are not afraid to look me in the eye and say, “Stop it!” I am already sensing some radical changes on the horizon.

Cutting back on my travel schedule because many churches are not planning large group events.

Teaching Bible Study via Zoom.

Learning to be more creative in the way I mentor women.

Staying home.

Creating margins.

Cutting away the Kudzu.

And so excited to plant new seeds … new dreams that the Father will grow. Not my seeds, you see. They are His alone and will not be a burden. In fact, they will be replenishing and energizing. When we work and serve within our gifting, God empowers and gives us everything we need to do what He created and calls us to do.

Yep! Taking my hands off. Letting go. Resting in Him. No ambition and absolutely no hope for worldly gain or fame. Wow! The freedom that comes from that place is startling.

How about you, girlfriend? Do you need to stop and just breathe?

Today is the day. Take the time to sit at His feet and ask Him … not anyone else … ask the Father what His plan is for your life. Then rise to your feet and do it. Cut away the Kudzu and just do it.

Let’s Pray

Father, I come to You today with a weary heart and exhausted body. I am tired. I am worn. But I am Yours. And I am ready to seek You and Your perfect plan above every plan in my life. I know I will find rest in doing what You have created me to do. I surrender my agenda to You. Lead me, Lord. I will follow.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

I challenge you to read Psalm 23 once a day for a month. Record your thoughts in your journal and see how God directs your steps. Write a prayer of surrender and commitment to Him. I am praying for you now as you read this devotion … that God will lift you up and strengthen you for the journey ahead.

More from the Girlfriends

Need help cutting away the Kudzu? Mary’s book, Escaping the Stress Trap, will help you learn how. It is a verse-by-verse of Psalm 23 and includes a chapter-by-chapter Bible study. Check it out!

Be sure to check out the FREE MP3s on Mary’s website and connect with Mary through email or on Facebook. If you would like to receive more devotions like this one, sign up for Mary’s Blog.

Need prayer? Our prayer team is committed to praying for you. Email your requests to our prayer team director, Ginger Meador, at gjmeador@comcast.net

6 Responses to “A Place of Rest”

  1. Jeanne says:

    I love this, Mary. So many of your words echo mine. My schedule also came to a screeching halt in 2020. Seven years into ministry. Mmm… allowing my land rest. The hardest part is missing my children and grands who are all plane trips away.
    Praying your time in the mountains refreshed your soul.

  2. Gina says:

    Thank you Mary! This was exactly what I needed to hear today!

  3. carol says:

    Thank You, Mary;
    This devotion has my name written all over it!
    I’m newly, retired; my mission is now to spend more time then I’ve done before, to relax in His time. My world was so busy and noise filled, I wasn’t giving my attention to what was important.
    I’ve given myself the challenge of reading the Bible in a year. Then Covid19, entered our lives and I can see, how God used people and situations to get us to awaken to His voice and His purpose.
    Surrendering our agendas….that is one, that I’m working on.
    Bless you in your discipleship.

  4. Debbie says:

    Thank you Mary!
    Your devotions always speak right to my soul and in perfect timing. This one especially🙌🏻🙏🏻❤️

    I am a full time caregiver for my mother in law who had a stroke and has dementia. I am also waiting on test results and possible heath concerns of my own.
    God is teaching me to be still and rest in Him in this season. It has been a rough road of refining by fire, but praise God He has brought me to the place of total surrender! I only wish I had arrived here sooner. He has blessed me with amazing peace and rest in Him. It is so freeing to give it all to Him and wait (my greatest weakness) on His timing.
    God Bless you and thank you for being such an inspiration!❤️🙏🏻❤️

  5. Cynthia says:

    Mary, thank you for your time and sharing God’s word. I am hoping you can help me find a book about dealing with depression. I have so loved GIG and I thank the Lord for all of you behind the scenes at GIG.

Leave a Reply

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8