Overloaded and Out of Balance

Recently, we moved from the one room apartment attached to the boys dorm where we had been staying temporarily. Now, we are settled into our new home a short walk through the jungle on the airstrip. Though we were extremely grateful for our little apartment and a place to land our first 6 weeks in Guyana, we are beyond thankful for our new home!

During the time we stayed in the apartment there were many things we did differently than the way we did life back in the states. One of which was doing most of our laundry by hand down at the creek where the boys bathe and do their laundry when school is in session. This was a fun adventure for a while; but soon I realized that laundry could be quite time consuming. So, sometimes I would go over to the mission home (where we now live) when the previous family lived there and ask to use their machine, especially if I had let our laundry pile up! It was a real treat to use the washing machine as opposed to washing our clothes by hand (no large spiders or possible snakes swimming by to name a few of the perks).

Now that we are settled into our new home, complete with washing machine, I have been learning some valuable lessons (all learned from a washing machine--amazing how God speaks to us sometimes).

The machine is very similar to the one we used in the states, except we have to use a garden hose to fill the washing side of the machine. On the other side of the machine is a spinner. The spinner takes the clothes and spins them rapidly until they are almost dry to the touch. This is an amazing invention, when you live in a humid tropical jungle! Before, my hands were our spinner, and no matter how much wringing of clothes I did, I was never as effective as this machine!

The only catch with this spinner is that you can only add small amounts of clothing at a time. If you try to trick the machine, and put in several large items, or even many smaller items, it revolts. At first, I was confused by this, because I had watched the previous missionary fill it quite full on several occasions and somehow it always worked for her—but not for me.

The first time I loaded the spinner, I tried as the previous missionary had to pack it full, only when I did it, the machine jumped and skipped (imagine a bull at a rodeo), causing me to have to stop the load right away. And, every time I have tried it since…same results! I try to re-adjust, flatten, or squish in all different configurations…but no matter how many different ways I put in the clothes, if it is too full, it just doesn't work. It’s simply too full to work properly.

This got me thinking. Life is a lot like this spinner. Sometimes life can become too full, and it simply doesn't work (properly at least). How often, do we try to pack one more thing into our day? Or add one more activity to our weekly schedule; one more outing; one more event; one more, well anything that makes life too full…you fill in the blank! And, when we do, things start to spin out of control.

I have known far too many people who have worn themselves out with their full schedules. I have been this person, more times than I would like to admit. You would think one or two spins jumping and skipping and I would realize my “machine” (or schedule) is just too full! But, it still remains a real temptation to add just one more “to do” to the day. Sadly though, that one more, is often the one that throws us out of balance.

God can’t speak to us as clearly when our machines are overloaded. When we are busy jumping and spinning wildly, the still small voice that wants to get through to us becomes muffled.

God wants to calls us out of our busyness; He tells us to “be still and know that I am God,” but are we able? Are we able to sit in the stillness of life and let a few things pass us by? There are times, we need to, its essential.

Will there be times we are busy? Yes, of course! We all live in this fast paced world. But, keeping a hectic pace, where we feel like we are spinning out of control, is simply put…overload.

Today, if you are overloaded, remember the One who calls to your heart, the One who is telling you everything will be OK. You can set aside that “one more.” He calls to each of us in our weariness and exhaustion and says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

He also provides us with the wisdom to know, (and the grace to let ourselves off the hook from time to time) that there is a time and a place for everything. So maybe not we’re not able to finish that extra project this week, or that one extra stop while running your errands, or whatever that “one more” is…but He wants to impart to us His grace and wisdom. He wants us to know there will be a time for the things that truly need to be done…Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”

Give yourself permission today, to rest in the arms of the One who can give you true rest from your spinning, and the grace to say it’s OK to slow down and live in the precious moments He has blessed you with. If we are too busy spinning it’s far too likely we could miss the very blessings that are right in front of us.

God will never cease to amaze you (or me!) when we slow down to spend time with Him--even speaking to our “busy” hearts through jumping washing machines somedays!

"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass which today is and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Luke 12:27-28)

Down at the creek doing a little laundry and cooling off!

One of the recent signs that were made with Bible verses for the Bethany Medical Mission Campus path.

Taking a short swing in the hammock, "being still" for a moment...a rare sight for Tony! He has truly put in many a hard days work here so far!

Frisky, the local cat who hangs out at the cafeteria, about to take a cat nap...a very common sight!

Jax imitating Frisky=)

Taking an afternoon to enjoy the "lillies," (well, really weeds, but pretty ones!) with some of the local children and mission kids.

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