Because one of my accountability partners prayerfully chooses a guiding word each year, I decided that was a good idea. It didn’t take much prayer to discern my word.
|Zoe M. McCarthy|
I’m an insomniac. My teeth ache from grinding them together when I do sleep. My problem is not that I’m a big worrier. I’ve learned to respect God’s command not to worry. But I feel like I’m always behind and need more time, especially with three books in progress with three publishers and traveling to BSF Bible study two hours away and spending Monday nights in NC. I’ve asked God to help me be more efficient so I have time to chill. I’m tired of treating my teeth with the strongest version of Sensodyne.
So, my word for this year is calm. In January, I stopped asking God to help me be more efficient. I asked Him to help me learn how to be calm. I knew the answer had to be my next step in learning how to abide in Jesus. I wasn’t surprised when I sensed He called me to honor the Sabbath.
My Sabbath before I was called to calmness: Rise early and go up to my office, and after working on my personal Bible study and prayer, get an hour in on writing the Bible study I teach on Wednesdays and maybe fit in some writing tasks. Go to Sunday school and church. Fit in some blogging or writing work if John watches sports on TV in the afternoon. Plan my week and work while John attends the Sunday evening Bible study. Motive: make my workweek easier by getting ahead.
On my Sabbath now, I don’t do any of my writing, blogging, or platform work. I’ve joined John at the Sunday night Bible study. I decided to trust God and watch how he orchestrates my days so I get more work done in six days than I did in seven. Most of all, I’ve found honoring the Sabbath has been a learning process.
At first, I needed to implement an attitude change. I was also going through the motions without connecting much with God. I was enjoying the rest part too much! Then during my preparation to teach the Wednesday Bible study, God showed me that I could do good for others on the Sabbath as Jesus did. Now, during my Sabbath day, I write notes to people needing encouragement and enjoy activities that show others my love.
Next, I realized, besides intercessory prayer and completing my study questions for the BSF Bible study, I needed to sit with Jesus for a while. I now use a devotional to start the conversation.
So, in two and a half months, what has keeping a Sabbath done for my calmness? It’s still a work in progress, but I’ve been sleeping well, and my teeth don’t ache. I still sometimes feel I need more time, but in spending quality time with Jesus—time connecting with the Lord other than studying the Bible and praying intercessory prayers—I believe the pressure will decrease and calmness will be part of my new nature. And, my Sabbath day is becoming precious.
What might be your word for this year?
Prayerfully choose a word for the year to help you become the person God has called you to be. Click to Tweet.
|About the Author|
Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little-known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Her first novel is Calculated Risk. She has two more contemporary romances and a nonfiction book to help writers ready their manuscripts coming out soon. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.
Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com
by Zoe M. McCarth
Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.
Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.
Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books