This past weekend I was blessed to be able to attend the 2019 COCHE Retreat in Louisville, Kentucky. The Church of Christ Home Educators Retreat was a gathering of over 90 women whose families have taken on the responsibility of teaching their children in their homes in a variety of styles but with a single purpose: raising children to follow God.
There were so many wonderful lessons from several amazing speakers and I came home refreshed and recharged, full of ideas to help improve our home school and tips for strengthening my relationships with my children. For the past six years, Nick and I have taken on the job of home educators and it has been amazing for our family. While we have figured out quite a bit over the years, this retreat enriched me so much with ways to keep improving.
While it was amazing to be with so many like-minded and like-goaled ladies who understand the blessing and the struggles we experience, I also made so many connections from the various lessons to Christian life in general. I wanted to share some of those thoughts with everyone else so hopefully it will offer you a bit of encouragement for your week.
- If Satan Can’t Make You Bad, He’ll Make You Busy – Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Life can quickly become overwhelming when we allow ourselves to become so busy that we can not focus on what God has placed in front of us. He does not want that for our lives. He does not ask us to fill every moment of every hour with activities. While this world teaches us that if you are not busy you are somehow not as important, not as valuable, God teaches us to slow down, seek rest, and seek Him.
If Satan hasn’t succeeded in tempting you with sin in order to tear you away from God, he works just as hard to tempt you with a busy life. A life so filled to the brim with appointments and obligations that we lose our focus and forget why we do the things we do.
We need to take time to slow down and be still. We need to seek God first in our days and let the rest fall into place. We need to be willing to say “No” to things and consider the cost: will saying yes to this next opportunity cost you your time, your peace, your relationships? We need to take the time to rest and recharge so that we can take care of what we are called to do in this life, but we need to remember that we don’t have to do it all!
- Make Sure Your Breaks are Refreshing Retreats and Not Just Emotional Escapes – Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Everyday as we are busy, we seek breaks. We need a few minutes here or there to rest and recharge our battery so that we can carry on. Have you ever considered how you take that break and what you do in that few minutes of down time? I will admit, most of the time my breaks are filled with scrolling social media or playing some mindless matching game on my phone. These breaks do nothing for me however other than distract me and kill time.
When we have breaks in our day, we should be using them to actually fill our tanks so we can keep going, not just use them as temporary escapes from life. One big reminder I received this weekend was to use my breaks purposefully. The few minutes I find during my day that break from the busy schedule should be refreshing my soul and my drive. They should reconnect me with my purpose and with the One who gave me purpose.
If my breaks are refreshing retreats, they will fill me with the energy I need to keep going. But if I am just finding an emotional escape to keep from dealing with the day then I will be just as drained when I return to my chores, only now I will be feeling guilty for the time I took away from them. When my time is not used in a way that connects me to God and helps me focus, then it really isn’t helping me at all.
- Remember We Work for God and Not Man – Galatians 1:10 “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”
So much pressure is placed on us to live up to certain expectations. These expectations however are worldly and not from God. If we try to live up to what the world says we should be we will find ourselves always striving for unattainable goals and feeling more and more miserable when we cannot reach them.
We must remember each day that what we do is not done to seek the praise and approval of man, but of God. Each choice we make, each day we live, should be looked at as an opportunity to be pleasing to our Lord above. If we are living in a way that pleases Him then we will find satisfaction in life.
If we are living to be pleasing to God, we will be looking to Him for instruction and guidance. We will be focused on transforming our life into that of the Son (Romans 12:1-2), rather than trying desperately to conform it to an ever-changing unsatisfied world. Don’t fall into the trap of comparison with those around you but look to the One above who made you to be like Him.
- Seek Refuge – Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.”
When the day is long and hard, seek refuge. When the storms of life blow and threaten, seek refuge. When you need help, seek refuge. This weekend has reminded me that God is always present and when I need help, I should remember to seek refuge in Him.
Many times in scripture we are reminded that God is all powerful. His strength is there to support us and hold us up if we will just lean on Him and trust. He is called my rock and my fortress (Psalm 18:2 and 2 Samuel 22:2). He is the safety I can run to when the world around me is crumbling.
When life is too much, I need to find my retreat in Him. I need to seek refuge from the One who is immovable. God is always there, look for Him.
In Christian Love,