Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence. 1 John 3: 18-19
“This is how we set our hearts at rest in His presence.”
My eyes fall fixed on these words …..
But how does resting in His presence look like? Is it the stillness in the fresh morning while the birds are chirping in the background? Is it writing this journal with no distraction and noise but just enjoying the quietness of the room and calmness of my mind with no kids asking for my help or a husband asking for favors? No demanding job, deadlines and dues. Ah, the solitude of the mornings is really a great way to start my day. But Am I at REST? How can one say she is at truly at rest. That is the real question.
Marriage and Motherhood
Well, after 8 years of marriage, Yes , I can truly and honestly say that finally I am now at rest with the role that the Lord has given me- to be a wife to Ian and to be a mother of two lovely kids, Gail and Kiana.
You see, It wasn’t quite long ago when I was not rested at all. I was constantly struggling in my heart for things I miss and long to do. Since I was a kid, I always wanted to go out into the world and be somewhere. My greatest dream was to travel, to move around, to be elsewhere but inside a house. So for the first part of my married life I struggled to accept the new role of being ‘just a housewife’. I was so unhappy doing routinary ordinary tasks and often felt unsatisfied and unaccomplished. Days passed by and it seemed purposeless, repetitive and dull. I missed the challenges of working fulltime in ministry and longed to experience the thrill again of accomplishing things and receiving some form of reward, whether financially or through sheer self-fulfillment. Those days were awesome and I missed them so much. I remember crying to my husband and telling him how much I wanted to go back to work or find something else to do other than changing nappies and cleaning baby (and yes dog) poop. He wasn’t against it and would in fact tell me to ‘go ahead and try’ if I really wanted to. I would often compare myself from other women who were accomplishing much in their careers or businesses to the point of self-pity. I felt the house and the menial chores became more of a burden. But In the midst of my unrest, I knew deep down inside that the Lord was not calling me back to work outside the home. I knew God wanted me to find joy not in a place, a venue, an event, a position, or in a career but that He wanted me to learn to find joy solely in HIM. So as time passed, after much crying before the Lord, the Lord slowly worked through the attitude of my heart and changed it.
He has brought me to a point of rest. He has brought me to a point where my heart has completely accepted my role as a homemaker, embracing motherhood to the fullest, feeling satisfied in my simple daily household chores and tasks, making my heart happy and settled in the home, and truly loving my family by giving my best to them. It wasn’t definitely an easy journey. It was a slow transformation from where my selfish unsettled heart was to where it is now- Rested in His Presence.
To finally accept God’s dream for me is the most wonderful thing that happened to me as a woman. It liberated me from my ‘what ifs and what shoulds’. To finally understand that I have the power to influence my children and the generations after me through the gift of motherhood is a chance I wouldn’t want to put to waste. Many older women are telling me to cherish these times especially when my kids are young where their hearts are most tender and open to receive instructions and guidance. Indeed, I have that opportunity now. With a new perspective, I have learned to fully embrace motherhood and homeschooling.
Each day the Lord is giving me deeper understanding and appreciation of my role as a helpmate to my husband where now I see it as privilege to support and serve him.
Resting in His Presence
Resting in His presence means that I know I am a child of God and that I am deeply loved. Whether I get praises in public or be hidden in the home, I am deeply loved by a wonderful God who sees all things and who rewards faithfulness.
Resting in His presence means that I can love freely even at times when it is hard and impossible. When those moments that I can get so angry at my husband or be pissed off by my kids over issues , then feel like fighting back or withdraw myself from them, I know God’s power enables me to take control of my emotions and help me to respond in a different way- His way. I have the power through Jesus to be rested in the midst of a conflict or an issue.
And when those ugly moments come when I really do mess up as a wife and mom, choosing to sin than to be under His control, I can rest at the fact that God’s love is unconditional, hence, I can go to him with a repentant heart. He is always ready to forgive, clean up our mess, restore our relationships and make us better people.
Finally, to rest in His presence is to accept each day as a gift; To accept that we can create beautiful moments and memories with our families in many fun simple ways in the home; To have joy and a grateful heart for the simple things in life. NO longer controlled by my “what ifs and what should” but only enjoy each passing time with the closest people you have on earth.
In essence, Resting in His presence is starting your day with the Lord and allowing yourself to flow with the Holy Spirit throughout your day.
So here I am ready to take on the challenges of this day with the power and presence of God who is my REST.
Vanessa Garcia – Resuta is a wife to Ian, mom to Gail and Kiana, a child of God and a traveler passing through this world.