Posts tagged no rush november

“There is a time for everything…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago…I was a mother of little ones.

John Mark—my wild one, incapable of sitting still, coming out of his skin with ideas and interests. He was born to challenge boundaries, encouraged to question, destined to a story of vision and conquest.

Next came Rebekah, overflowing with joy, loving people, born with an insatiable need to fix, to help. She inhaled books, studied anything and everything that interested her inquisitive mind, and met injustice with the ferocity of a warrior-woman.

A boy and a girl, both so high on the intensity scale, they filled this mama’s days with wonder… and weariness.

Then came Elizabeth. Soft and gentle. Slow and easy. Compliant. She turned all that familiar intensity inward, filling up with wisdom, dishing out prophet-like insight. An easy infant, an easy toddler, even an easy teenager— easy on everyone but herself.

We waited a while for Matthew, our delight-filled, drama-prone, willful one— who came out of the womb looking for a party and filled our home with his friends.

All I’d ever wanted was to be a mother, to surround myself with little people, to create a legacy. But somehow I thought I could do all that and still keep my house always tidy, my chore list crossed off, myself looking like a model, my marriage conflict free…

And I couldn’t.

Not even close.

And there’s a whole story I can’t tell right here, the one I’m working to tuck into a book for next fall— about my flailing struggle and miserable failure to measure up to my own impossible dreams of how life ought to be.

On this wind-swept No-Rush-November day, all I can say is this:

For every worn out mother who wonders what happened to her dreams, hold tight, hang on. There is time for everything. Between your time to be born and your time to die, you will have more than enough time to achieve, to make your mark, to create beauty, to excel.

But what you are doing now, in the midst of the messes and the piles and the impossibly long lists of things that must be done— this is your finest hour.

When you hold that infant to your breast… you are nourishing a human who will grow up knowing deep down that she matters, that he is loved, and not just by you, but by God Himself. When you hold those babies close, their hearts sinc to yours… and to His.

Because God says:

Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! Is 49v15 nlt

When you hold that little one’s hand because he is afraid, because he needs you, because holding onto your hand keeps him safe… you are giving him the deep down security that can only come to one who puts his whole trust in God.

Because God says:

See, I have written your name on My hand. Is. 49v16 nlt

When you do the hard work of discipline— again— and you think that’s all you are, just one big-mean-mama, you are planting within that child the ability to choose. To choose how to act, who to follow, what to do when life gets hard. You are giving him the gift of soul strength, of self-control. Of life.

Because God says:

No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 10v11 niv

For just a few short years of your life, you are assigned to fill in for God. You guide with His hands, you speak His words, you guide every child-paced step towards the path that leads to life. You open the door to introduce your child to a Father who welcomes them in.

This, dear mothers who need to know, is…

The time to love:

To embrace sweaty boys while they still hug long and close.

To plant seeds of future dreams by imagining with them what could be.

To laugh over silly jokes with no punch line.

To dance to tunes about building snowmans and being free.

To read stories and give piggyback rides and fix lunch and rummage in the messy closet for socks that match.

This, my dear mothers, is the time to find beauty in the faces right in front of you.

Right now, during these fleeting days of No Rush November, will you redefine your definition of perfection?

Will you choose to live at peace with the imperfection of your body, your abilities, your to-do list?

Will you decide to see that achieving is not the same as doing?

That, indeed you are— in these sometimes disorderly, discouraging, disheartening years— achieving more than you could possibly hope to achieve in all the rest of the days of your life?

May He give you eyes to see.

From my heart,


P.S. if your answer is YES! will you write it in the comments?


(Image by Abi Porter)



Those who are wise will find a time and a way to do what is right.

Ecclesiastes 8v5

All week I have been delighting in the rally cry of women wanting what I want— to catch our breath and choose to “to slow down, to do life better… to intentionally take more time to engage.”

And all week I have been hearing about how you’re doing it, this challenge to “refuse to rush through our days leaving our people neglected and our souls depleted.”

And I’ve been taking notes, learning from women who, like me, find themselves rushing relentlessly through their days yet looking back and wondering what in the world we’ve done with those 16 hours of wakefulness.

Then this morning, as I walked along the gravel path that leads to my cabin in the woods behind Firwood Cottage, I had that uncanny sense that God was about to teach me things. Things about doing life well and wisely, about living a no rush life— on purpose.

And He did. 

Because, girls, God speaks. In fact, I have come to see that He delights in speaking into the dailiness of our lives. As if building nations and stopping epidemics and saving people is not enough… He actually waits to be invited to sit next to us as we plan our days.

He says just that in Psalm 37v 23:

“The steps of the godly are directed by the LORD.

He delights in every details of their lives.”

And when I do, when I invite Him in and  “commit everything I do to the LORD, trusting Him” (v 5), He actually gets involved in those details of my life and starts directing my day.

Can you believe that?!

The crazy thing is how often I don’t bother. I don’t bother Him and I don’t bother me long enough to scoot over while I’m making my lists and ask Him what I’m actually supposed to do. Today.

I remember when Matt was just a little boy of about four. John Mark would have been 16 and rarely home, Bekah about 14, and busy with her horse, Elizabeth 11, and living every spare moment at the barn with Bekah.

The first words out of Matt’s mouth every morning were, Where is everybody? Meaning, of course, John Mark, Bekah, Elizabeth, and Dad because those were the people that mattered most to Matt, the ones who held the happiness of his days. What he really wanted to know was not so much where they were but when they were coming home to play with him. Ah, the spoils of being the baby in a big family!

But then, every morning, Matt asked question # 2:

Mom, what’s the plan for today?

And I wonder if that isn’t how the Father wishes we would start our days.

Abba, what’s the plan for this day? 

I think that’s what Jesus did. I think Jesus woke up every morning and asked His father to plan His days, to direct His steps, to manage every moment of His life.

I suspect this may be why Jesus managed to pack everything that needed doing into a life that ended at the age of 33. And why He managed to say, “I have brought You glory on earth by finishing the work You gave me to do.” John 17v4

Everything You gave me to do…

What might that look like for us— women working hard to get it all done, stretched between the tension of tasks and relationships?

How do we do— everyday— those everythings the Father gives us to do?

How do we live a No Rush Life and still be able to utter those three words Jesus said on the Cross:

It is finished.

And about now you’re thinking I’ll have a list. Because I love lists. Because lists are cross-off-able. Because I live my days guided by my list.

Or you’re thinking I’ll offer you— free!— an app or a program or a sure-fire way to live efficiently and effortlessly for just $9.99 per month.

And I might have done that last week. Except that less than a week ago while I was writing the ideas for No Rush November, a woman I know wasn’t feeling well. Just tired and flu-ish and generally not great, she went to the doctor to see what he might prescribe to perk her up. Vitamins? Exercise? Hormones? Something she could take to feel better quickly so she could get on with the rush of real life with kids at home and a business to help run.

Only the doctor didn’t give her vitamins or tell her to move more. Instead, he  admitted her to the hospital with a diagnosis of acute leukemia.

While we do No Rush November, this mother, wife, business partner, home manager, list maker, will spend the next 30 days in the hospital being blasted with radiation.

Who plans for that?

No time to clean her house first. No chance to stock the freezer with meals for her family. Or get her hair cut or do that errand that didn’t get done, or let her clients know that she’ll be out for a while…

And I wonder. Does any of that matter to her now? The list sitting on her desk that won’t get done— does she care? Or is she so enmeshed in the fight to live to see her children grow up that she’s ceased to fret about all the stuff that keeps the rest of us rushing?

Her story is changing the way I look at today. Her fight to live is reminding me that I have no idea what next month will bring. And I’m not writing bucket lists, nor am I pulling out the bucket to wash my windows lest anyone notice how hard they are to see through… instead, I am doing what Jesus did and I invite you to do it too.

For every day of No Rush November, I will ask God to order my days.

I will pray what Moses prayed when he felt overwhelmed by a list too big to accomplish and a job too fraught with interruptions to get enough done:

“ So teach us to number our days

 that we might present to Thee

a heart of wisdom.”

Psalm 90v12


I will invite the Father to order every day and every week. Then I will ask Him, “what’s the plan?” as I pull out my calendar to look at next month… and next year.

And while I’m praying and planning, I will remember that The Plan is not all about me… but it is all about Him. And so I will pray along the lines of Jesus too:

“… not my will but Yours be done”. Luke 22v42

And that, am convinced, is the way to live an unrushed life.

From my heart,


P.S. I’ve read your words on Facebook, laughed with you on the @hespeaksinthesilence Instagram, signed deeply at your pictures on #norushnovember. Thank you for those, I am learning from you. Please keep it coming!  And fill up the comments too—we need to learn with each other.

When I asked the Lord what I can do for this woman I barely know, I heard Him again: pray. 

Pray every day. Pray when you wake up at night. Pray one your way to whatever it is you’re rushing off to. Just pray. 

And so I am. I hope you will too, though I’m not sure she’s appreciate her name being blasted all over the internet. You don’t need to know her name to know that she needs us to beseech the Father for healing.





Yesterday, I fell apart.

After a whirlwind week… at the end of a whirlwind month… following a whirlwind season, I just caved in.

I couldn’t make decisions, form complete sentences, or remember where I put my phone. Or my sunglasses. Or the boarding pass that would get me on the plane to take me home.

And I know that real life gets busy, that even Jesus worked to the point of exhaustion at times. He was harried by crowds who wanted too much, pushed by men trying to control the uncontrollable. He, too, got tired.

Yet I see a pattern in my own life that cannot be healthy—does not feel like His way:

First, I work way too hard, too fast, too much. My shoulders tense, the clock ticks. I work harder. I wake in the mornings to the press of hurry. I can do it. I will.

And if I’m honest, sometimes I crave the addictive rush of planning and crossing off and getting all that doing done.

But it’s not sustainable. Before I should, before my list is marked all through, I drop. Like a pricked balloon I leak. And then, like every woman I know, I look for someone to blame. I resent the unseen enemy who made me work too hard.

Poor me.

Then, zombie like, I rest by doing nothing. I withdraw into myself. I sleep too long, do too little, hide too deep. All the while feeling guilty and slovenly and shamed.

Even my rest seems too… much.

Yet as I read through the bios of Jesus, those stories recorded by always busy Matthew, and excessively dramatic Mark, precise Dr. Luke, and friend-of-God-John, I cannot help but see that He did life different than I do. There was a steadiness to his rhythm, a calm amidst the chaos.

He didn’t rush.

And so, I propose that we follow in His footsteps.

I propose that for the month of November we refuse to rush through our days leaving our people neglected, our space demolished, and our souls depleted.

I propose that we institute No Rush Novembers into the rhythm of our lives.

And maybe we is just me, but I dare to think that I am not alone in this need to slow down, to do life better… to intentionally take more time to engage.

And so, this morning I have been talking to the Father and asking how to be a woman who embraces life at a pace that allows me to live and love and work and accomplish… from a place of rush-less rest.

Instead of a list of what I will not do, I’ve found a strange urging to make room in my life for doing more… living better, steadier, more bravely.

Here is my list for me, things I am going to do this month on purpose:

I AM GOING TO… walk in the rain.

Living here in the Northwest, it rains a lot. As in nearly every day. Which means that to go outside at all is to get wet.

Most days a mist falls, a gentle leaking from porous skies. But some days the clouds battle unseen forces, lashing rain on the world, throwing branches to the ground in a fierce show of fury.

Those are the days I stay inside, safe, protected— and limited.

Not this month. During No Rush November I am going to walk in that rain and let it soak into my skin, and with it, this truth: that He is Living Water, Master of Storms, Soother of Seas. That to hide is to limit His use of me.

I AM GOING TO… build a fire in the fireplace.

Even though it’s messy. Even though I don’t need to. Even when I don’t have time to clean it up or pick up pieces of pine needles and bark that follow sodden footsteps from the wood pile to the inside.

Because I do have time. Not for perfection, but for rest, for warmth. And I am going to take time to draw near to the fire of a love that is all-consuming.

I AM GOING TO… make a big pot of chili and let it simmer all day.

Hot and red, spicy and rich, I am going to breathe in the scent of home. And then I am going to fill every bowl for friends and family, and a few more besides. To celebrate our not-aloneness. To relish those relationships that chase the chill of loneliness away. To open my arms and my kitchen to souls who hunger with the want of a shared bowl of goodness.

I AM GOING TO… clean out the garage.

You’re laughing now, but hear me out. That garage has been bothering me and shaming me and confusing me and making me feel like life is too busy to live well. Every time I open that door I see chaos. I feel the defeat of disorder.

My messy garage has become symbolic of a life hassled by hurry.

In no great rush I am going to finish sorting through the excess. I will keep only what I use, what I need, giving away the dishes I haven’t used in forever to someone who will.

I will lean into the whisper I heard months ago— to SIMPLIFY FOR THE NEXT SEASON. To actively choose to live with less so that I am useable, available, free.

For this one month I will recalibrate. I will re-think and re-order and remember. I will rest. I will create. I will make room in my life for surprises.

Will you join me?

From my heart,


Show us how you’re engaging in Now Rush November by taking a picture and posting on Instagram.

Use the hashtag #norushnovember so we can all join in the fun.

And check out our new Instagram account, @hespeaksinthesilence for more ideas on how to live at rest in the midst of real life.

I’d love to read your own ideas in the comments. Let’s keep this conversation going all month!