Wednesday's Washing
Cease Striving - a lesson I learned from my dog.

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.      Matthew 11:28-29 

Hey, friends!

Remember last week I mentioned that while I was on sabbatical in July, I had several ideas for our weekly devotionals? Well here's one of them and it may just be my favorite.
Beau, and I have a morning ritual.  This is Beau.
Every morning I go into my creative space (my home office) to have some time with the Lord. Once I get situated, Beau climbs up in the recliner with me. 
He finds his niche and somehow we both fit. This has been going on now for about a year. One day when I was sitting down having my Quiet Time, he just decided to crawl up next to me. I would normally not allow him to do so but he did so very gingerly and made sure I knew he didn't intend to hog the chair. So it became a thing - our thing.
Well a few weeks ago, I was struggling to calm my mind while sitting in that chair. You see when I wake up, so does my imagination. Ideas, to do lists, assignments and creative ideas begin bombarding  my thoughts before my feet even hit the floor. This particular morning, I couldn't seem to shut it off.

I prayed and asked the Lord to help me quiet my mind, and I sat there off and on chasing this thought and that thought, none of which had to do with why I was in the chair to begin with! 
All of a sudden, Beau leaned back and put his head on my chest. When he did, I heard these words in my spirit, "It's just that simple."
When Beau rested his head on me, he felt perfectly at home, knowing he'd receive from me a little lovin for the gesture. He did. I am his safe place where he feels comfortable and at ease. He doesn't have to perform, or do tricks to gain my attention or my affection. Just that one act of leaning in gained him all the affection and attention I could give.
I have no idea how much time I spent striving, trying to get my mind to settle and obey. I have no idea how many rambling thoughts I chased that morning. But when I heard those words, "It's just that simple," it all seemed to subside.
Now I won't say I didn't wrestle anymore with wayward thoughts. I did. However, I stopped trying to control them, and instead, I simply leaned in a bit closer to the Father
Father, remind us how easy it is to come to you. All the "stuff" we do to draw near to you can't bring us any closer than simply letting go and leaning in. Help us to become better leaners. 
I am the Secretary and Ladies' Ministry Leader at Calvary Community Church, in Houston. I am “Ebby” (my grandma name) to many, and “Mom” to one adorably sweet canine named, Beau. I began attending Calvary almost 25 years ago, and since then, my understanding of who Jesus is and how big His love is for me, has grown considerably. I guess you could say I’ve grown up at Calvary.
I've always had a heart for serving others and ministering to women, and I deeply love the church. She is a beautifully flawed menagerie of the face of God and I think she's pretty amazing. I believe in beautiful messes because I am one. If God can use this woman to touch just one soul through anything I say or do, then my life has been well spent.  
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