My Ark

Rest and Resiliency ~ What am I learning?

Needing to come up for air after two crazy years — good crazy, hard crazy, busy crazy years, God led me to focus on the words rest and resiliency for 2017. I sectioned off a new place in my journal to record what I’m learning.

Several pages are dedicated to the Noah narrative. The name Noah (in Hebrew noach), means rest. “and called his name Noah, saying … this one shall bring us relief …” Genesis 5:29.  Like Noah, I’m building an ark, a safe place to withstand the floods of life. An ark that is fit for the next decade of my life. My guess is the floods are not going to subside; my hope is that my ark will help me live resiliently even while the storms are battering on every side. In the future I’ll share more about my ark, for now here are the pieces of the keel.

  1. Physical rest bows to soul rest. (Eugene Peterson)
  2. Pay attention to bubbles of grief that might be below the surface. (Kimberley Knochel)
  3. Steward my emotions and tell myself truth. (Mark Bates)
  4. Honor my circumstances and listen to my desires. (Dan Allender)
  5. I don’t need to lower my expectations; I need to adjust them. (Linda Bonorden)
  6. My calendar is not my decision-maker.
  7. I need to make HARD decisions (canceling our trip to Illinois, OUCH).
  8. Listen to my body. God knit it together.
  9. Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light …” Like a lighthouse warning of unseen dangers below the surface.
  10. The chains still rattle and remember those chains are lies. (Bill Tell)

Jean Fleming’s excellent work, Pursue the Intentional Life, shares much wisdom as she purposefully looks ahead to her remaining years and desires to honor God with her life. I cannot recommend it highly enough. As my husband tells the college students when he comes across an invaluable resource, “Sell your bed and buy it!”

This is one quote from Jean’s book that I copied to my journal.

“Reframing means keeping what is important but wisely reconfiguring as necessary
… Reframing, like sonnet writing,
always requires creativity, humility, and surrender to the imposed limits.”
(p. 139)

I’m looking forward to one of those mile-stone birthdays this summer.                                                      What would be your wisdom for me as I shape my ark for this next phase of life?
Do you have favorite authors, scriptures, prayers that bless you as you look to the future?          Will you share them?



6 thoughts on “My Ark

  1. Cheryle Johnson says:

    Very well written. I can see this ark. I like the statements your collecting to help define this time in your life. It’s amazing what God can do in our “arks” and through us because of our “arks”.

    Thanks for sharing where God has you right now. A great encouragement that it’s not all about what we accomplish, or how well we perform. Fruit can only grow as we abide.


  2. Sandy Carter says:

    Sue, I love your ark metaphor! Thank you, too, for reminding me about Jean’s book. I read it a couple of years ago and need to review it now that I am ‘retired.’ Carole Mayhall, commenting on aging, told me, “You just need to get used to a new ‘normal.'” Recently, I was impressed with Jesus’ words in John 4:35 “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” The meal hasn’t changed, but I now eat at a different pace. Perhaps one plank in our arks is learning to keep doing the will of Him who sent us in the pace of the new ‘normal.’

    I think another plank is allowing God to write our bucket list. I realize my list of things ‘to do when I retire’ is longer than God’s bucket list for me. To keep my ark afloat, I need to jettison those things that threaten to keep me sitting too deep in the water.

  3. says:

    So helpful, Sandy. Thank you. Thanks for pointing me to John 4:35. My meal hasn’t changed, but I need to eat at a different pace. Possibly chew more carefully. I’ve recorded your wisdom in my journal. Thank you, my friend!

    love, sue

  4. Linda Bonorden says:

    Good stuff. And I feel honored that God used my mouth for one of your list items (which are all chewable!). I don’t know if I already shared this for you, but I read a book almost 10 years ago that continues to profoundly impact my planning for/anticipation of my penultimate season: The Five Silent Years of Corrie ten Boom by Pamela Rosewell Moore. I was inspired by it to cultivate the faith God gives me to radiate peace and joy no matter what happens.

    • says:

      Thanks Linda,

      And thanks for your contribution!! You are a good friend. I’ll look forward to finding that Corrie ten Boom book.

      love, sue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *