If you receive my personal letters to your inbox, you already know: I took a little bit of an under-the-radar summer sabbatical these last few months, quietly slipping into our home-haven with this brood to squeeze out every fleeting second of a season that I know is sure to fly by in a blink. All responsibilities outside of those three babes, any new projects that were to come my way, and any dreams or aspirations that popped up into this go-get-’em brain of mine were decidedly shut down. I was trying to squeeze too much into the very little (and daily shrinking) downtime I did have, which made my fuse unfairly short when someone wanted to nap on me instead of in their bed (or not at all).
And while I set it all aside and pulled them all close and haven’t regretted the decision for one second, I still felt a sort of tension in it all. I still wanted to write, and when I did, it felt forced. When I tried to post, it didn’t fit. And I couldn’t understand why. And then this morning, with the big one off at preschool, the baby napping, and the little one taking a rare morning nap of his own, I had some unexpected time to myself. So I took advantage of it.
I got to praying about this writing-tension in the way that a masseuse finds the knot tucked behind your shoulder blade that you feel all the way up in your neck and down the full length of your arm and then presses into it to force its release. I pressed into that tension-knot, posed my prayer-questions, then pulled the ribbon-marker in my Bible open to the deep-dive I’ve been doing into the Psalms. It didn’t take long in my digging to come across a cross-reference in Leviticus and the Spirit of God whispering His tension-explanation.
The verse was tucked into the middle of chapter 25 about the seventh year sabbath and the Year of Jubilee and property redemption and a handful of other things. “Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather its fruit,” God told Moses.
but in the seventh year, there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land
It is a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard” (Leviticus 25: 3-4).
It got me thinking about when I first starting writing this blog, and my eyes went wide: it was the summer of 2013 … seven years ago.
Equal parts of peace and relief washed over me with a Spirit-spoken whoosh of “it’s ok” direction as all this writing tension was explained away. God had known back in 2013 when I wrote my very first blog post that, seven years later, in the very full life of being a mom to three babes under the age of four, my writing-land would need a solemn sabbath rest. And connecting those dots just about took my breath away.
“And if you say, ‘What shall we eat in the seventh year since we shall not sow nor gather in our produce?'” God continued his conversation with Moses on that seventh-year sabbath: “‘Then I will command My blessing on you in the sixth year, and it will bring forth produce enough for three years.'”
Keep parsing out those old journals, His Spirit whispered – the ones from those waiting years that have about three years’ worth of treasures still waiting on their pages. And then, another cross-reference. This time in Deuteronomy: “The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 28:8).
Those prayer journals are your storehouses, He said.
And the funny thing about those storehouses of the ancient East? They were most commonly found underground. Just like those treasures of darkness God spoke about in Isaiah 45:3 – the ones that the Babylonian kings had also taken as spoils of war when they took the Israelites captive. It turned out that they would be found buried underground nearly 200 years later, a treasure discovery that would be worth nearly $800 million today. So, in a way, it was an added confirmation with a familiar trail-marker.
So, I’ll blow the dust back off of those old waiting journals to see what new treasures I can find and let this writing-land live off the past years’ harvest. Because, as it turns out, it’s still just as ripe.