Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham – 32

Wisdom Knows When to Take a Break

I am tempted to stop writing after writing the title above. This would be appropriate.

It’s midnight as I begin this entry. I still have a stack of work right where I left it this morning. Scheduled appointments today actually did not go according to schedule. Not many things with this day went as planned, but isn’t that the way it is with many days? I had a short period of time while Wyndham rested this afternoon when I planned to run some errands. That didn’t happen. Yesterday I had to put our 16-year-old dog down, and even though I know it was the right decision, it felt brutal. Today I had a “post-sobbing headache” so attempted to recover from that during the moments I had planned to run errands.

Our son, Sam, came over tonight as is his Tuesday night custom. He comes several times a week to help out with some caretaking needs. Tonight, as Wyndham, Sam, and I were having some deep talks (along with some good laughs) I mentioned that I still needed to finish writing “Wednesday Wisdom With Wyndham” (as is also a Tuesday night custom). Laughing, I said I should just write the words “Wisdom knows when to take a break when needed.” Sam responded in agreement, and Wyndham thought it was perfect.

Then I grimaced, as I don’t “color out of the lines” very well. I like to stick with plans. My plan is to have a post every Wednesday morning. My husband and son smiled, knowing my grimace meant that I’d be up writing for several hours.

Wyndham has the wisdom to know when to take a break. He has done it throughout our life together in order to give his best to God, to me, to our kids, and to the church. I don’t do breaks as well. I tend to keep plowing through. Though this sounds noble, it’s not always wise. Some things have priority over others. Learning those priorities takes wisdom. I have often heard Wyndham use the phrase,” You only have one horse to ride, so you better take care of your horse.”

Wyndham is not an equestrian. In fact, this picture from years ago was from one of only a handful of times he has been on a horse.  My daughter-in-law and I thought our family trail ride (taken after this picture) was too tame and asked our trail leader if we could do some galloping. So, as our horses took off the others followed. The guys did not find this as exhilarating as she and I did. Wyndham said it was one of the most painful events he has participated in and could not understand why I had asked for a most unfortunate change of pace. (He did forgive me, thankfully.)

This phrase about the horse expresses the wisdom Wyndham practiced and shared concerning attention we must give to our spiritual life, our marriage, and our family in order for it to function as God intended.  This also includes our physical bodies. These precious commodities can’t be ignored or taken for granted. If we are negligent in taking care of any of these areas (our horse to ride), the horse will stop and we won’t get very far. Our joy and credibility comes from our example in these areas. We can get so busy taking care of other things (even other people) that we don’t care for our own horse. Life won’t go will then. We will lose the peace we find in Christ, and won’t spread much peace in our relationships. The horse will buck and throw us off, or buckle and lay us out.

As Wyndham’s physical body no longer works as intended, he has prioritized the most important things in life. So, I’m going to learn from Wyndham’s wisdom and sign off for tonight. The post I planned to write can wait til next week. I’ve got a horse to take care of.

28  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29  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.
30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

30  The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.
31  Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”          (Mark 6:30-31)





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  1. Jennifer Lambert

    Jeanie, you may have had another post planned, but God directed your steps and your pen (keyboard). This is a very wise reminder especially in this glorious season, which can easily become overbooked. Love, peace and rest to you and yours.

  2. kathryndillon

    Dear Jeanie, thank you for this Wednesday Wisdom series. It’s encouraging to read and allows us to have a connection with you & Wyndham from far away. And it also reminds me to pray for your family. I too can be a plough ahead type of girl, staying the course just because it’s the current plan. Changing the course is unfamiliar & not so easy. Please give Wyndham our love and we wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas season! Love you, Greg & Kathryn Dillon

    • jeanieshaw

      Thank you, Kathryn. Means a lot.

  3. Diana Wick

    Thank you for sharing

  4. Kitty Chiles

    Wise woman….

  5. aladyinfrance

    I know how you feel. I have been desperately casting about for how to lighten my current load, and was discussing just that with Matthieu (who is currently in NY). I have to find a way because this horse is lame! Literally! A tendonitis on my foot since the pre-teen camp in August.

    I hope you also find a way to rest and are consoled over losing your beloved dog.

  6. Gloria Baird

    Again, Jeanie, you have used your life’s experience to go deeper and call all of us higher!!!
    I know this must be an incredibly hard & sad time for all of you, losing your family pet after so many years!!! (I still remember how hard it was to all our family to lose our little Buttons after only 7 yrs!!!)). Thanks for the reminder about our priorities!!!! We love you and Wyndham and your family soooo much!!! Our love and prayers are always with you!!!! Al and Gloria

  7. Lori Gath

    Sorry to hear about your black dog. Thank you for sharing and giving permission to take a break.
    Love you, Lori


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About Jeanie Shaw

After retiring from forty-five years in full-time ministry, Jeanie Shaw went back to school to earn her master’s and doctorate in spiritual formation and discipleship. She also serves as a certified Christian life coach who loves helping people discover the joy, peace, and purpose that come from finding and following God’s plan for their lives. She has taught classes and workshops all over the world and has written numerous books. She has four grown children, eight grandchildren, and a golden retriever who thinks he is human. When she is not reading, writing, coaching, teaching, or enjoying her family she might be found walking along rivers, learning new lessons about life.

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