Elephant Eating 101

I want this blog to be about rest, you and God. Not me.

But I need to share.

My son, Josh, was in the hospital again today, but he’s home now. He’s fighting liver disease. It’s attacking his lungs. He’s a sick kid and pain regularly clamps down on him like a vice grip. But we are home tonight. Still, my bags are packed. I will be ready to disappear into the night if he needs more care than we can give him.

I am in a tight spot right now. I am winded, weary and wounded.

I cannot take the pressure of writing about rest, while feeling so depleted.

I have to ‘fess up.

I am tired.

I walk what I talk. I live it because rest has changed me from the inside out. I continue to live in rhythm, but there is little left. The cracks in this jar of clay are wide, leaking faster than they can be filled. I am thirsty for the presence of God at every turn. He fills. He does! But parts of this jar are bone dry.

Over the last 12 months, I’ve been in the hospital with two of our children a total of 89 “nights.” We’ve spent an additional 40 “days” in hospital. On top of this, our other children have had two badly broken bones, two significant concussions, one nasty tonsillectomy, kidney issues and the diagnosis of Lyme Disease. I went into this year tired.

Now, I have a whale to eat. Maybe more than one.

  • My house is a mess.
  • I have 22 (I just counted them) fine-print “to do” lists that are crying out for attention.
  • I am writing a book.
  • I have work to do in my kids lives that only I can do.
  • Prayers to pray. Tears to wipe. Dreams to discover. Hopes to share. Love to savor.
  • And a tank that needs to be replenished.

I know God is up for the task. He always is, but surrender is step number one.

I’m waving the white flag. I’m making a few industrial strength plans for rest. Watching a few others unfold in his infinite care. Staying on my knees.

Lifting my fork.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine … Ephesians 3:20

That includes eating a whale, or two. One bite at a time.

  • Exciting note! Feedback from the first 12-weeks of posts has been strong and encouraging. Because of this, it’s being compiled into an e-book, a free resource for current and new subscribers. It will be available this summer during a relaunch of the blog and will include reflection questions for personal and small group use. I pray it will be a valuable tool and vehicle of growth in the lives of many. Hold this project up in prayer. Until this relaunch, I will be posting previously written articles and little bits here and there. Blessings!

Is This Your First Time Here?


Run hard. Rest well. launched in March 2013. If this topic grabs your heart, we’d like to encourage you to subscribe to this weekly blog. The information to do so is located on the right hand side of this page. Along the way, we’ve encouraged folks to read the first 12-weeks of posts found in the archives. (But no rush. Go slow.) Start with Week 1 (from March). Each post is numbered and lays an important foundational insight into the life-giving rhythm Run hard. Rest well.


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First time here?

24 thoughts on “Elephant Eating 101”

  1. Brenda, I haven’t been where you are. I have been where Josh is. Different issue, but pain and near death and fear and aloneness dogged my days and nights. There are things to do tomorrow. Do I take drugs and rest? I won’t be worth anything tomorrow. Do I not take drugs and trust God to get me through the night? No drugs. My kids worry about me. They treat me often like an invalid. I want to run and laugh and I want them to also. My prayers are with you. I’ve been told God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, but that’s not scriptural. What I have found is that He does give us more and give us the chance to find our strength, our second wind, in Him. I feel the shaking of your body. I feel you emotional cries. I feel your fear. I cry with you. I’m holding you in my heart and bringing you to my Daddy. He has the answers…not always the ones we want or expect…but His answers will bring Him glory. He love you, Brenda. Trust yourself into His care for right now. Nothing else matters….when it does, you will be able to meet that need then. Tomorrow is another day….trust for tonight. We love you.

    • Betty,
      Trusting Him night and day.
      And being greatly, remarkably blessed by the host of prayers and love coming at me.
      I pray for God’s glory to shine through.
      Praying for you, Betty, through the pain and heartache.
      Tender Comforter meet us here.

  2. Our prayers are there for you and your family. This is a very busy time for Tim, I know. Remember that God knows your needs already, You just have to ask Him in prayer. I also say the following out loud.. “God you only give me what I can handle, with your help. Please help and show me. Put it right in my face so I know that is what I am to do.” It seems to give me a little more hump to continue on.   Diana Taylor Mt Calvary & SBLC


  3. Brenda, you are where I was when I started walking into rest with you! You are right. God is able. He will get you through what he’s given you and you will see “good” rest again soon. Your “To Dos” will get done, and your children will be healthy. You are in my prayers sweet sister!

  4. God does do more than we ask or imagine. Praying that you will get rest….physical and mental…. in the midst of the hurricane you are experiencing! God’s peace to you!

  5. Exodus 17:10-13 “So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up -one on one side, one on the other – so that his hand remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.”
    Dear God, I join with all the others who lift Brenda up to you in prayer. May our requests for strength, rest, healing, relief, and victory lift her hands up to you as Moses’ friends did for him. And may she and her family be victorious in this “battle,”, as Joshua was against the Amalekites.

    • Sheila,
      Your prayer is balm for my soul.
      Words of Life for the battle that’s raging.
      The Body at work.
      We are never alone.
      You are powerfully reminding me.
      Amen. Amen!
      Thank you, Sheila.
      Rest well.

  6. Love you, my friend!
    And praying…God will provide!
    What can I do for you when I come?
    Sending lots of HUGS!! 🙂

    • Bethany,
      Agenda: First, we will talk, pray, laugh OK! Then we’ll talk web and dream big.
      How about a game with Noah?
      Talk personality types with Anna?
      Watch a Myth Buster with Josh?
      Can’t wait.

      • All sounds absolutely WONDERFUL!
        I am so excited and can’t wait!
        Just over a week and I will be there! 🙂
        Pray me through the driving…there is apprehension looming there. But the excitement overwhelms even those thoughts!
        Bethany 🙂

  7. Great post! Remember what it says in Proverbs, also, “Man makes his plans, but God guides his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 – We all get off course. It doesn’t mean we aren’t walking the talk, just that we need to make course corrections. When we trust in Christ, God makes those corrections for us. It doesn’t make it easier, but it does mean that He’s looking out for us. All that to say, as you go through this with your son it will be easy to get off course, but trusting in Christ will get you back on track, so don’t worry and don’t think that you aren’t practicing what you preach. There’s another old saying, “We teach best what we need to learn the most.”

    • Cliff,
      Thank you for taking the time to write.
      We teach best what we need most.
      Course corrections!
      God is the pro at them.
      Can’t thank him enough.
      Rest well!

  8. Brenda,
    You know that Satan is going to attack any time that he sees an imposing threat. My mom and dad used to say, “You must be doing something right if Satan felt he had to throw that at you”. I leave that with you. Thank you for the ministry that you are giving to so many others. Stay the course. Our God is more powerful than Satan and He will get you through. Remember that He is carrying not only you, but your entire family!
    Love you!

  9. Brenda,
    I very much enjoy your blog. I don’t get to it everyday and I don’t get many comments listed. But your work is good. I am praying for you.

    • Pastor Dave —
      Ever onward. Thank you.
      I remember well what He began (continued) last summer, right about this time.
      May we follow well. It leads to Life.

  10. Brenda, Thank you for being so honest with us, your readers, (your listening learners) and telling us what is “real” in your life. Thanks for “‘fessing up”. You (who I know personally), of all mothers/women/Christians, have every reason to be depleted. Yet, as a direct result, you can speak so knowledgeably about how important REST IS!!!! And your inner strength to handle all you do is STEEL itself–fortified by The Lord.

    I see you eating crow, then an elephant, then a whale. Yet, the Lord is using you far beyond the mile-high needs of your family and home, camp and church, the circle of most of our lives. He is using you to help make each of us accountable to follow his knowing command to rest in Him. He is our Creator, after all. He understands our needs.

    Thank you for this gift you give us, via blog (and me, personally) and other writings.

    • Elaine,
      You speak to deep places with in me. My greatest joy is the journey the family of God shares together — cheering each other on rest and to run. May we do both — with great joy. God’s peace be yours, Elaine. Love, Brenda


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