‘Not overwork, but overflow’


We went to Homeschool Family Camp at New Life Ranch this week.

In the spring, four families from our church decided to go together this year.

The weather was beautiful, the creek full.  It had been a battle for me to want to go when the time came.  Not because I didn’t want to spend time with my family.

Not because I thought it would be miserable and not fun.  But because my heart wasn’t in it.  I sucked it up, prayed and went anyway.

Our older daughter was off having fun with friends, Mr. Undaunted and my daughter were enjoying a canoe trip.  From where I was sitting I could just see them rowing away from me toward the spillway end of the creek.

Sitting in the shade on a deck built right beside the water I opened to September 3rd’s devotional in Streams in the Desert, this title “He saw them straining at the oars”  Mark 6:48 seemed to be smiling at me.

Listening intently with my spirit, I read.

Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives man to do. Only God Himself, who always works without strain, and who never overworks, can do the work that He assigns to His children. When they restfully trust Him to do it, it will be well done and completely done. The way to let Him do His work through us is to partake of Christ so fully, by faith, that He more than fills our life.A man who had learned this secret once said: “I came to Jesus and I drank, and I do not think that I shall ever be thirsty again. I have taken for my motto, ‘Not overwork, but overflow’; and already it has made all the difference in my life.”There is no effort in overflow. It is quietly irresistible. It is the normal life of omnipotent and ceaseless accomplishment into which Christ invites us today and always.–Sunday School Times

I watch the current gently flowing, the leaves drifting lazily down stream, carried without effort.  This reminds me to breathe.  To sit.  To trust.

I thank Him for His overflowing.  Me, a kayak, carried by His will.  I finish reading:

Be all at rest, my soul, O blessed secret,Of the true life that glorifies thy Lord:
Not always doth the busiest soul best serve Him,
But he that resteth on His faithful Word.
Be all at rest, let not your heart be rippled,
For tiny wavelets mar the image fair,
Which the still pool reflects of heaven’s glory–And thus the image He would have thee bear.
Be all at rest, my soul, for rest is service,
To the still heart God doth His secrets tell;
Thus shalt thou learn to wait, and watch, and labour,
Strengthened to bear, since Christ in thee doth dwell.
For what is service but the life of Jesus,
Lived through a vessel of earth’s fragile clay,
Loving and giving and poured forth for others,
A living sacrifice from day to day.
Be all at rest, so shalt thou be an answer
To those who question, “Who is God and where?”
For God is rest, and where He dwells is stillness,
And they who dwell in Him, His rest shalt share.
And what shall meet the deep unrest around thee,
But the calm peace of God that filled His breast?
For still a living Voice calls to the weary,
From Him who said, “Come unto Me and rest.”–Freda Hanbury Allen

And I marvel at His work.  I marvel at the Holy Spirit’s dwelling in us, enabling us to carry out His will as we follow His voice.  This hand in hand business of hammering out our faith between flesh and spirit.  Our weakness and His strength.  Our sin, His holiness.  The heavenly grasp that transforms our flesh to His likeness.

“In resurrection stillness there is resurrection power.”


Papa was telling to me to again be still.  To again, wait and see His goodness that He would perform.  In my children’s lives, in my friend’s lives.  He asked me to thank Him now for the answers that were coming but not visible, I gulped.  But knowing His goodness, His faithfulness, that is what I choose.  Has He ever failed me?

I finished praying.  I put my camera & books into my oversized blue purse with my “happy camper” pin and walked along the shady edge of the water.  Cool here in the midst of the garden, I walk with Him.

I see a mother sitting under a tree up ahead, she invites me to sit with her.  She smiles warm.  I don’t know her but I recognize His hand when I see it, so I sit.  I take the time to be with someone new.  She is perhaps ten years younger than me.  Her children’s ages range  from 2- 12.  She has five children.  We open up quickly about the good, the bad, the hope and the heartache of homeschooling.

She recognizes herself in me and asks what I have learned so far on this journey.

The things I am led to share are not new, they are generations old and as I think about what homeschooling has taught us, I realize they are what life teaches every one of us:

  • relationships are what count
  • academics are only important to the point of equipping us for God’s call on our lives
  • following Him is all that matters
  • there will be rough waters ahead
  • He is faithful
  • comparison truly is the thief of joy
  • repent to your children quickly, you will blow it from time to time
  • learn to enter in to what your children love and enjoy
  • He alone is our righteousness, no system, no creed, no law, we add nothing to His finished work

I smile warm overflowing with Him.

2 thoughts on “‘Not overwork, but overflow’

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