Oct 21 2016

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Park before you go

The Five Minute Friday word is park.


Park before you go


The twinge in my side reminds me of the surgery I had just a few days ago. I have to rest to get better. The pain medicines help me feel more comfortable, but they make my head feel loopy. I don’t want this time of resting to be a waste, and that’s when the craziness begins. I can’t go and do and be what I want, yet I have time to do so much I fantasize about doing if I had the time. It feels a little cruel. I am, in a sense, parked.

How am I to “park” myself well?

If I want to recover and begin recovered time fully on my feet, I need a new mindset on my “parked” time. So, here is my acronym to remember how to be while I cannot do. Pray. Ask. Rest. Keep.


Pray is always a good place to start. Prayer is the beginning of it all. Prayer goes to the source and seeks the the One who is completely aware of my situation and how he wants to work and move in my life–even as it is. Who says a hospital or recovering from surgery kicks me out of God’s work? Could it be that God is working more in and through me? I’m not on the shelf, I need to pray to cooperate with him.

(Stop. This is when my five minutes ended, but please keep reading.)


What do I do next? God, how do you want me to spend my time? These are great questions to ask before beginning any action. Don’t go until you know where you want to go. What’s the destination? Ask God. Ask yourself. Ask those who know you well. Take time to write down your priorities. Having them written out help the mind from endless spinning.


The doctors have told me to rest as much as possible. Rest isn’t only about sleep. The most difficult part of resting is my mind. My body doesn’t have too much trouble being still. Abstaining from chores isn’t killing me–not in the least. With time on my hands, my thoughts spin faster. Overwhelm churns my thoughts. No one steps forward positively in the swirl of overwhelm. That’s why pray and ask come before rest.

Rest is releasing control. Even though I am not in control, I need to acknowledge that truth. I cannot control what will happen, but I know the One who can. Rest is affirming God’s sovereignty.

Rest is active. The body’s work of healing happens rapidly as I rest. I can’t see the repair, but it doesn’t make it less true. Resting in God’s sovereignty doesn’t negate my work. Instead, it focuses my work. What is my job? If I don’t know, I need to head back to pray and ask.


Stay put until the process is complete. Hold on to the truths learned. Here are a few lessons of life that I often forget when I am not forced to rest:

  • People will pray, if they know how to pray.
  • Friends will help, if they know how to help.
  • Meetings and plans can be canceled, and the world continues on.
  • Life’s unpredictable. Make plans but hold them loosely.

Keeping myself in a pray-ask-rest state takes discipline. Taking time to keep the truths learned during a “parked” time help promote its value. Instead of moving on from here and “getting back to life”, I’d do better to take PARK with me.

Do you wait until you are forced to “park” or do you taking the principles of PARK with you?

What parts of PARK are hard for you? What comes more easily?

Share your story in the comments below.

Are these words encouraging to you? Share.

Would you consider sharing this with a friend who needs it? If you haven’t already, subscribed to my email list, click here.

What is Five Minute Friday?

It is a 5-minute writing party. Click the icon to read some other great writing.

Five Minute Friday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you and encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community.




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  1. Kirsten B.

    Great acronym! It applies to me everyday since I’m the type of person who burns the candle at both ends and often doesn’t stop to rest daily. Thanks!

    1. Cheryl

      I have been know to do my own double-ended candle burning too. Sadly, it doesn’t make me that much more productive. Foggy brain and a cranky attitude keep me from being my best. I am hoping that PARK will help me to put forth the best of me. I hope you try it out.

  2. Patricia

    What a great way of being intentional about the time during which you are healing and resting. Peace for your process and may it bring comfort to mind, body and soul!
    Patricia (FMF#31)

    1. Cheryl

      I want to be intentional. Writing about it helped me focus towards intentionality rather than letting my brain turn to much.
      Thank you for your well wishes.

  3. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    The acronym is terrific, Cheryl! Love it, and I will post it on my refrigerator door.

    Praying for a smooth recovery for you. Surgery sucks,

    #1 at FMF this week.


    1. Cheryl

      That you’ll put the acronym on your fridge is a high complement. Thank you for your prayers. Needing surgery stinks. The surgery, itself, was a long nap. It’s the recovery part that’s the kicker for me. Balancing out the healing process with “I feel better already” is tough.
      Thank you for your encouragement.

  4. kristina

    how creative and so true! I hope your time of “park”ing is very beneficial to you. your neighbor

    1. Cheryl

      Writing down the people and situations I need to pray about is so helpful. After I am done praying, I feel like a weight is lifted right off of me. In a real sense, it has. It is then that I can move forward to what I need to be doing. But, I must be mindful of rest and keeping hold of truth–or I might go crazy.
      Thanks for visiting.

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