Rest is not a four-letter word…

      It’s the end of February and I hope you have had time to stop and smell…something good. We are 2 months into our year long journey of crafting hope and I am enjoying our time together and our conversations. Your comments and stories are encouraging and your pictures of your projects bring much joy into the process. Keep them coming and I will work on posting them to share. I am already looking forward to our next thoughts and crafts in March.  Remember just jump in where you are and join us however and whenever you can.  And now to the post:

One of my great enemies in my journey for a hope-full life is weariness. Tired, exhausted, and good old-fashioned tuckered out to name a few variations. Viewing life through the lens of weariness is like trying to buy new jeans after a huge meal. None of them fit right or look right and that 10 pounds you’d like to lose becomes 25.  Or trying to play the Super Bowl wearing slippers. Or figuring out your 5 year financial goals after the seemingly endless nighttime feedings of 2 week old baby.

The process of hope takes time, effort, and energy. It requires room to breath and grow. The effects of stress on our bodies have been scientifically linked to our physical and emotional well-being.  Just type “stress” into your search engine and see what pops up.

Today I find myself craving rest.  And by craving, I mean “a vehement or urgent desire”, Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. When I am weary I find that everything is too much. Too big, too hard, too heavy. Life is push, push,  push …so I push back.

I force myself to slooow down.

Breathe deeply.

I resist the tyranny of the urgent.

Reclaim my domain.

I rule my time.

It doesn’t rule me.

I know that I can’t just stop life. Work awaits in all its various forms but I ask myself. How can I simplify? What truly must be done and what can wait for another day. And I purposefully plan to treat myself or indulge myself in some positive, healthy way.  For me it may be a quick, easy dinner, like pizza, instead of something that requires more time and effort so I can have time to soak in the tub or read a good book or listen to music with headphones on while I lounge on the couch. Or watch my favorite show on Netflix–maybe several episodes.  I shove the dirty laundry in a basket (or just step over it ) and set it by the laundry machine to await cleaning for another day.  At work, it’s the same:  what has to be done?  what can wait even one more day?  I shut off my phone. Let my family know my plans/needs and go for it. It’s okay. The earth will still spin, the powers-that-be will still be, the spouse and the kids will not suffer permanent damage. Mine have actually gotten to where they are glad I am taking care of myself. Weary Mom/wife can be weird.

I really do despise the fast-paced life that is thrust upon us. I LIKE having down time If you don’t like the word rest try this one “sabbath“.  It is an ancient Hebrew word meaning rest but encompasses so much more. It speaks to the body, soul and spirit. To cease from your labors and savor being alive. To take/make time to pause and smell the _____. (Coffee, roses, sachet, bubble bath, or Chinese take-out.)

Weariness saps us of our joy. Weariness brings its unwanted friends like despair and futility and, my least favorite, hopelessness.  Rest or sabbath is the antidote for weariness.   Invite a friend.  A sabbath is good to share.

 

When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;

When troubles come and my heart burdened be;

Then I am still and wait here in the silence,

Until you come and sit awhile with me.

-written by Brendan Graham (You Raise Me Up).

Heidi Mull,  Queen of the sabbath.

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