Monday, November 3, 2014

Life Well Rested

"Rest is not a reward for getting your to-do list done. Rest is a gift. Rest is a choice." Myquillin Smith (Allume workshop)

Rest has been on my mind a lot lately. And by lately, I mean, for the past year or two.

I am a soul who loves to do and accomplish. I also am a soul that needs down time with no calls on my time. Time to read and write and listen to myself think.

I am an introvert. As are 90% of people these days. Or at least 90% of people who write online. It's very vogue to be introverted.

These two facets of my personality are often in a silent tug of war. Accomplishment, goals and to-do list versus quiet, pondering, rest.

My perfect vacation is a beach or cabin vacation, about 15 minutes from civilization. So, calm and quiet, but close enough to do stuff when I want to.

My perfect day is started by a quiet cup of coffee with Mr. Hippie, followed by a good, sweaty pondering run or bike ride. The middle of the day includes an hour or two of quiet time for writing. And the day ends with the kids in bed, and peace and quiet for more reading or online time. Oh, and a generous serving of chocolate and a pot of tea.

My perfect day used to be a fairly regular happening. I carved out time for quiet in my mornings, afternoons and evenings. Despite the constant bustle of homeschooling and life with four young kids, I still had periods of rest and quiet.

But, She Plans Dinner disrupted my equilibrium and routine. With one official working day each week, the other days' schedules got more scrunched. Instead of saying no when I should, I shuffled and crammed.

And, the things most important to me-quiet and rest-got bumped.

I love writing. It is a privilege to write. It is cathartic for my soul. But, because I enjoy it so much, it has felt too luxurious for me to spend precious time on. There are papers to grade and chores to do. Goals to meet.

Rest and quiet and writing became a reward for when everything was done (which, ironically enough, it never is all done) instead of a priority. I felt guilty explaining to others that I have a two hour quiet time daily. Because obviously I am falling behind in my housework. And dinners are often a quick fix. And things are falling through the cracks.

So, I can't afford to rest. I don't deserve a rest.

The thought that came to me as I was listening to Myquillin Smith at Allume was that God rested. One in seven. My ratio should not be any less.

Btw, Sunday doesn't count. Not when you serve in your church. Or you have young children. Or you practice hospitality. The Sunday day of rest concept is a pie in the sky concept. A pipe dream. Sunday is often the least restful and most stressful day of the week.

I need to incorporate my rest into my daily schedule. Not because I deserve rest because I've gotten all my chores done.

I need to embrace rest because rest is a gift from God.

It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for He gives His beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:2)

Isn't that a magnificent verse! Rest is a gift.

Rest is a choice.

I can choose to get up early, stay up late, run myself ragged with a never ending to-do list. Or, I can choose moments of rest.

Like everyone else, I worry what others will think. But, chances are, they are not thinking of me and my schedule at all. I am the one responsible. I am the one accountable. I am the one who needs to say no to the tyranny of my own to-do list.

Also, rest is a many faceted concept. Sometimes rest is as simple as sleeping. Sometimes rest is being still. Sometimes rest is a break from the daily grind or from physical labor. Sometimes rest is from mental acrobatics or emotional turmoil.

Rest: cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.
so, the hairy legs are kind of ridiculous, but the hammock idea is very restful...

Bread of anxious toil or life well rested? What are you choosing?

*in the spirit of resting, writing well, and accomplishing my mission, I am going to be posting only 3 days a week for a while. Still deciding if that schedule will be Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday.