Tag Archives: rest

Rest Came

Rest came today in breakfast in bed, provided by Coco, Collie, and Roo. Delicious scrambled eggs and buttered toast were served for two on a tray.

Rest came today in first service and Sunday School being cancelled at church. No morning nursery duty for me and Coco, our once-a-month date with each other and little walkers.

Rest came today in a freshly-plowed street that firmly packed our cars in, causing the digging-out process to take longer than expected. No making it out in time for the 11:15 service.

Rest came today in cinnamon rolls for lunch, courtesy of Steve’s Costco run on Friday. No preparation on my part required.

Rest came today in actual sleep. A much-need, deep-sleeping nap under a fluffy lamb blanket with lots of vivid dreaming.

Rest came today in laughter with my luvvvah, the deep, belly-laughing kind about secrets we share.

Rest came today in an early supper, easy to prepare, ingredients already on hand, a glass of beer to accompany it.

Rest came rushing to me in the mess, inviting me to slow down and receive it.

So I did, and I will continue to do so for a few more hours until day is done and a new week begins, refueled and refreshed by the rest that came.

Snow on a Saturday

It’s a change of perspective, this view from my bed, propped by pillows to gaze out the windows at the falling snow.

Snow on a Saturday is a rare, beautiful thing, removing the pressure of errands and running around; encouraging true stillness and rest.

Heart and mind try to rush ahead as I focus on falling flakes of white coating the ground and overgrown honeysuckle.

Be present. Be here. Breathe in the moment.

But even moments of snowy Saturday shalom shatter, as siblings argue over episodes, nerves fray, and plans change.

Quiet reflection and introspection last all of five minutes before knocks on the door interrupt asking for any number of things ranging from help reaching a cereal bowl to permission to open the new vitamins which I mindlessly grant and then become frustrated by the fact that there are two different kinds of vitamins now in use.

So in the rest, there is also disruption. In the stillness, there is noise. In the calm, there is chaos. In the falling snow, there is invitation.

Invitation to change. To engage. To rest. To be.

You are invited to enjoy your day! I am off to be present in mine, even though things USED to be FUN around here before all of these CHORES and having to put things AWAY that we are going to need later ANYWAY.

Because even in the midst of the rest, there is work to be done. Living in the tension, I tell ya!

Receiving Rest

Monday dawned a two-hour delay.

I knew about this Sunday night and had prepared myself for it mentally. In my world a two-hour delay is only different in how the school morning is structured. I still clock in at the regular time.

I woke, did twenty minutes of yoga to get the body moving, then retreated to my corner for a few minutes of quiet reflection. That’s when I heard the buzz.

City schools are now closed.

That was the game-changer. When city schools close, and our grade school, as well, I stay home with my own children.

There are times when this last-minute closing has happened after I was already at work, and Steve has kept the kids and worked from home, but as a general rule, I am the home parent.

It is a different kind of work. A different disruption.

I sat in that space with mixed feelings. My heart struggled with the reality that it’s really not my circumstances but my heart that is disruptive.

I would be complaining if school were open. I don’t want to complain now that it is closed.

I voiced these thoughts and feelings to Steve who listened graciously and reminded me to be kind to myself and take it easy. He knows me too well. Knows that I stress and put pressure on places that only I see.

Today can I take the pressure off? Enjoy the kids? Embrace the gift of this day amidst the pattering of feet and frenzied excitement?

And so Monday dawned snowless but with great anticipation. Siblings picked episodes and bonded and argued and played together and eagerly watched out the window for the first flakes to fall.

Sisters waiting for the snow.

It was hard. A different kind of hard than our school day routine but still hard. It didn’t feel restful much, but in the moments when I stopped and took a breath, I was able to receive rest.

And it was a good thing.

How to Rest

How are you resting today?

I am learning the slow, difficult way how to rest in the mess.

I don’t usually do how to’s, but there’s a lot to be learned from Zephyr.

Zephyr

Who, me?

Zephyr resting in the mess.

I’m just resting in the mess. It’s not that hard. Really. You should try it sometime. How about today?

Respite

It was a sweet time and not long enough.

It’s never long enough.

But it was a gift.

The gift of space. Of rest.

It was a hard time coming. My turn around time is slow, and my plan to arrive at noon was delayed by five hours.

I arrived at five.

guest room

My parents graciously opened their guest room so that I could have space away from my home responsibilities.

hospitality

This lovely tray greeted me with all kinds of treats.

I put down my suitcase and set a timer to just rest. To be.

It was wonderful.

Dinner with my mom and dad. Laughter and memories. Then space to adjourn to my room upstairs with no expectations other than those that I place on myself.

They are too many!

I lit a candle and put up my feet and did nothing.

I rested.

What I Need Today

I need you, Father.
I need grace for each day and love for my family.
I need to rest in you and be led by you.
I need strength to face challenges that arise and cause me to fear.
I need your comfort, protection, kindness, love.
I need your blessing.
I need you to keep me from going astray when I am tempted to have found a better way, so that I can dwell with you forever.

Friendship Friday Followup ~ As It Was

It’s the day after I re-posted a link to the blog from my facebook page. This post is the most-read and shared on the entire blog. In fact, there were more views yesterday than there would have been had I written a regular post.

Here is the post that would have gone up yesterday had my plan worked out. Apparently, I needed to wait to see what would come of the day before testifying about it.

It’s Friday, and I’m forced to sit in my corner with pen and ink and be still. Unplugged.

Disconnected from the world to connect with God.

It takes wifi failure, technical difficulties, computer glitches to bring me to this place of pondering and contemplation, and still my mind wanders like a lost sheep.

So much inside . . . so much to say.

Be still.

But, but, but . . .

Even as I write just between me and God, I wonder what others would think if they knew.

It’s a fine line to keep ~ encouraging, reaching out, being still, looking in.

I face unknown within the known today.

I know Dave and Heather.

I don’t know their “new normal.”

I know Greg.

I don’t know who else will be with us on the two hour drive to visit them.

I know God’s faithfulness.

I don’t know how he will show it to me today.

And so I sit. Unplugged. Disconnected.

Trusting God to connect my heart to his and to draw me to the place I need to be where his mercies are new, my heart is satisfied, and I can rest.

In him.

Over six months since the initial diagnosis of leukemia and subsequent bone marrow transplant and long road to recovery, over three months since last seeing Dave and Heather in person before their move to Richmond for treatment, I was blessed to be invited to journey to their temporary home for a worship service.

I knew I needed to ride with someone and got in touch with the carpool contact. I didn’t know who else was going to go along. I knew this had been a hard week for me, and that my heart needed connection with God. I didn’t know how he was going to make that happen.

It happened through four hours in the car with my worship pastor, another pastor, and a licensed counselor. It happened through an hour and a half of singing, praying, weeping, and taking communion with Dave and Heather.

It happened through sharing stories and parts of the journey and reflecting on how very far back Steve and I go with the Shanks and they with us.

It happened through space to understand and process a little more and to be a little more disrupted and name a few more things.

It happened. This happened.

Dave and men 10856611_10152912097589549_1603814432539451939_o

And it was so, so sweet.

Mercies Anew

I’m thankful today for mercies anew.

Yesterday started off rough and continued in off mode all day long.

There was nothing in particular to pin it on other than a disrupted morning routine, dealing with the unexpected, and interacting in the usual ways with the usual suspects.

It was just a really hard day.

Even though I left work early.

Even though I took a nap.

Even though there were no outside obligations last night.

Some days are just like that.

Which is why I am thankful for a new start today!

Sweet-Smelling Fragrance

Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. . .

Today seemed a good one to talk about fall scent, or in the words of my son, foul stenchBoth are correct, actually.

But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom.
But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.
And who is adequate for such a task as this?
2 Corinthians 2:15,16

The recipe for Fall Scent is found on one of those lost plastic pages in my virtuous cookbook of yore. It involves simmering good-smelling things in a pot on the stove, being careful not to burn all of the water away, thus crusting everything to the bottom of the pot and filling the house with a stench.

It’s a great use for those lemons or oranges or other citrus fruits or even apples that are going bad in the fruit bin. One step ahead of the compost pile.

Fall Scent
1 lemon, cut in half or quartered
1 orange, same
some whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
A bay leaf or two

Squeeze the juice of the lemon and orange into a 2qt pot, dropping the rind in, as well.
Add the other ingredients and fill with water.
Bring the whole thing to a rolling boil, and then reduce to simmer.
Enjoy the scent, adding water as it evaporates.

VERY IMPORTANT! Do not leave unattended. If you smell a delightfully strong scent while you are in another part of the house, RUN to add more water, because the water is almost gone. If you have OCD tendencies, you might want to stick with something safer like diffusing essential oils, because it will drive you crazy wondering if you turned off the stove when you leave the house. Or come up with a ritual for signalling to yourself you have removed the pot from the top of the stove.

Trust me on this one.

I sometimes add apple bits, peppercorns, or other interesting spices to mix it up a bit. This mixture will keep in the fridge for a week or so.

The backstory to fall scent is that when we purchased our yellow house eleven years ago, it was rather run-down and ramshackle. Everything was filthy and old and broken, and the eight appliances that conveyed were from the 50’s.

That’s another story.

There was basic work to be done like updating the wiring and waterproofing the basement and refinishing the floors and cleaning. Oh my, the cleaning.

We would come over to work, and I would brew a pot of fall scent to mask the musty smell and try to make it seem home-y.

The following fall when we were more settled and had lived in the house for several months, I put a pot of fall scent on the stove. My then-little bigs got home from school one afternoon and the first thing child 3 asked was, Are there workers here?

The scent was associated with the work being done on the house. And now you know. . .

. . .the rest of the story.

I’m off to parent four more not-so-littles and move on through the day.

And who is adequate for such a task as this?

Enjoy your fall day, Friends!