Rest, as it turns out, is really, really productive.
Working and living from a place of rest is not only sustainable, it actually creates sustainability. It also creates emotional, spiritual and physical health.
For the past few years I’ve been in a season of rest and healing. Learning the art of resting was incredibly uncomfortable for me at first, and if I’m honest, I used to think rest was the equivalent of a lazy, unmotivated and unfulfilling waste of time. Resting equaled feeling guilt because there was too much achieving, performing and surviving to do to rest.
I experienced the Lord clearly impressing upon me to rest after a very devastating and severely draining period in my life. In search of direction I asked, “Lord, what do you want me to do now, what is next?” He simply pressed on my heart, “Rest.”
I laughed and laughed.
When it dawned on me that ‘rest’ would never, ever have come from my Martha mind, I asked again and sensed yet again…
I knew in my knower what I had heard and I knew He had purpose and reason behind this rest thing. So, I gave myself permission to rest and embarked on learning what in the world that looked like walked out.
I wasn’t good at it at first because it felt awkward, uncomfortable, foreign and silly. It was new to me. Funny thing is, at first I’m not usually good at doing things I’ve never done before.
I pressed in.
Here’s what I’ve learned. Resting isn’t really all about naps, reading a good book, baking bread, lighting candles, taking baths and home spa treatments. It’s actually all that and much, much more.
I learned about quieting. Quieting my mind, my thoughts. I was in my head way too much about too much for far too long.
I’ve learned that resting is saying no more than I say yes. And not feeling bad about it. Resting is also being selective about how I spend my time and purposeful in the activities I choose to do and not do. It’s also being selective about the people I spend time with in my inner life. It’s about not controlling or fixing.
I’ve learned that rest, or the now popular term ‘self care,’ is really anything that makes me feel more like myself. It’s about feeling centered in my head, in the space I’m in and the people I’m with. Anything that brings me life, joy, peace and makes me smile is welcome. It’s gentle, it’s slow and it literally feels, well, restful. I’m now truly protective of my peace.
In my rest journey, I have discovered so many delights that, as it turns out, have been there all along but buried under a task oriented, achieving, survival mode life. I’ve learned about some things that bring me joy, and light me up. What motivates me and I can identify what drains me.
It feels restful to water and pamper my garden and my houseplants. It feels delightful to create beauty and efficiency in my home. It feels gentle to learn a new crochet stitch and take refreshing walks with our adorable pug, Molly Kate Joy. It feels joyful to spend time with dear friends who delight in my joys, point me to the Lord and invest in and support my journey. It feels like a natural high to be in my kitchen creating meals that taste like comfort food but are actually healthy and feed the body and starve disease. It’s a priority now to frequent farmer’s markets, gardening stores, my favorite tea and spice stores, peruse my seed catalogs, and read great historical fictions. I also plan to learn about bee keeping soon.
It feels lifegiving to spend time with my husband, my bestest friend in the whole wide world. A man who has supported and invested in my rest journey in every. single. way. for years now.
In learning how to rest I focused on gleaning knowledge that pertained to my healing path and turns out, it has been a lot about self discovery and self investment. I had some work to do in areas of my emotional maturity and healing, and that work didn’t include striving to be or behavior modification. I’ve been going for inner transformation. I want what pours out of me to come from a place of grace and health.
Rest, as it turns out, is really, really productive. Working and living from a place of rest is not only sustainable, it actually creates sustainability. It also creates emotional, spiritual and physical health.
I’m thankful for this season of rest, because I’m strong in ways I never have been and have clarity I’ve not had before. I know myself more than ever and I’m motivated by peace and by love. This season has been perhaps the most important of my life thus far.
The Lord knew just what I needed. Rest.