For me, getting to a place of rest was just too much Work! I mean seriously, with my six most important things list, that’s really 66 lines long, how in the world can I make rest a priority? And for that matter, WHY? I realize it’s mostly self-inflicted, but I LOVE to work! It’s my hobby as well as my job. I feel accomplished, enjoy the journey and all the people along the way. It’s my type of fun!
When I was a little girl, every August, we went up to northern Minnesota for our vacation. All year long we looked forward to catching nightcrawlers, fishing, swimming in the lagoon, walks to the ice cream shop, catching turtles, and of course, The Turtle Races! It was what memories were made of 🙂
I so admired my Grampa (I know it’s spelled wrong, but you’re missing the point). He knew how to relax. He always was in slow motion and always had a smile on his face. Pretty sure that was a mischievous smile, hiding his beer from Gram, LOL. He was a jolly ole soul that didn’t say much, but somehow we knew he was happily content. He was at rest. Chaos from us kids ensued all around him, but he was at rest.
He seemed his happiest in Minnesota and I never really got it till now. Every moment was a gift. He worked hard his whole life and never took his freedom for granted. He appreciated the blessings in his life and was very thankful to share them. He was at rest.
It got me thinking as to How I can achieve that rest? If I’m having fun doing what I do, doesn’t that qualify as rest? Apparently, that’s a big fat NOOO. The idea of ‘rest’ is to be still and quiet. Since those words aren’t in my top ten vocabulary list, I needed to figure this out. When I was a young mom running in every direction, rest and being still weren’t even ON the list, but as I look back, I wish I would’ve done things differently. I encourage mommies and daddies who are raising their young families to take those moments like my Grampa. Be happily content in the midst of chaos. Carolyn Ingalls never lost her temper, even after the millionth time of saying, with a smile on her face, “CLOSE THE DOOR.” Don’t be a spaz, every moment IS A GIFT and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Labor to enter into His rest.
As I “labored” to be still and learn to rest, it finally dawned on me! The hamster wheel of my mind that never stopped, had to stop. I simply started with turning off my device, radio and tv, just plain quiet. Happily, I discovered puppies barking and chirping birds that filled the air with their most beautiful songs. I just sat and stared as they frolicked around the yard, and squirrels jumped from tree to tree, it was the joyful rest I was looking for! I’m lovin’ it!
Like the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” In other words, PLAN your quiet time. Even if it’s five minutes, MAKE time to relax. Start somewhere! Reflect on your dreams and goals. What is it that you really want? I was given a beach house picture that I put in my study, and a picture of an Italian gondola for the washroom. Such peace fills me when I see these pictures! I’m going to enjoy those in real life someday, and they are constant reminders of my dreams and goals.
Life is what you make it, so make a pleasant place for you and your community. Smile more, stress less, rest, and relax. Take the time to LISTEN — what is it that you hear?
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