The air conditioning is doing its job nicely.
So is the washing machine.
I took a nap this afternoon, and I am thinking I could probably use another… It is HOT and humid outside and the dog days of summer are officially here. (Why is it called dog days? Hmm. I should google that.).
My brain sort of feels like it’s been on autopilot.. after a few weeks of busy-ness and company, (my mom and dad were here for a week and my brother’s family for the last night they were here.) somehow all I can think about is vacation.
I don’t know how all that will work out. We have talked about getting away just the two of us, and also the possibility of doing something for several days with just our family.
Regardless of what happens, this prevailing thought of vacation keeps coming to mind, and I had to wonder about how to have a vacation when you aren’t on vacation.
Sometimes it’s time to actually go away, to another place, and let the everyday cares be set aside for awhile.
But what I believe my soul is mostly longing for – is rest.
Life has been emotionally and mentally draining for awhile. There are the Big Decisions that must be talked about and made, the Raising of the Children to be done, and yeah. That about encompasses the whole of what has been draining at our house.
Regardless, there isn’t a realistic way to just “go on vacation” in the middle of it all. Maybe we will. Maybe we won’t. Maybe it won’t be as quickly as I want. Maybe it won’t be at all, this summer.
How to do this in the middle of everyday life? Because this is what I have needed. Truly needed. More than I have needed an actual getting away.
There is a way to walk through the mundane and the chaotic with grace and joy. I do not need a vacation to live life well.
But soul rest requires a slowing of the mind. It requires a deep breath. And what I have needed is the reminder that communion with Jesus – intentional, alone time with my Saviour – is where my soul will find its rest.
So in these past few weeks (amid a broken arm/ER visit), a birthday party for a newly minted 5 year old, company, green beans, blueberries to pick and freeze, etc…) there are a few things that I have begun doing to take a deep breath. To stop for a moment and lay aside the important for the better.
-I started a new Bible Study. One I have had for years, (as in, I did the first lesson about 9-11 years ago? Before we had children.) and I am so, so glad I didn’t finish it then. Because it’s what I needed now.
-I have made coffee in the afternoons sometimes, just because I have some time alone then, and because, well, coffee is good. Need I say more?
-I pulled my spinning wheel out, and started spinning again. This actually happened today, on the front porch, in some lovely, you-could-almost-taste-fall-coming weather. The pillowy softness of wool slipping through my fingers, making yarn, and the rhythm of my feet pressing the treadle… it’s good stuff. By the way. I started writing this post on a day where it actually was hot. Today was a welcome respite.
-I have slept in several mornings. Not a habit I want to get into- but for a few mornings it’s what I needed to do.
-Some afternoons, or when I have had a moment to myself, I have been practicing praying aloud, rather than just in my head, and communing with Jesus. Thanking Him and worshiping Him… not just asking Him for things, or for help.. but adoring Him and thanking Him for all He is doing. This goes excellently with coffee.
-I began “Little House on the Prairie” with everyone after lunch. The girls have their blankets that they sit on, they draw or do some sort of quiet-ish activity (read: Miss E needed reminding of her need to stay on blanket and be quiet over. And over. And over. Don’t misunderstand. It wasn’t all sunshine and roses.) But on a whole, it was good. Ma, Pa, Mary and Laura and baby Carrie, Jack the brindle bulldog, butchering time, Laura’s corncob doll, and little pint of cider half drunk up… this series really is one of the very best. Also, the fact that this particular book is the same exact copy that was read to me as a child adds to the experience.
-Reminding myself that God is happy with me. Genuinely, truly delighting in me. That He is my King. I am His own. And He not only loves me perfectly, but He is happy with me. He likes me. At our women’s Bible study the other week, my dear friend Sara reminded us of this truth. And it’s been reverberating in my mind. He isn’t fazed by our poor choices, He isn’t forlorn and sad with us. He delights in us, He is glad for our joy in Him, and He is happy with us, just like we are happy with our own children. Only So. Much. More. He delights to forgive us. Delights when we come to Him. Delights in us because we are His.
I needed the reminders of these truths to change my perspective. So my soul could be at rest again. I needed to remember the importance and the restorative power (another blog post on this soon) of reading out loud to everyone. I needed to remember that sleep is a priority. I needed to remember, simply, who I am and that I’m loved.
Vacations are lovely. But the soul needs to rest in its God more than it needs anything else.
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him” Psalm 62:5 (KJV)
Wait, in this verse, means to be still. To grow silent, and cease from activity.
So, soul, stop. Stop your activity. Grow silent. Wait upon your God.
Soul, take a vacation.
Soul, sit a bit, take a breath, wait on God, get un-tilted from your skewed perspective. Let the rush of life stop, make time to savor, to wait, to slow.
Whisper thanks to Him, hug those little people hard, and definitely make some coffee in the afternoon.
Or come over to my house, because I may have some already made.