This time of year is hard on everyone, winter seems to hang on, there’s only a few reminders left of the shiny Christmas holiday and it seems a long way until spring. For me it is very easy to get stuck in the grey.
As I approach my birthday this weekend, it’s another mile marker of time that is a big deal to me. Two weeks after my husband died I turned 30, a week later our daughter turned two. That was six years ago. The dreary days are a reminder of my grief in its rawest form.
But as the years have gone by, I am able to recall the hints of renewal that surprise me every year. It’s just like God to place those surprises in the right place at the right time; we just need to open our eyes and look for Him.
Today it was a sunset. Oh, I pray no one is rolling their eyes at the cliché…well, go ahead and do it, but keep reading. 🙂
It has been a crazy week, even with my “intentionality” of not-overloading myself…sometimes weeks just get that way without permission! But instead of unraveling under the pressure, as jam-packed schedules tend to do to me, I actually practiced what I have been learning. And by gosh, it worked.
I found pockets of joy in the middle of the craziness.
I knew we had several errands to run at the time of day most mommas know can be…well, let’s just call it “demanding.” This meant several stops and getting Ethan out of his car seat several times. Enough said, right?
Anyway, instead of worrying about it the whole time I just prayed and kept breathing deeply. And I even surprised myself with how much I enjoyed our errands. As we headed home in stand-still, rush hour traffic we could only be in awe of the amazing colors painted across the sky for us. Even my too-cool-for-mom’s-kisses son said, “The sky is so beautiful!” I could have melted into a puddle. Always sentimental Caroline asked to take a picture of the sky. I almost told her there was no way to get the beauty captured in a picture, but I let her try. I think it turned out awesome.
Learning how to rest last year was crucial for me, not only to survive the year I was about to experience, but experiencing joy in the midst of it all.
One of the tools that came my way was a book (is anyone surprised by this?) I had been following the author for a while since we had some common interests…God, grief, PTSD, and her name being Bonnie (I believe anyone under the age of 75 named Bonnie must be special, right?!)
She released a book last year entitled “Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.” Well, who doesn’t need that?
I’ve very slowly been devouring the concepts in the book since it’s release and it’s perfect timing that the author is starting a book club online this week so I can go back and delve deeper into the concepts I’ve learned. You can join, too. Click here for more details.
I am understanding I can find rest while in the middle of chaos or in the stillness of quiet; this kind of rest means I able to experience joy when the world feels like it is crashing down. It’s how we know there is more to the story than what we can see with our eyes.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30
Do you need permission to rest? What is restful for your soul? I had to learn…I’m still learning! Today rest was appreciating the sky with my kids. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.