My morning began early with the sounds of a little boy’s whimper flowing from the master bathroom. His head was congested again. An unwelcome sign that brings in the seasons of spring and autumn through the detection of his sinus cavity. Though it’s become a rhythm, he doesn’t handle it well. To Wyatt, a stopped up nose is the devil – out to ruin his life by stealing sleep (and ample amounts of oxygen) as he promises to me that he’s unable to breathe. At all. Ever again, maybe. *whimper*
I know it seems a little extreme, but for him it’s a real thing of sincere frustration. What about you? Do you have one of these “things?”
I have a list. (Shocking, I know.) But sitting somewhere near the top of that list is restlessness. It stirs me up into an unruly child quicker than almost anything as I count minutes lost to absolutely nothing beneficial. Minutes never to return and be of good use to me. If you’ve followed my writing long, you’ll know by now that time is of the essence for me and I choose to steward it well. Restlessness, like Wyatt’s clogged nose, steals away the air I breathe like a thief in the night.
But what of rest in comparison to restlessness? Though entirely different, I used to confuse the two. Taking time to sit any kind of idle as I soaked in passing clouds casting shadows on the lawn seemed a bit frivolous. Wasting good time for what? To be restless?
No. Wasting time to rest. Finding a rhythm that should’ve always existed but didn’t because my marching beat was set too high. My lists didn’t allow for being still because things would go undone, the beat would be lost and we’d all be disastrously off tempo. Forever and ever. *my turn to whimper*
But I heard a soft voice whisper words to me back during the blustery early months of Spring. Words that unmistakably spoke of something I absolutely didn’t believe we needed to observe. “Sabbath.”
“No…we don’t need that anymore,” insisted the inner Jennifer who wanted to swiftly cast away that word. I didn’t want to allow rest to creep in because how restless would I be? Sitting and doing nothing when so much could be accomplished in that window of time.
But I’ve learned by now that few things are up for discussion when dropped so carefully into my thought beds by the Holy Spirit. Months of leaning into rest has all but rid the restlessness from my life. I’ve found new rhythms, ones that don’t require a march but lighten the step of a mom who’s load is a little heavy.
Shelly Miller writes in her newly released book, Rhythms of Rest, that “rhythms describe the art of living the life embodied with meaning and intention in the same way God creates.” Finding new rhythms has been like unearthing treasure that’s been hidden close by all along.
UPDATE: Today is the day!! Join Shelly over at her blog for a pile of generous giveaways. Or get your copy wherever books are sold!
Let’s discover these new rhythms together. Finding peace over chaos. Learning that this once required day of cease is now a gift of grace, waiting patiently for us to discover it once more. To take up our time with Him as we let the world spin on behind our resting souls.
“Who can gather the manna but once?” asked an eloquent Ann Voskamp. Yes, who? It’s a shame when we forgo a gift given so easily because we are skeptical of the promise it delivers. Let’s find this new rhythm. Let’s set our tempos a little lower as we take in a gift…a rhythm of rest some of us have never known.
(I encourage you to share your new rhythms as you find them with the hashtag #rhythmsofrest on IG and Twitter.)