Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rest

Our full summer in the US has begun. Yesterday at church a thoughtful friend gave me a gift bag of books that she thought I might like. And I grabbed a few quiet moments after our trip to the dog park today to start one called Rest: Living In Sabbath Simplicity by Keri Wyatt Kent. I love the title and the first two chapters that I've read so far. Here is a taste:

“Sabbath invites us to stop and to rest. To leave the “unintentional wasteland of our hyperactivity,” if only for a while. To be content, even if things are not exactly as we’d hoped they’d be. There is power in stopping, especially for restless souls like me. I don’t mean stopping and never going again. That would make life pretty boring. But running without stopping also depletes life of meaning. To pause between the notes of our lives turns noise into music. It’s called resting...

Resting seems wasteful, extravagant, a luxury a person as busy as we are cannot afford. But really...resting is as necessary as breathing if we are to do more than cling to the cliff of life by our fingertips. It’s something we cannot afford to do without but, once we learn how to do it, feels luxurious. It’s a gift, but we can’t receive it if we don’t stop to open it. Once we do, we realize that stopping, resting, is actually the secret to getting more done, to understanding and living our true priorities, to enjoying our lives, and to experiencing the presence of God...

I need times when I simply rest, times to withdraw from people and their demands, times when I allow myself to spend time with Jesus, to take him up on his invitation to “come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark ). In those moments of what I call “sacred selfishness,” I let Jesus attend to my deepest needs: for quiet, for peace, for intimacy with him.” (p. 28-36)

The first week of my summer couldn't have been better: a surprise second honeymoon from my awesome husband in the Colorado mountains! We had five beautiful days together to rest, reflect, and reconnect.


With our physical, emotional, and spiritual batteries fully charged, we were joined by our kids at my parents' in Denver, after their camp in southern China and flight across the big ocean on their own. Then we left CJ in Colorado for a two week Summit world view conference, and the four of us traveled on to Missouri. We've had great family times so far, but not much quiet rest for drawing near to God.

We find it a challenge to continue our family's practice of the Sabbath when we're traveling. Our schedule can easily become packed to the brim. Without a lot of breathing room. So we have to be intentional to create moments in our schedule to stop and rest. To seek His face and to hear from Him.

I love these phrases from the book Rest: "to pause between the notes of our lives turns noise into music," and "it's a gift, but we can't receive it if we don't stop to open it." My wonderful sister gave me the gift of Rest tonight as we were preparing to take our girls to the pool. She suggested that I stay home instead and get some time alone. "Yes," my soul responded. "That's exactly what I need."

Thankful for the chance tonight to pause and to experience the presence of God in a quiet place. The noise of life has become music in my soul.

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