Last Spring we finished putting in a fireplace at the intersection of kitchen, office, dining room and living room. The fire is now the heart of our home. And I've found a new favorite spot in the cold mornings and evenings. Right in front of that fire, where sometimes I need to just look at those flames, licking the logs. I found myself staring in quietness at the movement. The colors dancing, the time ebbing away, unnoticed, for once, by me.
I have a lot of girl friends I love, many of them spread across this nation. So many of them are accomplished, energetic, proficient, whirlwinds of activity. So few of them know how to rest. It's easier to rest if your work is outside of the house. But with email and laptops at home, women, particularly mothers, have to work extra hard to plan to rest.
What would a day of rest look like for women? For me it means a vacation from several things: turning a computer on and checking email, making meals, setting the table, running errands, tidying up, checking the clock, checking off items on a list, wiping down, scouring, sweeping, mopping, dusting, vacuuming (a note to mothers, what if you rested for one day into the rhythm of nursing refusing to be distracted by rushing about during naps, but allowing yourself full, unadulterated lounging)
When was the last time you rested? When will you rest this week?
And yes, the meals might be unhealthy, messy ordeals as everyone scrounges for themselves, the house will be dirtier, the lists of things to do will be longer. And you might even feel curious about what you're worth at the end of the day.
Good and well. Bring that to God. Let rest be something you do, not to optimize your ability to work, not to obey an ancient command, but as a way to learn who God made you to be without your work bolstering your identity.
Who are you when you rest?
Perhaps you'll find yourself gazing into a fire, forgetting how much you're not doing, forgetting to even think, as those flames quiet you into peace.