Life has been really busy lately. A trip to Waco, San Antonio, and Dallas in eight days busy. Attending a funeral for a death in my extended family, taking on new leadership positions, catching up with people I haven't really talked to in six years and being an Austin tour guide for guests busy. Most of these things are life giving in some form or fashion and all of these things are also emotionally draining and involve noise; road noise, talking noise, processing all of the conversations noise, noise of insecurities, and the noise of talking to all the people to make all the plans.
I don't usually take significant chunks of down time, usually I plow right through until I crash. Lately, however, there has been a recurring instruction in my time in the Word, in sermons, and in books: REST. SABBATH. Allow yourself to be restored.
So Wednesday night, I realized that I only had one scheduled phone call and one scheduled evening event on Thursday, and I hurtled myself off to Starbucks to push my way through my final list of desk tasks for the week so that I could spend Thursday resting.
Here's what I didn't do on Thursday... I didn't accept an invitation to hang out with one of my favorite girlfriends. I didn't leave my house. I didn't watch Netflix, listen to a podcast, or turn on music. I didn't oversleep or nap. I didn't run to Target under the guise of needing peppermint tea and Puffs tissues to check out the new Day Designer for Blue Sky line at Target (and trust me, that one took some self control).
Instead, I chose to let my mind be quiet, to work on tasks without having to process through all of the things. I turned my ringer AND my vibrate off on my phone. I picked up my house so that clutter wouldn't distract me. I read my Bible. I sat with my husband while he ate his breakfast. I finished Jen Hatmaker's book 7.
I ate yummy yummy leftovers from a tupperware while sitting on my couch under a blanket and staring out the window.
I worked through a backlog of blog posts on my RSS feed. As I was working through them, I saw that my new favorite blog Grace Table had some new posts, that Marianne Parsons also known as Miss Mustard Seed had posted her recaps of Luckett's market last week (I've been following all of her prep work and I was so excited to see her posts on the event) and that Modern Mrs. Darcy posted her much awaited Summer Reading Guide! So I saved those posts to read last and then I got up and made myself a cup of hot tea and sat back down to really really enjoy them.
I played the piano.
I folded all the laundry because folding laundry is therapeutic when I'm not in a rush.
I updated the list of books that I want to read next on my library account and on Goodreads. (This was quite a process since I added over 100 books to both and I thoroughly enjoyed every non-rushed minute.)
I cooked some yummy snacks for our game night with friends.
The only noises I shared my day with were the AC, the dishwasher, the washer and dryer, and the birds. It was pure bliss.
I rarely recount my days in this style... but this day was different. This day was about stilling my heart, mind and emotions, about taking a break from the 500 tasks on my to do list and intentionally choosing to be quiet. On the heels of our church's recent sermon on Honoring the Sabbath, reading books like The Best Yes, Breaking Busy, and 7, this day was about creating a space to be obedient and to trust that Jesus will keep the world spinning while I wait on Him.
Sometimes in my life I have made the mistake of thinking that the Sabbath needs to be spent Laura Ingles style, sitting on a hard chair, eating cold food, and only reading the Bible. That, however, is not rest. Making sure that I abide by all of the rules isn't rest. Taking time to rest for me can mean catching up on sleep, staring at a wall, or spending space peacefully choosing life-giving moments.
Do you need a quiet hour or a quiet day? What does being obedient in rest look like for you?