While I do have the luxury of having 4 days off each week (thanks to 12-hour hospital shifts) I'm not very good about setting aside time to rest. I've mentioned it before, but ever since Nicholas and have been married and we share a home together, I notice tasks creep up in my mind all too easily. I think I could read for fun or knit a few rows, but there's laundry and then it's almost time to start making supper and I really should vacuum and empty the dishwasher. This preoccupation with busyness is disguised as responsibility.
But yesterday was different. It was rainy, gloomy, and thunderstorm-y all day, which is my favorite soundtrack to a mellow day. Right after I finished my night shift, I went to the farmer's market with a friend to get essentials, you know, like kombucha, creamed honey, eggs, and a sunflower kernel spread that is so good.
I came home and slept like a rock and woke up, and then we accidentally fell asleep again on the couch—and I wasn't even frustrated about "missed time."
We woke up, and while he worked on his coding/work stuff, I made coffee and finished reading Sense and Sensibility. There's something satisfying about being productive alongside one another.
The coffee nudged away the grogginess, and since rainy days are the best baking days, I made these gluten-free Maple Oat Scones (And our apartment smelled like maple doughnuts!)
These Asian Style Lettuce Wraps (a favorite of ours) were on the menu plan for supper, and then there was nothing on the to-do list after supper besides having a glass of wine and watching a movie in our pajamas.
It was an unusually restful day for me. And honestly, a bit of a happy accident just how restful it was. It was unhurried, but purposeful, low-stress, but productive. And it got me thinking about how balanced and joyful days make me more balanced and joyful.
So, the question is, when we're faced with an opportunity for true rest, why do we still choose to work? I think it's about motivation and how we view the purpose and outcome of our work. In the words of Tim Keller,
But the relationship between work and rest operated at a deeper level as well. All of us are haunted by the work under the work—that need to prove and save ourselves, to gain a sense of worth and identity. But if we can experience gospel-rest in our hearts, if we can be free from the need to earn our salvation through our work, we will have a deep reservoir of refreshment that continually rejuvenates us, restores out perspective, and renews our passion.
I read that and thought, my heart is yearning for gospel-rest, refreshment, rejuvenation, perspective, and passion. But how do we accomplish this? I don't have a precise formula, but I think the answer lies in prayerfully pursuing habitual rest and surrounding ourselves with people who encourage us to rest. Tim Keller continues,
Are we to look to God to support us under our work and burdens—or to other Christian brothers and sisters? Obviously the answer is both, because it is normally through the sympathy and encouragement of Christian friends that we experience God refreshing us and supporting us in our work.
I want this truth to settle in my heart for good: God ultimately gives us peace and refreshment, more than anything we pursue. Also? Restful time is not wasted time.
Do you struggle with purposefully resting? How do you pursue meaningful rest?