Rest is stopping one’s work, whatever that work might be. Rest is freedom from harassment. It is the quiet after the storm. It is children fresh out of a bath with pruned fingers and the smell of baby shampoo, tucked under their blankets before bedtime. Rest is the sound of the night breeze rattling the palms as it comes off the Gulf. Rest is putting your head down on the pillow knowing that you can sleep in . . . Rest is reading and setting the book aside when your eyes get too heavy. Rest is the sound of the wind through the screen porch of the beach house. Rest is stopping. Rest is thinking about all the things that you could do on a Sunday afternoon and hearing a small, still voice tell you to just stop – and then taking a . . . nap.
The excerpt above is from 24/6: A Prescription for a Healthier, Happier Life by Matthew Sleeth and Eugene H. Peterson. The Kindle edition was free on Amazon several months ago and I have been slowly reading it ever since.
I can almost see myself in each of the situations and this passage made me feel so relaxed. It also got me thinking that so many of the scenes he so beautifully paints are restful moments that I have not been able to enjoy since having kids. So rather than harp on and on about how anti-restful children are and how I never get to rest now that I have kids, I thought I might try making a list of things that do mean rest for me at this point in my life.
Rest Is . . .
~ Both kids sleeping until 6:30am!
~ Sitting down at my desk at 8am after getting two kids out the door and to their respective schools.
~ That feeling I get when crossing the final thing off my to do list.
~ Relaxing in bed with a good book.
~ Taking a hot shower.
~ Ordering take out after a long day.
~ Washing my face and feet before bed – it’s such a nice bedtime ritual.
~ Lying on the floor with my kids and my dog.
~ Finishing a book.
~ Choosing my next book.
~ Pulling the covers up to my chin and closing my eyes.
~ Being home alone.
I know you might feel far from rested at this point in your life, but please do share what makes you sigh happily and think now this is restful.