Summer in the Midwest is when the world comes alive. Everyone comes out of hibernation and the calendar is full to the brim with backyard BBQs, road trips, outdoor concerts, and trips to the lake. We fill our schedules to the brim in order to squeeze out every single last drop of Summer. It’s a season of yes and abundance!
This year Summer has looked incredibly different. With fairs, events, weddings, concerts, and even gatherings being canceled or restricted my schedule has more open spaces and margin than usual.
A few years ago this go-go-go girl would have cringed at the amount of “whitespace” on her calendar. It can be so easy to equate busyness with worth, and a full social schedule with a full life. But the truth is, you can have a full schedule and still have an empty life.
Two years ago when a tumble left me with a shattered leg & prescription for 8 weeks of R&R, I was forced to put down my glorification of busy and embrace an unexpected season of healing & rest. All in the midst of a Wisconsin Summer.
The first few weeks were a flurry of appointments, visits from loved ones, and catching up on my Netflix queue. Then a few weeks in I began to get restless and discouraged. I was tired of sitting, asking for rides and couldn’t imagine reading another book (shock of all shocks as I’m an known bookworm!). I wanted to get out and go to the farmer’s market, kayak on the river, or even just go to the drive in movie theater! I still had 4 weeks ahead of me and yet I was ready for life to return to “normal” as soon as possible.
And so that day I decided to begin a new habit. Twice a day I would head out to my back porch, kick back in my lounge chair, and just look at the clouds. No podcast playing, book to read, or friend to chat with. Just me, a deck chair, and the Lord.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”Matthew 11:28-30
Savoring the stillness was hard. I think of something else I could be doing or distracting thoughts would come to mind. But slowly, the rush and hurried pace melted away and I began to lose track of time just noticing, dreaming and praying.
My deck dates became soul-anchoring moments in my day. It was that season I learned that slowing down allows me to see the goodness I usually overlook as I’m hurrying from place to place.
In this current season of unknown and uncertainty, I find myself out on the deck more often. Finding pockets of time in my day to pause and recenter my thoughts. My sacred space has become a reset for my day and a recentering of my heart.
Something happens when we choose to quiet the noise and let go of distractions. That is why God calls us to rest.
When we choose rest, priorities are shifted, & concerns melt away. Stillness gives us fresh eyes to see the beauty around us.
Friends, in a world that champions busy let’s choose stillness instead.
Nourishment for your Soul: Pause and Ponder
What brings your soul rest?
Is there a place that is sacred to your soul?
Take a few minutes today, visit that space, turn of your phone, still your heart, and savor the gift of rest.