Sunday, July 26, 2020

Summer of Soul Rest

 I had planned on posting this article back in the middle of June, but I hesitated, because so much has been going, that I didn't really get a chance to sit down to finish it. I ended up doing a little at a time, and when I finally finished, those thoughts starting creeping in. "You don't really write anymore, no-one will probably read it anyway, so why bother posting it?" But you know what, I like to write, and journal, it is one of the ways I find soul rest, and well, that's what this post is all about finding soul rest. Yes, I may not write anything again for a really long time, and there probably won't be a lot of people who read this, but I am ok with that. I come to realize that this blog I have, has become more of a life journal. I am able to go back 2-3 years and read some of the posts I wrote, at that time in my life, and it brings me joy. So here it is, the post I started almost 2 months ago and just finished the other day. 

What a crazy 3 months it has been, right???!! I still can't even believe it's been that long. It feels like it went by so fast, yet so slow. I have so many mixed emotions right now about everything, I don't even know where to begin.

Let's go back to the middle of March when all of the schools and other non-essential businesses started close, for what we thought was the start of quarantine for 2 weeks. Well, at least that's what I thought. I welcomed it, I had been praying and praying for more time with my kids and what to do about next year with my job. I kept feeling this tug in my heart to reduce my hours so that I could be home more with them. So this almost felt like some varied answer to my prayers. Let me clarify, I wasn't happy about the reason why we were closing, but trying to find the good that might come from it,..... and it was good, great even, for the first few weeks. Until, those two weeks turned into a month, and that month turned into another month, until finally we realized we just weren't going back to school this year.

Fast forward to now, because I don't need to give you a run through of all that transpired during that time. I am sure most of you experienced a lot of the same things that I did, especially if you have a job and kids. Even if you don't, I know everyone was impacted in someway or another by COVID-19, but I am not here today to focus on the bad stuff, rather, I want to focus on what I learned from it. The Bible says, "We know that all things work together for good", and as hard as it was to continue with my job from home while trying to homeschool my son at the same time, there was a lot of good that I learned from it.

Mornings, let's talk about our mornings. Prior to the school closings, I had to be out of the house pretty early, and I always felt rushed to say my 'goodbyes' and 'I love you's'. While working from home, I got to savor this time with my husband and kids. Extra time to enjoy my coffee, more snuggling on the couch, and more time for starting something new with my son every morning. I learned that not only do I need to start my day with God, in the Word and in prayer, but it has been very helpful for him too! I also learned very quickly that trying to create a schedule/routine to follow was not so easy to do. Things changed from day to day, including the weather, my job responsibilities, how long my littlest would nap for, and what kind of mood my son was in when he woke up each day. Some days he was really happy, especially after seeing his class friends on Zoom, and other days he didn't know what to do with himself and his little emotions got the best of him. If I am being honest, I had days like that too. We all did, but I learned from this too! Sometimes my expectations were too much for his 6 year old self, and I realized during this crazy and somewhat scary time, that we all needed loads and loads of grace to get through the unknown.

So, now what?

Soul Rest. This Summer is all about rest. The complete opposite of what has been, because lets be honest, I don't think anyone knows what is going to happen this Fall with schools re-opening or not re-opening. So I need as much soul rest as I can get! No pressure to complete to-do lists, no schedules to follow, no trying to get into a routine; just simplicity. Looking to God each day for whatever adventures he has for us. Maybe that means doing nothing at all, maybe it means taking a road trip for the day. Whatever it is, I don't want to be left at the end of the Summer, disappointed, because we didn't do everything we planned. Sure I have an idea of some of things that I would like for my family and I to do, but if we don't end up doing it, that's ok. In the past I always felt this disappointed feeling, when Summer came to an end, and I felt like we didn't do enough or I would feel guilty for not having more of a schedule or routine to follow. I have come to realize, that is exactly what we all need sometimes. I've decided that I need to really be intentional with finding time for myself each day, or every other day, even if it is only for 30 minutes. Time for that soul rest. For me it's hand lettering, watercolor painting, reading, and journaling. For you it may be something completely different, but it is so important. We need time alone to relax, refresh, and rest, especially with everything that's going on right now.


 I need to give more grace to others, myself included. Be kinder and more compassionate because everyone is hurting. Be present in every moment, choose grace over perfection, and don't worry about the little things!


We are now half way through the Summer and I have to say that I am very grateful for how things have been going. It hasn't been perfect, we still have some bad days but I am enjoying everyday with my family and making sure I find time for soul rest. Just yesterday, we went to a farm near our house to pick some fruit and flowers. Ever since I can remember, I have always had a fear of bees. I am not allergic to them and I have only been stung a handful of times. I just seem to freak out whenever they are around. Unfortunately, my son has picked up on it, and I am afraid I have now passed on that fear to him. While we were at the farm yesterday, the final stop was in a field to cut fresh flowers. I was so excited, until I wasn't. Down every row, flying around and buzzing happily were tons and tons of bees. My husband looked at me as if to say, please don't ruin this for them. I could see my son start to get nervous and my husband, bent down and said to him, "Don't focus on the bees, focus on the beauty of the flowers", and just like that, we didn't think twice, we went up and down the rows cutting flowers and having a really good time. Yes, I jumped a few times, but I didn't let my fear of the bees ruin my experience. I didn't let the fear steal my joy.

Friends, I say the same to you, with everything that is going on right now in this World, the fear of the unknown for our kids, our family and other loved ones. We can so easily get caught up reading and watching things that cause us to worry and live in fear. Don't let it happen! There is still good all around us and you can still find joy!!  Don't focus on the bees, focus on the beauty of the flowers!

Many Blessings & Keep It Simple,