Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What I learned from my weekend alone. . .

Thanks so much for all your sweet emails about my time by myself at home this past weekend.

I stumbled upon this on Pinterest a few days ago and it made me smile. So true of my time this weekend:

originally pinned from this blog

So for those of you who asked, all I did this past weekend was sleep, pray, and watch a little Netflix.

Nothing else. . no learning my new camera, no haircut, only one bubble bath, no walks.

I slept a lot. I prayed. And I watched a little American Pickers and Design Star when I ate my Chinese food.

I learned a lot about rest and what that truly looks like for me.

For me, it means sheer inactivity by myself.

Time to lay on the couch and think, let my mind wander, stare out the window at the trees, sleep, pray, dream. . .all with no structure, no plan. I learned that I need this kind of rest to live a balanced life.


I learned that I so long for that kind of rest that I am trying to grab it whenever I can. I learned that I need to be intentional (there's my word again) in scheduling that kind of rest into my week. If I plan for it to happen, then I will not be grabbing it whenever I can. . and thus my week will be productive. I truly think I will work harder during the week if I know that kind of rest is coming.

See, Rob and I have for a long time made Sundays a day of rest, a Sabbath. Sundays for us are a time of not working and a time of focusing on each other, our friends and family, and our God.

We do not do house projects on Sundays. Rob aims to not do school work or check his work email on Sundays. We expect the kids to have all projects and homework completed by Saturday (training them now to rest on Sundays so this is not a struggle when they get older). I try my best not to grocery shop or run errands on Sundays. (you do know that I am not suggesting these are "shoulds" for everyone. . I am just sharing what we do.)

On Sundays, we usually have a leisurely lunch, a special lunch. We go around the table and talk about what we learned at church. We talk about what we think God may want us to do as a result of what we learned. We ride bikes. We walk up to the park. We have friends over. . or new visitors to our church over. . for a meal and hang out. Sometimes we go to the Farmer's Market and marvel at (and buy) all the fresh fruits and veggies and flowers and honey sticks.

And all that is good and all that is rest. But what I learned about me is that the way we have been spending our Sundays does not fully "rest me" or recharge me. I am an intorvert (really! I love people, but I am recharged by being alone). And for me, I need sheer inactivity by myself.


And so I need to be intentional (there's that word again) and watch how many times a month we have people over on Sundays. See, my hubby is an extrovert (as well as 3 of our kids) and they recharge by being around people. So when we have people in our home, that is rest to his soul, that is life giving.

I learned that perhaps Rob (who loves physical activity and longs for more of it in his life) takes the kids on a bike ride and I stay home. I learned that there is a reason Rob itches to go skateboarding on Sunday afternoon and I itch to take a nap. . . and we freely need to give that to each other.

It is not like Rob and I ever argued over how we spent Sundays. Our Sundays are quite enjoyable. . I think all 7 of us would say that. And it is not that I do not thoroughly enjoy company for Sunday lunch; I do! And it is not that I do not enjoy a long bike ride on the greenway with my family; I do enjoy it once I get out there.

It is that I am just now realizing and getting in touch with what deep down recharges my soul. . .only taken me 40 years (I cannot believe I am 40!)

So that's what I came away from the weekend with.

Do you know what kind of rest recharges you and nourishes you deeply?
Do you schedule rest or a "Sabbath"? What does that look like for you?
Would love to hear your thoughts!! Really, really!!

Since my realization. . I have been doing a little "research" on rest. This article titled Wisdom and Sabbath Rest by Tim Keller has spoken truth to my soul and put words to many of the ramblings in my heart. I highly recommend checking it out. . especially the "Sabbath Practical" section.

2 comments:

  1. Getting older does have its benefts. Knowing yourself in a better way is one of them. It so amazing how much confidence grows as we grow. I am so impressed with your honest self-appraisals and with the careful way that you offer (I use that word intentionally) advice. Thanks!
    Valerie

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  2. I agree with Valerie that one of the gifts of aging is truly figuring ourselves out and knowing what works for us. I gain my rest and renewal by being alone and by creating. Everyone that knows me would probably describe me as an extrovert and I do love poeple and I do love talking but if I don't have quiet in my day I stress. I talk to God alot when I am creating and that definitely is a win-win :) I'm a member at FHBC and am attending the class this week so thought I'd check out your blog. Have already ordered the All You mag, never heard of it before. Also figured out...small world...that your husband is at the school I used to work at and now sub at, I saw him just Monday. I am assuming that since you are on blogspot I can subscribe to your blog in my google reader and not have to receive posts through email but don't see how to subscribe. I look forward to meeting you!

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