As I sit down at my computer this morning, the house is quiet with the kids watching their favourite show, YO! Gabba Gabba and baby napping.
This brief pause in the day is one of my exhale moments, where I am choosing rest in the midst of many things to be done.
So as I take a second to reflect on this season so far, the summer we nick named “The Summer of Rest”, I’ve realized I have learned one big lesson so far.
Life is hard.
Ok I didn’t just learn that, but even in the midst of trying to step back for a little bit, life is still a big ole challenge.
Our family was working out at a Bible camp. It was nestled in a beautiful spot, I didn’t have to cook at all, and I was able to operate daily in one of my passions: leading worship.
But I was totally exhausted. The kids didn’t sleep well and I felt frustrated. Why is this so hard?
But the Lord spoke to me out in that place. He told me that I am expecting my rest to be easy. Rest is being gentle in our approach to life, but it is not easy.
Life is hard, but following God, and walking out his plan is rewarding. Not easy. Hard. But rewarding.
Deeply rewarding. That kind of way down deep joy that comes when you are so tired you aren’t sure how you are going to make it any longer and then a kid comes to the front after service to give their life to the Lord.
Oh yeah, I guess my tiredness was worth it to be here for this moment.
Even in our conscious choice to rest this summer, so many factors are beyond our control.
A friend said to me the other day, “I don’t want to see you and Andrew get burnt out”.
I laughed and said to her, “the only burn out we are going to have is parental burn out”. There is no break, no rest from teaching, disciplining, teething and sleepless nights.
What I’m learning is that rest comes in the pauses. It doesn’t come in the big days off or weeks of sleeping in.
Rest comes in the silent moments when you inhale the presence of God and exhale the striving and things you have been trying to do on your own strength..
Rest is experienced in your heart’s posture. It’s not grabbing the bull by the horns so to speak, but gently walking out your responsibilities and breathing in the beauty of grace.
Rest is regaining that steadiness of breath. It’s acknowledging that there is a time and place for the sprint and the marathon, but also a need for the steady inhale and exhale.
We have two more big stints away from home this summer and I know I will be tired. Rest may not be sleep, but it is in the gentle rhythm of breath.