I’m in a season of rest right now and there’s no denying it….
A season of slow mornings and ample coffee breaks. Of midday walks and evening strolls. Of impromptu visits and lingering longer. Of time with Jesus and then some more. Of thinking and mediating and relishing quiet. Of reading every book I swore I’d finish. Of letting her lead, because there’s just no agenda and rounding the block for something to do. Of running errands to break up the day and counting down minutes ’till daddy comes home.
So this morning I got up and decided to make bread.
I’ve always loved making bread; I adore it and find the sweet result one I get giddy for every time I do it…
The fresh aroma as is bakes in the oven and the buttery goodness of my first bite. It never got old. And there feels something special – almost holy- when I consider the fact that I made it with my own two hands in love.
I used to make bread all the time; every few days to be exact but in the past few years, it ceased to be a “good use of my time.” And the oxymoron of that statement is that, in the last few years I’ve had more time than ever to make bread!
Sure I was struggling to even walk as I grew a human inside me and then once I had said baby, I was learning to navigate the trenches of motherhood. But I recall vividly many days, where I sat longing to be in a different season; to be doing, going and accomplishing.
As if my resting was a waste of time and the season of slowness I found myself in, a reflection of inadequacy and wasted potential.
I was so used to doing and striving that when time stood still, I discovered foreign thoughts taunting me with their chatter…
Who was I if I wasn’t doing [anything seemingly important]? What use are my days, if I’m not working towards a goal or striving to grow personally?
I hadn’t yet fully learned how to just be – me in that moment without wishing it were different- or more accurately, I were different.
I believed that because I could always be doing something or working towards something, that I should be! Even if my body were still, my mind never ceased to rest and just be ok.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what I do doesn’t define me – God began a work in me long ago in this area- but I was so used to always doing, that I never had time to experience the whispers that now taunted me about my character, in quiet.
… That I was wasting my potential, being still.
….That I would never grow or become a better person – a better Christian!
…. That if I didn’t work on something or on me, that things would never change or I would never change!
And so I filled my days doing, even trivial things, to hush the taunting that played on repeat. I tried to master this thing called mothering, as well as the title I swore I’d never wear: homemaker. I did ample for others to the neglect of the things I needed most, mainly the rest I was called to and so desperately needed in this season.
God knew what I needed when I entered motherhood. He knew that I would want more than anything to savour the simple moments with my daughter before they were gone. He knew I’d need time and space to process the trauma and healing journey I was embarking on.
God knew I needed to learn that while I was made to “move and do” [that’s who he made me to be], it was very much ok and necessary to rest and be slow; that even though there are always things that can be done and there are always parts of me that need to change and be matured, God still likes and delights in me exactly as I am today… and so too, should I.
I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m ok and I’m on my way! – Joyce Meyers
This season of slow is exactly that – a season – and if I look closely, I’ll see it for what it is – a gift waiting to be opened- a gift I may never get again.
If I wish it away- if I waste it filling it with stuff or forcing it to be something it’s not- I will eventually look back with regret. And I hate regret than anything!
My biggest fear is realizing I’ve gotten to the end of my life and spent it chasing the wrong things!
I’m so grateful God has spent the better course of three years teaching me about joy, contentment and what really matters. Because it’s those things that have grounded me and helped pull me away – from the noise of others, distractions of social media and the need for approval of others– from the things that for too long, stole my joy, killed my confidence and destroyed my peace.
In learning about what [who] brings me joy, in learning contentment regardless of circumstance and discovering the legacy I want to leave when I die- I see everyday as an arrow that’s pointing to an end goal; I can see clearly if this thing- what I’m doing- is going to aid me or pull me away from the things that will matter when I’m eighty.
And I truly believe that is been these lesson that have refined my heart enough to recognize the goodness of this season and given me the permission I need to love it and not rush through it.
I can embrace this season of rest, while simultaneously not denying the restless stirring inside me, because it’s God given. Both can coexist without the need to “fix” each other.
‘Cause when the time comes – in God’s time and not mine- the gates will open and I will hit the ground running.
If you put yourself there, you’ll have to keep yourself there. But if God puts you there, he’ll keep you there! -Anonymous
I’m done pushing, done striving and forcing life because it’s tiring and ultimately, fruitless. Sure it feels good for a while, but in the end I’m beaten up and more defeated than when I began.
But when I simply walk where God is calling me – if I do only what he is calling me today, in this season– then I discover a power within me greater than myself to do and accomplish more than I could on my own; an ease and a joy in life that follows me.
We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger in the path sign-marked with your decisions. – Isaiah 26: 10
Right now, he’s calling me to rest; to slow down and savour the goodness of days extended and moments prolonged.
So if you need me, you can find me in the kitchen baking bread ….. or on the floor playing with my daughter or walking around the block for the upteenth time, because I can and I’m enjoying it.