I just had the most amazing weekend in the Country. If you ever hear me talk about "the country," I'm referring to my in laws place in Denmark, South Carolina. It sits on 100 acres. The home was built after Sherman came through in the late 1800's and it has an old barn next to it that will some day be my Yoga Barn.
You can't see anything but land and trees from both porches. I haven't always appreciated this place, but now it's my place to unwind, relax and be in nature. And it's free!
I scheduled this weekend a long time ago knowing I would need some time to REST after the Empowerment Tour and Westobou weekends. I called it The Do Nothing Weekend. (I know, super creative right?!?! I'm more of a literal thinker than outside the box.)
I sat on the back porch Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and watched the sunrise. As the sun was rising, a big buck decided to take his morning stroll within 30 yards of me. I thought about my phone and wished I had captured it for you guys and for Cole because I knew he would want to know how big it was. I wasn't about to risk this moment to go back inside to get it though so I nestled back in with my coffee and watched this magical creature in his own habitat. I don't care how many deer I see in real life, it's always awe inspiring.
The sunset was uneventful but equally as beautiful. The night sky was so clear that we could see the Milky Way and Mars! How freaking cool is that? So many people don't get that chance! I was like a child just staring up at the moon and sky with my mouth wide open saying "Cole, look at the moon! Look at it. Cole, are you looking at the moon? LOOK AT IT!"
The following morning, we slept in but got up early enough to catch the morning sunlight highlighting the dew on the plants. The scenery on our walk that morning felt like it was straight out of a fairy tale! Again, I was taken back to 12 years old adventuring through the woods, no telling what we might come upon.
We had some good ole Southern cooking at the Minnonite restaurant that comforts your soul. I went on a run that afternoon, we went on a boat ride after that, and I forgot my phone half the time and didnt even care. It pleased me to say "I don't have it" when Cole would ask to borrow my phone. That NEVER happens!
Have you seen the meme that says "Do more things that make you forget your phone"? I'm pretty sure I've even posted it. But this was the first time I've actually experienced it.
Our culture prides itself on busyness. If you're not overbooked and stressed, then you're not working hard enough. I don't know if it's the culture or just my personality (I'm a 3 on the enneagram...there's that E word again!) but truly resting doesn't always come easy for me. I'm growing and learning so it's not as bad as it used to be but man, I used to think everything was urgent!
NEWSFLASH! IT'S NOT! If that person doesn't get a response in less than 5 minutes, she's not going to die and neither will you.
If we don't take the time to rest, it says in the Bible that God will "make you" lie down in green pastures. I've learned that when God forces us to slow down and be still, it looks a lot like an injury, a knot in your neck, the flu or some other attention grabbing circumstance. I prefer to willingly rest these days. It's a practice for sure...or else He wouldn't have to "make us." But just like any other muscle you want to make stronger or a habit you want to create, you have to work at it.
It doesn't always look like a weekend away either. You can rest in the midst of busy times. Here are a few ways I do that:
1. Take a nap! I napped for 20 minutes everyday leading up to the Empowerment Tour. I was actually very calm this year leading up to it and throughout the event, and that could have been a result of allowing myself to REST. If you've been staring at the computer for hours on end and you still haven't solved the problem. Take a nap. If you've got a big event coming up and you're on the ball and there's not much left to do, take a nap! If your mind is racing with problems you can't fix or do anything about in that moment, take a nap! Now I've mastered the 20 min power nap. If you haven't, just set your alarm for 25 minutes and close your eyes and breathe OR put on a 25 min meditation using the Insight Timer app.
2. Monitor your screen time. Thank you Jesus for the new Apple update that allows you to do this! You can actually see where you spend most of your screen time and tell your phone how much time you want to use. Go to Settings and scroll down to Screen Time.
3. Daily quiet time. I spend some time daily reading my Bible, listening to a faith filled podcast, praying or being still listening to worship music. I can tell when I haven't been doing that consistently. It feels a lot like being stressed out, agitated and feeling like I'm not good enough or doing enough. Set aside some time in your day to pray, be still or meditate.
I'm going to leave you with this new spin on that meme: