New Year’s Resolutions

To ring in the new year of 2017, late in the month of January, my mom, my four sisters, myself and some of my nieces met together for a brunch.  This was a first for us, and it was a very meaningful time.  It was a needed time.

So, why am I writing on this now?  Ha.  We are half-way through the year!  Let me explain.

One of the activities we did that day was writing our “New Year’s Resolutions” on 3×5 notecards, and then if we wanted, sharing with the group.  It was such a great idea, it truly helped me to slow down and be intentional about what my priorities really were for the year.  Afterwards, I placed my little cards in my Bible as bookmarks and needed reminders for my daily life.  Here we are in July, and halfway through the year and I smiled this morning as this particular resolution marked my Psalm this morning.  Rest.  True Rest.  Did I even know what that meant when I wrote it?  I certainly didn’t know what all my year would hold… that’s certain.  But, I smiled because I thought the definition of rest has taken on a new shape, and new meaning for me in so many ways the past few years.

blog me

Rest.  True rest.

That’s what she said in January – beginning 2017.  Here we are in July.

I like to visualize rest thinking about our cat Thomas.  Now that fellow knows how to rest!  He has a little routine every day.  And it all revolves around rest, I’m pretty sure (well, that and eating..).  He has his morning stretches, his breakfast, his nap on Paul’s top bunk, snacktime, naptime on Wesley’s bed, snacktime, naptime on couch, snacktime, aggravate our other cat Romo time, snacktime, and then relax-time on back of couch or in our laps to complete his evening before bed time.

blog 2.JPG

The only time he doesn’t rest is when his food bowl is empty.  Not only does he not rest,  WE can’t rest.  Because he paces, stares, and even gives a little bite (if it comes to that!) to remind us “MY BOWL IS EMPTY.”

Kinda like me.  I can rest when things are all nice and tidy… all my ducks swimming pretty in a row (and for the record, I can’t even remember when it was that way for me.  I am thinking they are not even ducks at this point… maybe chinchillas?).

But, oh God where is the rest when things aren’t the way I want them?

Not when things are hard and confusing.

Or, when I have needs that I feel aren’t met.

Not when I feel I’m wronged or shorted from what I deserve.  (Ouch).

Or, how can I rest when the storms are big and unexpected… and the lights seem to flicker on and off.

Where are you?

And, He reminds me.  The wind and waves know my name.  You can rest.

flowrers bridge

Throughout the years, lack of sleep has become my nemesis.  I’ve learned some practical ways that help.  Sleep association patterns:  Reading before bed, journaling my “to-do” list for the next day, calming playlist, lavender scents, relaxing a wee bit on my caffeine intake :), less screen time, good hydration, etc.  All great aids!  Definitely have proven to help me greatly!

But, maybe you will agree with me… there seems sometimes to be no cure for an anxious heart.  When you toss and turn on your bed, and sleep seems so far away.  Your pillow may be the only one you trust with your tears, but God sees.

What was the Psalm that my resolution from January had randomly marked?

“When I said, “My foot is slipping,”
    your unfailing love, Lord, supported me.
 When anxiety was great within me,
    your consolation brought me joy.”

Psalm 94:18-19

What’s the true rest I want to practice?  Trusting Him.  Allowing His words to console the deepest corners of my soul.  Letting go of what others think, giving Him all the heavy things I carry, fully embracing His forgiveness and grace, trusting that He is at work in all areas… even the ones that may be difficult to understand.  Entrusting each step to His wisdom and ways.  Reaching for His word when I want to ruminate on issues.  Committing myself to pray, even when there aren’t words, or when all I want to do is complain or worry. Looking for faithful friends who can listen, pray for me, and share needed perspective and truth to my ears. Settling my mind to know I am not the “fixer” of anything, I’m just a girl who has the opportunity to love others, as I have been loved. Loving is easy, when you spend time with the One who loves you.

Sleepless nights will still find us.  Anxious moments will come.  That’s for sure.  But even in those moments, we can have the gift of true rest.

2017 –  A year of rest.  The gift of rest that we can all embrace.

 

 

Advertisements

the fruit – post 4

imag

Stay steady, my friend.  One day at a time, one choice at a time, one prayer at a time.

“The opposite of impatience is not a glib, superficial denial of frustration. The opposite of impatience is a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness either to wait for God where you are in the place of obedience, or to persevere at the pace he allows on the road of obedience—to wait in his place, or to go at his pace.”

John Piper

“For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.”

Psalm 62:1-2

 

 

“rests”….of the musical sort. ;)

Hi Lovely Friends,

I’m back.  🙂  If you guys are still following this blog… then you truly are faithful followers of the randomness and rambling… Ha.  😉 Took the blog offline for a bit — Just taking some time of rest and reflection on life.  Life has been swirling with all the storms that  flood our days at times.  Swooping, swimming, balancing, and even breathing sometimes gets tough….

Rest has been the word of my season.  Simply, rest.

Being a musical sort of gal, I’ve been thinking about the “rests” in a musical score.

What would a piece of music be without a rest?  Would it still be as beautiful?

In a piece of music, there are so many reasons that the “rest” signs are vital.  Always, of the same importance as the flowing melody, the supporting harmony, or the defining rhythm.  A balance that makes music all that it is, would then be all the components that formulate and structure it.  Right?  Including those little rests.  Let’s think about it…

The “rests” enable the music played, within a group, to allow each musician their own role.

 The tuba can’t play the entire piece without stopping.  (Well, I guess he could… but the questions remains, should he?  ;))  Beautiful music is balanced.  Just think of a lovely instrumental while the vocalist waits, only to then enhance the melody the vocalist then produces.  The instrumental is enjoyed… the solo is enjoyed.  Both, an integral part.

Sometimes, when we skip over our rests, we plow through the cello player’s lovely solo… or, the moment meant for the timpani to shine.

Each one plays a different role.  A different part, for a different place, for a different time, for a different reason, for a distinct beauty.  rest

“Rests” give the musician a minute to pause and ready for the next notes.

I’ve always loved to see one of those little rests, especially when your violin bow feels like it’s smoking after playing a Paganini piece!  The pause gives you a breath, and the ability to ensure your bow is in the right position.  That little rest gives you the time needed to complete the piece.

What are the next notes for us in life?  Don’t skip over the rests.  😉

“Rests” are a moment of silence that are an integral part of the artistic beauty.  

Without the rests, we wouldn’t fully understand or appreciate the notes of the piece.  The contrast is needful.  Rest is a lovely differentiation to the busy note flow… We don’t appreciate silence at times, until it is not there.

Silence is beautiful in it’s time. Charles Spurgeon said, “Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength… It is wisdom to take occasional furlough. In the long run, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.”

Why am I saying this?  Cos, my friend, I’m wondering if you are tired?  I’m so thankful for my loved ones that remind me that rest is needful, and sweet.  We sometimes believe that we have to be superman, and carry everything on our shoulders… We think that we have to stay hurry-scurry busy, as we juggle the entire circus in our hands.  We view rest as a loss, when it is actually a gain.

It can be a time for others to play… A time for us to pause — getting ready for our next line of notes… A time to all hear and experience the beauty of silence.

Rest well, my friend.  Has it felt like a very long time of running and toiling?  Rest.  Soak in this essential time.  The time that threads throughout our crazy, beautiful, musical score we call life.  Rest.

ii_musical_score