This week I have been craving rest.
What I truly mean is breathing space. More than sleeping for 12 hours straight and a Caribbean island vacation (which both sound dreamy). The rest I crave is the ordinary kind. I’m talking about the kind of rest you can find in the everyday living of life. I wanted rest that can be found on Tuesday just as much as a Saturday.
If you are like me and feel like it's hard to find rest, I get it. But recently this idea of ordinary snuck up on me and invited me to think differently. On the way home from what felt like a million errands, I decided to stop off at a local indoor garden nursery. Because it's winter, it was basically me, the staff, and the plants. It was a cold winter day, but it was still sunny. Inside the greenhouse, I felt like Alice in Wonderland as I fell into a dreamy, other-worldly place. Even though it was winter, the greenhouse crew was busy potting the spring pots and getting ready for the new season already on the way.
Pretty lemon trees were just beginning to bud. Lovely herbs like rosemary and lavender were pressing purple blooms from their tiny fingertips. Nubby succulents invited a curious touch of their juicy leaves. Lacy ferns with their baby fiddleheads reminded me spring is only a whisper away. The quick stop at the garden nursery was a texture, smell, and sensory delight, all while basking in the pale winter sunshine overhead.
Ordinary rest is like that. It's the opportunity to enjoy little pockets of lightness sprinkled throughout your day. These are the things that spur us on as we go, helping to move us forward through the easy and the hard, the minutiae and the mundane. More than treats or an activity, I've been considering this style of rest as an attitude. The place you can tap into as you go about your day, praying, working, cooking, eating, and living your ordinary, regular life.
How can you invite rest to hang out with you more?
In truth, I get not everyone has time to stop and smell the lemon trees. But my nursery trip reminded me that ordinary life holds rest for us. Here's how I'm reframing rest:
-Work can be my opportunity to encourage others and express gratitude to them in emails, calls, and meetings.
-Folding laundry can be my chance to pray over the people in my life.
-Cooking can be my chance to concentrate on the blessings of food.
-Cleaning is my time to consider what spaces in my heart I can surrender and ask for God to speak wisdom.
-Driving in my car can be my chance to let go of the chaos of the world and rest in the rhythm of the road.
All of it can hold pockets of rest for you and for me. This week, my invitation is to consider your life and where rest might already be hanging out. Consider it as a cool companion to accompany you through your day. You might find it in a local nursery or at your desk, at work, or in your backyard. But when you invite rest into your day, it can't help but come along.