For those of you that have been following my blog posts, you may have noticed that I haven’t written anything for a while. After my last blog, I realised that keeping up with weekly blogs was seriously imposing on my plans to rest. See I promised myself for the first 3 months post-ministry, that I would completely rest. In that time I wasn’t allowed to look for a job, I wasn’t allowed to take on any major projects or make any major decisions about the future. So, I decided to take the remainder of the month off completely, because I didn’t feel like I had succeeded in my efforts to experience true undistracted rest. It has been an interesting couple of weeks and I’ve actually discovered a lot more about myself than I expected. And I thought I would share them with you:
- Resting is harder than I thought
To ensure I fully committed myself to actual rest, I started a calendar entry for a daily nap. From 2-2:30 pm every day, I was to have a proper lie-down to rest. Just in time for picking up Leela at 2:45 pm. I didn’t have to sleep, but I did have to close my eyes. Sounds like a dream hey! Well, it didn’t start off well at all! The first 2 days I lay down, and my mind wouldn’t switch off. I found myself thinking of things I had been meaning to google and picking up my phone several times within the allocated 30 minutes. I kept checking the time, to see when it would be over. The third day, I completely forgot to take the rest. Well, despite that tragic beginning, after 3 months it has certainly improved. Last week, I lay down a bit earlier and completely fell asleep for about 2 hours. That’s been happening a lot more frequently too. The whole experience reminded me of how I am not really that great at resting. It shouldn’t be a skill, but it certainly feels like it is! A skill that I want to keep getting better at. Life is definitely better when you are relaxed.
- Intimacy with God is harder than I thought
The first couple of weeks were rather strange. I’d sit down in my chair, ready to read and pray and have this awesome time of intimacy with God. Instead, I found myself speechless (I know, that’s really strange for me!) A few weeks down the track, I found myself actually saying to God “I don’t know what to say, God”. Weird! I have literally never had this happen to me before. Usually, I have to pause to breathe! I realised that ministry and work were giving me a purpose to my discussions with God. Just chatting in general without some kind of purpose to my discussion, is a real struggle for me. Most of the time, I can just ask a question if I don’t have anything to say. Which I tried with God, but I didn’t really get a response (so it was back to me again!) It’s probably similar to when Josh (my husband) and I speak on the phone when one of us is interstate. We both aren’t really the biggest fans of telephone conversations, so after we’ve done the typical check in’s (how’s the kid? Hows the dogs?) the chat tends to be something along the lines of “So. Yep.” Imagine that on either side of the phone call! It’s an absolutely riveting conversation! So I had to get creative for my prayer time because I wasn’t going to be able to keep this up. I realised that I am better off doing something while I pray. So I’ve started scribbling and drawing with one hand whilst I pray. Or I write my prayers out. It’s definitely improved.
It’s been really interesting to not have the backdrop of work to bring structure to my life. But its also been really good, to rediscover life and my relationship with God apart from the busyness! So there have been days where I have completely vegged out in front of the TV. But there have been some days where I’ve written a poem! All in all, the time of rest has been fantastic. Now I look forward to my next season, where I start to see the next phase of ministry unfold. I’ve got some ideas of what the future will entail, so WATCH THIS SPACE……but I’m glad I nailed rest before taking on the next giant!