Rhythms of Rest

Tuesday, June 17, 2014  ::  

Rest -- freedom from activity or labor, a brief pause, peace of mind or spirit, free of anxieties.

Two weeks ago my family set out to rest. Over the past few summers vacation came to us in the form of big trips to exciting destinations. Because of schedules in the shortness of our two month summer, no one had the same weekend open for us to get away. To be honest, I cried about it. My soul so desperately wanted to escape with my family to recharge and refill. 

After deliberating several options, Chad and I had the bright idea to staycation in Tucson. We agreed to completely clear our schedules and engage with our family and our city for two whole weeks. The biggest kicker for me was that we also agreed not to talk about work at all. For the two of us to not talk about what we do through and in Second Mile would be a challenge. My fear was we wouldn't have much to talk about. Sad, but true.

Do you know what? The first two days of being at home with "nothing" to do irritated me like a mosquito bite. I was pouty that I wasn't on the beach. All of the things that I left on my to-do list scrolled through my mind. Fear the kids would think our staycation was lame infested my heart. It took intentional prayer and surrender to allow God to sift through my soul to prepare my heart for the great two weeks He had planned for the Haynes family.

Matthew 11:28-30 The Message
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burnt out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and rightly."

The beauty of this passage comes in our day to day life. It isn't a passage meant to be used as an excuse for vacation, but in the times of setting regular life aside we can be reminded that this is how he desires for us to live everyday, to learn and enjoy "the unforced rhythms of grace."

We forced nothing during our staycation, but we intentionally sought out several things.

  • We played games including cards (Shanghai) and Ticket to Ride.
  • We ate donuts from a 1935 Tucson landmark.
  • We finally went to San Xavier Mission which was a long overdue expedition.
  • We enjoyed the sunset at Kyle's track meet.
  • We went to Mt. Lemmon and split two ginormous cookies from that little cookie house we've passed for ten years, but never made a point to stop. 
  • We went to Guadalajara Grill mainly for the table side made salsa. That stuff is delicious. 
  • We made some pretty fine meals ourselves, many of our family favorites. 
  • We celebrated Father's Day with scones, Miss Saigon, and Ross. 
  • We never set an alarm and slept in every day.
  • We laughed so much, mostly at my expense because moms are pretty easy to make fun of. 
  • I baked cobbler and scones. 
  • I met my goal of getting in our pool every single day. 
  • I read at least ten Psalms everyday and deeply inhaled God's steadfast, unfailing love. 
  • I finished one of my books about prayer which means I was awake in the middle of many nights praying which was pretty fantastic. (I said I wouldn't talk to Chad about work. I had to get out all my crazy thoughts to Someone! Who better to talk to and listen to than Jesus?)
And you, my friends? You were wonderful. This staycation would never have worked if you hadn't respected my family's need for rest. My phone was eerily silent. A few times I wondered if we were missed because my quiet phone made me insecure because any normal given day it goes off 877 times. Your love for us demonstrated in your ability to encourage a time of rest bolsters our desire to serve and love you. Thank you for perpetuating the circle of loving one another. 

One more thing, this staycation came at the best season in the life of our family. I'm praying my kids learned that you don't have to spend money, be extravagant, go some place new to find rest, to enjoy the people you love, to recharge and refill. This season was right. Let me say that if we would have tried this when my kids were little I would have lost my ever lovin' mind! It would have felt like normal, trapped life with piles of laundry and messes and the millionth game of Candyland and another episode of Dora and bath time and waking up at 6:00am. Getting away was necessary when my kids were young, and we did! We went places that the whole family enjoyed. But now, in my opinion, the sweet season of witty, charming, self-caring teenagers was the perfect time for a staycation. Those of you that currently deal day in and day out with sweet tiny cuties that depend on you for everything don't try a staycation just yet, but keep this in a file in your mind for the future. Be intentional now, so that family, relational intentionality grows deeper and deeper through the years. You won't be sorry. 

What are your favorite ways to rest? Are you going on vacation this summer? What is your favorite part of vacation? How does your time of rest include soaking in more of Jesus? 

3 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Carol said...

So glad you guys had a great, restful time. Thanks for reminding me that this may be in my future, but not my present with tiny itty-bittys everywhere.

Angela DeSoto said...

I love you guys so much. I'm so glad you had these two weeks with each other making fantastic memories and resting. Thank you, Jesus!

Unknown said...

I've been dreaming about scones ever since i saw your picture. They looked stellar :) I am thankful to hear it was an excellent, restful 2 weeks! I love you, and love your crazy awesome family.

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