I Really didn’t have time to rest this weekend. I tried to muster up every excuse I could to avoid getting away for the weekend. I was way too tired to take a break, and the idea of being alone with myself was a bit unnerving.
Ugh…resting is such a burden!
That was my ridiculous attitude, before I headed 1.5 hours outside of the city this weekend, up a muddy unsigned road to a cabin, far far away. I had reluctantly signed up for a “resting retreat”, where nothing happens, no one has a plan, and I didn’t know anyone. Me, being a weird mutt mix of introvertednesss and extrovertedness, wasn’t sure how this isolation with a bunch of strangers was going to pan out.
By the time I arrived, I had a migraine so bad I could barely see straight. I couldn’t even pretend to be happy to be there, because smiling hurt, and I just wanted to find my bed.
I am usually the life of the party, but after dinner my migraine, which we will call Jack, had chewed the inside of my eye balls, and faces were beginning to blur. Me and Jack headed to bed. It was almost as if my body knew that resting was ahead, and the stress and tension I had been carrying all week had tried to bolt to the exit door at the same time, and I just crashed.Did you know that your body will almost always tell you you're stressed before your thoughts do? Click To Tweet
The next day, I woke up early. Who am I?! Where’s Jack? I felt great. I was ready, ready to tackle this rest thing, and do it well and do it all the way! I was going to be the best rester in that cabin!
We all gathered around in the morning, for a devotional, and the host of the weekend gave us a bit of a pep talk on what rest was. She gave us all permission to just do absolutely nothing, not even to pray hard, or seek God, or read. We could spend 2 days staring at the ceiling if we wanted, the focus was resting at our pace, resting our body minds and our spirits. I had packed my laptop, my book, my journal, and 16 different types of pens and pencils for brainstorming (cause that’s restful and glorious!), so when I made myself a little picnic blanket by the pond, I laid out all my work in front of me ready to be inspired. Then first came the adorable baby beaver…then the annoying teen duck Who can work when an adorable baby beaver is swimming through a still pond? And seriously! Who can focus when a teen duck is insistently complaining. I shushed him 4 times, didn’t he know I was busy resting/brainstorming blog ideas?! But he insisted on quacking. so I just sat, and glared, and soon that glaring turned into sitting, and soon that sitting turned into sighing, and that sighing turned into deep breathing and 45 minutes had gone by and I hadn’t prayed, or read, or brainstormed. I just breathed. Oh, hello deep breath, its’ been a while. It took till late that afternoon for my body to feel completely different. I soon began to feel anchored, and still, and open to hear. My breathing had found rhythm again , rhythm I didn’t even know I was missing. My head and my spirit stopped striving and I felt content and worth a lot. My afternoon ended with a long walk, and then a very adventurous canoe ride. I introduced my beaver friend to my human friends and we shared our hearts and stories and peed our pants trying not to tip the canoe. Then I ate myself full, connected with new friends, and then curled up into bed for my last night away.
Shush the duck and rest..
It has such healing power. It has healing power to heal our bodies, our minds and even our spirits. Whenever I meet someone battling mental illness, or just great distress, they always ask me what I first did to heal. I will always respond with resting.
Whenever I meet someone in this battle I can usually pick up in the first 5 minutes that they have no idea how to rest.
[bctt tweet=”When we feel guilty for rest, we lose our strength.” username=”virtuouswomanx”
God told the Israelites, that he was bringing them out of captivity so they could enter his rest. He had some healing to do after generations of slavery, he had some mindsets to change, and some blessings to bring, and all he wanted them to do was rest and trust, rest and trust. yet they strived and then many perished.<
ur first line of defense in any intense season is to just find that breath, and if you make friends with cute pond animals then even better!
Anyway….< I have some work to do in maintaining the rest I received. I’m up late getting this post up, and my doctor just phoned to say my blood pressure is high, and there is no canoe available. So finding the rest at a retreat is one thing, but keeping it in the storm is another. Work in progress….. Do you find rest easy?