Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Minute Friday - Chasing Rest

On Fridays I link up with Lisa-Jo Baker for a writing flash mob. I write for five minutes on the topic Lisa-Jo has chosen. Today's writing prompt is rest.

Rest is elusive. I chase rest and don't always catch it. As a family, we have been purposeful in trying to live a peace filled life. By that I mean keeping the crazy out as much as possible - you can judge how we're doing with that one.

For me rest is more than a good sleep. Rest is peace. Rest is "shalom" - completeness, wholeness, peace, soundness, tranquility, fullness, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Rest is being okay with who I am.

Rest is turning off all that noise - television, laptop, phone, the task list I keep in my brain, the expectations I have for myself - all of those things that keep my mind spinning. Rest is not pulling out my iPhone to check my email in the doctor's waiting room but taking a page from those olden days when instead I would simply observe my surroundings. Rest is taking those few spare minutes to sit down and close my eyes instead of picking up my book or the newspaper. Rest is not making a To Do list, even though checking off those tasks is so very satisfying to me.

Rest is being quiet and listening to my heart, to what God is sharing with me today.

Jesus says, "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourselves." Matthew 11:28-29

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday - I Remember Ordinary

On Fridays I link up with Lisa-Jo Baker for a writing flash mob. I write for five minutes on the topic Lisa-Jo has chosen. Today's writing prompt is ordinary.

I remember ordinary but faintly. Ordinary was a few months ago. Ordinary was restful. It was, well orderly. An early morning coffee during my quiet study time, then a run along the river, no rushing about but just a slow ease into the day.

I haven't enjoyed ordinary in a while now, not since my family began helping our friend from Congo and her three young children after they moved into the homeless shelter for women and children. Now my mornings and days are filled with transportation needs, babysitting, legos strewn about, changing of diapers (it's been a while!) laughter, and sweet hugs.

This week has been even less ordinary than my new normal, as we walked with our friend through the hospitalization and death of her mom. Three young children overnight, bath time, school schedules and quite a bit less sleep.

There has been nothing ordinary this week. I have seen what I didn't know was possible, that there can be beauty in death. Beauty in this love I have seen, a whole mountain of it. Beauty in seeing a daughter care for her mom in her last hours and afterwards. Beauty in the heart-wrenching grief displayed without embarrassment or care for who sees, for this grief honors one so greatly loved. Beauty in the dozens of friends and family streaming into the hospital room to say goodbye and just be present.

I am grateful, so very grateful to have been a part of this not so ordinary week.