30 Days of Rest: Day 7


We sat the breakfast table this morning with our kids-we made fun of each other, all got defensive (of course) and laughed about something that happened at school. Adam just went inside to get ready for work after our time on the front porch, sipping our coffee and waving to all our active neighbors. I am not quite sure what I am going to do with my day.

When I think about how this year is different from last year, rest was a novelty. The year leading up to my 30 Days of Rest was so hard it was natural to think of resting as a reward. I was giving myself permission to rest extravagantly because in some ways, I believed I had earned it.

Now, rest is a way of life for us.

Rest is not about what we do or not do, it is how we live. We are propelled by a place of rest instead of being pulled out of our lives by that exhausting energy that always wants us to do and be more.

I was afraid of this way of living for a very long time. Some of my fearful questions were: Who would I be? Why would people love me? Would my life be a waste? That energy that fueled my busyness and my ambition was a beloved fri-enemy. It kept me relevant. It also kept me from being present. It kept me from my grief and it kept me from my joy.

Sometimes I forget that this journey started for me from a desire to simplify our life so that I could actually enjoy it. All I was trying to do was de-clutter and in that process a whole new way of life revealed itself to us.

I had a dream during my morning nap (Yes, I am like a baby.) that I was driving a car without the key in the ignition. It was steering itself and I kept telling myself, “This is a dream, you don’t have one of those cars that doesn’t need a key and drives itself.” For some reason the fact that I wasn’t in control of the car was evidence to me that it was time for me to wake up. Wake up! Wake up, Jenny!

Our life felt that way, like something else was in charge besides us. We were out of control. Our days and weeks and months and then years were a blurry existence where we were getting where we were “supposed” to be but not sure how we got there or if “there” was even where we wanted to be.

“When you agree to live simply, you have renegotiated in your mind and heart your very understanding of time and its purposes. Time is not money, despite the common aphorism. Time is life itself!” (Richard Rohr)

Rohr is telling the truth, since last year we have renegotiated our understanding of time and its purposes. Time does not speed up or slow down as our reward for productivity. We are the ones who must slow down to match time or otherwise we miss the true rewards it has to give us.