The little beeper on the coffee maker just announced a fresh pot. Its 3:22 am and my body and brain have decided its time to wake up. This week I have been at the lake on my first vacation since I began my sabbatical last year. My husband and I have been away–away from responsibilities, away from our kids, away from our dog, away from our jobs.
Just the two of us and a whole lot of nothing planned.
We have been here enough days in a row to find a routine.
Morning: We start with coffee and a little visit, then I go out to the back porch and journal before it gets too warm to be cozied up in a blanket. Journaling usually morphs into morning reading and then writing.
Afternoon: We go for a walk around the lake, visit with our neighbors and come back home to read some more, get some lunch in town, buy a few groceries, hook up to the internet at a local coffee shop and get some business done.
Evening: We turn on music, start a fire, pour a glass of wine, create something simple for dinner, watch the sunset, read some more, watch a movie. Wait to fall asleep until we know our kids are safe at home.
Having a routine here has highlighted my lack of routine at home. Since moving into a new house, adjusting to a new part of town, my kids beginning a new and challenging year of school and sharing a car with them, I have not found a new normal. My responsibilities have been overwhelming and everything on my to-do list seems vague, like that dream where you are trying to read something but it keeps blurring.
As I was journaling one morning, an outline of my week started to come into focus. It became clear what I had committed to, what those commitments require of me, when I can run errands, workout, or schedule an appointment. It became obvious what I could give and what I could not.
I can only give what I have.
“We are not exhausted because we give away too much. We are exhausted because we give away what we do not possess” (Muller, Sabbath).
This invitation to rest is also an invitation to humility.
Muller writes about of us taking our “relatively unimportant” seat at the table of life. I thought I had more to give than I did. I’m not as generous as I want to be. I get tired too easily. I run out of steam early in the race. I bite off more than I can chew. I want to do more than I can, be more than I am, because just being me can look and feel kind of pathetic…
I am learning.
At first its scary to admit our limitations, to join the forces of nature in our relative unimportance.
Then, one day while you are watching the birds, listening to the trees, visiting with your partner, you realize you are happy, deeply truly humbled to be living in this world that seems to be obsessed with giving you all the goodness it possesses.
May you receive all of the goodness life has for you today.