Even though our couch is large, the girls move in close beside me.
We’ve been reading a couple pages from this book about the life of ants every day for almost a week now. Their fascination with these tiny insects is clear and they can’t wait to learn more.
Today’s reading was mostly about how ants travel.
Yet, at the bottom of the second page there was a small box with an interesting fact:
The hotter it gets, the faster ants move.
This fascinating piece of information was perplexing.
I can confidently say, that when temperatures rise, I don’t move faster. In fact, I slow down. Are you this way too?
If I were to analyze this behaviour closer, I would have to say that the seasons impact how I function. Spring and fall are my seasons of energized renewal, while winter and summer are my seasons of quiet exhaustion.
I often make grand plans in the spring for how I want to spend my summer. I assemble a summer bucket list and envision new experiences and fun field trips. But when the summer arrives, all I want to do is slow down.
Over the past few months, I’ve been running a race. I’ve been writing, creating, planning, cleaning, and scheduling. As I dashed from one thing to the next, I became unfocused.
When I opened my eyes in the morning, I dreaded the day ahead because I ran out of energy before the day even started.
I didn’t have the stamina to clean the house. I lacked the motivation to homeschool. My patience for parenting my girls was minimal.
I recognized a deep need to slow down.
I desired rest.
As I thought about rest I began to question my interpretation of what it truly means to rest.
It’s not about more sleep or afternoon quiet times… rest is deeper than that.
Rest is release. It’s about letting go of lists and expectations.
Rest is quiet. It’s calming the mind and being disciplined in thought and meditation.
Rest is thriving where we are instead of striving for where we want to be.
Rest is peace. It’s about forgiving and seeking forgiveness.
Rest is trust. It’s about relinquishing control and trusting in God’s plan for today and every day.
As I considered these things, I began to sense how I could dip my toes in the waters of rest. You see, rest is in the little things…
It’s in the breeze on my face as I rock back and forth on a swing. Rest is in watching the flicker of a candle.
I find it as I watch the birds perch in the tree outside my window. It reveals itself as I close my eyes and listen to music. Rest appears as I read a book to my daughters.
Rest is in a walk through the river valley. It’s when I colour with my girls or when I pull weeds from my garden.
Rest is watching the clouds in the sky, or enjoying a summer storm. From the stirring of batter in a bowl, to the sipping of my morning coffee, rest meets me anywhere.
Rest is a gift that’s abundant and it’s there for the taking… we just need to know how to claim it.
Prayer and trust
First of all, rest requires prayer and trust that the Lord will give physical, mental, and emotional rest. See Matthew 11: 28-30 for inspiration.
Sometimes when I can’t fall easily into prayer, I need a nudge. Listening to worship songs helps me slow down and brings me into a calmer state of mind.
Intention and discipline
Secondly, rest takes deliberate intention and discipline. Rest requires a singular focus. It simply needs you to concentrate on one thing at a time and when you do that, you can find rest in everything and anything you do.
So the next time you’re folding laundry or vacuuming, I encourage you to find rest in the moment. Take a deep breath and focus on that one task. Concentrate on what you’re doing. Don’t fret about what’s next, your schedule, or your plans for the week. Calm your mind and enjoy the present moment of this one thing.
True rest is possible.
Rest is possible, even for the busy mom. So when it’s hot and you’re tempted, like the ants, to speed up, don’t.
Resist doing all the things.
Set your eyes on rest. It will come.